Friday, August 29, 2008

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Be the Honey Badger

The Honey Badger fights cobras, breaks into bee hives, captures birds of prey, tackles rodents, and does it while moving just about 40km a day. It makes its living by killing almost anything it can get its claws on.
The Guinness Book of World Records has dubbed the honey badger the most fearless animal on Earth.
It is very common for the honey badger to even attack and kill a poisonous snake. Obviously, the Honey Badger earns its name, for being fearless, and downright bad-ass.
Living without fear is an extremely powerful way to live. (Do not confuse this with living without caution)
In "Light On Yoga" BKS Iyengar doesn't cite fear directly, but he notes how serious a flaw it may be if one lives with negativity, despair, and discouragement; for it will lead to a failure to attain continuity of thought.

Fear and nervousness are simple imagined thoughts. A farmer achieves nothing by worrying a great deal about his crops. Instead, a farmer that takes good care in preparation, has no need for fear.
Things beyond his control are no need for consternation of his peace.
For at the end of the day, all we can do, is all we can do; but we can do greatly.

A steady, strong, focused mind and body that prepares adaquetly, has nothing to fear. For preparation will bring one past the unsophisticated thoughts of unneccesary fear.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

CNN: Rick Warren's Faith Forum: Return to the dark ages!

Let's limit the prosperity of our people to the archaic ideas of 100 years ago. While we're at it, let's get back to stoning our children! (Deuteronomy21) Perhaps we should also keep women suppressed, for they should not really be allowed to talk in presence of men, OR teach! (1 Corinthians chapter 14)
As seen here in this abstruse chart, when religion prospered as a means of running civilizations, darkness prevailed and scientific advancement suffered.
What's being held back today by the fundamentalists of America, the fans of this "faith forum?" The:
-Repairing of cardiac muscle
-Regeneration of injured bones
-Creation of new skin and cartilage
-Reversal of nerve damage
-Renewal of pretty much every degenerative disease

Science has no doubt saved many of these zealots' lives more than once. It is a bit hypocritical that they accept some of science and smash the advancement of the rest. What is this the bible?

It pains me to hear questions like "How has Jesus Christ been a guide for you?"
What year is this? What COUNTRY is this? Separation of church and state ring a bell to ANYONE? The founding fathers are turning over in their graves. Have we forgotten that this nation was founded on the then-rebellious premise that each person shall not be judged on his belief? That this nation wanted a clear distinction of belief and law.
Had a presidential candidate come on this program, to say that he is a Muslim, or Buddhist, Agnostic, or Atheist, how quickly would he or she be persecuted? It reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw recently: "God Bless America, To Hell with our Enemies!"
How virtuous.
I will vote for the candidate who has the best ideas of peace, morality, economics, etc... Not how well they allow Jesus Christ to lead them.
Religion has no place in politics.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

There has to be!

C: This universe is so huge! Something had to of made it!
JM: Oh really? Why do you say that?
C: 'CAUSE IT HAD TO! It's so big! Why is it all here!
JM: Well who made the creator?
C: No one! It was just always there!
JM: Why couldn't the universe itself just always be there?
C: What about ghosts!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

See no Evil

Today I had a discussion with my very Italian, very omnivorous family. Who decided to comment on my new-found vegetarianism. As much as I like to unearth the hidden toxicity of the life around us to unsuspecting bystanders.... "Oh hey, did you know that chemicals in that plastic bottle contain an estrogen derivative which will lower your testosterone and maybe lead toward infertility?"
Have you had your Bisphenol A this morning?
(Which is hopefully soon to be banned, I'm surprised to be thanking otherwise evil wal-mart for their vow to take Bisphenol A laden products from their shelves)

Anyway, they decided to interject to my rather sound lifestyle,
"Wasn't Jesus a fisherman! He ate meat!"

I'll overlook being called Un-Jesus-Like for the time being, and justify the argument that is made so often.
That eating meat is "natural" and that "animals do it all the time" or maybe mention the "circle of life" to a biology teacher, you got me!

What is natural? A nomadic pre-history human that used tools to kill small game. Smaller than you think...
...Look no further to our evolutionary relatives, other primates, who's main source of protein is...
...insects. In fact monkeys, lemurs, and apes are all classified as vegetarian/fruitivores. Is that natural enough for you?
Not enough?...well, the teeth of Australopithicines, scientists say, indicate a vegetarian diet. But enough of that scientific/evolutionary nonsense. The earth is only 6000 years old anyway... right Hovind?

Now I'm no member of mensa, but I think their MIGHT be a difference between a lion, on the African Savannah who hunts down a zebra as its sole means of survival, and millions of Joe Shmoes, who eat McDonalds burgers at a rate that only raising animals on meat farms can sustain. should be enough convincing for any intelligent, thinking human. There is a world of difference between someone hunting and killing their food humanely, to the atrocity that is the meat industry. How do people not recognize the disctinction?

For most people, it's out of sight, out of mind.

"A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal" - Proverbs 12:10

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Long Live Darwin

One of my favorite biologists, and all around people, is Richard Dawkins, - and he has reminded me just how brilliant Charles Darwin was. His new series "The Genius of Charles Darwin", is fantastic.
Darwin was able to stand up and tell the world that they're wrong, and it was a strikingly tremendous event.- But why is it still not accepted unanimously, why are the further implications it leads to not being withheld?

When new ideas, facts, and figures arrive on the scene, old ideas are thrown out for their incredulity.
To say that human women were born of a rib, or that a rainbow serpent swam around and created the geology of Earth (Aboriginal Aussies), or that gods actually gave birth to our earth, Gaea, is just..out of date. It's as out of date as a flat earth, a geocentric universe, or spontaneous generation.
There is a perfectly valid scientific way of looking at this world - in fact, what other way is there to observe anything?

I was watching a special on National Geographic of how Muslims execute homosexuals, dissenters of their own religion, and adulterers (often without a proper trial and evidence). It was so difficult to watch such archaic thinking. Moral people scoff and are disgusted at such barbarism. Yet, the Muslim executioners (usually beheading or hanging), are simply being religious. They're not being extremists, they're being just as religious as when Moses slaughtered the golden calf worshipers.
This archaic thinking gets society nowhere.

I do not know how people can disregard such blatant evidence. The world was not created in 6 days. Oh, it's supposed to be allegorical? Really? Why?
I feel sorry for many people who still are convinced they are religious. Any bright person must surely be embarrassed. Do they really still believe in Noah's Ark? Or that one man named Adam went through every animal and named each one, and while he was in a deep sleep, from a rib, God made the first woman? Any intelligent person must feel embarrassed to admit they prescribe to this.

People must rethink what our ancestors, who do not know as nearly as much as we do today, taught about origins.

Charles Darwin had the fortitude to provide the new blueprint for how life has come to be on this planet. There are a majority of people today that still believe that everything was designed by a creator.
Why are the proven ideas of a man that lived and died 100 years ago still such an exasperatingly discussed idea?
I simply wish that we do not move forward with failed ideas of yesterday.

...or maybe the Earth IS flat.

Friday, August 8, 2008

What is Speciation? And Why is it Everywhere?

Speciation is the formation of a new species. While that's simple enough, what's beautiful is the process of speciation. As we can see the phylogenic tree here, a "speciation event" can bring about a new species.
For example, if we have a species X, and some members of that species travel to a new geographic location and encounter new obstacles - over evolutionary time, these new surroundings will force individuals to bring about new adaptations - so profound, that eventually, the group that traveled to the new area will become reproductively isolated to the former group of animals that did not cross the river.
This is speciation.
Allegorically, we can look at the continuum of speciation in ourselves. Humans are not stagnant and static (at least I hope not, for your sake), but instead, to fully appreciate life, it's important to explore and critically think about what is around us. It's important for us to...cross the river into new land. - Only then, can we become better adapted for this life, and hopefully, better than we were before.
Never stop learning.