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  • hardie karges 10:41 pm on February 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Nature keeps a starter culture going, 

    through it all, meteor strikes and polar shifts, wildfires and tectonic rifts. But the spark never goes out. If it did, it might never come back. There are always survivors, hopefully. You’d hate to have to spark flint and steel again to try and start a fire. It’s much easier to keep the stew going no matter how far it deviates from its original course. They say such ancient species as the Komodo dragon harbor species of bacteria that can quickly kill a man if given the opportunity to infect, species that haven’t seen the light of day in millions of years, yet have found a safe haven in the mouths of dragons. Some bacteria can reproduce more than twice an hour; that’s fifty generations a day. The ten thousand generations that it might take a line of primates to re-speciate in isolation from its mates in some two hundred thousand years, a line of bacteria can do in less than a year. This is not a comforting thought to a TB patient facing six to nine months of antibiotic cocktails while the bacillus speed dials DNA combinations trying to unlock the key that’ll immunize itself against four antibiotics, all at once. We do the same, but it takes much longer. We’re sourdough man dipping our wicks in the perpetual stew. Take all you want, but eat all you take.

     
  • hardie karges 8:23 am on February 28, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , sophistication   

    If there were no obsession with the sex act, then evolution might suffer, 

    especially in humans; evolutionary success is reproductive success. Sexual and genital obsession is normal, but most people aren’t honest about it, as if there’s something dirty about it, or simply childish. Humans rule the earth, not necessarily because we’re smarter, but because we fuck like rabbits. We have to compete with bacteria, after all, and their turn-around time for a complete generation is about a half-hour, depending on your deodorant. We can kill them, of course, but they can kill us, too. Does increased intelligence coincide with increased sex drive? Mine does. The hornier I get, the smarter I have to be to drive the point home to some unsuspecting victim, usually my wife. It’s a game. They say some of the people with the highest IQ’s are prostitutes and other so-called sexual degenerates. They say the root word that gave birth to the word ‘sophisticate’ originally referred to prostitutes, the original Greek Sophists I supposedly. The Thai word for such, presumably derived through Sanskrit, ‘sophenee’, would agree with that. Somehow I think it all got confused with the concept of ‘worldliness’. Either you’re impressed or you’re not. That’s probably why Jesus admonished his followers to be as children. Once you think you’ve got it all figured out, then you’re in real trouble spiritually. If you think you’re clever because you’ve figured out that you can make money with your moneymaker, then think again. You’re getting paid to do things others won’t stoop to, things others won’t take lying down, things others won’t sit still for. It has little to do with IQ. There were already a lot of pragmatists on the streets these days; now there are sophisticates, too.

     
  • hardie karges 7:49 am on February 25, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Natural evolution will occur until it produces something intelligent 

    and self-conscious enough to do better, which in itself is natural enough I suppose. Artificial breeding dates back to the early days of food production, and was an inspiration to Darwin himself. On a more human level, random breeding has long been frowned upon, and though one is probably not thinking specifically about the same type of reproductive success when he chooses a mate that a molecular biologist is thinking about, one is, nevertheless, making a choice. And though I might not specifically have it in mind, when I play out my fantasy for an exotic foreign mate, I am promoting gene flow and hybrid vigor, thank you. Still I can’t help thinking that there might be a creative principle to evolution. Directionality has certainly not been ruled out. When my wife Tang started taking her antibiotic cocktails to overwhelm the TB virus which might develop a resistance to one, but not likely all four antibiotics, like a good little Darwinist I assumed that its long life-span must give it enough time to randomly mutate a resistant offspring, which would then thrive. Not so, according to a prominent source. It can produce an enzyme that specifically counteracts the effects of an antibiotic, but not likely four, the genetics behind this being a total mystery. Perhaps it’s just rolling the dice, playing the slots, spinning out new combinations of DNA to see if one works? If ultraviolet light, x-rays, drugs, etc. can easily produce mutations, similar natural phenomena certainly might, though not necessarily in a beneficial way. Given that the DNA in every cell in an organism is exactly the same, more needs to be known about its ability to ‘turn on’ in certain circumstances to account for different functions by different organs. God does not play dice with the universe; he plays DNA.

     
  • hardie karges 8:36 am on February 24, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: equality,   

    Equality is a fairly useless concept and elusive goal. 

    It doesn’t exist, nor is there any particular reason why it should. Equality in the chain of evolution is the end of evolution, as Darwin himself reluctantly admitted when it was pointed out to him. Blending of genes would blend down to sameness. Genes are not blended; they’re assorted, one or the other, digital, not a mixture of the two traits involved and selected. Mendel already knew the details long before there was even a theory to which it applied, like Reimann’s mathematics lying there in wait for a genius like Einstein to realize what it was good for, then buy it cheap wholesale and parcel it out piecemeal incorporated into cutting-edge physics. Equality in society and culture is no different. Ask the Soviets. When equality is enforced, evolution stops, and equality occurs on a level of poverty and dissipation for all. The issue of equal rights is the bone of contention and the bone we all fight over, a simple syllogism expanded from home to homeland, equal bathroom rights for all. Equality of rights and privileges in fact allows for differentials of accomplishment. Otherwise, forced social results demand unequal rights for their achievement, as in ‘affirmative action’ for racial desegregation in the US. It’s a thankless task.

     
  • hardie karges 9:16 pm on February 14, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    DNA is your bar code, your chip, your genus, your species, 

    your individuality, your history, your book, your genetic fingerprint all on a tiny chip embedded in every cell of your body. This is better than conspiracy, Nostradamus, and Revelations all put together. Birth is like scanning your goods through the supermarket checkout counter. Every act of sex is like inserting your ATM card and making a deposit. Death means turning in your coded key card at the hotel checkout desk, then waiting for the final reckoning. Only then do you find out about the tourist tax every state levies on the casual traveler. Every drool of spit is a blueprint to your physicality, if not your personality, complete with working title and nervous twitches, sexual preference: studs or bitches? You only get to fill in the blanks of a form getting longer with time, shorter on space. Junk DNA litters the passageways like dead ends in Istanbul, words that once had meaning until the entire context changed. Still the mud sticks to your shoes leaving a trail for the detectives to follow. Art imitates life, but poorly. You could never dream something like this up.

     
  • hardie karges 8:57 am on February 13, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The human body is a temple by design, 

    halfway between heaven and earth. Thais try to help this process along by allocating extremely tall pointed hats to children as if they were antennas to keep them in touch with the man upstairs. Drug use is about returning to the world of light speed from which we came, to which we belong. It takes a certain escape velocity to break loose from Earth orbit. These efforts are misguided and doomed to failure, of course, but still not reprehensible. We all carry memories of that other world of time with us here in this world of space. They call drug use ‘getting spaced out’ but it might really be more like getting ‘timed out’, if users are really accessing that other world. If I want to get spaced out, I’ll hop on a jet. We’ve got all the space in the world here. We just don’t have much time. If there is a ghost or spirit world, then it might be just the opposite. They might have all the time in the world, but no space. The perfect world would have both. You just have to make the best of these fistulas and slow spots that comprise life as we know it.

     
  • hardie karges 10:09 am on February 12, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Cultural drift, like genetic drift, takes humans in directions never intended 

    by a simple butterfly effect of a simple random action having untold, but manifold, effects. But here the notion of causality has meaning. That’s what humans do, causing things to happen for specific effects. One of the more interesting things going on in the scientific world is the use of microbiologic techniques in linguistics, that is, documenting and comparing mutations to uncover past history. A more interesting tack, as if anything could truly be more interesting then language acting like DNA, would be to determine if language could possibly have any effect on genetic evolution, possibly as the ‘transfer particle’ between DNA and memory. Such an approach would assume that there is some sort of Chomskyian quantum ‘mentalese’ eidetic language that exists in all organisms regardless of their ability to formalize such, and that higher relativistic Sapir-Whorfian cultural functions may come into play later. The problem is the vast amount of time involved to show any effect in genetic evolution, regardless of how fast culture now evolves. If it could be shown that human DNA evolves faster than that of other species, or even faster than it used to, that would be a starting point from which to begin to try to isolate the causes of such a differential, whether it be drugs, diet, or the Holy Grail itself, language.

     
  • hardie karges 10:12 am on February 11, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Errors in reproduction create new races and species 

    for lack of a better plan, or so the Darwinian explication would have us believe. I’m not so sure. ‘Inheritance of acquired characteristics’ may be making a comeback. A respectable modern biologist speaks of ‘natural selection of habits’ somehow related to memory. Whoa! What are the transfer particles? What carries memory from one generation to the next? Vague references to ‘instinct’ don’t cut it. Does DNA do more than code for proteins? The path in biological, as well as linguistic, evolution is toward smaller multi-purpose units. As the Earth fills up, its inhabitants grow smaller, though smarter, at least until now. Smaller units tend to be more adaptable. Language mutates and evolves faster than DNA, at least in humans. Language reproduces like bacteria. It can evolve at such a rate that some day soon generations may not be able to communicate with each other, as almost happened in the 60’s. Of course it evolves whether there is any ‘reason’ or not. ‘Reason’ is only an anthropomorphism of evolution. In reality, there may be rhyme, but certainly no reason, at least not in Darwinian evolution. The ‘natural selection of habits’ is an interesting proposition, with the implication that somehow habits get memorized genetically and become instinct. But this would require resurrecting Lamarck and going through that entire dialog and dialectic again. Neither position can offer any firm proof, only anecdotal evidence of cause and effect. The Lamarckian position is the more common-sense one while Darwin appears more scientific, at least on the surface. More important, perhaps, is that Darwinism is more materialistic and Lamarckism more idealistic, literally, ‘wishful thinking’ to its detractors. Still, to my knowledge, no product of evolution has ever been specifically linked to any given mutation, much less proven that such mutation would yield that effect again. Scientists don’t believe their own doctrine, still using the language of causality for supposedly random mutations, and still searching the heavens for our long lost relatives without a shred of evidence that such a thing would happen, even if it could.

     
  • hardie karges 7:31 am on February 10, 2009 Permalink | Reply  

    Given enough time, anything can, and will, happen. 

    Much of what is credited to the spooky actions of ‘natural selection’ are nothing more than a pathetic boring law of averages playing itself out over time and across space. The act of choice is nothing more than victory in the competition to reproduce fastest. Adaptation is the convergence, accidental or otherwise, of skill and opportunity. No beaver ever asked for a big-ass tail, but it works well for paddling water. No owl ever asked for night-vision goggles, but it works well for such. The science of evolution is simply a roll call of those left standing.

     
  • hardie karges 5:49 am on February 7, 2009 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , LaMarck   

    Lamarckian ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’ 

    was dropped by the scientific community because it has never been experimentally verified. Has natural selection ever been experimentally verified? Has it ever even been proved that a specific random genetic mutation can lead to a specific beneficial biological advantage or even a specific trait? If a genetic mutation is admittedly neutral at the local level, then how does it become transformed into a biological advantage at the species level? Presumably the law of large numbers comes into play, and we assume that given enough time, these things just happen. Since no particular instance can be proven over such a large span of time, we simply invoke the most convenient logic, or in this case, the most scientific logic. Though ‘inheritance of acquired characteristics’ was dropped from the biologists’ lexicon, it’s never been dropped from the popular imagination. It would seem to be the ‘wishful thinking’ option, however, rendering it less scientific than the Darwinist rap. Still scientists talk about a species ‘adapting’ anagenetically, though this requires no mutation. Still human brains keep expanding in size with no apparent change in the DNA sequence, frequently invoking life’s challenges as explanation. Still we keep scanning the stars for radio signals, as if the exact same random genetic sequence might accidentally occur again. Certainly natural selection is not wrong, because it’s a tautology: those that survived were certainly the fittest. An impeccable scientific theory must be useful in making predictions, also, however. Just because it’s not wrong doesn’t mean that it’s right, nor does it mean that Lamarckism is wrong.

     
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