The Truth About Frogs

I remember how shocked I was to learn that if you put a frog in a pan of cold water and slowly  heated   up the frog will not stay in the pan that will jump out when the water becomes uncomfortable. I was shocked because for most of my life I’ve been using that analogy about  If you haven’t heard  it, it is an analogy that relates to people becoming numb or in different to the situation. The analogy being a   frog when placed in  cold water that is gradually  heated will not perceive  the gradual temperature increase and allow himself to be boiled just because he had become desensitized to the situation he was in and the need for action.

This analogy  is typically used in situations where people have become numb to the situation around them when an outside observer would see in an instant that  thier situation  was a dire or morally reprehensible or just foolish/absurd.

So, even though the frog analogy doesn’t work with frogs it may still be applicable to our culture.  Historically, there are numerous examples of when cultures became numb to the things that were going on around them. In the 1800s, there was  heinous child labor going on whose atrocities were brought into the cultural limelight by Jonathan Swift. Women’s suffrage, slavery, civil rights, gay rights, abortion, the plight of Africans,  emasculation  of our culture, nudity and sexual promiscuity in our culture, to name a few.

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Why My Liberal Friends Make Me Nuts

Or did they fire me?

Click edit above to add content to this empty capsule.

Talk about the excepted rules of a rational discussion. Maybe contrast that today, to the rules of at least a civil discussion. What are the rules of a civil discussion? Probably not willing to change your mind but at least having some empathy for the other position and the rational basis of the other position These types of discussions Follow the rules of therapy more closely they do the rules of rational academic discussion Empathy and reflective questioning Analogous to the fact you’re not going to change The way someone feels about their mother. But you can make them reflective of what they feel and think Our positions today more about how a person feels about an issue with the actual rational foundation of the position It seems with the Internet, that there are more than enough facts justify any position So how do we decide? Has reality become a psychological event Is there a place for Plato and Aristotle here

Evolution, Creationism, and Intelligent Design

I do have to be honest with you. I am a Christian but believe, as the pope and many other Christians believe, that science and faith can coexist. Unfortunately, the scientific side seems to not share that tolerance. Nonetheless, if you don’t mind spending a little time with me, I will explain to you my very simplistic understanding of Darwinism for your comments and clarification.

I absolutely cannot understand how the earliest proteins, amino acids, and other material formed into the earliest single celled life. So I won’t go there. I’ll just accept early life began according to the most accepted research available. I am also not sure what the earliest evolved life forms were but I am guessing fish who probably the first recognizable creatures.

As I understand Evolution, these fish mate and have offspring. Let’s assume they have three offspring and one of their offspring inherited a genetic composition that was not favorable to its survival, another offspring had no genetic changes and the third developed a favorable attribute that aided its survival. So, as these three offspring take up their positions in the world, and the more likely the favorably changed offspring would survive to propagate and the less favorably changed offspring would not statistically speaking.

It is then more likely that the favorably changed offspring will live to maturity and procreate. Through this procreation, it’s favorably changed genetic composition natural selection will favor this creature and is more likely that it’s more suitable genetic composition will be passed on to its offspring and, for lack of a better word, enhance the overall survivability and presence of that species.

I assume various species were the result of genetic changes that started to differentiate one organism from the other and from there the basic cycle of genetic changes and more favorable survivability took them in a different biological direction while maintaining their common genetic composition.

This makes a great deal of sense in explaining why there is such a large and diverse population of animal and plant life on our planet.

If we just ignore the amount of time that was required to just get the earliest organisms into existence and start further up the food chain as I did before, it seems like the number of favorable mutations that resulted in increased survivability required to move from the earliest organisms to man would be astronomical and exceed the time estimates of the total existence of the current universe.

I believe the more enlightened of the Christians could go with Darwin up to that point but it seems that a theory of how the evolutionary process was somehow accelerated is needed and may already be developed.

In fact, you’re right, mutations *do* happen at a defined rate, and scientists *do* use that rate to help determine time periods, for example, when one species branched off another. The so-called “genetic clock” has been used to confirm the estimated points at which humans and chimps diverged from the other apes, for example, as well as may other applications.
However, we cannot use the genetic clock to estimate how long the initial evolution of life took since we cannot estimate how often a “favorable” mutation happens. Mutations usually happen in the form of single-point modifications to the genetic code. If a code is ATTAGC, it might change to ATTAGG instead. Depending on where these simple changes occur, there might not be any result at all, or the result could be enormous. There’s just no way to predict it. Since most DNA is “junk” DNA which doesn’t code for anything, a species can accumulate lots and lots of mutations without seeing any real results, negative or positive.
Also, consider that evolution doesn’t require just mutations, but also a threat to a species’ survival or reproduction. Only then would favorable adaptations be “selected” for. And these threats to survival are usually brought on in the form of environmental changes to a species’ niche, and therefor, again, aren’t something which can be easily quantified.

This is a great blog and I really enjoy reading it. I do have a question. It seems that the chances of evolution happening relate to estimates of raw probability. Isn’t there a time factor involved? For instance; if the mutations in a species happen at a defined rate (say, one per hour) and one out of three of those mutations are favorable. It seems if we could estimate the total number of mutations and associated natural selections had to occur to get from protozoa to man. Wouldn’t it give us a better estimate of the time factor since we are working against the clock. I am new to this so please be tolerant of any of my erroneous assumptions.

Is the Contentiousness of Liberals and Conservatives Productive?

I was having breakfast with a friend the other day and I asked him if he watched the 2012 Republican and Democratic conventions. He said he didn’t and ask what is the point? I responded, “I think watching both sides gives you a more balanced perspective on the differences and similarities between the parties as well as candidates.” My friend quickly followed up with the question “And what did you learn about the two parties that you didn’t know before?” I was taken off guard by the question because, even though I had watched both conventions, I wasn’t sure I could articulate what I learned.                         So I gave it a shot and began to compare the two parties based on what I thought were some the most divisive issues of our time.

Issue Republican   Position Democrat   Position
The   role of Government in our society Minimal,   just enough to keep things going Large,   any American citizen who has a problem, must be taking care
The   role of Business in our society Provide   the fuel for job growth and economic prosperity Ruthlessly   exploit workers and particularly unions
George   Bush He   wasn’t Ronald Reagan but competent nonetheless Everything   from global warming to Katrina is his fault
Barack   Obama Diametrically   opposed to what the Republicans believe in The   conduit whose time has come to fulfill the Democrats dream of interfering   with every aspect of the American dream.
Very   wealthy people They   represent the finest elements of our society in that anyone can succeed on   their own merit They   have grown rich by exploiting labor and have no interest in anything but   growing wealthier
Very   poor people They   are a part of every civilized society and should be given the opportunity to   have the basic needs of life Inside   every poor person there is a wealthy person trying to get out and the   government should facilitate that transition
Same   sex marriage It will   undermine the very fabric and economic stability of our country Why   not?
Abortion   on demand Abortion   as practiced in today’s American culture is an abomination to civilization.   Life and citizenship begin at conception and the unborn should have the same   rights as any other citizen The   unborn are entities completely dependent on their mothers, the choice of   whether the unborn live or die should be the unrestricted prerogative of the   mother no matter what the situation.
God’s   place in our society God has   been instrumental in the success and sovereignty of America and should be   given the respect that position demands None.   God is just out of touch with the needs and wants of forward thinking   Americans
Universal   healthcare Yet,   another unnecessary entitlement that isn’t really required. That is why God   made emergency rooms It is   the right of every citizen and the earmark of an evolved society
Global   warming Still a   theory An   absolute and caused by our industrialized society
Evolution Still a   theory A fact   that any half educated person must accept as true beyond reproach
Animal   rights What   rights? They are animals and are here to support purposes of humans but they   must be treated humanely They   should have more rights and a better lifestyle than most people on the planet   including the unborn of America
Economic   strategy Prosperity   and job growth is fueled by a vibrant economy built on successful small   businesses The   government must ensure that everyone is taking care of the matter what their   preference or background

 

David and Nathan Discuss the Plight of the Oubon

David and Nathan were lifelong good friends and got together frequently to discuss what was going on in their lives. During this meeting, Nathan just returned from a “learning“ vacation that toured some of the most remote islands of the South Pacific that gave the vacationers an opportunity to see and learn about some of the most remote and isolated cultures on the earth. Nathan spoke quickly about most of the cultures he visited but paused to discuss one that he found particularly unique.

As he began to speak, Nathan’s voice quivered a bit and David could see that Nathan was deeply moved by what he was about to say. This tribe was called the Uostas and Nathan began to describe some of their customs.

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What I Learned from Don Kirkpatrick

I was the guest of one of my clients at their annual user’s conference. It was a big time conference with many luminaries on the agenda. CLOs of Major Corporations like Xerox and Mayo Clinic. One was Don Kirkpatrick, whom I had never met or heard speak prior to this conference. For those of you who are new to training or perhaps have just woken up from a long nap, Don is the Godfather of Learning Evaluation. No-one is quoted more or expanded on in greater frequency than Don.

As we all do, I begin to imagine what Don was like prior to seeing him do his presentation. I imagined a reserved academic who would be willing to discuss the 4 levels all day with egotistical fervor, ready to defend even the slightest academic criticism of his work. I thought he would be a well-groomed, bearded man in a tweed sport coat. Perhaps he smoked a pipe. He would definitely be a person who wielded a merciless intellectual hammer against those who dared step into the academic and ideological ring with him.

In other words, he was probably not a nice person. Continue reading