Tag: biology

October 17 2010

The problem with the anti-homosexuality perspective is the belief that it is a choice. This leads people into the (very natural-but-misguided) assumption that it is therefore abnormal. The truth, however, is just the opposite. Anyone with enough intellectual integrity can take the time to look into it and realize the truth. Homosexuality occurs in virtually all mammalian species in a very predictable manner. Don’t believe me? That’s fine. It’s still the truth. Look it up. There are a million biology books written by hundreds of thousands of observational scientists that have proven this. Don’t believe the evil scientists? Then go do your own research. Don’t hate people for something you are too lazy to understand.

There’s a huge difference between subjective and objective. Opinions and beliefs are subjective; facts and statistics are objective. The belief that Justin Bieber is a musical genius is subjective; the fact that he is a highly-marketed adolescent is objective. We cannot be held responsible for our opinions because we do not choose what we will believe, but our opinions don’t change things that are simple fact. So, if someone believes that homosexuality is abnormal, they are completely entitled to that opinion or belief. But the fact that homosexuality is not abnormal just means they’re just misinformed. And if they want to stick beside that belief even in the face of evidence, it just means they’re a bigot.

And bigotry has no place in this world anymore.

November 13 2009

A: Organisms are giant machines, and they require a lot of energy. All day, every day, most organisms spend their time concerned with the consumption and excretion of biological material. And since they constantly reproduce, they are introducing more of these consumers into the environment.

Birth brings about mutations, which brings about change and leads us down the path of evolution. Without birth, nothing would evolve. And without death, we would completely engulf the planet in just a few generations.

And so, the meaning of death is to bring balance to the ecosystem by ensuring that future organisms have a chance to evolve.

November 11 2009

Q: How does evolution explain why men tend to outperform women in mathematics and spatial reasoning?

A: Our species has a long biological heritage of men going out to do the hunting while the women stay at the camp to do the gathering. The men that tended to get lost because of their terrible spatial skills were the ones that tended to go hungry, so the men that were more likely to know their way around were more likely to feed and then breed. Over the generations, this tendency has made males slightly more prone to better spatial reasoning.

There are many factors that led to this, but males tend to be more logical while females tend to be more analytical. This is true, but it is far from being the rule. The important word is “tend” in this situation. Males are neither smarter nor more logical than females. Just take a long look at the most vocal sports fans. And females are neither dumber nor less logical than males. Just take a long look at the list of female scientists/physicists/mathematicians of the world.

While it’s easy to overgeneralize based on minute differences, it is the height of foolish to assume that men are naturally pre-disposed towards mathematics and reason. Males tend to be taller and stronger, but that is quickly reaching the point where it’s completely irrelevant. In an enlightened civilization such as ours, it’s increasingly hard for people to play the gender card, especially since it’s just a card trick anyway.

October 27 2009

Q: Why has evolution programmed us to believe we have immortal souls?

A: Because (in a sense) we do have immortal souls: our DNA. Every strand of DNA in every living cell of every organism is a genetic history lesson. We share our respiratory, circulatory, digestive, system as trillions of other animals, and we are related to all of them. Our billions of human ancestors lived, learned, died, and passed on their knowledge to us. Long before we had speech or writing, we inherited the instincts of our parents. Those that didn’t listen to those instincts tended to die off, so natural selection favored those that listened.

Those instincts, those primal feelings that everyone feels (even if their logical side seems to think otherwise), are just the shadows of our forgotten ancestors. Their “souls” live on as our instincts, nudging us in certain directions. What some people call “common sense” I like to call “common consciousness” because we all experience it and it doesn’t always make sense. Sometimes our instincts are useful, like defending ourselves from attack. Sometimes they are harmful, like letting religions or politicians exploit our fears. But for the most part they have proven to be highly successful in keeping us alive long enough to pass those instincts onto the next generation.

Though the idea of immortality is a bit exaggerated (because all things must come to an end), we *are* part of an unbroken chain that stretches back almost to the origin of the Earth, 4.6 billion years ago. And considering most humans don’t live beyond 80 years, 4.6 billion years is (practically speaking) eternity.

October 21 2009

Q: Can someone tell me why men and women eat differently?

A: Though we are the same species, our differences in gender play a huge role in how our bodies use energy. Males tend to be larger and do more physical labor, so they tend to need more energy. Females tend to be smaller, and since they carry children their diets need to be more nutritious. Because of these biological roles, our eating habits tend to vary greatly.

However, the term “tend” is an important one because not ever male is large, not every male does labor, not every female is small, and not every female gives birth. So, really, there are as many reasons why our diets are different as there are people on the planet. But understanding the biological role of consumption is a good place to start.

October 18 2009

Q: Spiritually speaking about midichlorian evolution…?
If midichlorians are symbiotic flora that communicate with the Force, and is present in Jedi who have emerged from genetically unrelated races that evolved from different planets across the galaxy far far away, where did midichlorians come from? How can the same genetic material evolve on multiple planets simultaneously? Could they have been spread by biological vector through interspecies relations during the Old Republic?

A: It’s very likely that there once existed a race of beings that planted the seed of biology on planets all over the universe, much like the Scientologists believe. Natural, normal biological evolution shows almost zero chance of spreading to that many places and being that successful without the intention and care of intelligent beings.

I used to like the idea that Lucas introduced a whole new generation to the idea of mitochondrial evolution, but his half-arsed analogy may be more harmful because it closely (but not accurately) described something that people really should know more about.

October 18 2009

Q: Why is rest important?

A: Our bodies are gigantic biological machines. We are warm blooded because there are tiny “explosions” happening at the molecular level all day, every day. Our cells take in nutrients, break them apart, and use the energy that is released. We require large amounts of energy to keep our blood flowing, our lungs pumping, and our brain working. And since our brain never ever ever ever stops working, it consumes a ton of energy. Though it isn’t a muscle, it gets fatigued just like a muscle. Resting is just the body’s (and the mind’s) way of allowing those cells to relax and regenerate so we can do it all over again the next day.

October 18 2009

Q: If man is more than just an animal how come the Alpha male syndrome is so prominent in our society?
Females also display this syndrome as well.

A: We’re not more than animals, and anyone who thinks that is deluding themselves. Need proof? Rape, murder, war, assault, abuse, etc. If we were better than animals we wouldn’t engage in any of that crap, but we do…so we’re not.

Alpha male syndrome (as you call it) is part of every mammal’s biological heritage and can’t be cured. It’s something we just have to learn to live with and control.

October 9 2009

Q: Why do people follow the bible so fanatically?
The bible’s influence on the majority of the population is on par with Hitler’s influence on his own people. If you force lies in a person’s face over and over again, eventually the truth will be perceived as a lie. This has been used before with great results.I’m not saying the bible is all lies; rather that people will choose to look at a book written by fellow MEN, men who were just as likely to lie as we are today, possibly more so, and regard it as the word of god and the ultimate truth. This is not a question, it is more along the lines of a topic of discussion.

A: We have a long biological heritage of following the pack, of being part of a hierarchy, and of following the lead of an alpha male. It has served our species and our ancestors for millions of years to fall into these neatly-organized categories. Consequently, the tendency has been bred into us. That’s why we elect a supreme leader in a democracy (a complete contradiction that no one seems to mind).

Since the evolution of our species is still going on, we have some people who cling to old ideas of hierarchy even though our intellect is reaching the point where we don’t have to wait for someone to tell us what to believe. And so we end up with a certain section of the population that is growing more aware of the realities while the rest (the majority) are stuck in the ancient tendency to feel rather than think.