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August 19, 2011

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narciso

This fits in the same category of foolishness, from Ed Markey:

“Now the Texas governor Rick Perry has also said that the EPA is a job killer and called for president Obama to put a moratorium on all regulations for at least six months. This despite independent research that says environmental regulations actually create new jobs. In his book, Perry called global warming “one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”

Extraneus

rse linked another Krugman smackdown in an earlier thread. (Derbyshire quoting Iowahawk at NRO.)

Extraneus

Michelle’s Separate Travel Costs Taxpayers Thousands

This is not the first time Michelle has gone on vacation ahead of the president on the taxpayers’ tab. [Just a few hours this time, requiring separate jets, Secret Service entourages, etc.] Last December, she racked up what was likely more than $100,000 in expenses leaving early for their Hawaii vacation.
Thomas Collins

The most disturbing aspect of the "space aliens don't like greenhouse gases" claim is that the "scientists" who are making the claim plausibly believe that there are folks who will buy this nonsense. Since this appears to be the whimsy thread, I have what I assert is the more plausible following scenario. Advanced civilizations view greenhouse gases as an aphrodisiac. However, in their advancement, they have forgotten how to produce greenhouse gases (sort of like how today's spreadsheet genius might be stumped by a slide rule). Thus, we can exchange our greenhouse gases for the advance civilization computer instant replay technology, which produces 100% percent perfect calls on every play. What a deal for both sides!

Jane

In his book, Perry called global warming “one contrived phony mess that is falling apart under its own weight.”

I love Rick Perry!

PD

Michelle’s Separate Travel Costs Taxpayers Thousands

In Laura Bush's recent book, she mentioned that it's traditional for first wives to pay for their own personal expenses such as getting hair done. I believe Michelle has her own personal attendant on staff, paid for by you and me.

narciso

Recall that was one of the authors of the Cap n Trade bill, so he's more 'dumb as a fox' when you think about it.

narciso

Who needs to eat bread, seriously:


This year, the EPA approved allowing even more ethanol — a 15 percent mix. That proposal upset automakers and small-engine companies, who said that at 15 percent ethanol even newer cars and newer small engines would be damaged.

"We're basing our concerns on the cars that are on the road today," and on the corrosive effect that 15 percent-ethanol fuel could have on fuel pumps, fuel tanks, hoses and emissions parts, said Gloria Bergquist, vice president of the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, a trade group that includes the Detroit Three automakers and other manufacturers, including Toyota and Volkswagen. The alliance, along with other trade groups, sued the EPA in January to stop the introduction of E15.

MarkO

Finally, government confirmation of UFO's. Then, confirmation of other civilizations, all presumably socialist and peaceful except as toward Earth.

More magical thinking from the magic administration.

Army of Davids

Thomas Donahue, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, on the regulations, taxes, uncertainties and mandates in ObamaCare....

"it's a job killer"

Tom Bowler

Jane, regarding Perry sightings in NH (from your comment yesterday that I finally got around to looking at), I know he's been up here but I haven't had time to go see him. If he's not still here now, he'll be back soon. I'll let you know whenever I hear anything.

Jane

Oh goody. I will happily make the trip. I'm swooning already.

Note to Clarice - he's mine!

Janet

I am the space alien my "scientists" were referring to...

Porchlight

Anyone notice how the Politico comment section is almost all anti-Obama these days? I could be misremembering, but I recall healthy percentages of pro-Obama comments there in the past.

This article is hilarious (and yet depressing); I found comment #21 very interesting:

Obama's unhelpful advice

Joan

Goodness, how did this man ever become president.

Forget the goodness, I just couldn't use the word I wanted to.

Porchlight

I love that photo, Janet. He really looks like he's enjoying that beer, huh?

matt

apparently the Fed is now planting stories in the Wall Street Journal to rationalize QE 3. LUN.

Our society is getting creepier and creepier.

bgates

That proposal upset automakers and small-engine companies, who said that at 15 percent ethanol even newer cars and newer small engines would be damaged.

You aren't seeing the big picture here. First, imagine the repair and auto parts jobs that will be created by damaging every car engine in America. Second, there's the emissions reductions resulting from taking every car off the road for repair. Third, this will really just enhance the operation of the free market in order to control greenhouse gases, as the public induces auto manufacturers to produce cars that are not destroyed by the new regulations. Fourth, if the American auto fleet is basically damaged but not annihilated by the new fuel, the public may require some additional reason to get new and improved vehicles, which means the government could expand Cash for Clunkers to every single car currently on the road. Imagine the stimulative effect of that. Why, simply destroying every car in America would probably keep 300,000 people employed for a year.

This could be the biggest jobs program since the firebombing of Tokyo.

Porchlight

bgates, great plan, but I think this will have to wait until the ATM-destroying jobs program has been fully implemented.

narciso

Didn't we spot the European banks a trillion or two, 'just between friends' that is utterly insane, or in keeping with the Sci Fi theme of the thread 'It's a MadHouse'

Jack is Back!

Regarding, first the Nasa story about angry aliens and then a comment on ethanol expansion:

1. If one is to believe that aliens are the so-called Supreme Beings that planted a species here on earth in order to determine if it could save their crumbling universe as chronicled in the bible, then doesn't this support Rick Perry's evolution and creationism views?

2. Right now, ethanol at 10% seriously effects acceleration in high quality, high efficiency IC engines. Almost to the point that I think it is a highway safety issue as well as fuel efficiency issue. It takes seconds longer to gain the same acceleration putting you at risk entering the highway and passing. Plus in order to now ramp up the RPMs and engine energy you are wasting fuel. But then this is typical of "green fascism" and its abandonment of cost-benefit for the everlasting glory of Gaia.

narciso

I'm leaning toward the theory in the Hitchhiker's Guide, that Earth was seeded by
a ship full of middlemen, from another world,
fleeing a Giant Mutant StarGoat.

Boatbuilder

Ex--I think we are going to hear an awful lot about Texas' ACT/SAT scores over the next 14 months. Iowahawk's takedown is absolutely correct and brilliant, but is very hard to articulate in sound bytes and is very easy to demagogue as racist. Not that the Democrats or the MSM would ever stoop to such things, of course.

macphisto

you should try hitting the gas going uphill in a 1986 3/4 ton Suburban with a 350 V8. it kind of stops and thinks about it first.

Devilish plot, anyway.

Childhood's End.

H/t A.C. Clarke.
======

Bioethanol is a bad curse and a horrible drag on the economy.  Yes, even of Iowa.

Beer is liquid bread, and shouldn't be used for mechanized transportation.
===========

Jim Ryan

BLACK GUY: But this is 2012 and unemployment is higher than ever. I don't think you can give me any reason I should vote for this chump other than he's black. I bought that garbage the first time because I assumed he wasn't an incompetent empty suit. You have any reason I should vote for him this time other than that he's black?

DOOR-KNOCKING DEM GOTV VOLUNTEER: Um...Because of he's green? He's got a...green...initiative....

BLACK GUY:

DOOR-KNOCKING DEM GOTV VOLUNTEER: No, huh?

Jack is Back!

Since Newt's guys left to join Perry has been what 2 months? In that amount of time a savvy political manager and team can pretty much model the worst case scenario campaign (i.e. Aggie grades, bimbo's in Austin, Creationism, the Fed, etc.) and have all the contingencies worked out. What they can't model is the Lucy Ramierz's of the world or the Ellie Lights or the smears from out of left field that are truly unknown unknowns. They will have a strategy on how to handle including who the friendlies are to get their message out but to think Perry is going to end up looking like Fearless Fosdick is pure nonsense.

What this stuff normally affects is fundraising since it poisons the well in both the nomination process then steps up a grade in the general election. That is why Perry needs his own McCauliffe who can be positive in times that are negative for his candidate. The hardest thing a pol can do (as Obama is finding out) is raise money when you have strong negatives. Ask Newt.

macphisto

he needs a Good Cop for the Good Cop/Bad Cop meme to work?

cathyf

Uh, wait -- I thought we were being bulldozed to make way for an interstellar on-ramp...

(don't panic)

Drink until you can ponder the mutability of arable land and the sun's energy chlorophyllated.

Much better corn feed hogs. Or make whiskey out of it.
=====================

Vogon Constructor Fleet

You want us, to go where?

BB Key

JiB re: Aggie grades.... When will Gov.Perry say to the Jef, "Here are my lousy grades from Texas A&M, where are your lousy grades Occidental,Columbia.& Harvard?"

macphisto

PLEASE don't tell me that Obama's going to start reciting poetry.

macphisto

"When will Gov.Perry say to the Jef, "Here are my lousy grades from Texas A&M, where are your lousy grades Occidental,Columbia.& Harvard?"

the first time the media tries to really run with it, as opposed to the quiet road-testing the Obami are doing on the Internet now. i'm SO looking forward to watching O have to deal with someone who actually knows how to play this game, as Yogi Berra would say.

Janet

bimbo's in Austin, Creationism,

If by creationism you mean the belief that God created us...I would not count that as a negative for Perry. It is time to put the Darwin evolutionists back on their heels & let THEM explain & expound on some of their beliefs!
I would love to hear some of these reporters that are grilling Christian candidates on the Bible, have to explain evolution theory.

*'When that lizard sprouted it's first feather on it's way to becoming a bird...how do you figure that mutation helped him? Is a lizard with one feather sticking out a "fitter" species?'
*'Could you name me one positive mutation?'
*'Do mutations ever ADD information? or do they just occur to information that is already there?'
Yo Stephanopoulos, Mathews, Williams...start coughing up some information....fill us in on YOUR beliefs. We'll judge which belief takes more faith.

Ignatz

--You aren't seeing the big picture here. First, imagine the repair and auto parts jobs that will be created by damaging every car engine in America.--

Bgates, I'm afraid even your skills at parody may have been outpaced by the reality of what these nuts believe.
That is in fact either the identical or perhaps even slightly less silly argument than Keynes assertion that hiring thousands to dig holes and fill them back in would be a stimulant to an economy.

Jack is Back!

Janet,

I am channelling the MFM and their party apparatchiks at DNC. These are the issues any competent team of campaign pro's would have modeled and simulated thoroughly since they know how the other side works.

He is going to have to contend with all kinds of meaningless Bravo Sierra issues outside his strength. It is political jiujitsu. Don't allow Perry to set the agenda (economy, less government, jobs, etc) but keep him on the defense over stuff that has nothing to do with his priorities. That is the game plan.

The state of education in Texas is already on the table by the Obama administration not just his campaign team. In other words, our tax dollars are being used to have the Sec of ED attack a presidential contender in the other party. This is only going to get more congested as Perry and the others bring up the failures of Obama.

Charlie (Colorado)

*'When that lizard sprouted it's first feather on it's way to becoming a bird...how do you figure that mutation helped him? Is a lizard with one feather sticking out a "fitter" species?'

Sadly, the biggest thing this question does is show you're not real clear on this whole "biology" thing. When the first proto-feathers appeared, it wasn't one fully formed feather; it was something that made some structure, probably scales, a little more feather-like. by the time feathers are clear in the fossil record, they've developed somewhat more, but it looks pretty likely that they evolved first to keep dinosaurs warm in wet environments.

*'Could you name me one positive mutation?'

CCR5-Δ32.

*'Do mutations ever ADD information? or do they just occur to information that is already there?'

Define "information" formally and the answer will be obvious.

peter

Happy Birth Anniversary of Ogden Nash

LUN


Porchlight

Don't allow Perry to set the agenda (economy, less government, jobs, etc) but keep him on the defense over stuff that has nothing to do with his priorities. That is the game plan.

So far, Perry isn't taking the bait and is staying on offense. I think people like to see that.

Janet

Sadly, the biggest thing this question does is show you're not real clear on this whole "biology" thing. When the first proto-feathers appeared, it wasn't one fully formed feather; it was something that made some structure, probably scales, a little more feather-like. by the time feathers are clear in the fossil record, they've developed somewhat more, but it looks pretty likely that they evolved first to keep dinosaurs warm in wet environments.

They don't know. They find things in the fossil record & then create "just so" stories to fit the PC approved theory.

PD

Define "information" formally and the answer will be obvious.

Information is the reduction of uncertainty.

What's the obvious answer to which you're referring?

Janet

"CCR5-Δ32 is a deletion mutation"
and
"Deletion is the loss of genetic material"

Melinda Romanoff

I also prefer my current form of mutation from my roots as bacteria, but that might just be me.

The real irony in those who cringe while using the euphemism "Creationism" is that in their defense of "Evolution" they promote the Endangered Species Act over all comers. I thought survival of the fittest was the backbone of evolution.

I'm obviously missing something.

Janet

Anyway, my point wasn't to get in a debate, or for Perry to get in a debate. It is the condescending tone of the questioners while I am pretty sure they couldn't explain their "superior" beliefs.

Janet

Exactly Mel.

macphisto

divine creation does not exclude evolution of species unless you're an extremely rigorous textual fundamentalist to an extent that's IMO difficult to justify in English-language translations. why should God not have made something that would continue to grow and change in its own ways according to designs He set out? do we not ourselves breed the various animals and thus change their traits? why, then, wouln't God?

macphisto

the Lord moves in mysterious ways His wonders to perform :)

Melinda Romanoff

Nor does he roll dice.

NK

Not to get to philosophical here, but the world's smartest athiest, Stephen Hawking has constructed a 'proof' of the non-existence of God, based on the "Big Bang" being the result of inevitable physical forces. Yet, the world's smartest athiest cannot accout for where those forces came from prior to the Big Bang, they must be accepted as an article of scientific faith.... Hmmm.. where have I heard that before?

Thomas Collins
"they've developed somewhat more, but it looks pretty likely that they evolved first to keep dinosaurs warm in wet environments."

CHACO, common ancestry commands a lot more scientific support than natural selection. There are scientists such as Edmund Wilson who really are trying to "do the math" and develop a true scientific basis for natural selection. At the moment, natural selection is in the "after the fact" plausible explanation stage. It would be nice, when creationists are being mocked by those supposedly using science to explain natural selection, that the "after the fact" nature of natural selection speculation was more clearly acknowledged (I'm not accusing you of mocking, but I am really appalled at how much mocking goes on by those in a field at such an early stage of scientific development).

NK

I'm with melinda R on this. Einstein and Newton concluded God does not roll dice... those physical laws that Hawking is so in love with are precise, measurable and predicable. They are also, not explainable by human reason, they rely on faith-- to this day even. I think Newton and Einstein showed far more wisdom than Hawking.

Janet

unless you're an extremely rigorous textual fundamentalist

Yeah, that's me. Evolution within specie is no problem. Everyone can see that with plants & different dog breeds. I don't believe a dog becomes a horse though or a lizard becomes a bird.
It reminds me of the false premise set up that Christians were against all stem cell research. That was never true. The MFM purposefully muddled the argument. It was only embryonic stem cell research that was the problem.

Janet

Speaking of Stephen Hawking...he fits the thread perfectly!

"Aliens have been in the news this year. In April, cosmic oracle Stephen Hawking, the legendary theoretical physicist, proclaimed that extraterrestrial life is almost certain to exist. He also mentioned, by the way, that we should stay as far away from aliens as possible, since they're probably scavenging the universe for resources after destroying their own homes."

Neo

"... space aliens might come get us unless we curb greenhouse gas emissions ..."

As if our massive emissions in the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e. radio, TV, wireless, etc.) isn't an even bigger beacon.

henry

Yeah, Neo has a point. Since we a toast anyway alienwise we should endeavor to consume all the ethanol possible to keep it out of our gas tanks. TGIF! : )

bgates

Mel, I think the bigger irony is that those who are most strident in proclaiming their "belief" in evolution tend to have far fewer children than it seems like the creationists do. One could make the case that the passionate defense of evolution is itself a marker for some kind of maladaptive mutation.

A second irony is that so often creationists are attacked for being blindly religious because they don't share the beliefs of the pro-evolutionists in the press. I distinguish those people from guys like Charlie - and me, for that matter. There are an awful lot of good reasons to think that evolution through natural selection accounts for the variety of life on the planet. I don't think George Stephanopolous and Jon Stewart know what any of those reasons are. I don't much like hearing anyone sneer in contempt at religion in general, but it's especially irritating to hear it from someone who has obviously turned Science into a god without the slightest understanding of what science is.

Thomas Collins

See LUN for an article on Edward Wilson's reassessment of his views on the nature of altruism (Edward's name is still Edward and had not evolved to Edmund, as one might have surmised from my prior post). :-))

Janet

Actually Hawking thinks aliens are fellow resource destroyers....we'll probably get along great with the alien consumer addicts!

Ya think there will be a scientist cat fight?

The Hawking resource destroying aliens vs. the Domagal-Goldman "green" aliens!
MEOWRRRRRRRRRRRR

Charlie (Colorado)

Information is the reduction of uncertainty.

See, that's why I asked. "Reduction of uncertainly" is the opposite of information. A page full of the letter "a" has very little uncertainty, but also has very little information.

sbw

"Nor does he roll dice."

You're sure about that. How?

Melinda Romanoff

bgates-

I agree.

But I still like my irony better than yours.

I'm not going to be serious about this because my personal view is a bit more nuanced. Think black and white, and I'm the big grey stripe in the middle. There is so much unknown out there that I would have a hard time believing a coin has two sides unless I could see both at the same time.

Settled, my a$$.

sbw

"why one creature would ever help another at its own expense."

The power of an idea.

Melinda Romanoff

sbw-

Because, unlike Charlie Sheen, I'm not always "winning!".

sbw

Lessee, do I want Sheen or Mel? ...

I'll take Mel.

Charlie (Colorado)

There are scientists such as Edmund Wilson who really are trying to "do the math" and develop a true scientific basis for natural selection.

TC, see, this is why I like doing the math: you've leapt from "evolution" to a particular evolutionary mechanism, "natural selection". I haven't read Wilson in some years, but what I read some years ago was certainly not inconsistent with selection of the more fit.

Now, there are some other details that get very interesting -- for example, there's actually surprisingly little information in a gene. The argument is a little complicated, but you can show that this means the "space" of possible organisms is actually comparatively limited. Then you look at, say, D'arcy Thompson's On Growth and Form and it suddenly appears as if a lot of speciation may be "ringing the changes" in a surprisingly limited carillon.

But I'll bet Wilson isn't then claiming that relative fitness doesn't play a role in which species are successful.

Charlie (Colorado)

As if our massive emissions in the electromagnetic spectrum (i.e. radio, TV, wireless, etc.) isn't an even bigger beacon.

That whole notion was dumb in the Day the Earth Stood Still remake, and it's still dumb.

It's actually surprising how bad a beacon our RF emissions are. But ppm variations in CO2 are even worse.

Melinda Romanoff

Flattered, but already spoken for...

Also, I am Sheenless.

Charlie (Colorado)

Mel, I think the bigger irony is that those who are most strident in proclaiming their "belief" in evolution tend to have far fewer children than it seems like the creationists do. One could make the case that the passionate defense of evolution is itself a marker for some kind of maladaptive mutation.

See, eg, "The Marching Morons" by Cyril Kornbluth.

Ignatz

--See, eg, "The Marching Morons" by Cyril Kornbluth.--

One of my favorite books and one of the great SF classics.

Charlie (Colorado)

There are an awful lot of good reasons to think that evolution through natural selection accounts for the variety of life on the planet. I don't think George Stephanopolous and Jon Stewart know what any of those reasons are.

Yeah. The whole "evolution" vs "creation" argument is both scientifically dumb and theologically dumb. Scientifically, it's dumb because the underlying question of how the universe got here and if it had a Designer isn't amenable to experimental testing. Theologically it's dumb because it ends up painting itself into a corner -- the only argument that evolution simply didn't happen forces you into a young universe that then forces you into a picture of Deity with a really malicious sense of humor -- It has to have built a Universe that displays immense evidence of extreme age, speciation proceeding over time, geological deep time, and so on.

Or, of course, you could see evidence for a Designer with a really nifty design, where all the parts do exactly what they're meant to do, and built into that is a mechanism that "naturally" develops increasing complexity and all these really cool species and so forth. By far the majority of Christian denominations have no problem with that idea.

Thomas Collins

CHACO, what is the mechanism for the evolution you classified as "pretty likely" in your back and forth with Janet? And is there a mathematical study supporting "pretty likely" (you said you like "doing the math", so I'm thinking that perhaps your "pretty likely" was based on math)? What you classify as a "leap" by me was really a narrowing, but if there is a study discussing whatever mechanisms of evolution are claimed to be involved in the evolution of feathers, I'd be interested in looking at it.

Thomas Collins

Oh, back to my original question, CHACO. Do you agree that common ancestry is more solidly scientifically grounded than natural selection?

Charlie (Colorado)

Okay, just read the article TC linked, and Wilson is absoluytely not disputing the notion of natural selection.

The key, Wilson said, is the group: Under certain circumstances, groups of cooperators can out-compete groups of non-cooperators, thereby ensuring that their genes — including the ones that predispose them to cooperation — are handed down to future generations.

For once, though, I agree with Dawkins: the real underlying problem is this notion that somehow "kin selection" and "group selection" are essentially different.

Charlie (Colorado)

Oh, back to my original question, CHACO. Do you agree that common ancestry is more solidly scientifically grounded than natural selection?

Frankly, I don't think you understand the question well enough for me to answer it.

Thomas Collins

CHACO, I am confused. Did I ever say that Wilson was disputing the notion of natural selection? Did I imply it? If so, where?

Charlie (Colorado)

Yeah, that's me. Evolution within specie is no problem. Everyone can see that with plants & different dog breeds. I don't believe a dog becomes a horse though or a lizard becomes a bird.

Janet, define "species".

Thomas Collins

All I am saying, which I thought would be pretty non-controversial, is that natural selection explanations tend to be after the fact explanations without the rigor of mathematical predictability that one usually sees in what we call science. If one "leaps" to evolution, this is probably even more the case.

Sue

Frankly, I don't think you understand the question well enough for me to answer it.

Good...freaking...grief...

Charlie (Colorado)

CHACO, I am confused. Did I ever say that Wilson was disputing the notion of natural selection? Did I imply it? If so, where?

Maybe not: I thought you were bringing in Wilson as support when you asserted:

CHACO, common ancestry commands a lot more scientific support than natural selection. There are scientists such as Edmund Wilson who really are trying to "do the math" and develop a true scientific basis for natural selection. At the moment, natural selection is in the "after the fact" plausible explanation stage.

So what did you mean if you weren't using Wilson to support your notion about "natural selection."

Porchlight

Just wanted to repost Janet's American Thinker link from another thread on the revocation of Wade Sanders' Silver Star. Sounds like this is a very big deal and circumstances look really bad for Sanders.

Did Kerry's Swift Boat hatchet man fake his own Silver Star?

cathyf
“God does not play dice with the universe; He plays an ineffable game of His own devising, which might be compared, from the perspective of the players, (ie everybody), to being involved in an obscure and complex version of poker in a pitch-dark room, with blank cards, for infinite stakes, with a Dealer who won't tell you the rules, and who smiles all the time.”
-- Neil Gaiman
Janet

Janet, define "species".

No, you can google it. Where's the article on feather evolution?

Thomas Collins

CHACO, I brought in Wilson to illustrate the continuing attempts to provide a more rigorous analysis of natural selection based on what we moderns usually refer to as science. By the standards of what we usually refer to as scientific predictability, natural selection has a long way to go (evolution as a whole, more so). But common ancestry seems to be on more solid ground (which is interesting, because if one wanted to try to use evolutionary theory to belittle religion, one would think that common ancestry, not natural selection or other evolution mechanisms, would be preferred).

Extraneus

Good one, cathyf. :-) I hadn't seen that one before.

Charlie (Colorado)

All I am saying, which I thought would be pretty non-controversial, is that natural selection explanations tend to be after the fact explanations without the rigor of mathematical predictability that one usually sees in what we call science. If one "leaps" to evolution, this is probably even more the case.

Ah. Okay, but I don't think that's true either, since

(1) we can build evolutionary systems in simulation and see them working rather neatly

(2) we have indeed observed populations changing to better adapt to changing conditions

(3) since gene sequencing has been available, we've been able to organize a very large subset of the organisms in the world by differences in genes -- so called "clades" -- and identify very closely how different species appear to arise using nothing but genetic information.

As far as "natural selection" being "after the fact" ... well, I guess necessarily the theory of natural selection is after the fact: species were around a long time before the theory was. But that hardly makes it unscientific; Newton described gravity a long time after gravity was invented.

What kind of "predictability" do you think is missing?

Charlie (Colorado)

No, you can google it. Where's the article on feather evolution?

Which one? There are a bunch of them. But I don't think you know what the word "species" means. I know you've got a silly and unthoughtful idea of what the evolution of feathers would mean, since you came up with that nonsensical notion of the first dinosaur with one feather. That's Dr. Seuss biology; its not even wrong.

Extraneus

I hope this doesn't discourage TM from posting another Krugman thread sometime. I know I'd be hesitant.

Thomas Collins

The kind of predictability that we expect to see as a result of the scientific method. A series of equations that gets us from primordial soup to human nuts. The kind of mathematical rigor we see in physics. And it's no answer to say that evolution may be more difficult to quantify than phenomena studied in physics. I'm not saying that evolutionary biologists are dumb, I'm just saying that, for whatever reason, they do a pretty poor job (at least in their public pronouncements) of acknowledging uncertainty.

sbw

I believe in natural selection... and if I decide to select a newt for favored treatment, then that newt is my kin. ...

Of course, it may turn out that neither my newt nor I survive because neither of us know the full set of rules or the state of the machine.

cathyf
the real underlying problem is this notion that somehow "kin selection" and "group selection" are essentially different.
Only in very recent times -- before a few hundred years ago, virtually everyone married someone who lived within 5 miles (walking distance), and that made virtually everyone in a 5-mile radius related to each other. Sure there are some unusual geographies that make certain groups of humans nomadic, but they are, well, unusual.
Rick Ballard

Here's an interesting piece on BOzo's Daze of Rage

I like the SEIU/ACORN connection. I also like the idea of massive flash mob riots on Wall Street. It will give Wall Streeters a chance to have a good 'Take Your Pet Rock to Work' day where they can practice 'If You Love It, Set It Free'. Who knows, perhaps some of the Pet Rocks will evolve feathers and learn to fly before they reach the sidewalks.

The important thing is that they be allowed to try. Think of it as a ticker tape parade with rather heavy confetti.

Charlie (Colorado)

CHACO, I brought in Wilson to illustrate the continuing attempts to provide a more rigorous analysis of natural selection based on what we moderns usually refer to as science. By the standards of what we usually refer to as scientific predictability, natural selection has a long way to go (evolution as a whole, more so).

TC, at least as I understand the words, that whole statement is blatantly wrong. To which "rigorous standards" of "predictability" are you referring? Can you state them precisely, or reference a precise statement?

To me, the "predictive" nature of the "natural selection" theory is pretty blatant. At this point, we've got a rather nice mathematical model, one which turned out to predict the way clades work out, and which can be neatly observed in the wild.

Can you offer another hypothesis that can be tested?

Thomas Collins
"Newton described gravity a long time after gravity was invented."

That's my point. Science develops from observation to qualitative description to experimentation to quantative description which facilitates examination of predictability. Evolution seems to be on a par with areas such as climate science in its development.

cathyf

Do you mean like this, Rick?

Kyoto protest beaten back by inflamed petrol traders

“We bit off more than we could chew. They were just Cockney barrow boy spivs. Total thugs,” one protester said, rubbing his bruised skull. “I’ve never seen anyone less amenable to listening to our point of view.”

Janet

I know you've got a silly and unthoughtful idea of what the evolution of feathers would mean,

I know it is supposedly incremental....but do Stephonopoulos, Gregory, & Williams know that? Anyway that was my point.
I don't believe a lizard became a bird. National Geographic here in DC had a lizard with wild turkey feathers stuck on it. So bogus...but you know little kids believed that pretend animal existed. I think a lot of evolutionary "scientists" are just like the AGW "scientists". If their theories were so iron clad they wouldn't need to mock people who question it.

BB Key

Ex, Krugman thread LOL

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