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Showing posts from January, 2014

If Humans Are Descended From Apes, Why Are There Still Apes?

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Recently two close friends of mine, whose intelligence I respect, when the subject of evolution came up casually in conversation repeated the comment that's the title of this post: “If humans are descended from apes, why are there still apes?”Frankly, I was appalled.The slightest investigation of evolution answers this question.It’s as if they had said to me, “We can tell that the sun goes around the earth because we can see it move through the sky.”

Humans are not descended from modern apes.Instead on the tree of life both humans and modern apes share a common ancestor from whom the two species then split off.We are most genetically similar to chimpanzees, so our common ancestor likely was shared with them, and finding the “Chimp Human Last Common Ancestor” has been one of the goals of evolutionary scientists.Current thinking is that the split occurred around 6 million years ago, though there are arguments for both a longer and a shorter time.The CHLCA is likely to be Sahelanthr…

Silly Personal Games

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I’ve chosen throughout my life to adopt self-imposed challenges in the stupidest areas, or, as phrased in this blog post title, silly personal games.I’m a person who is fascinated by the left-brain/right-brain dichotomy, about which I’ve written a good deal (see Related Posts below), and so some of these games are left brain (words/numbers, abstract concepts) in nature, while others are pure right brain (physical things).I play bridge, for example, and that’s a left-brain activity (except for holding the cards in your hand and playing them), while bowling, which I no longer do, is right brain oriented (keeping score being the only left brain part of bowling).

Every morning I read the newspaper and use my left brain to work the puzzles, and every night before going to sleep I play one round of Angry Birds on my iPad until I score a perfect three stars, a purely right brain endeavor. Left Brain Silly Game:
The silly left brain game that I play on top of the usual ones has to do with Sud…

An Atheist at a Believer’s Funeral

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My longtime bridge partner, the wonderful James Griffith, died on January 2nd after major problem with his lungs. He was 77, about to turn 78 this month. I loved this terrific man (and his darling wife Sherry), and will miss him a lot. I will continue to see Sherry as we keep rooting the Ohio State basketball team on to victory as the three of us did in the past.

The funeral service was held in the Methodist church where Jim and Sherry have long been cherished parishioners. Jim was a believer, but he knew I was an atheist and that never bothered him. It was a subject about which he could joke ("I sure hope I’m right and you’re wrong.") He read my atheist thriller novel "Imaginary Friend," and professed to like it, being particularly startled by the ending.

The church setting was beautiful, hymns were sung, and there was a moving sermon by the minister, who clearly knew Jim well, and spoke with humor and compassion about this much-loved person.

For an atheist …