We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
According to Drudge, the phone system to the Senate had collapsed under the weight of anti-immigration bill phone calls today! And the Bill goes down, thanks to an informed citizenry.
Major Supremes decision: Reject school race plans on equal protection grounds. This may help reduce the obsession with race. Nowadays, you can hardly tell what race anyone is anyway - even if you cared. I don't give a damn what race anyone is.
Claim: All of Russia belongs to Canada? Wizbang. And, speaking of the Russians, I thought they liked vodka. Apparently their drink of choice is anti-freeze. Do not try that at home.
Sarbox has made US capital markets less competitive in the world. There is no doubt, from what I hear. Prof. B. agrees. Sarbox was using a sledgehammer on a flea.
Biologists look towards a paradigm shift in evolutionary theory. I have been willing to accept that random variation and selection/adaptation can account for minor variation, but not for the the big, dramatic, sudden shifts. All theories eventually die.
Churches try to move Left, together.Front Page. The Left hates religion mixed with politics - unless it's their politics. Christ had no politics. He was way beyond and above that. And, in my opinion, caring for people has nothing to do with politics either.
The truth about the Pew Global Poll. Riehl. I usually say that what the world thinks about the US doesn't matter, but it does, if we want to be a model. On the other hand, everybody always hates and envies the top dog.
Credit markets: Junk mortgages and junk loans have replaced junk bonds as high risk, high reward debt. The junk mortgages have already taken a fall, but my inside info says watch that credit market.
It is interesting on the science article that the author did not, apparently, read Gould's final work, The Structure of Evolutionary Theory.
While it does go a bit overboard on some things and makes a few projections based on the science as it was when written (2002!) the changes seen are not out beyond what modern evolutionary theory looks like. Basically, anyone who does not keep up with the crossing of genetics, geology and biochemistry, plus examples of evolution in Australia spurred on by weakening environment, are out on a limb.
The human genome has within it some things that did not come from simple mutation. One of those things is a retrovirus that got incorporated into the genome 100-125 million years ago. Viruses, to work, have gene splicing capability of their own and it is not unreasonable to look for ones that have accidentally encoded themselves into larger genomes. Having that in the genome can serve multiple purposes, with a prime one the ability to resist that retrovirus. What it does is add foreign genetic diversity into the genome which then gets put into the suite of tools that can be activated by mutation. This retrovirus was critical for development of the line that would lead to humans, as it can cause a rejection factor to occur when it is activated. Now that does have some problems and there are some diseases asssociated with it, but that factor allows for our line to do one thing entirely different from the source ancestor: reject material from the body. Why is this important? It is a key factor in giving live birth... without that retrovirus, the ability to develop and be born like that would need a different set of pathways that can be found, but become harder to coalesce into an active gene set.
With it, specific triggers to utilize it formed and mammals developed as a separate branch on the tree of life. The most likely cause of this was changing climate and poor nutrition weakening standard anti-body reactions by both the RNA and DNA systems.
Ahhh... life! Can't live with it.... and, of course...
A theory taught as fact. I thought facts are immutable and proven true, yet evolutionary 'fact' keeps changing to fit new realities that conflict with its dogma.
"A retrovirus incorporated into the genome 100-125 million years ago". Was Mr Gould present at the incorporation of the retrovirus? Need alot more blind faith to believe this stuff than I could muster. I'm with you NJ, minor variations, but no monkey's in my family tree.
"...yet evolutionary 'fact' keeps changing to fit new realities that conflict with its dogma."
It's always been the 'theory of evolution'. It has never been described as 'dogma'. Scientist have just mapped the human genome, and considering we are still evolving, we may never reach the stage where we can utilize the word 'immutable' with any assurety.
If you want to understand what AJ was describing, a good book to read is GENOME by Matt Ridley. He has two others: THE RED QUEEN, and NATURE vs. NURTURE. But GENOME is the best for an understanding of the evolution of the human race through the study of the genome. All the books are fascinating if for no other reason than to discover what scientists have uncovered about our genetic make-up and the part it plays in our lives.
You haven't been looking in high school texts or science periodicals lately. Yes they call it the ' theory of evolution " and then go on to explain it as a settled matter.
You may not consider evolution dogma, but to many Darwin's text is their bible.
And when you say: ' considering we are still evolving ", it seems that you consider it more than a theory.