Blasphemy! by Starstuff, Contemplating

Blasphemy laws are one of the most egregious and severe forms of religious privilege.  It is the use of state-sponsored violence to attack someone for speaking in ways that religious leaders don’t like.   Yet many countries, including the United States,…

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The Moon Steps Aside to give us the Perseid Meteor Shower! by Starstuff, Contemplating

She thought she could now actually feel the Earth turn–not just imagine it in her head, but really feel it in the pit of her stomach. It was like descending in a fast elevator. She craned her neck back further,…

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Genes Are Like Sentences, Genomes Are Like Books, by Brock Haussamen

Simplified though the comparison is, it’s startling what genetics and written language have in common considering that the second is a recent human invention and the first represents the formation of life almost four billion years ago.

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It’s Diversity All the Way Down, by Brock Haussamen

“The most impressive aspect of the living world is its diversity. No two individuals in sexually reproducing populations are the same, nor are any two populations, species, or higher taxa [categories of organisms]. Wherever one looks in nature, one finds…

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How Our Brains Often Get Things Wrong, by Brock Haussamen

If you’re feeling cynical about people and their errors and foolishness, a place to go to buttress your mood is Wikipedia’s List of Cognitive Biases. It describes more than 150 ways in which our thinking systematically deviates from objective observation and…

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Survivors and the Terminator, by Brock Haussamen

Horseshoe crabs, after half a billion years, still crowd the beach.  (delaware-surf-fishing.com) The story of biological evolution recounts the ways that most plants and animals have changed over time as small bodily variations improved their odds of survival. But what…

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