Tag Archives: nature

Monet’s Waterlilies and Some Free Association

A nice image of Monet’s waterlilies, c. 1915, via Wikipedia Commons: __________ The feel of this image for me is not of tranquility and coolness, but of heat and melting. First there is the white flower echoing a fried egg; … Continue reading

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Would Nietzsche Have Liked the New Perot Museum of Nature and Science in Dallas?

Look at this quote from Friedrich Nietzsche’s essay, “On Truth and Lying in a Non-Moral Sense” (1873). It is Nietzsche’s description of the Dionysian forces that lurk beneath our artistic and “illusory consciousness” (our Apollonian dreams of coherence and control; the … Continue reading

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While We’ve All Been Sleeping

This alarming little paragraph was recently posted at the New Yorker by Elizabeth Kolbert: We are now seeing changes occur in a matter of years that, in the normal geological scheme of things, should take thousands, even millions of times … Continue reading

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Is Evolution Not Just True, But Good (Something To Be Embraced)?

Jared Burton has written a beautiful and soulful folk song capturing humanity’s uncomfortable and ambivalent relationship to evolution. I find the lyrics emotionally and intellectually challenging. But I can’t decide if I agree or not with the orientation to Nature … Continue reading

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Donna Haraway’s Question: Would I Rather Be A Goddess Or A Cyborg?

Donna Haraway (b. 1944) teaches feminist and science studies in the History of Consciousness program at the University of California at Santa Cruz. In addition to taking a degree in English, she also studied biology at Yale. In 1985 she … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin’s Thinking Path

I love this image from Wikipedia Commons. It’s the path that Charles Darwin frequently trod at the grounds of Down House, his home. Darwin called this his “Thinking Path.”

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Blogging David Goodsell’s “The Machinery of Life” (Evolution, Scale, and the Counter-Intuitive Nano-Realm)

David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.” I call it “hippie-beautiful” because … Continue reading

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A Dog Pauses to Remember the Ground of Being and Seek Its Assistance in Love

This dog, I think, is doing three things right: he’s remembering the Ground of Being; he’s feeling gratitude at his very existence; and he’s seeking help in his progress toward greater love (not chasing cats so much). One could do worse … Continue reading

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Going Green by Driving Your Car?

Are human carbon emissions actually greening the Earth? According to the UK’s Independent, a new study says that trees today are growing faster in Maryland than they did 225 years ago (the oldest trees in the study), and the researchers attribute … Continue reading

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With Regard to the Internet, What Would Gandhi Do?

I found this Gandhi quote several years back while perusing an undated letter of his that I found in volume 49 of his Collected Works. At least that’s what I wrote down. My local branch library in Lancaster, Ca. just happened to … Continue reading

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The Indifference of Generation-Spanning Stones to the Vissitudes of Human Experience

An introduction to Camus’s notion of the absurd, circa 1966, and a kind of theodicy prayer to the stones of Winchester Cathedral. And is the singer holding his nose?

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Quote of the Day

Henry David Thoreau: Let us settle ourselves, and work, and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through … Continue reading

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Counting Ants—or Ants Counting?

A bizarre story from National Public Radio. Desert ants appear to count their steps from nest to food source, and then count their way back again! Yes, you read that right. Some ants count. Here’s the link to the story: … Continue reading

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Maybe

Or maybe not. Good music, though: To this rather breezy video—which makes abiogenesis seem so easy-peezy—I offer British chemist John Walton’s recent letter to the Times Literary Supplement: Sir, – The resilience of the “prebiotic soup” myth, in spite of torrents of … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin on the Problem of Suffering

In a letter to Asa Gray (22 May, 1860): With respect to the theological view of the question; this is always painful to me.– I am bewildered.– I had no intention to write atheistically. But I own that I cannot … Continue reading

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Ants Eat a Gecko. 21 Hours. Time. Lapsed.

“Because I could not stop for death . . .” Emily Dickinson would have written a disturbing poem about this: Do you suppose she would have laughed at the ants carting off the skull? There’s something funny about it somehow, … Continue reading

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Mental Health Break

I made this video a few months back. I still kind of like it:

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Evolutionary Psychology and War: Are We Chimps, Bonobos, or Something Else?

Is war, in some sense, natural? Here’s an example of a recent book (reviewed by the Washington Post) that makes the argument that it is: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/06/AR2009030602021.html And here’s the book at Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Sex-War-Biology-Explains-Terrorism/dp/1933771577/ref=sr_1_16?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1243042063&sr=8-16 And, of course, there is always Desmond … Continue reading

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Poem for a Weekend: Elizabeth Bishop’s “The Fish”

I caught a tremendous fish and held him beside the boat half out of water, with my hook fast in a corner of his mouth. He didn’t fight. He hadn’t fought at all. He hung a grunting weight, battered and … Continue reading

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Giant Trilobites Found in Portugal!

No need to hide the kids. They’re fossilized. But so reports the science journal Geology: Large quarrying surfaces of roofing slate in the Arouca Geopark (northern Portugal), formed under oxygen-depleted conditions, have yielded a unique Ordovician fossil lagerstätte that reveals … Continue reading

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