Stranger In An Even Stranger Land - blog by Gurdur


A blog of random jottings on events, science, renfairs, travel, reading, music, humanism, religion, atheism, and even the odd spot of gardening.


Talking about evolution

Posted 10-Apr-2015 at 01:09 AM (01:09) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Evolution happens, but it's not a simple thing at all, and it's often burdened with projection and myths by people with agendas. Evolution only really gets interesting once we talk about complex things; and those things are the hardest to explain, of course. One of the most comon agendas driving myths about evolution is based on the myth that simple answers can be given off-the-cuff to complex questions, which is of course wrong. One book that really helped me begin understanding evolution is a...
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Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Understanding life through the Strandbeest art of Theo Jansen

Posted 11-May-2014 at 07:28 PM (19:28) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 21-Dec-2014 at 03:38 PM (15:38) by Gurdur (fixed typos)

On Saturday May the 3rd, I drove up to the Hague. It was easier than I had thought; it only took three hours. I was enormously lucky to catch the last day of an exhibition of the Strandbeest art of Theo Jansen in the Electriciteitsfabriek in the Hague (Den Haag), in the Netherlands. The building is a former power-station - its name in Dutch translates to "Electricity factory". The building is huge; it was very suited to the exhibition, done up there as a mock dig for fossils, with several of his...
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Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 10/11 April 2011

Posted 12-Apr-2011 at 04:15 PM (16:15) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Apr-2011 at 09:12 AM (09:12) by Gurdur

As ever, the best around the web that I find. Late (this should have appeared last night), but hey, by now I guess you expect me to be a trifle late. Better than being premature. You can see my other weekly blogs round-ups here.

Science: I don't know if you remember my blog post a while back about rats in pants, but now they have portable, minaturized PET scanners for pets, whoops, mistake, sorry, I mean PET scanners for lab rats. It's science, Jim.

Science, science...
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Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 03/04 April 2011

Posted 05-Apr-2011 at 02:37 PM (14:37) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 05-Apr-2011 at 03:10 PM (15:10) by Gurdur

Time for another weekly round-up! As ever, what I find around the net on society, science, ethics, religion and atheism. You can easily see a list of all my weekly blogs round-ups on this link here (using the tag "blogs round-up"). Again, as ever, I include as much info as possible, including Twitter handles and so on, so you can see not only the sources but also how to garner info yourself. The below round-up as ever also includes a fair few press reports.

Finding all the worms!...
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Rating: 5 votes, 5.00 average.

Spring is here, and science too! The birds and the bees, and the very discreet orchids!

Posted 23-Mar-2011 at 06:45 PM (18:45) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 23-Mar-2011 at 07:08 PM (19:08) by Gurdur

Spring is here, and in Britain they've seized the chance to wear the usual-suspect inappropriate clothing. It's time for the birds and the bees, and science too! With added underground orchids, all being terribly discreet. I last blogged about my own orchids here, and I noted another blog posting (Shireen Gonzaga on the EarthSky blog) about underground orchids here, but now in the last few days, Jennifer Frazer of the blog The Artful Amoeba has made a really interesting blog post on biology science...
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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 20/21 March 2011

Posted 21-Mar-2011 at 09:24 PM (21:24) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 21-Mar-2011 at 11:30 PM (23:30) by Gurdur

Last week I was too ill to do the weekly blogs round-up, so this one is going to be a bit bigger than usual. As ever, the best around the web on the issues that affect us all, the issues of interest. I have a backlog of a million more links I would like to cite here, but just to make sure I get this damned and damnable thing out on time, I will leave it as it now is and maybe do a follow-up addition in a new blog post.

Science: @BoraZ of the blog A Blog Around The Clock announces...
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Society + Science Weekly blogs round-up - 27/28 February 2011 - science, culture, philosophy, religion, atheism

Posted 28-Feb-2011 at 10:06 PM (22:06) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Feb-2011 at 10:22 PM (22:22) by Gurdur

This is my usual weekly blogs round-up, marked off for Sunday/Monday. I considered how I may not be making clear what the blogs round-up is all about, thinking it would be self-evident, so I am making it more immediately clear: this regular blogs round-up is all about culture, science, mind, history, religion, atheism and philosophy. I am titling it so so as to make that clear. Every week emphasis is random; this particular week, this one is very heavy on the science, with not so much on religion...
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Rating: 2 votes, 5.00 average.

So, just what is this "Religion" thang anyway?

Posted 24-Feb-2011 at 03:19 PM (15:19) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 24-Feb-2011 at 03:39 PM (15:39) by Gurdur

Anyone who has seriously tried getting to grips with defining religion overall, and trying to scientifically describe or deal with it, knows just how difficult -- or downright impossible -- the task is. It has practical outworkings; I am always severely annoyed with simplistic explanations of "religion" from a cod evolutionary-psychology direction, but then over-reaching from the evo psych direction on practically any human activity tends to be often irksomely specious. The "biology of religion"...
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Rating: 4 votes, 5.00 average.

Harry Potter and Hogwarts lose dragon, Dracorex hogwartsia; Terry Pratchett keeps prehistoric turtle, Psephophorus terrypratchetti

Posted 13-Aug-2010 at 03:34 PM (15:34) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 11-Jul-2011 at 01:17 PM (13:17) by Gurdur

In a bit of a low blow to Hogwarts, Harry Potter, and J.K. Rowling, they're all losing their Dragon-King, Dracorex hogwartsia, whose biology Latin name means, "Dragon-King of Hogwarts". This unfortunate event is caused by a team of paleontologists who now believe that Dracorex hogwartsia is only a juvenile of Pachycephalosaurus. The Dracorex hogwartsia (pictures and links below) is a dinosaur with a rather beautifully bizarre set of horn-like projections on the back top of its head.
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Intentions, atheists, intentionality, religion, the problem of evil - an uneasy mix

Posted 04-Feb-2010 at 02:44 AM (02:44) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 30-Mar-2010 at 11:38 AM (11:38) by Gurdur

Humans are a mixture of often-conflicting things. Humans tend to be born neutral, and many stay that way their whole life-times, since it takes real effort to be either markedly good or bad. Add to that that much of the time many are all out to sea with no compass when it comes to talking about what is good and what is bad, and that includes those such as the religious believers who like to talk a lot about evil, yet are totally confused about it.

The problem of evil is a huge problem...
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