Saturday, December 7, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part two

Since my introduction was so long I posted it separately.

FourCornersFreePress, December 2019

In the first half of this look at Earth’s 4.6 billion year old pageant of Evolution, scaled down to 24 hours, Earth’s first enduring Life took about 4 hours to claw together an existence within very tiny, very simple, very protective sacks, against an extremely harsh environment.

After that, Evolution progressed very slowly.  Why?  Because Earth’s hostile environment provided limited means, this stifled further development.  Which brings us to a key early scientific breakthrough in perspective, namely that an organism cannot be understood without also understanding the environment it lives within.

Introduction to Cc's Pageant of Evolution project.

They say a true test of how well you've learned about something is how well you can explain it to others and in its essence this months long Pageant of Earth’s Evolution project has been that sort of a self-evaluation for me.  Both to see how well I understand it and to see if I could convey the story in a way that might resonate with regular people.  

Why is that important to me?  Because I believe clearly appreciating Earth and her story is one of human society’s greatest failures - and greatest challenge for enabling any sort of future functional human society, since our avarice has pretty well condemned this globally connected modern society we depend on.  

I keep struggling with; How could intelligent people allow such self-destructive disregard to the need of the life support system that sustains your society?  I mean seriously, never accepting that our long term economy depends on a healthy biosphere no matter how much we’ve learned about it?  

Proudly proclaiming that endless growth was our economic priority and that Greed was Good and Too Much Was Never Enough.  From my perspective it’s always been nothing less than sociopathic self-interest and faith-induced-blindness.  Along with being absolutely self-destructive.  As those who dare to open their eye and minds can see when surveying the growing carnage covering our planet.  But I digress.

Friday, December 6, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part one

A nice thing about having my own blog is that I get to do what I want and since I've finally completed the big project I assigned myself this past summer - I'm going to repost the first half of my Pageant of Evolution in 24 hours before sharing the finale in the next post.  


In last month’s celebration of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution I touched on the interplay of tectonics, geochemistry and archaic life. The intimate love-making of Earth's geology and biology - to put it poetically rather than scientifically. 

Getting back to the science, scientists have learned about the why and how of various ocean bottom structures that provide the catalyst between geochemistry and biochemistry, by helping bind basic molecules into complex organic building blocks of life.

This month to convey the immensity of Deep Time I’m scaling down Earth’s 4.6 billion years to 24 hours. A billion years take 5 hours plus change, 3.2 million years tick by every minute. Our human story fits into Earth’s past 4-5 seconds. Imagine that. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Diary, 11/22/19 - November 22, 1963

November 22, 1963, I don't imagine too many are thinking about that day John F. Kennedy was murdered (under circumstances still not fully known) in these days of American's Constitutional Crisis of the first order.  But, I do.  It's as though in some ways the die was set that day, liberals, humanists, children of the enlightenment would never really recover and the dark forces of Oil Money, Corporate Greed and War Profiteers simply got stronger and stronger as we partied.  Then we elected a nasty business shyster and reality TV show host into our White House.  

Now here I sit with my computer about to shut down and the power cord hundreds of miles away, though I had more I'd of liked sharing, guess I'll cut it short.

There are these personal thoughts I shared 6 years ago:
Fifty (six) years and still mourning our loss.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

The impeachment hearings have shoved Evolution musings off to the side, besides I finished the second half to my satisfaction just took an extra few weeks.  And, I still intend to share a bunch of related links, when I can.

But, right now we Americans need to face what's happening on the national political stage, this fight is for keeps.  
I'd hoped to get caught up on posting the hearings today, but for that missing power cord.  Stay tuned  ;-)

Sunday, November 10, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evo part two... TAKE ONE

I've got this lit it up like a Christmas tree with hotlinks to a variety of relevant articles, videos and such.  All of it accessible to any interested person without much previous understanding, while offering some great information to the initiated as well. For a look at part one link here.
I'm happy to report I regrouped and revisited the challenge and after some more work, I  finished a version that I'm satisfied with and that comes in <1,000 words.  I'll be posting it early December
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the first part of this look at Earth’s 4.6 billion year old pageant of Evolution, scaled down to 24 hours, Earth’s first enduring Life took 4 hours to claw together an existence within very tiny, very simple, very protective sacks, against an extremely hostile environment.  

It took another 17 hours worth of Earth’s geology and biology combining forces to process and tame Earth’s raw materials to the point that descendants of those simple cells, which had been evolving new skills all along, had an environment with the proper conditions (ocean, atmosphere, chemistry, nutrients, climatic conditions, tectonics), to enable spectacular expansion and innovations.


Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Diary, 11/5/19 - Small Victories, USA's newest Library District

I'll keep this short.  We had two local rural libraries facing closure because of shrinking County financial support, so local citizens took the matter in hand.  Long story short, we gained 400 signatures to qualify for a special tax district ballot measure #6D.  The County Clerk has now declared it a victory.  Truth be told the victory margin of 4% is rather disappointing, but not near as disappointing as losing, so I'll take it.
Long live Fort Lewis Mesa Library and Sunnyside Library and the Southwest LaPlata Library District, the nation's youngest, that will operate them.  Now we simply need to do better job of engaging and winning over our entire rural community.


Monday, November 4, 2019

Pageant of Earth's Evolution (in 24hr) part one



In last month’s celebration of Earth’s Pageant of Evolution I touched on the interplay of tectonics, geochemistry and archaic life. The intimate love-making of Earth's geology and biology - to put it poetically rather than scientifically. 

Getting back to the science, scientists have learned about the why and how of various ocean bottom structures that provide the catalyst between geochemistry and biochemistry, by helping bind basic molecules into complex organic building blocks of life.

This month to convey the immensity of Deep Time I’m scaling down Earth’s 4.6 billion years to 24 hours. A billion years take 5 hours plus change, 3.2 million years tick by every minute. Our human story fits into Earth’s past 4-5 seconds. Imagine that. 


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.