What our ancestors may have looked like

The so-called ‘Cambrian explosion’ that occurred 500-600 million years ago saw the appearance in the fossil record of an extraordinarily wide diversity of life forms. Whether there was a sudden flurry of evolutionary advances at the time or whether that time marked the beginning of animal bodies that were fossilizable and so gave the illusion of an explosion of life forms is not clear. The suspicions are that it was the latter. [Read more...]

The US involvement in Afghanistan corruption

The US government has become so blatantly shameless in its hypocrisy that people have largely stopped even noticing it, treating such behavior as the new normal. For example, who even bothers to comment anymore when the US warns other countries against ‘interfering’ in Iraq when it had actually invaded that country and maintained tens of thousands of troop there? The mindset is that the US essentially considered the whole world its territory. [Read more...]

Stumping the stumpers

Recently someone told me that a friend of his was a science teacher in the American south who was teaching his students about anatomy and said that apart from a few small differences, the form of male and female skeletons were identical. He was nonplussed when a student said that that was not quite correct since men had one less rib! He of course knew where this weird belief came from but did not know how to reply and so quickly moved on. He later sought and obtained a teaching position in Ohio just to avoid having ot teach students who were so burdened with incorrect biblical knowledge. [Read more...]

The Leveretts on Iran

The US has made a fine art of portraying the leaders of countries that it dislikes and seeks to overthrow or even invade as irrational and aggressive people with whom it is no use talking and that the only thing they understand is force and sanctions and threats. We have seen this time and again, with Iran being the latest target, though Syria has also emerged as a new enemy. [Read more...]

The Higgs Story-Part 19: Nobel dilemmas

As soon as the discovery of the Higgs was announced in July 2012, there was immediate talk of who would get the seemingly inevitable Nobel prize for it, with some anticipating that it would be awarded even as soon as the same year. This did not happen and I personally did not expect it. For one thing, the Nobel committee is cautious and usually wants to wait until a discovery is totally nailed down before they honor it. Since the LHC has been shut down for a couple of years for upgrades, the corroborating evidence could take some time in coming, although further analysis of the data already taken indicates that the spin of the particle matches that expected of the Higgs. (For previous posts in this series, click on the Higgs folder just below the blog post title.) [Read more...]

Crashing the party

There is an interesting development in China where economic inequality has also exploded in recent years, making a mockery of the country’s official egalitarian philosophy. Ordinary people, fed up with this hypocrisy and the high-life being lived especially by Communist party officials, have taken to crashing lavish private parties hosted by officials and taking photographs and videos of the expensive food and drink and posting them online, enraging the public. [Read more...]