If you believe climate change is real, what is the largest change in your daily life that you are willing to make?

Attack the real scope of the problem. Pull more carbon out of the air than we put in in the first place. Don’t worry about stuff a little less carbon into the air, worry about taking it out.

That is a horrendously difficult task – we can do it once we can control fusing hydrogen into helium to produce energy, So to make a *real* difference, invest in programs that are working on that.

Do we all have the same number of genes?

All of the above is actually beside the point. Forming germ cells is high-risk event. You see, normal cell division does its best to make an exact copy of all 46 chromosomes to go into the new cell. But when making a germ cell, there are “no holds barred” because sections of chromosomes fly around and mix. Mother’s chromosome 10 and father’s chromosome 10, just to pick a number, do not waddle politely off to the left or the right. Instead what happens is that they become more like a soup that reassembles into two brand new chromosome 10s. In this way the child gets exactly 50% of each grandparent’s half, or 25% on the nose even when you can’t have 25% of 46.

The process of making germ cells didn’t arise out of some arithmetic sense of fairness. Instead it evolved (guessing here, I’m no scientist) into the freer process of re-stirring the pot in each germ cell. What advantage drove that? One in particular – when there is a ‘bad’ gene, say a recessive that is bad news when both parents contribute that one – but also some novel gene that is better than the standard, and they’re both on the same chromosome, the recessive is only likely to haunt the good one half the time.

ANNND when it’s all over and done with, errors happen. Here’s a very simple example. The inherently dark skin found in African parentage is due to the huge number of genes that produce melanin in the skin. They appear on just about every chromosome. How did they spread like that? Guess – making germ cells lets them show up in more than one place. They evidently shoe-horned themselves into new chromosomes, and the benefit of having more melanin turned out to be a great survival advantage. (The flip side of the coin – many genes are only needed ONCE – when they double up, bad things happen. Life is risky.)

Let one such produce a child with someone from the north, where having any melanin is counter-productive. (Why? because melanin interferes with the skin’s ability to produce vitamin D from sunlight. Northern climates have less sunlight and a far higher demand to cover the skin.) Does the child get white skin or black? It gets half the African parent’s level of melanin. This explains southerners’ careful, scientific understanding of how many white grandparents a child may nave – quadroon says three, for instance. The difference was plain to see – one quarter African, three quarters European. At the same time, parents with both heritages are likely to have odd mixes of melanin levels on each chromosome. In short, their children can receive very different amounts of melanin genes.

Back to the topic! Individual genes tend to stay put. But across a thousand generations, the possibility exists for ‘good’ genes to proliferate, and ‘bad’ genes to fade out, and all because the process of making germ cells is chaotic and (very slightly) error prone.

IN SHORT, ERRORS ARE GOOD. Evolution thrives on mistakes.

Why is natural selection cruel?

IS natural selection cruel?

Life is red in tooth and claw, with predator species and prey species. In successful ecosystems predator and prey keep each other alert and ready.

Every dog, cat, squirrel, and chipmunk will die. Some will manage to die of old age, which isn’t all that kind to endure. Many will die at some point from a predator’s bite. That is very cruel, but usually pretty short.

Define cruelty first, then realize that evolution and ecosystems are built around death. Life without death results in starvation when all available food has been consumed by all the new members of the deathless species. Ewwwwwps!

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Joel Henry Hinrichs
Joel Henry Hinrichs, Contributor at Words with a Mission

Who has never called Trump their president?

Look at the other side of the coin – folks who continue to favor Trump are prone to say things like, “Never say a bad thing about my President.” To me Trump represents a perfect storm of aggrievedness fueling utter self-confidence, non-stop creative fiction, gutter combativeness, and never confessing to any negative at all. He winds up being the epitome of Lincoln’s “You can feel some of the people all of the time.”

What gave him a leg up was the internet’s powerful effect on noise, as in “He who shouts loudest gets heard mostest.” The result is that fringe views flourish. Moderate views just don’t move people to shout. The internet facilitates building ideological camps at the poles not the center.

Where do we see that? Congressmen and Senators used to socialize across party lines. Not just socialize, but form deep friendships. The last time we saw that was when Ruth Bader Ginsburg mourned the loss of her dear friend Antonin Scalia.

The press loves the left more than the right. Too complicated to explain why, it just happened. Example: the New York Times sends out selected news items to just about every newspaper in America, and items it considers “news” wind up on countless front pages. But articles which it values have a strong tendency to praise and explain ideas popular on the left. Right-wing ideas get a lot less exposure, unless it’s negative. Over the span of the last 70 years, come election time the Times has endorsed candidates and platform planks from the left almost exclusively.

The folks on the right began to believe that the left wouldn’t know the truth if they happened to sit down on it. So today, Trump’s guilt is manifest and disgusting, but his soldiers in the House and Senate do a spin dance and declare it a non-issue. And the bit about not knowing the truth if they were sitting on it? In this case the Republicans deny that the Democrats are parading around the public square astride a great white horse of truth .

What’s more, the only trial Tump deems fair is one where the fix is in and his soldiers are running the courtroom. And yes, that hardcore base of permanently pissed-off Republicans delight in looking forward to sticking it to those ugly enemies across the aisle.

Politics ain’t beanbag. True enough. But we’re about to wish it were.

Who were more intelligent, those who once worshiped a multitude of gods, because they knew that everything has a cause, or modern evolutionists, for whom everything happens without cause or reason?

False premise. Evolution simply *is* and the cause or reason for it lies in GOD’s intelligent design of the universe.

13.8 billion years ago GOD said, “Let there be light,” and the Word He spoke (we saw him briefly here on earth as Jesus) proceeded to “make everything that was made, both visible (ten to the 24th power of stars) and invisible (dark matter and dark energy, anyone?)

Not many people realize that the Universe’s blueprints (a.k.a. particle physics) contain a couple of dozen, at least, arbitrary constants. The relative strengths of the strong and weak atomic-level forces, – – I’m not a physicist and don’t even play one on TV, but am aware that the number of different unexplained constants are so finicky that, when you jiggle one a tiny bit and run the model to see what kinds of stars form, They Don’t. Or if they do, they don’t cook hydrogen and helium into the heavier elements.

And so on. Looking into deep space we find matter, mostly those first level gases hydrogen and helium. We also find rudimentary organic compounds. The table of elements is so marvelously set up that the various nucleotides, lipids, etc. that are required for DNA based life are very abundant in the early chemical stew that you find when a rocky planet with lots of water is sorting itself out. Once the surface cools to below the boiling point of water, think of LEGOs then realize that they leap together in DNA-like ways – – just like they were “smart LEGOs.”

GOD set it up so that, even though the complexity of that first cell is enormous beyond our ability to characterize other than “bazillions to one,” the number of stars, hence the number of planets that form around them, and the size of any old earth-like planet, and the hundreds of millions of years stretching out before it, even bazillions surrender. GOD set the Universe up so that life would happen.

The bronze age condensed version of Creation got a few things right, such as Genesis 1 v. 3 (quoted above about let there be light.)

Bottom line, the cause and reason are built into the way things work. Does water flow uphill? NO – downhill. Is that cause or reason? It’s common sense, at least. Does evolution produce less-and-less abled creatures? NO because the ones that are less-abled don’t reproduce. Do better-and-better abled creatures appear? Of course they do. Is that cause or reason?

Not by themselves. But when there is a GOD who set things up with such mind-bending subtlety that His universe fosters life, well, you figure out what that implies about cause.

Modern evolutionists try to avoid the unprovable and unfalsifiable, hence the idea of an underlying Prime Mover and Reason don’t appear in their writings. But sure as shooting, the folks who argue against evolution wind up choosing a sock-puppet version of Creation over the real thing.

What can’t we know about God?

Humans at times experience a sense of love too deep to describe, coming down around them, and wrapping them in “the peace that passes all understanding.” Not all of these, by the way, have been Christians.

GOD caused the universe, is the prime mover of existence. “Intelligent Design” created a universe tailored to too many degrees of precision to count, such that stars form, and stars “cook” up elements through atomic number 26 (iron). Either super-mega-novas or the collisions of neutron stars are responsible for, i.e. produce sufficient energies, to form the rest of the table of elements.

We inhabit a universe of such delicate sophistication yet also such enormous energies and masses. And the table of elements seems pre-set to form the basic amino acids needed for life, and *they* in turn seem to leap together like smart LEGOs.

But when we insist that either GOD’s love should banish all hurts and unhappinesses, that if it were to exist then its Universe would be one in which evil is impossible, it becomes apparent that we don’t have the first tiny clue about what it is that is both LOVE and Justice, both mercy and punishment.

What *can* we know about GOD?

But I can’t wait to enter an eternal life of awed praise.

How much does emotion interfere with the processing of logic?

Without emotion, it turns out that you have a *very* hard time reaching some kinds of conclusion. Example One: A man who suffered an injury to the area of the brain that is the seat of emotion duly lost the ability to “feel” – no more sad, no more happy. He went to the grocery store to buy cookies to feed guests, and spent hours looking at all the varieties. Nothing he saw moved him to spend money.

You can still solve a sudoku or do a crossword puzzle or figure out your taxes. You may still be able to hold a job. The “processing of logic” in the driest sense has nothing to do with emotion. But deciding between alternatives based on feeling, e.g. how the cookie is going to taste, is *tough*.

The other extreme is when emotion bleeds over, and you encounter a logic problem where deep emotion connects to the various possible conclusions. In this case, emotion not only enables a choice that requires feeling, it zeroes in on the choice that reinforces a feeling. Logic can go out the window, even become a servant of emotion directed at constructing a seemingly logical structure which also just happens to support the emotionally satisfying conclusion.

Yes, emotion interferes with the processing of logic. Absolutely. But it’s also a critical part of making far more life choices than you’d suspect.

How likely do you think it is the Democrats may lose one or more seats in the house to the Republican Party before the completion of impeachment trial?

That poor devil (a Democrat who has already stated a plan to switch parties prior to the vote this coming week) is hearing echoes, from his constituency, of the sham bull$#!t arguments raised by the Republicans, to wit:

A) Joe Biden was a rat; therefore
B) It was a public duty to expose him; therefore
C) Persuading Ukraine’s current president to announce the investigation was “perfect.”


A) Joe Biden was carrying water for Obama and all of Western Europe when he threatened Ukraine that he would withhold $1Billion in aide if they didn’t fire their do-nothing corruption investigator. Who was doing nothing. So they fired the SOB. Who, by the way, wasn’t even *supposed* to be investigating Burisma, since Western Europe was already in charge of that.
B) Guess who went parading around with Rudi Giuliani to allege that Joe Biden had him fired for a corrupt reason? Yeah, that same corrupt official.
C) When did Hunter Biden get tapped to serve on Burisma’s board?
c1) Two years later.
c2) At a time when Joe Biden was trying to deal with the death of even more of his family (lost his first wife, and a daughter, in a car crash, thirty-ish years ago.)
c3) So his staff decided not to bother him with what had gone down with Hunter.
c4) So was that a questionable thing? Of course; Burma clearly hadn’t had the full come-to-Jesus experience, and wanted a shield. Which they didn’t need.
D) It turns out Hunter didn’t need to know about carbon-based fuels at all; boards don’t go that far into industrial detail. They answer business questions, and Hunter Biden did Burisma the favor of courting a financial deal, at retail, above board.

So you tell me who the sham artists are? During the hearings last week / earlier this week at least one Republican stated a very clear slander, that Joe Biden got the guy fired who was about ready to chase Hunter Biden off Burisma’s board, then bragged about it.

The decorum of the House requires that charges of outright lying, a.k.a. knowingly uttering deliberate untruth, never be uttered. But I get to. The wee worthy gentleman whose lips were moving spoke a calculated perversion of the actual events, what you and I and most other people would realize wasn’t just a lie, but a damned lie.

Karma is a bitch; the Republicans have fooled a lot of folks; but they can’t fool enough people with feces like that dripping off their coat tails.

What was the Obama Administration’s official position/statement on Hunter Biden’s employment with the Ukrainian company Burisma?

ONE – Biden, just after Ukraine freed itself from the grip of a hugely corrupt Soviet puppet, carried the water for State Department experts in Washington who insisted that the corrupt “prosecutor” who was guarding Burisma should get the axe. He got the axe, because that released a billion dollars in aid.

TWO – Beau Biden died; Joe Biden’s devotion to family, and prior loss of family (his first wife and a daughter, in a car crash, anyone?) drained his energies.

THREE – During Beau’s illness, Burisma seemed to pull an end run on Joe Biden by putting his son Hunter on the board. Biden’s aides, or so I’m told, did their best to isolate him from the matter.

FOUR – Biden wasn’t even in office any more when this went down.

FIVE – Hunter Biden, per another answer here, turned out to have actual value to Burisma.

SIX – Our truth-loving Republican Honorable Representatives tell the story as though Joe Biden fired that prosecutor specifically so that he wouldn’t kick Hunter off the board.

Can you spell “callous and deliberate untruth,” boys and girls?

And to think, I’ve cast all my votes for Republicans since I got the right to do that, 54 years ago. It appears that “Mr. Smith goes to Washington” has become “Dr. Jekyll goes to Washington, and Mr. Hyde comes back. And nowadays, some of the time it’s Mr. Hyde out there smiling at the voters on his first win.

How is it that Republicans can just ignore facts/science/proof for what they perceive to be?

When the truth is fully obvious, its unfriends see it in six point type (like you see on a five-page telephone service contract) while to the other side it’s in large florid print with gold leaf on the capital letters. This is how Republicans can say that the President’s deeds are truly small potatoes, and since no real harm occurred, i.e. Russia didn’t sweep over the next fifty to one hundred miles of Ukraine, hey no big deal.

In short, THAT is how Republicans can ignore the obvious facts that Trump really did reach into Ukraine’s piggy bank, and really did demonize one of the better ambassadors the State Department has, in a failed attempt at political gain. And then point back at his failure and interpret that as evidence of virtue.

I voted for the fellow, so *I* have full right to condemn his behavior. And I do.