Monday, January 30, 2006

We are....

....on winter hiatus.

We'll be back soon, evolutionarily speaking.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Sinus Evolution

I have a sinus headache. Please forgive me if this entry sounds a little stuffed-up, if you know what I mean. But I need to talk about the evolution of the sinus in the human species.

It turns out that according to NASA our sinuses have not evolved in 3.2 million years. Yes, it is true; we have the sinuses of alower mammals, like sloths and kangaroo rats. Our sinuses were designed for a brain capacity much smaller and slower than ours. That is why we have sinus pressure and sinusitis and sinus infections too. Because while we were evolving tool and language capacities according to NASA, our sinuses did not.

Imagine, if you will, if our sinuses had also developed tool-capabilities. Oh, the humanity. Well, according to NASA's reading of the Dead Sea Scrolls, it was all part of god's plan.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Dark Matter

The latest in Universe Evolution Theories entails the ripping apart of everything in 20 billion years, caused by the force of Dark Matter on the expansion of the Universe. Ripping apart everything? Yes, everything. Even subatomic particles. Even strings. Ouch.
From Space.com:

A rather harrowing new theory about the death of the universe paints a picture of "phantom energy" ripping apart galaxies, stars, planets and eventually every speck of matter in a fantastical end to time.

Scientifically it is just about the most repulsive notion ever conceived....

Driving the known acceleration of the universe's expansion is a mysterious thing is called dark energy, thought of by scientists as anti-gravity working over large distances.

Conventional wisdom holds that the acceleration will proceed at a constant rate, akin to a car that moves 10 mph faster with each mile traveled. With nothing to cap the acceleration, all galaxies will eventually recede from one another at the speed of light, leaving each galaxy alone in a cold, dark universe within 100 billion years. We would not be able to see any galaxies outside our Milky Way, even with the most powerful telescopes.

That's the conventional view, remarkable as it sounds.

The Big Rip theory has dark energy's prowess increasing with time, until it's an out-of-control phantom energy. Think of our car accelerating an additional 10 mph every half mile, then every hundred yards, then every foot.

Before long, the bumpers are bound to fly off. Sooner or later, our hypothetical engine will come apart, regardless of how much we spend on motor oil....

If our species survives... here are some signs that scientists of the future will want to look for.

  • A billion years before the end, all galaxies will have receded so far and so fast from our own as to be erased from the sky, as in no longer visible.
  • When the Milky Way begins to fly apart, there are 60 million years left.
  • Planets in our solar system will start to wing away from the Sun three months before the end of time.
  • When Earth explodes, the end is momentarily near.

At this point, there is still a short interval before atoms and even their nuclei break apart. "There's about 30 minutes left," Caldwell said, "But it's not quality time."

And then what? Does the universe recycle itself? Is there something after nothing?

"We're not sure what happens after that," Caldwell says. "On the face of it, it would look like time ends."

Nice. On the other hand, our sun is scheduled for demolition in only 7 billion years:

Just as sure as the Sun comes up every morning, it is scheduled to die. Experts give it some 7 billion years, when it will turn into a bloated red giant. As the name implies, a red giant is a star swelled to gargantuan proportions. Earth would be first engulfed in heat and light, then vaporized.

Well before then, things will turn real nasty. In just a billion years, the Sun could be 11-percent brighter, scientists say, rendering Earth an inhospitable greenhouse. In 3.5 billion years, the Sun could be 40-percent brighter than it is today.

With our demise so clear on the cosmic horizon, astrophysicist Fred Adams of the University of Michigan and NASA's Gregory Laughlin got to wondering in recent years how the planet might be saved by gravitational interaction with a passing star. They ran computer simulations of possible encounters over the next 3.5 billion years, finding last year that the odds of the Earth being completely ejected from the solar system are one-in-100,000.

Slim odds. And life in the frigidity of deep space would be no summer picnic.

So Adams and Laughlin, along with Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, began to discuss consider how human intervention might bring about a more suitable long-term orbit, one that gradually expands with the aging Sun.

Their idea, which evolved from interaction with a star to rerouting a giant space rock to save Earth, will be published in an upcoming issue of the journal Astrophysics and Space Science.

"This is not an urgent problem," Adams stressed.

And from Darksyde at Dailykos comes a more precise description of the end of the world:

Dark Energy will keep growing; first stars and then planets will flatten like spinning pancakes and begin to throw off layer after layer of material. In the final year, the earth unravels in a high speed version of its original formation from space rocks, dust, and gas. Then the rocks, the individual dust grains, the larger molecules of gas, are sheared by the relentless, growing force. In the last few seconds, the very atoms are ripped asunder, the nuclei cut and cut again, reduced to lighter and lighter elements. Individual protons and neutrons are rendered into their constituent quarks and gluons. Perhaps the strings theorized to form the basis of all particles are then stretched and broken, photons, electrons, even theoretical gravitons, are destroyed.

Of particular interest is what might happen to Black Holes. When space is expanding considerably faster than the speed of light, General Relativistic solutions for all kinds of Black Holes are broken.

How long? Based on some estimates of the rate of growth in Dark Energy, in about 20 billion years the universe will be riven to quantum bits and beyond. It's not just matter which will be destroyed: The fabric of space-time itself will be shattered, liberating hitherto unheard of energies whisked away in the escalating, superluminal explosion! The universe would be shredded, not even empty space as we know it would remain: It will be violent, it will be glorious; it will be The End.

And maybe the beginning of a whole new era, one completely alien to our familiar cosmos of matter and energy, space and time. Or maybe it means the end of everything that ever was for all eternity.

It's just something to think about, keep in the back of your mind for a few billion years before starting to actually worry about it.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Evolution Right Now

It's happening right now. Evolution. Right in front of our eyes.

It was bound to happen. The United States Supreme Court is not an inviolable, unevolutionariable institution. In fact, the constitution never explicitly gave the court the power of Judicial Review. It took Marbury vs. Madison to jumpstart the court's evolution. So it comes as no surprise that the court evolves over time. And we are now watching the birth of a new court. Feel the pain.
Senators in Need of a Spine

But portraying the Alito nomination as just another volley in the culture wars vastly underestimates its significance. The judge's record strongly suggests that he is an eager lieutenant in the ranks of the conservative theorists who ignore our system of checks and balances, elevating the presidency over everything else. He has expressed little enthusiasm for restrictions on presidential power and has espoused the peculiar argument that a president's intent in signing a bill is just as important as the intent of Congress in writing it. This would be worrisome at any time, but it takes on far more significance now, when the Bush administration seems determined to use the cover of the "war on terror" and presidential privilege to ignore every restraint, from the Constitution to Congressional demands for information....

A filibuster is a radical tool. It's easy to see why Democrats are frightened of it. But from our perspective, there are some things far more frightening. One of them is Samuel Alito on the Supreme Court.
(link from Eschaton and Daily Kos.)

Monday, January 23, 2006

Dragons on the Streets of Anchorage

What if there really are dragons in Anchorage, Alaska? Would that change our understanding of the world? Would science have to admit that it really had no idea that there were dragons in Anchorage? Would religion have to admit it also? Would you?

Dragons on the streets of Anchorage....

Sunday, January 22, 2006

The Truth

Some people have complained that they think I make up some of these theories of evolution that I have collected. Nothing could be further from the truth. Now, I'm not saying that every theory is the truth, merely that they are real theories, whether true or not. Truth is not the issue. You don't have to agree with or believe every theory for them to be theories.

So it came as a great pleasure to me to see that Eric Alterman has written an article called "Never Mind the Truth." So you readers out there should pay heed, and remember, it's not about the truth, it's about the theory.

As Eric concludes, "Never mind, most of all, the truth."

Truer words were never said. Just go read the article.

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Blue Green Algae

The New York Times reprints a scholarly article originally printed in the Scientific Advancement Society's Monthly Journal, Advances in Science Monthly, that shows the recent evolution of Blue-Green Algae. In the list of 7 kingdoms of life on Earth, Blue Green Algae is neither plant nor animal, and the life forms are very very small, so we generally don't care about them at all. You don't see much popular fiction with Blue Green Algae as the protagonist.

So it comes as a great surprise that this new article shows that Blue Green Algae is undergoing a rapid evolution from tiny tiny life forms to larger and more complex life forms. They've already broken the centimeter barrier and within 5 years should be as big as a meter.

Now, my fear, wholly unsupported by the study, is that it is only a matter of time before they start to evolve intelligence. And then what? THEN WHAT?????

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Co-Evolution Takes a Turn for the Worse

Man and Dog have co-evolved for many thousands of years. From the first time a wolf came into the fire circle of a caveman, tamely, with tale between legs, and man gave him a biscuit. To today, as described on Salon.com (reg. req'd or view an ad).
They even have their own association -- the Association of Professional Animal Waste Specialists (aPaws). A group of concerned scoopers started the organization in 2003 to increase awareness of the importance of proper animal waste disposal. The association, which has close to 100 members, also hosts the annual Pooper Scooper Round-Up. The three-day conference offers workshops, guest speakers and the always-popular Turd Herding Contest, in which participants compete to see who can pick up the most dog turds (technically sun-blackened pieces of potatoes) the fastest. The next Pooper Scooper Round-Up is scheduled for February in Orlando, Fla.
Indeed.

Politics and Evolution in Ancient Rome

It has come to my attention that people are concerned with my recent foray into the evolution of politics. They believe that maybe my mind is wandering a little too far from the topic at hand. Nothing could be further from the truth.

For in times of great political evolutionary pressures, there are also biological evolutionary pressures that come to bear in times like these, when these kind of things are kind of happening. The precedents are startling, to say the least.

For instance, in the year 32BC in Ancient Rome when Caeser seized Imperial power and the Roman Republic ceased to exist, was also the very same time when the monkeys of the world evolved their screeching shouts and yelps in the trees. Since then, monkeys gained an evolutionary advantage over the sloths that don't screech and shout. Thus the great variety of monkey species to this very day! and the great paucity of sloth species.

Also, within 5 years of the accension of Caesar in Rome, the dinosaurs were finally and for all time extinct.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Evolution in America

From Bill in Portland on Daily Kos comes this evolution of war thinking in America, from the 18th century to the 21st.

Portraying the 18th century ideals is Ben Franklin, man-about-town and inventor of electricity. For the 21st century we have George W. "I'm a uniter, not a divider" Bush.
Bush: America must not ignore the threat gathering against us. Facing clear evidence of peril, we cannot wait for the final proof, the smoking gun that could come in the form of a mushroom cloud.
Franklin: All wars are follies, very expensive and very mischievous ones. In my opinion, there never was a good war or a bad peace. When will mankind be convinced and agree to settle their difficulties by arbitration?

Bush: The fact that somebody leaked this program [of illegally spying on Americans without a warrant] causes great harm to the United States. There's an enemy out there.
Franklin: Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
There you have it. Progress marches on.

Monday, January 16, 2006

The Evolution of the Democratic Party

update 1/27/06:

(Graphic Deleted)

(It appears that the democratic party really has evolved recently. John Kerry and Ted Kennedy have called for a filibuster. Dianne Feinstein is now saying she will vote to uphold the filibuster. Props to Senator Feinstein.)

Evolution of America

The Alito hearings sure sucked - the evolution of our country is at hand.

It seems likely the Alito/Bush theory of an Imperial Presidency will be approved by the Senate either tomorrow or next week. The right to privacy and legal abortion will soon thereafter be dismantled.

Evolution is a slow process. Or it happens all at once. Either way, you never know exactly how the world is changing while it is happening, but this sure seems like a moment of truth for America.

I'll have more on the evolution of the democratic party later today.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

ID Creationists and Aliens

The biggest issue I have with the forces of ID Creationism is that they disregard the evidence of Extra-Terrestrial Life on Earth as one of the possible generators of the appearance of the various species.

They ignore the Crop Circles and the Pyramids. They don't look into the Landing Strips in the Andes and the Tales of Anal Probes in the Appalachians. They completely disregard the known government coverup in Area 51, and the proven existence of Atlantis too.

For the ID Creationists it's always God this or God that. Well look at that Samuel Alito character - he looks like an alien. Are they saying God did that too? I think not.

Whereas the Evolutionists are strong supporters of all these Aliens who have come down to Earth to make the world a better place. For instance, there's Darwin - a nice enough fellow. Well, the Evolutionists have an explanation for Darwin that the ID Creationists would never consider - Darwin was an Alien. These are explanations that religion can never reconcile.

Thank you and God bless.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Afternoon of the Fauns

It's time to get back from an extended vacation into the forests of Albania, and so I am flying back home tonight. While waiting in the first class lounge of Air Albania, while this internet connection still holds, I am passing along a favorite evolution theory of my Albanian hosts.

Two giants named Gretta and Fretta were ruling their kingdom of giants with gentleness and firmness when one afternoon a visitor from a foreign land came and turned the kingdom upside down with his theories that giants were not fit to rule other giants, but rather it was the fauns who must rule.

And in the ensuing battles, the fauns conquered the giants and slay the beasties. God was very pleased and forgave the fauns the blood they had spilled over the lands. In thanks, God gave the fauns a few magic beans to play with. These beans grew into giant beanstalks that led to a new land of giants up in the clouds that the fauns had not known about. So they climbed the beanstalks and killed all the giants living up in the clouds.

One day a boy named Jack found one of the magic beans and grew his own beanstalk and climbed into the clouds where he discovered a beautiful and magical land of fauns. He met a faun named Cheryl, and together they set up a home in the clouds and had many children. These children were the animals of the forests.

Another boy named John also received some magic beans and planted another beanstalk and climbed up and found another beautiful faun, this one named Susie, and they had a lot of children too, and these children became all the beasts of the sea. And so on.

So as it turns out, we people are not descended from primitive animals, but rather just the opposite.

When people and fauns interbreed, lower animals result. It is a tale of evolution in reverse. And soon the entire planet Earth was populated with millions of lower species. And this was good because some of them turned out to be delicious.

Meanwhile, the fauns still live up in the clouds and the people went back down the beanstalks and live on the ground, and the beasts of the land and the beasts of the seas and the beasts of the skies all live where they want to also. Good for them.

This is the tale the Albanians tell. At the pubs, after a bender.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Spores

[1/11 UPDATE Below]

Several times in the last few days I've noticed a light brown glow on the horizon. Some say this is smog, but I know this is not true since it is not officially yet smog season here. So I have done a little research myself and discovered that the light brown glow on the horizon is a giant cloud of fungus spores released by a giant colony of fungi in SW Washington state. It is heading south and should reach the Yucatan Peninsula by Friday. This is significant because the Aztecs in the mid-14th century held a ceremony every year in honor of a similar cloud of fungus spores they experienced.

Now, 6 1/2 centuries later, the spore cloud has returned, and the Aztec Princess buried on Mt. Popopapa will rise from her grave to greet it. I am booking my flight and arranging for a guide so that I can be there to greet the Princess. This particular Princess was originally killed as a Virgin Sacrifice in the 13th century BC, and every 500 years or so she is reawakened to re-greet the spores.

These spores are the protectors of our species. They came from the star system they call Hieronymous Bickel, and they arrived to provide us protection in times of trouble. They are the Fungus Spores, and now is their time. As our world is spiraling out of control, they provide the needed stability to reaffirm our place in the Universe.

And everyone else thinks it is just a little smog. Hah! I'll show them. Next week it will all become clear, and the world will rejoice, and the Princess will notice my devotion and will marry me and will no longer be a Virgin and I'll be her Prince and we will save the world this one last time before we take over and rule it with an Iron Thumb. So go ahead and practice your bowing down before me this week, as next week you will most certainly need this skill to survive our terrible reign.

UPDATE 1/11/06: The test results are in, and it was smog.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Rat-Like Creatures

We've been out of touch for a few days, and I may not have internet access again for a few more days. We'll see. But while I can get in here I thought I would tell you about an evolution theory told to me by a hotel clerk in Higgins, AR. We were just passing through on our way elsewhere and spent the night at this lovely and wonderful Super 8 and the night clerk was named Gerald and he told me this story:

"I was walking on the left side of the sidewalk as I often do, since it was Friday, and I noticed in the window of the Piggly Wiggly a shopping cart that glistened. I did a double take and looked again, and this time it winked at me. Yes, I know it sounds silly, but that shopping cart winked at me. That was when I heard the loud whoooshing sound down the street and noticed a strange rat-like animal emerge from the front door of the local genetic-engineering lab. It was bigger than a possum. It had wings, but didn't seem to be able to fly. It had blueish gray fur. My theory is that this creature is the owner of the lab and is working on a cure for the baldness he was so clearly trying to hide with that hideous toupee. And indeed, I started watching every morning and evening and he comes and goes every day just like everyone else. And then one day this week he arrived without the toupee! And he was no longer bald! I say this rat is toying with the laws of nature and should be stopped, and his evil genetic engineering lab too."

Well, so far as that goes, maybe he's right, but another equally plausible theory is that an alien is disguising himself as a giant rat-like creature with the intent of fooling the lab employees while he works on breeding a part for his biological-spaceship so he can return home soon. I wish him "good luck" at getting off this planet.