Evolution — the ultimate anti-depressant

By on Dec 12, 2011 in Politics

Greg Graffin, lead singer of seminal punk band, Bad Religion, also has a Ph.D. in Evolutionary Biology. As a young wannabe-punk and young science-nerd, I found a lot of solace in the likes of Graffin, Milo Auckerman, and Dexter Holland. Graffin’s recent book, Anarchy Evolution has some great quotes on evolution. Enjoy! “… reading about evolution has helped me through many difficult times. Evolution is full of dead ends, as is the experience of every human life — relationships ended, time wasted, songs unfinished, goals not achieved. All organisms and species die, just as all of us must die. Yet tragedy also entails creativity and opportunity. Over the course of deep evolutionary time, species go extinct and the earth is repopulated with new ones. As Michael Crichton’s chief scientist in Jurassic Park says, ‘Life finds a way.'” “The...

“Voltaire, I’m so high right now.” and other quotes from Unfamiliar Fishes

By on Dec 5, 2011 in Politics

I love me some Sarah Vowell and her most recent book (i.e. from Spring 2011), Unfamiliar Fishes was no dissapointment. “The Spanish-American war had the soliders stopping off in this suddenly American city en route to the Phillippines to persuade the Fillipino people at gunpoint that self-government really isn’t for everyone.” – p.2 “… Americans and their children spent the seventy-eight years between … 1820 and … 1898 Americanizing Hawaii, importing our favorite religion, capitalism, and our second favorite religion, Christianity.” p.6 “… Loco Moco (a hamburger patty topped with gravy and a fried egg), a dish presumably invented to remedy what has always been the hamburger’s most obvious defect – not enough egg.” p.8 “Yale was founded by finnicky protestants who worried that the Puritans at...

Nature vs. Nurture, LBJ style

By on Nov 28, 2011 in Politics

…it is almost impossible to discuss the inheritance of acquired skills, including such skills as language abilities or intelligence, as purely genetic issues. Nature determines the limits of what nurture can accomplish. That is an absolute. But at the same time nurture determines not only what nature can do, but the way in which nature develops in order to do it. In so doing, nurture determines what we measure as nature. It is not because it was good politics that the Head Start program was the most successful aspect of Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society. It was because it was good science. – Harold L. Klawans, from Why Michael Couldn’t Hit