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About Darwinsbulldog

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  • College Major/Degree
    B.A. (West Aust) Env Science, (Murdoch)
  • Favorite Area of Science
    Evolutionary theory
  1. Whatever rocks your boat. Believe or not believe. And yet you are making claims about nature....that natural beauty and order etc are not due to natural processes, but supernatural ones. Also, absolute proof or disproof in science is probably impossible. [To make an absolute claim, you would have to have absolute knowledge. ] But i think you are pulling my leg! And the beauty thing? yes there is beauty, but also ugliness in nature. If there are god, they are probably cunts. A "benevolent god" certainly dreamed up this monster:- http://www.suite101.com/content/isopod-parasite-eats
  2. Unfortunatly I don't have access to that Pennisi paper.
  3. Some parts of the human [and of course other organism] genomes possess endogenous endoviruses...genes sequences very similar to retroviruses in the wild. It might help to check out a paper like this one:-
  4. Words in science have specific meanings which may bear little or no relation to the vernacular. An obvious example of this is pre-adaptation. [s.J.Gould suggested exaptation instead]. Obviously, pre-adaptation has a specific meaning within evolutionary theory, meaning that a gene, trait, organ that evolved for one purpose gets co-opted for a new one. An example is bird feathers. Bird feathers could have originally been used for thermo-regulation or display [and both used today for those roles too], but are also used for flying. Physical DNA is not important, it is the information content wh
  5. Yes and no. I have seen wiki articles range from the bloody excellent to the pathetic. It is good for a quick reference to get you started, think up keywords for literature searches, and glance at the references listed by the article. But there is no substitute to going to the primary sources and doing your own research.
  6. IMHO, science confines itself to to asking falsifiable questions and determining the answers [which are always tentative] by a differential diagnosis of the evidence for and against an idea. A natural selection of sorts, where the "fittest idea" has the most evidence to back it up, and little or ideally no evidence which contradicts it. [if such contrary evidence does come to light, the theory is thrown out or modified according to the severity of the anomaly. As others have said, to some extent science is natural philosophy, but only in the limited sense I have outlined above. Phil
  7. Mayden (1997) lists about 22 concepts & definitions of species, as I recall: The biological species concept, the ecological species concept, the cladistic, the phylogenetic, the evolutionary, the morphological and so on. Mome of this invalidates the reality of species. With lots of modes of reproduction [asexual, sexual, budding, fission, LGT, etc] and inheritance, it is not surprising the life does not fit perfectly well into little boxes. Generally, the BSC is fine for most things except obligate asexuals. Mayden, R. L. (1997). A hierarchy of species concepts: The denouement in the
  8. True, chemists and engineers are the worst. Mathematicians that I know of also. And the odd physicist. Even one creationist cretin is one too many if they have been awarded a PhD in any science. I am going on anecdotal and personal information, and on encounters on forums like RDF and Rational Skeptics.
  9. I agree. Except I was not just talking about human life, but all life. More physicists and mathematicians seem to subscribe to creationism. Biologists seldom do, at least not the good ones. There is Michael Behe, of course, but I don't rate him highly.
  10. Males and females have different "interests" [or at least their genes do]. But they are obliged to cooperate because they share a common genetic destiny. That is, they have to cooperate to reproduce. But nevertheless things can go haywire. Like segregation distortion. [Meiotic drive]. So basically, an mutation can act to reduce the fitness of the other sex. If it goes too far, then the species can go extinct. But you were talking about sexual dimorphism. That is usualy caused by male-male competition. [eg Irish Elk or seals] or female choice [peacock's tails]. Interestingly, in mamma
  11. I have two eeePC 's, one is solid state harddrive [flash mem] and the other has a conventional laptop harddrive. I have Linux on both, which I have tuned and turned off demons I don't need. They are fast. I use the solid state one for overseas travel, and I have dual-booted the other with Linux + XP [in case I need it, which is rare].
  12. I don't know about mad, but physicists and mathematicians are the most deluded. They think that life can be reduced to a formula. Biologists are the sanest, even though they use some maths, they are not obsessed with it.
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