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The portrait is Charles Darwin, age 31, in 1840

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International Darwin Day February 12th

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Dr. Terence Meaden Jan 31. 2 Replies

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December Solstice

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"All pupils in non-faith schools must study atheism", judge rules.

Started by Dr. Terence Meaden. Last reply by Asgrimmr Liam Morris Dec 21, 2015. 13 Replies

Memory Style is Determined by Brain Structure

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Gerald Payne Dec 15, 2015. 1 Reply

Researchers Say Musical Aptitude Linked to Open Personality Types

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 10, 2015. 2 Replies

Happy birthday Carl Sagan

Started by Gerald Payne. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 10, 2015. 3 Replies

Middle Class No Longer Majority in U.S.

Started by John Jubinsky. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Dec 10, 2015. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Marc Draco on February 7, 2010 at 3:06pm
Hitman, your friend has his factoids all of a muddle.

Mutation is (in essence) random. Selection is not. Evolution is therefore a random process guided by selection.

Evolution doesn't fix dates; but knowing how A evolved into C can help you pinpoint B in a rock strata by predicting when and where it should be. This has been used to find previously undiscovered fossils.

As for disability: if we assume a disability is a mutation then some disabilities might give a person an advantage. Humans have messed it up by trying to fix everything that nature produces but in nature, mutation continues unperturbed and mutations - often incredibly slight - over time will occasionally give advantages.

I've done a paper on this (applied to language) with examples if you want to see it.
Comment by Hitman on February 7, 2010 at 2:53pm
A friend is claiming this is a contradiction between dates given for the age of humans by evolution theorists and the archaeologists. I have never come across this arguement before. He is going to send me his evidence. Does evolution fix dates?
Another friend, when I argued that evolution wasn't random, said we claimed the mutations are. Doesn't that mean that every disability is 'designed'?
Comment by Sally Morem on February 7, 2010 at 12:47pm
After reading "Chaos" I read a number of other books related in theme. I wrote a lengthy essay linking the ideas discussed in these books called "The Grassroots Creation." Check it out here:
Comment by Steve Nelson on February 7, 2010 at 11:55am
Sally, I'll have to look for that book. Sounds interesting. I personally can't wait till religion is in the dust bin of history. I just think of the MILLIONS who have died because of religions. It is astounding! My stories about the future are about this. Yes they are erotic. So what. I don't think Sex is a Dirty Thing. I believe sex is Normal, Natural and Necessary for humans to function properly. So that's what my stories are about. TW1 and TW2 Desert Trek. Look'em up here on my blog or by Googling my name and story titles. Please Enjoy.
"Chaos" reminds me of Jeff goldblume in Jarrasic Park. Sincerely Yours, Steve Nelson
Comment by Sally Morem on February 7, 2010 at 10:45am
Ever since I read "Chaos" by James Gleick, I've looked for and found self-organizing systems everywhere, in physical, biological and cultural systems. I've always been an evolutionist, but the idea of self-organization has given me additional insights on how it works.

Self-organization is one of the most counter-intuitive notions we humans have ever stumbled upon. Since we are toolmakers by trade, our natural inclination is to assume everything is made...the way we would make things. Hence the idea of gods and goddesses busy manufacturing trees and rocks and storms, etc.

It will be a long time before the insights we gain through science on self-organizing systems nudge this idea of "making" into "the dustbin of history." Unfortunately.
Comment by Steve Nelson on January 3, 2010 at 10:36am
Swell Julia, I'll get on it soon. Thanks again all you wonderful folks, Steve Nelson
Comment by Steve Nelson on December 31, 2009 at 6:41am
WoW! Such a lot of nice Intelligent and really usefule comments that have come from this nice sight in just a couple of days or even hours since I made a comment and asked a question. It is really wonderful to hear from so many swell people. I've been at other sights where I put out my thoughts and feelings and hopes and people were just rude and inconsiderate to the max. But here, Is A Complete difference! You know I've always thought that it shouldn't be too dang hard to convert from using pencil & Ink to something in a digital realm. And from my experience in business I fiund it wasn't too afully brainy to by my candy bars at say .25 and turn around and sell'em at .50. It's ust a common sence thing.
This site seems to be full of a bunch of people with a common sence, Can do attitude, I Love It!
Thank You so much everyone, and thanks again to Dr Meaden for getting it going to start with. Sincerely, Steve Nelson

PS. Some have asked me why my book is only about 123 pages and I always answer, well I took my lead from a couple of things, 1) I liked Mr Hubbards book Battlefield Earth, (Read the whole dang thing in about a week), but I didn't want anything I wrote to be Quite that long. And 2) I was going through my library and found one of the smallest yet acceptable books in the publishing world to be PLanet of the Apes at only about 120 pages. And I figured if a movie could be made of a book that size well I guess I'm pretty safe then.
I hope nobody minds much but at the end of my first book I had the hero of the story remembering the movie he once saw at a drive-in and think to himself of the line in that picture, 'Beware the beast Man for he will make a desert of his home and yours', it kinda really fit too so I stuck it in there. Happy day and New Year Everyone! Steve Nelson
Comment by Rodrigo M Vasquez on December 31, 2009 at 3:49am
I work with 3D and VFX and , while Math is very very important to run the "hardcore" stuff ( creating scripts, shaders, and simulations from scratch,) what matters is the ability to learn AND the dedication to search for, and use, the RIGHT TOOLS FOR THE RIGHT TASK.
Math is a beautiful, but if what you want is to illustrate, Computers nowadays don't build those high walls as they did 20 years ago.
There is a lot of help on sites like Gnomon, and Digitaltutors and Lindacom, Books and DVD's, to learn how to use software for illustrative purposes.
Buying books about Digital paint, and illustration , is a good start. Books of design, sketch and Color theory to expand your knowledge and so on.
Formal education is important, you can't get on the big names without it, but looks like you already have a background on illustration, so why not go for it on Digital. It changes nothing from paper to digital, but as any business you need to make a name, showing your work, and reach a level of mastery and performance that grants you the big $$$.
Comment by Jason Spicer on December 31, 2009 at 1:09am
Steve, I think you should talk to an academic adviser about what kind of education program you really want. From what you say, it sounds to me like a graphic arts degree might be more your cup of tea. It's true that certain kinds of visual art require a good mathematical background, but other kinds really don't, even if you're using a computer as your canvass. It sounds like you know what kind of work you want to do, but I don't think a computer science degree is quite the right fit for it. Don't waste time banging your head against the wall for something that doesn't support your goal in the first place.
Comment by Kevin Bladsacker on December 31, 2009 at 12:04am
Steve, don't let the math intimidate you. I make a very nice living as a developer and can tell you that the handling of text strings is more important than the level of math required. Most of the math is quite minimal and harrdy ever what you won't find on a basic calculator. A degree in computer science is not cessarily what you need. I can tell you from experience that I've seen many computer science guys fall on their face because they never learn business rules and worry about things that higher languages just do for you. If you want to make a living in computers you need to be able to provide someone with answers for the worries that occupy their mind in trying to make effective business decisions.

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