Meh Beer Days Continue And Almost Get Worse
The boss attempted to give me another 12-pack of Rolling Rock. This time I couldn’t be adult about it and just accept the generous offer. I mean, had I accepted it without cluing him in on how meh I think that beer is, I might be getting Rolling Rock every time he feels generous.
So, I leveled with him and he exchanged it for the beer he used to get me: Summit Extra Pale Ale.
I broke from the lightness of the beer topic to mention that my extended family got a little smaller Friday morning. My brother-in-law’s brother-in-law (not me, obviously) or my wife’s brother’s wife’s sister’s husband, Ed, died after a 14 year battle with cancer. I hope I don’t sound too glib with my description of his relationship to me, but Ed had a pretty good sense of humor and I think he would have appreciated it.
He was a good guy. I liked him right away. He was a sports fan (he liked the Detroit, his hometown, teams) and he liked Star Trek and Star Wars, so what’s not to like about the guy?
He was 44. Much too young.
A Little Evolution Talk
“If [humans are] from apes, why are the apes still here?” ~ misunderstander of the Theory of Evolution, Stephen Baldwin
It’s a very common question asked by people who don’t have an understanding of the basics of evolution. In short, humans are apes. We and the other Great Apes (chimpanzees, bonobos, gorillas, and orangutans) are all cousins. We all came from a common ancestor.
Actually, along the twisting branches of evolution, there are several common ancestors as we make our way back to the main common ancestor to all of the Great Apes. Chimps and bonobos are the most closely related, so their common ancestor existed relatively recently. As we keep going back through the evolutionary lineage, the common ancestor for humans turns up, further back in time there’s one for gorillas, and even further back is the one for orangutans.
Here, watch this clip. You’ll hear Baldwin make the common error and then Dr. Richard Dawkins will explain why there are still apes.
Einstein, God, NdGT, And How Inquiry Stops
The above graphic popped up on Facebook the other day. I know Einstein has made some ambiguous statements about God, but he’s never stated he believed in a god that listens to prayers, rewards with Heaven, punishes with Hell, works miracles, and fixes football games. As I understand it, Einstein’s god was more like the awesomeness of nature and physics.
But even if he believed in an all-knowing, all-powerful, invisible man in the sky, so what? It wouldn’t have lessened his contributions to science and the world. History is filled with many great scientists who also believed in some kind of god.
It seems the Christian types are saying, “Einstein believed in God, why don’t you?”
Well, Einstein was brilliant, but he could still be wrong.
That led me to talk about a talk given by Neil deGrasse Tyson about how great scientists of the past, including Isaac Newton, carried the football of science forward until they reached the limit of their knowledge or abilities. At that point, they would appeal to God. Sort of like saying, “I can’t figure this out. God did it.”
NdGT’s point was when those scientists would turn to God their work was done. The football was left on the field until another scientist with more knowledge, better equipment, mathematics, or other tools to apply science came along. That scientist picked up the football and moved it forward until their limit was reached. And so on, until NdGT got to Pierre-Simon Laplace.
I’ll let Dr. Tyson tell the story (by the way, NdGT doesn’t use the football analogy, that was my contribution):
Getting back to that Einstein quote. I couldn’t determine whether or not Einstein actually said it. What I could find was a 1997 article in the Wall Street Journal written by Jim Holt. As far as I can tell, Holt is the source of the quote, even though he says the quote comes from Einstein. Hey! Cite your source, pal!
This link will get you to the article. Scroll down to Stefan Mertens’ comment. He includes the whole text of Holt’s article.
Movie Recommendation: None
Sorry, you are on your own this week.
Music heard on the show…
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