Spoilers for Kim Stanley Robinson's "Aurora" ahead. So, the story is like this: A multigenerational arkship is on it's way to Tau Ceti, they find their primary target for colonization hostile and discuss whether to move to another planet in the same system, live there in domes while terraforming it. One reason for not doing this is stated thusly: [more inside]
I'm looking for academic papers (but also stories, movies, news articles, or anything else!) that talk about this: most of the ideas we come up with about alien life involves those aliens being carbon-based lifeforms with eyes of some sort and internal organs and appendages. But where are the other, more wild (and probably likely) ideas? [more inside]
I'm looking for a book or other resource to serve as an introduction to evolutionary psychology out of personal interest. I know that there is a lot of pseudo-science out there under this banner - so I'm only interested in resources that are well referenced. Does anyone have any suggestions?
What are some good resources to help explain the Big Bang, evolution and, the meaning of life to my delightful 5 year-old nephew? Fairly equal emphasis for each, but I am stumped most by "but why are all the things and people here, mayurasana?" than the rest. [more inside]
Which animal has the hardest eyes? I was thinking about how eyes are pretty soft and it might be advantageous for a creature to have "natural goggles" protecting its squishy eyes. Which animal's eyes have the toughest coating? (I do not care to hear about the protective qualities of retractable eyeLIDs, only the surface which can not be retracted, and which must be seen through.)
Was reading about microchips that are designed to allow a few mistakes (known as 'Sloppy Chips'), and pondering equivalent kinds of 'coding' errors and entropy in biological systems. Can a fair comparison be made between the two? [more inside]
How and why do we become accustomed to smells? What makes some odours personally super-pungent one day and unnoticed 'background noise' later on, despite the smell remaining objectively unchanged? [more inside]
Is intelligent design actually an actual philosophically true scientific theory? The question is not asking if ID is “true”, but how well does it pass the scientific theory tests?
Let's see if this can be done without causing any ideological controversy. The simplest yet most descriptive explanation of a true scientific theory is below. "A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena." An actual theory must be falsifiable as well. My understanding is that Intelligent design does not fit the bill as a set of empirically proven facts or pass the falsifiability test. Also, I understand that Darwin's theory may have the most facts supporting his theory (therefore it is the best explanation for the evolution of life we currently have), but that it may not be falsifiable as well. The basic question is what is intelligent design if not a theory? I don't think it qualifies as a hypothesis either. Please explain to this scientific layman. Bonus points if you can explain how The Theory of Natural Selection is falsifiable.
Why are arthropods the only animals with more than four legs? [more inside]
Evolution: What would be a simple and clear way of explaining to an 8 year old how African people with dark skin, big eyes and curly hair turn into Japanese people with lighter skin, smaller eyes and straighter hair over X amount of years? [more inside]
How do I gently but firmly steer a very misguided 14-year-old to respect science? I'm not a teacher, but I am in a mentoring role and feel I owe it to her to try. [more inside]
What's the best way to financially support of evolution education in Kansas? [more inside]
Please help me find a (pre 2005) science book about the evolution of life. In one small section it covered the chemical composition of sea water and its similarity to the cytoplasm of mammalian cells. [more inside]
Why is it assumed that all forms of life evolved from a single common ancestor, instead of any number of different instances of abiogenesis?
I'm interested in knowing more about the caveman diet, and the logic behind it. Does the reasoning behind this diet dictate that the modern Korean should eat differently from the modern Englishman? But maybe more importantly, is the reasoning indeed sound? Or is it pseudo-science? Is this really what evolutionary biology would suggest? If so, how much of it should really dictate what a modern human, Korean or English or otherwise, should or shouldn't eat?
Science reading for the informed layperson. [more inside]
Help me find a book about evolution by Kirchner. [more inside]
ScienceFilter: Creationists, crystals, and thermodynamics. [more inside]
Teaching resources about racial concepts: their biological validity and various cultural expressions
I need teaching resources about race: the biology of human "races"; why "race" is not biological but social; how racial categories have shifted over time and place; and related questions on teaching about race? This is as a supplement to reading The Mismeasure of Man in a university "Critical Thinking" class. I need more science and verifiable cross-cultural examples to back up my "there are no biological races" claim. [more inside]
"A human is halfway in size between an atom and the known universe"... This is a paraphrased quote I have come across several times. I like it. Who said it first? How true is it in the most literal sense? And, finally, what errors arrive in postulating a universe, or an atom, which can be measured AT ALL from our singular, relativistic, perspective? [more inside]
Is there a good reference for the standard evolution vs. creationism arguments? [more inside]
What tv shows would you recommend for learning about history and evolution of human society and connections across times and places and disciplines ?
What tv shows would you recommend for learning about history and evolution of human society and connections across times and places and disciplines ? [more inside]
Why did consciousness evolve? [more inside]
Help me introduce evolution to my parents. [more inside]
Are there any animals that have evolved a use for radioactivity? If so, what ways is it used? If not, why has this not happened? [more inside]
What do you think is going to happen to the USA if "Intelligent Design" is successfully placed into the science curriculum? [more inside]
are we eyeglass-wearers doomed, evolutionarily? [more inside]
Is there a limit to scientific advancement? If there is only a certain number of elements to the universe, will there reach a technology plateau? [more inside]