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Siberia Farts September 19, 2007

Posted by psmc in Al Gore, biology, Carbon Emissions, Enviroment, Global Warming, greenhouse gases, mammoths, methane, permafrost, Science, siberia.
1 comment so far

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Paleontologists believe that prehistoric hunters, along with climate changes, led to the extinction of the mammoth and the mastodon. It now looks, according to one Russian scientist, that these shaggy cousins of the elephant are going to have the last laugh on us.

There is one threat to the environment that has been overlooked by Al Gore and the others, Mammoth Dung. Apparently Siberia is covered in it. Well that and other organic matter from the Ice Age.

Currently all this pachyderm poop is safely ensconced, frozen into the tundra. However, it is warming up. When it does thaw out it will start to decay. This decay could potentially release vast amounts of greenhouse gases, primarily methane, into the atmosphere. Methane is the combustible gas in flatulence. Basically, Siberia will be farting.

How much is estimated to be there? Current estimates state that the activities of man release approximately 7 billion tons of carbon annually. The amount of carbon that is locked up in the tundra is approximately 500 billion tons. That is equivalent to 71 years 5 months and 4 days of man’s activities.

We are not in immediate danger though. A recent report published by Dr. Norman Page of the British Climate Research Unit, indicates that the warming may not be as drastic as previously thought and has questioned the validity of climate models used by more alarmist members of the environmental community. Dr. Page’s report is NOT based on the fact that there was a spike in 1998 and that the warming since then has been less than the 1998 peak. Nor does Dr. Page make any claim of that global warming stopped. The study’s results question previous models and the role CO2 plays in global warming.

However, we are still warming and eventually those massive melting mounds of mammoth manure will decay. If you should happen to notice a rather pungent odor wafting in on the North Wind, you may want to rethink your trip to Vail or Aspen. Also, be careful with open flames.

http://tinyurl.com/263bsc

Evolution on Talk Radio August 14, 2007

Posted by psmc in biology, Coast to Coast AM, Evolution, paranormal, religion, Science, Society, Uncategorized.
2 comments

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Before I continue, a disclaimer. I am not a Biologist nor am I an Anthropologist. My degree is in Mathematics with extensive coursework in Physics and Computer Science. And for most of my career I have been working with computers. Needless to say, I have a firm grasp of the principles Logic and of the Scientific Method. I have taken courses in Biology and Anthropology and have been very fortunate to have good friends and a few roommates who were anthropologists and have had many discussions with them on this subject. Sometimes, the best education one can get is having a lively discussion with knowledgeable people in a field over beer and pizza. The point I am making however is that one need not be a PhD candidate in a field in order to understand concepts that are fundamental to that field.

The other night I was listening to an overnight national radio show that specializes in the Paranormal, UFOs and other things that go bump in the night. They had a small piece on new hominid fossil finds that seem to put the time lines of the emergence of certain hominid species into question. The host was interviewing an individual while a biologist, did not seem to be one that agreed with Sir Darwin. The host seemed very excited and was eager to know if this discovery signaled the final death knell for Darwin’s Theory of Evolution. To be honest, he never used those words, but the tenor of hos voice iimplied he was hoping it was so. He also wanted to know that since this discovery totally invalidates Evolution (which it doesn’t) does it mean that Intelligent Design is the only theory left that makes any sense.

Normally, I try to ignore these comments and questions. I understand that they are frequently made out of ignorance and are usually designed to generate interest amongst the listeners which leads to higher ratings (ie more money). But for some reason, this interview was, for me, the straw that broke the camel’s back.

Is it so hard for a nationally broadcast program with one of the largest listening audiences in US and Canada, if not the world, to find an accredited expert in the field of Biology to explain WHAT Darwin’s Theory of Evolution is? Especially when they like to make the claim they are trying to enlighten the minds of the listening audience. I also wished that they would interview their guests more aggressively.

This scientist they were talking to made a statement that was patently false and it went unchallenged. He claimed we have NEVER seen new species evolved. Well, where the heck are all these drug-resistant strains of bacteria coming from? How did AIDS arise? Is it just a coincidence there’s a similar virus that affects the other species of primates?

It’s clear that there are many critics and doubters of Darwin and his theory. It’s also clear that many of these people have no idea what his theory is, yet they oppose it just the same. And a lot of these people vote as well. Although I am sure that they decide ballot issues with more thought than they oppose Evolution.

I just find it particularly, well, immoral, for this radio program to do this. They claim that they want to inform and educate their listeners. (How is educating a person different than informing them?) Yet, they don’t seem to educate themselves on what they are talking about. I don’t care if they support Evolution, Intelligent Design or full blown Creationism. They can say and support any theory or no theory. All I ask is that they get reasonably informed on a subject before they attempt to trash it.