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.

What is the wobble hypothesis, and how does it explain the degeneracy of the genetic code?


microphone off – definition of “wobble hypothesis” found below.

What happens in DNA replication (cell division requires an entire new copy of the six-billion-plus codons that make up human DNA) is that fantastic error detection and correction mechanisms are hard at work. Yes mistakes happen, from missing genes to extra copies of genes to missing chromosomes and extra copies of chromosomes.

But the normal upshot is that about fifty of the six billion codons come out wrong. In data terms, the six billion codons are the rough equivalent of 2,000 beach-read novels, each with something more than 150,000 words. Out of those, one novel in 40 has one typo inserted. The literary quality, the grammar, the passion – basically unchanged.

The other side of that coin is that evolution is red, raw, impatient, and unstoppable. Consider that cell divisions needed to make the 100,000,000 cells in your body have to stack almost 50 deep; that means the final 50,000,000 cells’ DNA contains 2,500 – ish typos, or just over one per novel. And, not to be too dramatic about it, no two cells in your body are ever likely to have *identical* DNA.

Copy errors in your germ cells do *NOT* affect you. They *DO* affect your offspring.

This constant micro-vibration in DNA, across a population, can produce novel results. But we get along very well, thank you, with slightly differentied DNA from one cell to the next. Our children do the same. As long as the environment stays pretty much the same, the optimal DNA will stay the same too. But when there is some major change in the environment, the micro-jitter in the overall population’s DNA enables the species to drift, across many hundreds of generations, toward whatever the new optimum is.

Note well, the following definition of wobble says it is *possible* but does not quantify it – no definition of how often it happens. Fifty such errors typically get through the filter.

DEFINITION courtesy of Uncle Google: Wobble hypothesis: normal base pairing can occur between nitrogen bases in positions 1 and 2 of the codon and the corresponding bases (3 and 2) in the anticodon. Actually, the base 1 in anticodon can form non-Watson-Crick base pairing with the third position of the codon.

How can evolutionary psychology, philosophy, and evolutionary perspectives inform the science and religion dialogue?

Does genetic mutation over a long period of time lead to evolution?

One on one, mutations have no purpose and no conscience. They provide brownian motion, if you will, or jitter in the signal. Just the way, 50 years ago, a vibrating piece of sheet metal painted to resemble a football field let six-year-olds play a noisy version of the game, mutations allow populations to drift into adjustment with changing environments etc.

For instance, simple copy errors across SIX BILLION nucleotides (the size of the nuclear DNA in a single human cell) are very very very rare, such that only about fifty mistakes usually occur. This also means that NO TWO cells in anyone’s body will ever have identical DNA. (Go ahead and argue statistics with me – it’s possible, but the odds against are mathematically enormous.)

Mutation dusts tiny bits of fuzz across your DNA, and the bits of fuzz that land on your sperm/egg cell producing organs, which make your germ cells, pass on to your children. Evolution is ab so lute ly un stop pa ble.

When some event separates populations, this inevitable drift, over tens to hundreds of thousands of generations, takes that species from Version One to Versions Two and Three, thus resulting in three distinct species. The same factors that take the two populations past the point of interbreeding successfully have the same effect on either one relative to Version One. (Halfway stations: horses-zebra doesn’t work well, lion-tiger works so-so, and horse-doney makes mules – sturdy, and sterile.)

An opponent of evolution has proposed that, since cows losing their legs can’t make whales, the whole idea is bogus. What’s bogus in such a diminutized dataset is that cows are Version HumtyDumptySeven while whales are many different versions in the series HiggledyPiggledy, of whatever it was that both have derived from. And, by the way, a whale’s skeleton really does have teeny leg bones, and its flippers are basically front legs that grew out flat. That tail the cow swishes? It’s the real motor that drives the whale through the water. Both cows and whales do have tails, y’know.

Genetic mutation is constant. Over long periods of time it’s the engine that makes adaptation and speciation possible.

Forgive the long post – a detail relative to Darwin’s finches on the Galapagos Islands:
They are all the same species; they can all interbreed. Whenever it was that the first breeding pair of finches produced young there, the food sources were numerous. Over time populations specialized. Don’t ask how, the facts on the ground make that outcome obvious.
Each one drifted to do a better job of exploiting a specific food source, and along with functional changes to beaks (etc.) to optimize for that food source, their plumage and song drifted too. The plumage and song changes helped each population stay separate, i.e. to form artificially isolated breeding populations.
Cross-breeding still succeeds, though it is naturally rare. Crossbred progeny don’t survive as well because their beaks (etc.) aren’t well specialized for either parent’s food source.
Why are they still one species? Because they can still interbreed. Why is that? Because there hasn’t been the requisite hundreds of thousands of generations. Someone with the time and interest should be able to compare their DNA and work backwards to how long ago that first pair started things off.
Adam, for instance, lived 70 to 75 thousand years ago; Eve lived 200 to 250 thousand years ago. Implication: Eve was in the same situation as that first mother finch, i.e. of all homo sapiens females, only her daughters survived to carry the line forward. The narrowing-down may have finalized fifty generations after she lived – – – but ONLY HER maternal line went forward. Ditto Adam; only his Y chromosome carried forward. (datapoint: there are a few Y’s in isolated areas of Africa with a 400K year pedigree.)

Novelists in the crowd, make up all the stories you can to dramatize such hard times. Did that Adam carry some Super-Mental gene that organized his gray matter in some devastatingly new manner? Or was he just lucky? Whatever, go for it! Start a new ONE FEMALE SURVIVING / ONE MALE SURVIVING fiction genre. (grins)