Bracket Fungus of the Gods

A Bad Egg took this photo in Doodletown.

Ganoderma tsugae, most likely. Here

Iran Graffiti

An illustration to Barry's post.

[Iran Graffiti:]

thoughts evolution/creation battle

realize that the gap in our knowlege between what chemistry can do and what the simplest bacteria can do is IMMENSE. this gaping chasm only openned up 50 years ago.

how do you get from this:
Chemistry of the Elements, Second Edition (Paperback)
by A. Earnshaw, Norman Greenwood

to this:
a day in the life of a cell

some adamant atheists say "of course life came about through some (mumbly mumbly) chemistry" and really havent thought it through. they just don't want their ignorant religious neighbors bringing in their LORD.

some scientists say the same thing, but really what with specialization these days i don't think theyve thought it through.

without going through this:

kind of training (which i think (sadly) most who graduate with a B.S. or even Phd rarely get) i realy don't see how anyone could even have a descent intuitive feeling that chemistry CAN make life. it's all wishful thinking.

so it's no wonder that such irreducible complexity arguments are floating around. i'm not talking about specific arguments about flagela, yeah i know how those can evolve. i'm talking about how the HELL did we get cells capable of evolving them in the first place. it's all a little mindnumbing.

the next important aspect is: Intelligent design is a PERFECTLY reasonable hypthesis. the only trouble is that we don't have anywhere near a decent exploration of what we mean by: what is an intelligent system?

we DON'T know how the human mind works, we DON'T know how neurons MAKE/BE it. we don't even know how a single celled protozoan wends it's way creatively through its environment, how the innards of the cell, the dynamic cytoskeleton, the 100s of chemical feedback loops coordinate to make A COHERENT ENTITY.

we don't know how to ask: is honeybee hive an entity? is an evolving ecosystem an entity. is Earth an entity? i.e. are the growing interactions between organisms over time cohesive enough to call it that.

we don't have a general theory of HOW intelligences in general might create. therefore we can't say "well, does this look like the work of AN intelligence?"

we've got vague mumblings about, well why would an intelligence create a 20foot vagus nerve running all the way up then back down the neck of a girraffe... the creationists rant: well, who knows the mind of god, maybe there is a purpose?

who knows? we don't have a general theory of intelligences.

i will grant that such a creator is probably NOT like a grey bearded old man in the sky.

it does not help, certainly, that most religious folk make no effort at an experimental or synthetic exploration of what their beloved intelligence IS like.

some do, they are called mystics, and i suppose ultimately some come to a conclusion that such an intelligence they contact is nothing more than the grandness of the universe...

so frankly i think that most of the problem is that really this discussion in popular media is basically at the level of the National Enquirer, or a mobfight at a baseball game. truly i think the particular ideas, not thougth out, evolution vs creation are just arbitrary banners being held by waring classes in america. the war is really about something ENTIRELY different! what does the average person care about these complex issues of chemistry, complex systems and artificall intelligence?

i'd like to find out what that war is REALLY about. my suspicion is that it is:

one class wants to continue this glorious (?) european enlightenment cultural/economic experiment

the other class, who came here wanting to get AWAY from eruopean civilization who created the wasteland of the wild wild west, now knows it's destined to work at wallmart and 7/11.

if anyone has any ideas, i'd be very intersted in hearing.