Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Demystifying Roger Penrose's Three Mysteries of Reality

In a recent discussion about Sir Roger Penrose’s '3 realms' view of reality, Penrose set the stage by listing his Three Mysteries:

1)   “Mysteries (of) the physical world, physical stuff.”
2)   Mystery of the “mental world that's our experiences, consciousness, feelings about things.”
3)   Mystery of “the world of mathematical abstraction”
(Below the fold I’ve transcribed the full quotes in context.)
Those points stopped me right there.  Before continuing I needed to be able to enunciate why I found the above so inadequate for such an exploration of reality.

Here I take a moment to suggest a more fruitful approach.  When Penrose mentioned “the mystery of physical stuff,”  there was no talk of Evolution.  Why?  

After all, all the physical stuff around us is the product of an evolutionary process that started billions of years before humanity and will continue billions of years after we are dust and forgotten - why ignore that this Earth created us and we will die back into it?  

Seems to me acquiring such an awareness is a prerequisite for any subsequence discussion.  While the omission relegates understanding Evolution to insignificance leaving our outlook on “reality” decidedly egocentric and myopic.

Diary, 10/15/19 - plugging away

Hello, no I haven't abandoned my Pageant of Evolution Video Series, but I'll tell you after the many many good to excellent talks and videos about the Ediacaran and Cambrian, getting into the Ordovician, Silurian it thins out.  Too many sloppy homemade type videos, not enough serious lectures - and not enough time for me to thoroughly search.  Though I finally found some good classroom videos that might work out, it's simply taking more time than I anticipated, or that I have on hand.

I am working on the column itself (deadline 20th) and considering how much I need to cram into a thousand words, it's going well, got a plan, had to change it a couple times, but always getting closer to what I'm wanting to get across and I do think I'll pull it off.

Then we have a local election issue happening, that's also eating up a lot of my time. 

 Trying to save two rural libraries, by taking over ownership before they get shut down.  

Wednesday, October 2, 2019

What about Intelligent Design and Evolution?

Within science respecting Evolution discussions the monster in the closet that's rarely mentioned is Intelligent Design - and when it is, it's immediately beaten right back into the closet.  Why?  What do scientists have to fear?  Don't we have a rational "Intelligent Design" to point to?  Namely Mathematics!  Why not confront the faith-shackled with that reality?

Index, Cc's Pageant of Evolution - Oct 2nd.

An index of this collection of my favorite YouTube videos dedicated to a better appreciation of Earth’s pageant of evolution to date:

September 30, 2019

September 26, 2019

September 23, 2019

September 21, 2019

September 19, 2019

Monday, September 30, 2019

Martin Smith - Origins Ecdysozoan Body Plans - What a scientist sounds like.

Drawn by, Danielle Dufault

Before moving beyond the Edicarian and Cambrian Periods I want to finish with this wonderful talk by an enthusiastic paleontologist, Dr. Martin Smith’s.  He’s done some incredibly work detailing an accurate anatomy of that most exotic of poster species Hallucigenia, among others.  

His guileless enthusiasm for the fascinating details his work has helped uncover is a treat to behold.  Just as interesting is his descriptions of the debates and questions that scientists wrestle with as they strive to arrive at conclusions and work towards a general consensus, or keep on searching.  Below the fold I include screenshots and further information regarding Dr. Smith's work.
The origins of Ecdysozoan body plans

Palaeo cast  -  May 19, 2017

By Dr. Martin Smith, Durham University - talk given at University of Bristol

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Keith Peterson - Cambrian - Molecular Clock - What a scientist sounds like.

Professor Kevin J.Peterson gives a fun informal lecture at MDI Biological Laboratory's Science Cafe'.  Besides giving a good overview of the state of our understanding of Ediacaran/Cambrian's radiation event, I like it because of the way he acknowledges the provisional nature of our understanding and the importance of the arguments over the evidence that keep science moving forward.  He underscores how we learn from honestly evaluating our mistakes as much as our successes.  Below the fold I include key screen shots plus information from papers mentioned in this talk.  (For why I'm putting together this collection, please see this.)

MDIBL Science Café - Cambrian Explosion: Animals or Fossils?  Professor Kevin Peterson
MDI Biological Laboratory  -  August 21, 2013

Monday, September 23, 2019

Diego Garcia-Bellido - Animal Dawn - What a scientist sounds like.

Not much to add here, Dr. Garcia-Bellido Senior Researcher of Palaeontology at the South Australian Museum and Associate Professor at the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Adelaide in Australian does a very nice information filled review of what we know regarding the transition from Ediacara Biota to the Cambrian, which set the stage for the further evolutionary revolutions to follow in short order.  Below the fold I post screen shots of key slides to entice and highlight key points.  (If you're wondering why I'm posting these videos see this)

Animal Dawn - Research Tuesday - Garcia-Bellido  Presentation

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Jackson Wheat - Cambrian "Explosion" - What a science communicator sounds like

Past couple years I've noticed and watched a number of Jackson Wheat's videos and have consistently been impressed.  Now it turns out that he's provided the best introduction to the Cambrian Period for my purposes.  

He overcame my preference for highlighting genuine scientists in this series because he does such a nice job of confronting the ID challenge up front.  I didn't find much bio except that he looks to be a surprisingly young guy.  The man holds a lot of promise, I wish him well.  He also shows us what descriptions should look like, loaded with reference to sources.   Below the fold I share a series of key screen shots, followed by Wheat's detailed list of sources with links.

If I had more time, I'd love to do a little more commentary on his content since the two videos certainly have plenty worth discussing, but other matters are crowding me and I need to keep this going.  He does toss in a short loud introduction loop, but after that it's smooth sailing as Jackson succinctly summarizes the Cambrian "Explosion" - enjoy.

Jackson Wheat - Cambrian #1 - July 5, 2019