Friday, August 10, 2007

It's all so chaotic

It's funny how every time an atheist has to face the debunking of his latest theory, the explanation is always the same: life is more chaotic than I thought! Instead of considering other possibilities, it's always an excuse to plunge himself into a kind of agnosticism.

This is a new article about another discovery that pokes a huge hole in the human "family tree" many paleontologists have all mapped out for us. Apparently, grandma was great grandma's sister, said Fred Spoor, a professor of evolutionary anatomy at the University College in London.

But what does this mean? It means we need to find another common ancestor, another missing link:
There remains some still-undiscovered common ancestor that probably lived 2 million to 3 million years ago, a time that has not left much fossil record, Spoor said.

Overall what it paints for human evolution is a "chaotic kind of looking evolutionary tree rather than this heroic march that you see with the cartoons of an early ancestor evolving into some intermediate and eventually unto us," Spoor said in a phone interview from a field office of the Koobi Fora Research Project in northern Kenya.

That old evolutionary cartoon, while popular with the general public, is just too simple and keeps getting revised, said Bill Kimbel, who praised the latest findings. He is science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University and was not part of the Leakey team.

"The more we know, the more complex the story gets," he said. Scientists used to think Homo sapiens evolved from Neanderthals, he said. But now we know that both species lived during the same time period and that we did not come from Neanderthals.
The eventual CYA conclusion is predictable and is stated quite bluntly by Bill Kimbel, the science director of the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University:
All the changes to human evolutionary thought should not be considered a weakness in the theory of evolution, Kimbel said. Rather, those are the predictable results of getting more evidence, asking smarter questions and forming better theories, he said.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Learning here and there

What happened? Funny thing, I thought I was going to post more while I had the Tribune internship. I'm in my last week and I certainly didn't do much on here. It makes sense though. It's not like I could just up and post while I'm at the office and when I'm not at the office, I'm running around between my other job and taking others places or going places myself and seeing certain people...etc. (sometimes a run-on sentence is appropriate)

Milts Pizza Place started a very new thing: an outdoor movie. They are projecting it on the side of the building next door and playing family movies on Thursday nights this month -- a brilliant stroke if you ask me. The movie they played tonight was "Because of Winn-Dixie." I remember when it came out but I hadn't seen it. I found if very thought provoking and artful. It's not really incredibly deep as it is very creative. I mean, who thought to include candy in the plot; candy that is sweet and sad at the same time... I don't know -- that just struck me: tasting sadness. It's obviously based on the book because I've never seen a screen writer come up with this kind of simple brilliance on his own.

Struggles. Progress. Failure. Agony. Joy.

I guess that helps a bit to describe my life lately.