Thursday, March 13, 2014

Hominins (ISEPP lecture)

I shirked my responsibilities as a member of Oversight Committee to attend this alternate church venue for a science lecture on 4.4 million year old fossil records of hominins.

Dr. Tom White is an expert, and he correctly praised Terry of ISEPP for the Linus Pauling Memorial Lecture series, which has brought the best minds to Portland, to edify our populace.

Best if Cascadia has a literate capital, don't ya think? -- unless our capital is Seattle, which I'm all for, in the brochures for public consumption.

Anyway, we learned a lot.  Africa seems to be the matrix for early homonin development.  A "homonin" is a human lineage specialist species whereas "hominid" includes the apes, which are seen as branching off just a million or so years before this latest species, Ardi's.

Ardi's species predates Lucy's and so is probably Lucy's ancestor type.

Chimps spring from a branch that forked earlier, in that great Github in the Sky we call "evolution" (or "goalless morphing in response to feedback" if you want to remove the "march of progress" spin that adheres to much of the evolutionist talk).

I will piggy-back my thanks atop Dr. White's, to Terry, for helping make Portland a capital, an intellectual gemstone.

Too bad about the impending earthquake.  Maybe with less of an ice age thanks to global warming it'll be deferred?  Hope springs eternal.  Plate tectonics don't care that much about ice or no ice.

Tom did a lot to promote evidence and reason as the two prongs of science.  People are welcome to generate and publish texts on a different basis, just don't call it science, was his warning / advice / plea.

Speculations sometimes go off the deep end into pure storytelling and myth,  as we find in Fuller's Critical Path and later Tetrascroll (subtitled "a cosmic fairy tale").

Fuller is capable of doing science (applying reason to evidence) and contributing to it, however he's more of a literary figure, like Mark Twain.  "Bucky" aka "Dr. R.B. Fuller" made forays into science but in some dimension only camped there.  His literary base was more a latter day Neoplatonism, a philosophy, not in the sense of "Christian" so much as "Geometric" i.e. concerned with Platonic Forms.

Some of Dr. Fuller's wild speculations, about human prehistory for example, explore in a surreal space of mytho-graphic imagery, exciting to the intuition perhaps, but at best proto-scientific.

Someday we may have tools to "transmit life-forming information" to other planets, other than I Love Lucy, and thereby beam ourselves (and favorite "pets" e.g. dolphins) to a post Earthian location, not talking about Mars.  But such is the stuff of science fiction, not science per se.