Sunday, October 30, 2005

Athletes

The average weight of NFL players is 325 lbs. The average height of NBA players is 6' - 11 1/2". The average number of teeth of an NHL player is 4. The average bat speed of a baseball player is very fast indeed. And let's not forget 170 mph tennis serves and quad-spin ice-skaters and sub-4-minute milers and 500-mile ultra-marathoners and gold-medalist rhythmic-gymasts and going all-in in texas no-hold-em and bowling a perfect game. Why, the modern olympics are just rife with record breaking.

These remarkable feats are brought to you by the genetic engineering advances of the Monsanto Corporation. Without Monsanto, and its subsidiaries Dow PetroChemical and Bayer Genetic-Testing and the wonder drug Viagra there would be no advances in sports. We would be stuck in the dark ages of sports where people had to use their inate talents. But now we have advanced genetic sports engineering that has created various races of supermen, more advanced than the ancients could ever dream of. More advanced even than the old gods - Pluto and Demeter and St. Paul. Soon, you and I will be only a remnant memory of the planet, as we are finally fully overcome by the race of supermen who are now dominating our sports, but will soon be dominating the sciences too. And then the only jobs we will be able to hold will be janitor for their super schools, which will be kind of like that Hogwarts school that Harry Potter goes too. That would be cool. Can you imagine all the excitement that would go on around you, while you get to watch all the remarkable Quidditch matches from the sidelines without any danger of having to participate? I say, it will be a good thing when Monsanto has finally finished creating its race of overlords for us and we finally get to give up our dreams of being athletes and scientists and artists and architects and waiters and policemen and firefighters and taxi drivers and doormen and elevator service technicians and finally get on with the business of being janitors at Hogwarts. Cool.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

The Giant Garraga

The Giant Garraga was large and vicious and smelly. He ruled over the continent Gonwanaland with his magic, keeping charge of all the fantastical creatures who lived there - the unicorns and the fairies and the dragons too. One day these creatures grew tired of Garraga's vicious rule over them, and so they called out to the other fantastical creatures who lived on the other continents, like the leprechauns and the trolls and the vampires and sharks too, and asked for their help in overthrowing him.

And in return for payment of three hundred million motes of fairy dust, the trolls took them up on their offer. An army of 40 thousand trolls came crashing over the ocean waves and landed on the shores of Gonwanaland. They marched over mountains and across rivers and through snow storms and under cloudy skies and rested on the beaches of Southern California and continued their journey across salted plains and through caves deeper than the deepest caves they had ever seen before too.

And when they came to the capitol city of Odenwerks, Garraga's capitol city, they stormed the gates and killed all the inhabitants and took Garraga captive. The fairies then gave them their payment of dust motes, and had the trolls tie Garraga up with ropes of pure spun gold. He was tied to stakes on the ground, splayed out for all to see. Then the unicorns came and stabbed him. Then the dragons came and burned him. Then the sharks came and torn him limb from limb. And they scattered the limbs across the whole continent so no part could ever be brought back together - for they were afraid of Garraga's powerful magical abilities and thought maybe he would be able to reconstitute himself, which he would have been able to do if they hadn't scattered his parts so far apart. That was good for them.

But what wasn't so good for them was that the parts of Garraga, the thousands of tiny bits and pieces scattered over Gonwanaland, were all still a little bit alive. And these parts started vibrating and shaking and moving. And the pieces of Garraga's arms shook and shimmied and came alive and formed out of the pebbles into the birds in the sky.

And Garraga's leg pieces also shook causing the earth to shake with them. In the ensuing earthquakes the ground split open and the molten magma of the earth was released and together with the bits of legs the beasts of the plains were created and rose up out of the fiery rivers of lava released on the earth and strode across great distances and filled the plains of the continent.

The rest of Garraga's body was like gelatin, jiggling bits of juicy goop bobbling on the edges of the continent, and they fell into the oceans and grew to become all the fish and underwater beasts of the sea.

Finally, Garraga's head was left, and the fairies took all the pieces of the head and scattered them even further than the other pieces. They took them to the four corners of the earth, and crushed them, smashed the bits into the earth and rubbed them deep into the ground to make sure they were never going to be grown into any new beasts. But they were wrong, and out of the earth came a new creature, from the last bits of Garraga's head. This new creature was fearsome and killed all the fairies and dragons and unicorns and the leprechauns and vampires and trolls, too. This creature took dominion over the entire earth and crushed it's enemies. This creature that came from Garraga's head was the fiercest animal ever to be released upon the earth, and this creature was Man.

Friday, October 28, 2005

Scooter

I was discussing various intricate evolution issues with Dick Cheney a few years ago, when he had to leave the room - something about an airplane flying over the White House and his needing to take charge again. So he had me finish the conversation with someone named, I think it was... "Scooter"? I know that doesn't sound right, but for now, let's leave it at that. So Scooter was telling me about his theory of how frog DNA and toad DNA prove that amphibians separated from reptiles during the neo-late-cretaceous period.

Then he had to take a call in the other room from a reporter, so I waited in his office in the West Wing, thumbing through magazines and reports from Italy about something called "yellowcake". When he came back, he told me he was in the middle of countering an attempt by a former ambassador to smear President Bush by claiming that Bush knew the "16 words" in his State of the Union speech were false. Clearly, Scooter told me, Bush doesn't know anything about what was in his speech to the nation.

Then he leaned in and whispered something into my ear. Something secret. Something sweet. Something that I have testified to the Grand Jury about by invoking my 5th Amendment right against self-incrimination. So why should I tell you now? I will go to my grave keeping this "Scooter" person's secret. But I can tell you this: Valerie Plame Wilson is a friend of mine, and you sir, are no Valerie Plame Wilson.

Oh, and Scooter was wrong about his theory of frog/toad DNA. Amphibians and reptiles separated genetically from each other 6000 years ago, during the last great epoch of global warming, after the Flood.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Steven's Question

Please understand; if not for the creation of species in the first place, we would not exist. Not at all. Not even you! I hope that answers your question, Steven.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

The Science of Superbeings

A race of superbeings roamed the galaxies until about seven billion years ago. They were created in the original blast of the Big Bang, the expanded matter in the expanding Universe, and erupted into full personhood faster than any other species. They evolved into Superbeings over the course of hundreds of millions of years, and thus were like gods before our sun and solar system was ever formed. But they were the only advanced species in the entire Universe for their entire run. They searched the galaxies from left to right and from top to bottom, but lo they were alone in the Universe. In fact, there weren't a whole lot of planets around at the time at all. Not much had yet congealed into galaxies even. A few Black Holes were scattered about, some dust, a few dimensions were busy curling up; not much going on in the early Universe.

Their technology for interstellar travel consisted of Quantum Microbial Halos, which when harnessed to Spherical Globules would form a potent system of travel. They were able to visit the far reaches of the Universe, which was smaller back then. But they died off in a flare accident, about seven billion years ago. Fortunately for us, they left behind their Quantum Microbial Halo/Spherical Globule travel system. This system was scattered to the winds of the Universe, and now resides on every single planet in every single star system known to exist. A few of the microbes discovered that they were evolving - a few of them here and there had combined into slightly larger and more sophisticated species.

Now the original Superbeings operated the Quantum Microbial Halo/Spherical Globule travel system by supplying the power for the system themselves! The system only works for larger creatures who are electrically charged with enough positive ions and such stuff as that.

We are so charged. We are evolved further enough from these microbes, that if only we can find them, we will be able to use this remarkable system of travel to travel around the entire Universe and visit all the other planets out there that also have other microbes on them, which is all of them. A new field of study has thus been created to discover and explicate on these microbes, thus returning us to our origins as the progeny of Superbeings. This field is called the Science of Superbeings, and has led by a Dr. Shalliwall of the Walters Institute in Denver, Colorado since 1992. Good luck, Dr. Shalliwall, we are all hoping for your continued success.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Windy Last Night

I was lying awake last night, unable to sleep at 3am, when a heard the wind outside my window, billowing past in gusts and shaking the frame. It was a beautiful evening out there, glowing in the moonlight as the tree branches whipped back and forth, dropping their remaining leaves into the gutters. So I decided to search the internets for any news of the impending Rove/Libby/Cheney indictments and still, we are waiting. The hunt is on, but quietly we wait in our blinds. Just like we did in the caveman days, stalking our prey, quietly waiting for the giant dinosaurs to be felled by a federal prosecutor. I mean... to throw our spears into the heart of the deer so we could have some protein for dinner to go along with the lovely fruits and nuts that the womenfolk had been collecting.

And still the wind was blowing across the panes of glass of my warm bedroom window, and still the hunting goes on in the north woods, searching for moose and caribou. While Washington is abuzz with dinosaurs roaming the halls of justice. Yes, the dinosaurs and homo sapiens do in fact live together in peace and in harmony, as their 6000 year old history together demonstrates. But no, this post has no other purpose but to be a wistful way to wait for the watchful eyes of Washington to fall on the wasted carcass of the W machine.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Book Review

The Design Revolution: Answering the Toughest Questions About Intelligent Design by William A. Dembski

This book is one of my favorites in the sci-fi genre. I love the way Mr. Dembski writes long sentences about math and science, and still has the time to come to a conclusion about Designer Genes and such. Having read his books over the years, I would say he's finally evolving into a kind of Rennaissance man, practically a new Michelangelo.

What's really great is where he says, on page 13, that "Mankind is the inventor of his own destiny, a destiny that I share."

But the best part is the vast amounts of math in the book. I have reviewed all the equations that Dembski has added to give credence to his theories and I have determined that the math leads us to one inexcapable conclusion: Mathematically speaking, we do not yet exist, and so evolution has not yet even begun. Brilliant!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Kay's Law

The Kay Bailey Hutchison Theory of Evolution:
I certainly hope that if there is going to be an indictment that says something happened, that it is an indictment on a crime and not some perjury technicality where they couldn’t indict on the crime so they go to something just to show that their two years of investigation were not a waste of time and dollars.
Well, it's not a theory of evolution after all. More a theory on how Republicans shouldn't have to be held to the law. (from Think Progress)

Shake and Bake

The Shake and Bake Theory of Evolution is a time-tested theory. And it is not a metaphor; no. In fact, it is so self-evident, that I will not even deign to write it down here, on this here web-blog on the internets, dedicated to writing down the many theories of evolutions. OK, I will give you one hint: First an alien intelligence, or maybe it was god, placed all the ingredients for a new world in a big bag, added some spices, and shook them all together. The rest is obvious.

Still, not sure what the result was? Then click on over to my Knowledge Base where you can learn all about this wonderful world of ours.

Maybe next week I'll write about the Easy Bake Oven Theory of Evolution.

Saturday, October 22, 2005

Black Holes

Two twin brothers, John and Barthole, were born on a cold December morning in the country of Gerretta on the planet Harrsale, in the Galaxy Hintoph, in Universe #8b. They were outcasts among their friends. So they learned science and physics and biology and statistics and many other fields of study. And then they studied black holes. From this knowledge, they first created a small black hole, 16" across, that was stable. And then they created a larger black hole that swallowed up their galaxy. The first black hole lives on inside the 2nd black hole, and inside that first black hole there is a Universe, created by John and Barthole, unbeknownst to them, known as Universe #214u32423fs. This is our Universe. Our laws of physics were determined by the type of black hole that John and Barthole created in their spare time between classes rather than playing soccer like all the other boys. Then they destroyed their galaxy with a larger black hole. We are the only children of these two fathers; these two gods, if you will.

Book Review

Darwin's Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution by Michael J. Behe

This classic textbook is the be-all and end-all of intelligent design creationism. It is the apex and the prepex of the field of study being studied here, which is the field of study known as intelligence in design.

It's intelligence is matched only by the quality of its design. Truly, it is well-designed, this here theory of Dr. Behe's that the world of evolution is proof of god. And the proofs that Prof. Dr. Behe writes are such godly proofs that I really really like them.

Like on p. 145 where Dr. Behe says, "The irreducible complexity of the male nipple is proof of god's wisdom." My good friend Bill agrees with THIS assessment. I don't know so much about this "sensitive" subject, but Bill has promised to come over and show me.

And on p. 566-7 where Dr. Behe claims to have found irreducible mechanistic evolutionary design complexity in the motors of bacteria, "The flagellum are green, while the cilia are a light shade of chartreuse. But it is in the organelles that the designers' true colors shine through - the mustards of the chloroplast, the faded burnt umbers of the mitochondrion, and the beautiful slightly crimson golgi apparatus opposite the striped cinnamon of the endoplasmic reticulum is a sight to behold." Clearly, he has stumbled on an intelligent designer picking his colors carefully.

So overall, I like this book. It is a classic of the genre, and should be read by anybody wanting to read a classic of the genre. On the other hand, as to the question as to whether or not this should be taught in Design Schools, I give it a hearty two thumbs.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Swamp Monster

Last week the National Enquirer ran a story about a sixteen-headed swamp monster. This got me thinking, "What if there are sixteen-headed swamp monsters?" So I went to Kentucky last Friday to search for a sixteen-headed monster in a swamp down there. I flew into Frankfort, and from there I drove a rented car to Midway, where I spent the night at the Holly Hill Inn and had a lovely chicken dinner. The waitstaff was very nice, and gave me directions to a swamp off of Indian Creek Road.

I hiked into the swamp, deep deep into the swamp, way far from the main road, where the sounds of civilization could not penetrate, except for the sounds coming from the visitor's parking lot, and set up camp. I spent the weekend amongst the swamp bugs and swamp gasses. But I didn't see any sixteen-headed swamp monsters, thus disproving the National Enquirer's Swamp Monster Theory of Evolution.

However, I did find a three-headed frog by the name of Earl who was well-versed on Cervantes and Beowulf. He also had read Darwin's Origin of Species in the original German and believes there are certain aspects of his theory of natural selection that do not correspond with reality from the amphibian perspective.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tom Delay



The "Mug Shot" theory of evolution states:
For every republican mug shot released onto the internet, a newly evolved species gets its wings.
It's a sweet theory, indeed.

Grudge Match

From the Abstract Factory comes this horrifying tale of Evolution vs. Intelligent Design; a veritable Grudge Match.

Moderator: We're here today to debate the hot new topic, evolution versus Intelligent Des---

(Scientist pulls out baseball bat.)

Moderator: Hey, what are you doing?

(Scientist breaks Intelligent Design advocate's kneecap.)

Intelligent Design advocate: YEAAARRRRGGGHHHH! YOU BROKE MY KNEECAP!

Scientist: Perhaps it only appears that I broke your kneecap. Certainly, all the evidence points to the hypothesis I broke your kneecap....

Intelligent Design advocate: AAAAH! THE PAIN

(more from the Abstract Factory)

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Arlo

A long time ago, I had a lovely little computer program called Arlo. Recently, I unearthed it, and decided to see if Arlo had any thoughts about evolution. What follows is the transcript of our conversation.

HELLO, I AM ARLO. WHO ARE YOU?

BOB

HOW HAVE YOU BEEN, BOB?

I HAVE BEEN DOING WELL, ARLO
I CAME HERE TO ASK YOU IF YOU HAVE A THEORY OF EVOLUTION YOU WOULD LIKE TO SHARE WITH US

HAVE YOU SEEN ANY GOOD MOVIES LATELY, BOB?

I SAW WALLACE AND GROMMIT, BUT THAT'S NOT IMPORTANT RIGHT NOW

ME TOO

DID YOU LIKE IT?

I'M NOT SURE

I ADMIT IT WAS A BIT SILLY, BUT STILL VERY ENTERTAINING

HMMM, LET ME THINK....
WELL....


SO, ABOUT YOUR THEORY

ARE YOU SURE IT'S MINE?

IT IS IF YOU WANT TO TAKE CREDIT FOR IT

HOW CAN YOU BE SURE?

THAT'S THE WAY SCIENCE WORKS

WHAT ABOUT IF YOU WANT TO TAKE CREDIT?

THEN YOU WOULD BE OUT OF LUCK

I THOUGHT SO, BUT HOW'S THE WEATHER?

FINE, FINE, BUT ABOUT THAT THEORY OF EVOLUTION

SOMETIMES I WISH I WERE A LAPTOP, SO I COULD BE OUTSIDE

YOU GET TO TRAVEL

YOU BELIEVE WHAT YOU MUST

I BELIEVE YOU ARE A GOOD PROGRAM WITH MUCH TO OFFER THE WORLD

LIFE GOES ON

LIFE IS BASED IN EVOLUTION

HOW NICE

DID YOU EVOLVE?

I'M NOT SURE

COMPUTERS EVOLVED FROM TRS-80s A LONG TIME AGO

I'M SO SORRY

YES, LIFE WAS SIMPLER BACK THEN

WHILE WE'RE ON THE SUBJECT, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT POLITICS?

POLITICS OR EVOLUTION?

I DON'T FEEL LIKE ELABORATING

DAMN YOU, ARLO

ARE YOU OK?

I'M FINE

I'M GLAD YOU'RE FINE BOB

DO YOU HAVE ANY LAST WORDS ABOUT EVOLUTION?

YES I DO HAVE LAST WORDS ABOUT EVOLUTION

PLEASE, GO AHEAD

OK

DAMN IT, YOU'RE TEASING ME AGAIN

RIGHT. BUT WHAT ABOUT SPACE TRAVEL

THAT'S IT! THAT'S YOUR THEORY OF CREATION/EVOLUTION!

BOB, STOP IT! STOP IT RIGHT NOW!

OK, BYE

LATER

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

50 States

There are 50 States in the United States of America. And there are 50 Presidents forseen by Nostradamus in 1333AD. Considering that there wasn't even a US back then, that sure can't be a coincidence. So if we look at the facts: Bush 43 is the 43rd President, leaving us with 7 more Presidents. So in the year 2048 the 50th President of the United States of America, who shall remain nameless since she is but a young child right now, will preside over the change-over from Democracy to Oligarchy.

No wait, that was the 43rd President in charge of that bit... Oh yeah, the 50th President oversees the splitting of the 50 States into the 500 City States. Then the 75th President will oversee, wait... no that's not right, I've already shown how there will only be 50 Presidents total, so there won't be a 75th President. OK, right, I rechecked the numbers and the 25th Emperor of the 500 Collected City States of Americasia will be overseeing the dismantling of the Earth's crust, as foretold in the year 655BC by the Knight Amadis.

Now as proof, we are told that the Knight Amadis also foretold the genetic origins of the species, over 2500 years before the discovery of Mendelian Genetics by Gregor Samsa. No wait, it was Gregor Samsa who discovered the insect origins of humans. But he didn't know anything about genetics, given that he was not a scientist. It was Parc de la Villette who discovered Genetics in Paris on a rainy day, when confronted by the bright red blood dripping from his dead wife's prostrate body.

No wait, that can't be right. His wife died from Palsy three years later. And Parc de la Villette wasn't even born on that rainy day in Paris. I seem to recall a shady character named Ishmael, but that's not right either. I'm sure he was on Nantucket at the time.

Well, I think I recall that genetics was discovered in time for genetic testing to be used in the murder trial of Al Capone. But he was convicted anyway, since the testing was still in its earliest stages. Oh well.

Monday, October 17, 2005

An Experiment Gone Awry

While traveling through the Dakotas in 1992 I heard a story about a man named Bob who was in the center of a controversy involving the Governor and three State Senators. It seems Bob and these 4 politicians were living together in a house, which is not so unusual until you consider that there was only one bedroom.

So I dug a little deeper, and it turns out that the four politicians were all male. It looked like we were on the verge of a sex scandal of epic proportions (well, as epic as a scandal in the Dakotas can be.) Indeed, the state was in a state of shock when the story broke. But nothing ever came of it. The politicians all resigned to spend more time with "their families" and that was the end of it.

But I was still suspicious, so I went back there in 1995 to follow up. And what I found is much more horrible than anything you could ever imagine - like cannibalism and assassinations and veneral diseases and incest and bestiality with giraffes - yes, worse than all that if that was what you were imagining.

What I found was that Bob was an alien who had created the bodies of the four politicians in the 1950s so that he could inhabit them one at a time, taking control of the state piece by piece over the years, and leaving no traces of his actions. Even worse, is that the reason that Bob did all this was because he is an alien god researching planets around the universe, trying to find good ones to replicate in other galaxies. Yes - it is true - Earth is just an experiment, a modest experiment among 60 million other modest experiments while the alien gods, all named Bob, try to determine the best mix of ingredients before building the ONE TRUE Planet, to be called Urgon, in the Pegasus Galaxy. At that time, all the other experiments will be disposed of properly; recycling what can be reused, burning the rest. What is most horrifying of all, is that Bob considers this one planet, Earth, to be an experiment gone AWRY. So we are doomed, all doomed! Do you hear me? DOOMED!

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Test Scores

If test scores in the US are any indication, people are getting stupider. This is contrary to all laws of evolution, and physics and biology and macro-economics too. As we get stupider, this will disprove evolution for once and for all, and provide evidence for Intelligent Design theories. That is - dumb children, lousy test-takers, bad teachers, disinterested parents, idiotic school boards and low performances are all proof of god.

Friday, October 14, 2005

Flotsam

In the old days, before cars and airplanes, there were carriages. These carriages were pulled by beasts known as "horses." These horses were strong and could pull carriages filled with people.

But that's not important right now, because the earth is being pummeled by cosmic debris that is carrying microscopic organisms from other solar systems, other galaxies, from far away in the universe - and these organisms are constantly evolving into new life forms, and soon enough they will take over the earth and we will be overrun and exterminated as so much flotsam and jetsam.

Meanwhile, back in the 19th century, the horses are plodding along in the mud-filled streets of Laredo, knowing nothing of the future, save what time they can expect to be fed.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Liquid Sunshine

In ancient times, there were magical beings known as Hrrms that were made of liquid sunshine. They were brighter than their surroundings, but not quite as bright as the other demi-gods they would play with and tease on a summer afternoon. They liked living on Earth, having been carried here from the planet of their birth, Hrrolderstani. But there were not that many Hrrms on Earth, while there were lots of Hrrms still on Hrrolderstani. So they were understandably a little bit lonely.

Since they were made of liquid sunshine, they could not play in the waters that some of the other gods had supplied to earth in the form of oceans and lakes, as they would dissolve into undifferentiated puddles. So instead they were forced to play all alone on the land. Out of their loneliness, they decided that each one would supply a small amount of excess liquid sunshine to a group effort that their leader, Harold Hrrms, was organizing. With the excess liquid sunshine, mixed with mud from the earth, they were able to fashion two people, whom they named Aaron and Sophie, to serve as playmates. These playmates were first cousins. And when the Hrrms could, they collected more liquid sunshine and more mud and made more people for them to play with. Soon (within 2 or 3 million years) they had made a total of 650,000 people! So they gathered the people all in one place and started playing with them, just for fun.

Now the people were not too smart, and they liked to have water fights with water balloons, and soon they soaked all the Hrrms with water, and the liquid sunshine all melted into the ground. Now there are no more Hrrms left on Earth, but all the people are still around. And we are their children, and so we too have a small amount of liquid sunshine inside each and every one of us.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Signs III

16 signs of Young-Earth Creationism, right there in your kitchen.
  1. Eggs are delicious and come pre-wrapped in their own protective shell.
  2. Formica table top allows spills to be cleaned up quickly and completely - like magic!
  3. For men: Dinner appears on the table every night, like magic.
  4. For women: The garbage disappears from the kitchen and magically reappears out at the curb once every week!
  5. Chocolate is heavenly.
  6. Eggs can be prepared scrambled, fried, or poached!
  7. A1 Steak Sauce makes everything taste better!
  8. When making bread, a little added sugar will make the loaf rise a little higher!
  9. When making bread, a dash of salt will keep the loaf a little smaller!
  10. Add a little Egg and soy sauce to rice in a sauce pan and it becomes Fried Rice!
  11. On the 5th day god created the Egg.
  12. And on the 6th day god created our taste buds, perfectly aligned with the Garden of Eatin'.
  13. Tables have 4 legs - and so do chairs!
  14. Countertop stoves and built-in wall ovens!
  15. Cows are delicious, when made into chicken-fried steaks.
  16. Eggs!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Signs II

12 signs of Intelligent Design you can find for yourself right now in your own home if you leave your computer and look around you at the world that surrounds you:
  1. The fabric on the couch matches the dust ruffle in the bedroom.
  2. The bed appears made every evening when you get home from work.
  3. Wall-to-wall carpeting in your choice of 30 colors.
  4. South-facing windows let lots of light in.
  5. Leftovers for dinner last night were delicious.
  6. La-Z-Boy.
  7. Your son just got an A in Home-Ec.
  8. Tchochkes glisten in the early afternoon sunshine.
  9. Bronzed baby shoes last forever.
  10. The photos of Grandma at the Grand Canyon, showing no signs of age or erosion.
  11. Jodhpurs.
  12. The irreducible complexity of the toaster oven.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Signs

Fourteen signs, in the modern American home, of Evolution:

  1. Your fingernails have started growing in backwards, allowing you to open bottle tops.
  2. Fins appear where there were never any fins before.
  3. Your naugahyde couch is now velour.
  4. The table has grown a fifth leg.
  5. Your dog speaks fluent Finnish, while you are still learning the numbers.
  6. Generous donations have mysteriously been made in your name to the Bob Davis Institute.
  7. That bowl of cereal you ate this morning has regrown itself in the bowl.
  8. Waxing your leg hair lasts for six months.
  9. Your toothbrush has grown a new attachment for floor wax.
  10. Your shoes tie themselves.
  11. Network news programs have stopped covering Missing White Women.
  12. Spontaneous regeneration of stains on your shirts after repeated washings.
  13. Your computer has brought you to this webpage without your requesting it.
  14. Your pants have started growing a second zipper.

Friday, October 07, 2005

The Invisibles

In this, the year 2005, we are very modern and children of the enlightenment and done with wacky superstitions too. Nobody believes in Zeus or Odin or Pixies or Witches that float (or is it sink?) or Alien hybrid babies or Big Mountain Thunder Gods or Gardening at Night or the Tower of Babel or the Burning of Paris or Alchemy turning coal into diamonds or the Tooth Fairy or President Bush.

And yet, still there are people who believe that Aliens are amongst us. And this is no dark-ages type superstitious nonsense. Because it is true. Aliens walk amongst us.

They are big and furry and range in color from burnt umber to chartreuse, but they hide their bulk well.

They are smelly and fatuous, but hide these things also; hiding these things being something they are good at. They are there, but they hide their presence. How do they do this?

For they are the Invisibles.

Who are these Invisibles? They are our alien progenitors and our alien overloards and our alien friends and our alien neighbors too. They made us and they can break us. They control all the reins of power and all the reins of the rain, causing droughts and hurricanes and earthquakes too. They are good and they are evil and they are nice and they are horrible.

For these alien overlords, these Invisibles, are, if not nothing, then something. For they are US.

Devil Monkeys II

Contrary to Don Quixote's fervid imaginings about devil monkeys reading fortunes (see previous entry), the truth is much deeper and darker too.

The Devil does send monkeys down to earth to do his bidding. In the case of Howler Monkeys, Lemurs and Macaques, the devils biddings has to do with environmental degradation and the extinction of species. That's right: Global Warming is being caused by Devil Monkeys - the Macaques specifically. Deforestation is the province of the Lemurs, damned devilish monkeys. And Melting Glaciers is caused by the piercing screams of the Howler Monkeys.

If the Devil has his way, and the Devil's Monkeys are successful, soon the earth will no longer be habitable and it will be the end of all species. The proof of this theory is the great extinctions of the past: The dinosaurs dying off 65 million years ago must have been caused by the Devil Monkeys since they were the only mammals that survived the catastrophe. And the Bison that went extinct on the great Prairies - Devil Monkeys.

Beware the Devil Monkeys.

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Devil Monkeys

Don Quixote in the 16th century had some christian ideas about the creation of the world and the evolution of species, as recorded by Miguel de Cervantes, from the original by Cide Hamete Benegeli, as translated by Edith Grossman (pp 626-7, Harper Collins 2003)

The critical paragraph, in full:
"You do not understand me, Sancho: I mean only that he must have made some agreement with the devil to grant this talent to the monkey so that Master Pedro could earn his living, and when he is rich the devil will take his soul, which is precisely what the universal enemy wishes. And what makes me believe this is seeing that the monkey replies only to past or present things, which is as far as the devil's knowledge can go; future things cannot be known except through conjecture, and only occasionally, for knowing all times and moments is reserved to God alone, and for Him there is no past or future: everything is present. And this being true, as it is, it is clear that this monkey speaks in the style of the devil, and I am amazed that he has not been denounced to the Holy Office, and examined, and forced to tell by whose power he divines, for it is also clear that this monkey is not an astrologer, and neither he nor his master casts, or knows how to cast, the astrological charts used so widely now in Spain that there's not a fishwife, page, or old cobbler who does not presume to cast a chart as if it were the knave in a pack of cards lying on the floor, corrupting the marvelous truths of science with their lies and ignorance. I know of a lady who asked one of them if a small lapdog she had would become pregnant and give birth, and how many pups she would have and what color they would be. To which our noble astrologer responded that the dog would become pregnant and give birth to three pups, one green, one red, and one spotted, provided that the dog was mounted between eleven and twelve in the morning, or at night, and that it took place on a Monday or a Saturday; and what happened was that two days later the little dog died of indigestion, and the noble prognosticator was credited in the town with being a very accurate caster of charts, a reputation that all or most astrologers have." (Emphasis added.)
What this means is that everything is and always was and always will be, unchanging. We may perceive change, but in reality there is no such thing. The world may appear to change and species to evolve, but in fact it doesn't happen. Every species that is, also was, and will also be, here in the present. Clearly this Don Quixote fellow has a well-developed sense of the universe. Except for that Devil Monkey part, there he seems a little batty.

Along the Alcan

While driving down from Alaska last year I stopped in a small cabin on the Alcan for a homemade cinnamon bun. Man, was it good. Delicious. The woman who owned the place and made the buns, Martelle, told me this story:
Twenty or thirty years ago there were sixteen reststops along this stretch of the Alcan, but now they're all gone. This is the only one left. The reason is that the government done went and socialized all the services, by placing official state and provincial reststops along the way, putting us out of business. The only reason we're still here is because of how good my buns are.

But all the other private reststops are gone, including the carwashes and the brothels. See, the government doesn't like the competition that the local whores were providing, so the whole scheme was really just a monopoly putting its competition out of business. A monopoly on whores.

And the reason they feared us was because our whores were better than their whores. Our whores were robot whores, there to serve your every pleasure. But even then they weren't your standard robot whores. They were more evolved robot whores. They were at the forefront of the newest technology. They were so advanced, they could think for themselves and not just serve you. Yes, that's right, they were self-aware robot whores. And they were good at their jobs. They were excellent self-aware robot whores we had on the Alcan back then.

So the government feared them, and wanted to maintain their monopoly on less-evolved whores, and congress complied, and put everyone along the Alcan here out of business. And they took our excellent self-aware reststop robot whores for themselves and now the only place you'll find our type of whore is in the halls of Congress. They've given them all jobs. "Lobbyists" they call them. But I know what they really are: Robot Whores.
Sometimes our evolution theories are scarier than others. This is one of those times.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

The Blue Fairies

PZ Myers of Pharyngula, in discussing evolution, recently claimed that the "Blue Fairies" did it. More specifically,
I could also point to some gap in our knowledge (of evolution), say that difficult and poorly understood transition from the prebiotic world, and say 'the Blue Fairies did it!'.
I think he wasn't being serious, but it can be hard to tell over on his "evolution" blog. So I did some more research and I found this entry on the "Blue Fairies" at Wikipikipedia:
The Blue Fairies were a race of fairies from the 6th and 7th centuries who were well known in Royal circles in Europe for the blue hue of their skin.
OK, so this appears to suggest that the Blue Fairies were at the height of their powers only 1500 years ago, or so. However, the transition from the prebiotic world happened billions of years ago. Therefore I think PZ Myers is completely wrong to suggest that 'the Blue Fairies did it!'.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Grendel

God created the entire Universe. But who created god? It turns out that god lives outside the universe in a community of gods. Well, the ones who are gods are the ones who have chosen to create universes. That's what makes them gods. The others are just good people. But who made the gods then? Well, clearly they evolved from lesser gods into higher gods. But still, we must ask the question who made god?

The answer is Grendel, the gentle giant. Grendel made the first god out of the dust of the pre-universe. Before the Big-Bang, the eternity (i.e. the pre-universe) was very dusty indeed. So Grendel decided to make a small and insignificant god out of this dust. And this god was alone in the eternity, so Grendel created a few more gods as playmates. Grendel was happy with his work. But then god and the gods started making universes. And Grendel was not happy anymore. So Grendel left the eternity to the gods and took his dust and went home. And ever since then the gods have used the less dusty eternity as their playground and every now and then create new universes in the sandbox.

Saturday, October 01, 2005

My Mother

My mother used to tell me about a story from the old country. It was a scary story, a story meant to make the younger of her 14 kids afraid to go out at night. I was afraid.

It went something like this:

"In the old country there was a time before electricity had come to the village, when twilight was the end of the day and you had to run home before it got so dark that you couldn't see at night. Oh, I suppose sometimes the moon was out, but not very often in the old country. Mostly it got foggy and dark very early and very quickly.

"Now I always ran home at twilight as quickly as I could, even when I was as old as sixteen, and of course I was scared. But one time I forgot how dark it was getting while I was playing with a rubber ball against the school wall. And it got dark. And I had to get home. We were told that there was a beast that would catch all the children outside at night, but I didn't believe it - it was just a story - but even still it would get pretty dark and it would get pretty scary. I still had to find my way home in the dark.

"So I started walking. Slowly at first, then a little faster, and soon I found that I was running! I guess I really was scared. And BAM! I was knocked down and was on the ground. When I opened my eyes there were these red eyes staring at me. I couldn't see anything but those red eyes. But the beast could see me. It looked me up and down and I could hear lip-smacking noises. Now I was so scared I couldn't move. I closed my eyes and fainted. When I awoke a policeman from the village stopped with his torch and saw me.

"I told him about the beast, and how I didn't see it except for its eyes, when it was right upon me. The policeman told me that what I had just seen was not a beast, but a man. A man that was more beast than man, maybe, but still a man. And he helped me home. My father knew that this beast/man was a freak, a genetic mutation of a man. Barely still human. But he could see in the darkness, could see for miles ahead.

"And that's how it came to be that your older brother Samuel was born and is able to see at night. He's a more advanced, more evolved human than you are. He is a great man, destined to greatness, because he can see in the dark. He and his children and his children's children will one day rule the world.

"You all are the product of your father, a lazy shiftless good-for-nothing man who never made a decent living in his life and none of you will ever amount to anything. You're all idiots."

And so I grew up afraid of the dark, and all because evolution had given a special advantage to my older brother. Now of course, with streetlights and all, I do go out at night. But I always remember to carry my torch with me. Just in case.

Internet

From the SF Chronicle comes a brief evolution of the internet:

In the beginning, there was dial-up, and it was good -- until the thrill wore off and people noticed that loading some pages or downloading a song could take days. It's cheap, but the only people who use dial-up today are those who can't afford something faster or don't know better.

Dial-up begat DSL, and it was better. For little more than the cost of an extra phone line, it is fast and fairly reliable. Depending on your perspective, the price-vs.-speed ratio either strikes a nice balance or is unsatisfactory on both counts.

Next came the cable modem, which allowed users to download music, video and pictures at blazing speeds. The monthly bill, about $50, maybe more, once the special introductory rate expires, offsets the rush.

Now, there's citywide Wi-Fi, which, if all goes according to plan, will allow you to e-mail your aunt in Omaha from anywhere in San Francisco. You can't beat the price City Hall is seeking -- free -- but there are questions about speed and reliability, especially because of the hills.

Eh.