Oct 31, 2007 - Evolutionary Definition of Species

The question of what is a species has no good answer. The difficulty is that there are several definitions for species. This is generally acknowledged as a problem. There is disagreement on how organisms should be classified. In many cases it is because it is not obvious to all biologists what distinguishing factor should be used for classification.

Humans are driven to organize and classify their world. Darwinian evolutionists are driven to find cases of speciation consistent with and supporting their world view. And scientists are personally driven to carve out their own piece of the world. The result is that species divisions can become extremely fine-grained. I also think that the divisions become silly.

To illustrate this, I will apply these species definitions to humans. All humans are currently classified in one species, Homo sapiens. However, by applying common species differentiation methods, it appears there should be many species of humans!

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Oct 30, 2007 - Limits of Science

A recent article spawned a discussion of science and how it finds or falsifies truth. This one posting was quite good as it talked about limits of the scientific process.


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Oct 29, 2007 - What is Evolution? What is Love?

The English word "love" is an entity with multiple meanings. Under its big umbrella, it includes a continuum of meanings from sexual desire, to friendship, to altruistic care. The interesting part is that it is possible for the whole range to exist simultaneously in a relationship. However, only parts of its meanings may be true in some other relationship. For example, the newlyweds love each other, he loves his buddies, she loves her baby; same word, not the same meaning.

As humans, we may make use of this defect in the word, as for example in this conversation: "Do you love me?", "Yes, I do." If that is all that was said, then each person probably chose their own meaning. And the same thing happens with the word "evolution".

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Oct 28, 2007 - Andrew's Soccer Game

Andrew is on a recreational soccer league team. At his age level, most of the games are on Sunday morning. I really do not like that aspect of the scheduling because we miss most of his games due to our prior commitments. However, he had one game on a Sunday afternoon that we were able to go to.

20071028_AndrewSoccer0 I was able to get some good action shots.

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Oct 25, 2007 - Convincing Nay-sayers of Evolution?

A guy on the internet by the name of Rob has written a piece suggesting a means of convincing people of the veracity of Darwinian evolution (evolution as the explanation for the origin of species). He used the illustration of three modern systems that function surprisingly well. He thought they each had similarity in operation to Darwinian evolution. The mechanism for the success of these systems has been hard for people to grasp. Likewise he thought that because people have found the mechanism of Darwinian evolution hard to understand, maybe that was why they rejected it. Therefore these systems might be used as teaching cases to convince people toward Darwin.


The first system is Wikipedia. Wikipedia is somewhat controversial because many people find it hard to trust as a source of authoritative information. Since anybody on the internet can change its contents, how could it be reliable? And yet at least one study showed it to have accuracy similar to Encyclopedia Britannica.

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Oct 20, 2007 - Fall Colors

This year the colors of fall have been spectacular. The Pacific Northwest is blessed with year-round greens. But this year the reds have been outstanding.

20071020_FallColors0 A fantastic maple near our house.

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Oct 06, 2007 - Melanie's Birthday Dinner

Melanie's birthday was on Thursday, but we had a school function for the kids on that day. So we had her birthday dinner tonight.

20071006_MelsBirthday0 We had all our available family. However, Alan was out because he was in school in New York, and Andrew was out because he had to work.

The meal was delicious. It was one of the best roasts ever.

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Sep 27, 2007 - Three Fingers 2007

My hiking buddy Rex and I hiked Three Fingers again. The weather was very uncertain, so we decided on the exact date only a day ahead of time.

Three Fingers is a brutal 7.5 mile hike each way with a mile of elevation gain. There is a price to pay in your body, but the views are incredible, and you can stay in a cabin at the destination.

20070927_ThreeFingers0 We started out early. As we took the turn-off to the trail-head, we saw the moon going down.

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Sep 22, 2007 - Introducing Andrew

Andrew is in a video editing class at school. The first project is a personal introduction. There are required aspects: certain types of content and shot angles. This is the result - very Andrew and very funny!

Andrew Intro Movie

The video is just under 6MB, so it may take a while to open.

Sep 10, 2007 - This Past Week

This past week has had a number of events:

20070910_TheWeek0 I have been trying to sell our boat, so I got it all cleaned up.

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Sep 03, 2007 - The year of the Berries

This has been the best year in my memory for wild berries. And today I must have eaten a pound of huckleberries and blackberries!

I explored two parks that I never before had visited. I walked their trails, took in their sights and ate their berries. Both parks are in forested valleys. The main trails in Terrace Creek Park were gently sloped and sometimes paved. Yost Park is quite steep in places. It's trails were nicely maintained with bark or other surfacing.

Logging was once a primary industry in the Pacific Northwest. Many of these old-growth evergreen trees had become huge. Loggers characteristically cut them off above the place where the trunk widened into the roots. Since they decompose slowly, these stumps from trees logged even a century ago are still commonplace. And huckleberries love to grow out of old stumps.

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Aug 30, 2007 - Hiking Mt. Pilchuck

We decided to hike Mt. Pilchuck. It is east of Everett, easy to get to, and has fantastic 360 views. Agnes and her friends came with us.

The trailhead is at the parking lot of what used to be a ski area at 3100 ft. elevation. It helps to start so high, since the hike ends at an old fire lookout at 5324 ft., but it is still a challenging climb.

20070830_MtPilchuck0 It starts out quite wide and stays rocky to the top.

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Aug 27, 2007 - Agnes' Visit

Our good friend Agnes was in town for a visit. She is from Germany, and she brought three friends from there along with her. When she showed up at church, we quickly arranged to have them over for dinner the next day.

20070827_AgnesVisit0 Agnes and friends arrived in cowboy style. They had met a real Texas cowboy who had advised them on choice of good hats.

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Aug 26, 2007 - A Walk in the Woods

There is a woods right near our place. Years ago, people used to ride Jeeps and dirt bikes in it. Eventually fences were put up to keep out the machines and litter. However, access was left for walkers and the trails are well-used.

Lindsey had just gotten a new camera and wanted something different to take pictures of. There is a very old car in the woods covered in moss. So Lindsey, Jessica & I went to see it.

20070826_WalkWoods0 Jessi & I at the entrance to the woods.

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Aug 24, 2007 - Busy last week

This has been the last week of summer that Alan was here. A lot has happened.

20070824_BusyLastWeek0 Dan, the son of some good friends and his fiance Kim, were here. They will be moving to this area from NY after their wedding and were scouting apartments.

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Aug 18, 2007 - Story about my Dad

I added a story that a friend wrote about my Dad.

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