Thursday, September 27, 2012

Holy Crap - 2 years flies by.....

Wow I can't believe it has been 2+ years since I updated this thing and so much has happened:

traveled back to AK, MO as well as NC (and here) SC, Waterton Park, and many points in between to catch birds for the last field season of my Phd (May 2010 - Aug 2010) with my good friend Paulo
moved from Lethbridge to Calgary with Alix and the kids last year
got a job as a Senior Wildlife Biologist in Calgary with SNC-Lavalin Environment
bought a house!!!! see a video of the place if it still is up
finished writing my PhD (have now sent it off to be formatted ) and should be defending in about 7 weeks
 Just to name a few....


I will be back updating this blog now as I have lots going on with family still far, far away wondering what I am doing as well as it is too much temptation to pass up posting political issues with Mitt Romney running for president.... Here is a video clip of Jon Stewart and the "chaos of bullshit (Mountain)" that has come out from the recent secret video where Romney runs at the mouth....




Saturday, May 1, 2010

Bible Contradictions

Gotta love a divinely inspired book that has so many contradictions!

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

High Calorie Diet and Dopamine

This is an example of bad science I think. There is a study printed on CNN going around about high calorie/high fat diets and their effect on rat brains. Basically, lots of human food caused rats to become highly addicted (just like heroine or cocaine) and would continue eating these foods even when electroshock was applied. The basic idea is fine, and interesting but what drives me nuts is the fact that the "addicted" diet is a combination of bacon, sausage, cheesecake and frosting - so why the fuck did they include all of the different types and not separate high fat from high sugar etc... Then they state plainly that all of those are bad for our brains. That is bad science! The whole point of a scientific experiment is to control variables so you can identify individual elements. Maybe the combination of sugar AND fat is the bad part but based on their design we have no idea because they did not investigate the role of just high fat vs high sugar etc AND the combinations. If for example there was no effect by either the high fat or high sugar alone, but a significant effect when combined that would be informative but for all we know it could just be the fat alone (highly unlikely - read Gary Taubes' Good Calories Bad Calories and then talk to me or better yet his NY Times article here) or and more likely it could be just the high sugar since there are numerous studies looking at the effect like this one from Princeton that looked at just the effect of sugar and low and behold it increased dopamine receptors in the rat brain. The problem with the CNN article is it blatantly states high fat which I disagree because they didn't look at that but rather high sugar with fat.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

T-Shirt

I know that the recently passed healthcare will need improvement but it is a huge step...and I saw this and loved it. I kinda want one....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Godidit!


I found this here and it is a very good response to people who use the argument from design, or complexity, or god of the gaps etc. to try and explain that which they do not understand - goddit!
Just because you can't understand how is not a good reason to think some supernatural puppetmaster had to do it


Now this goes hand in hand with another cartoon I liked over at Friendly Atheist regarding the Teloelogical Argument (see blow). A friend and I were just chatting about this the other day. Just because you don't understand something, and it seems too complicated so therefore someone must have designed it all is a horrible argument. Arthur C. Clarke once said that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic" and the same holds true for nature for many people (i.e., we don't understand every part yet, so therefore godidit) which is absurd. The secondary part which is another topic altogether is the point that EVERY sect of christianity or any religion for that matter, is a minority opinion (i.e., there are thousands of other sects that believe differently and think you are completely wrong), yet all think they are right and have the exact same reasons to support their own conclusions. They all use the same scriptures more or less (interpreted differently for no good reason), some form "personal experiences" or divine revelation etc.... But for some reason they all think believing in something kinda like the same god/christ/whatever is enough to band together under some commonality.... I think a lot of "them" should just read up on group selection and game theory or evolutionary stable strategies etc.,..... but then again many wouldn't take the time or understand it anyway.






Monday, March 15, 2010

Update

OK so I just got back from the Bodega Phylogenetics Workshop by UC Davis. The workshop was at their Bodega Marine Lab, and while quite intense at times, lots of work, inredibly slide-filled at times, overall it was fantastic and I highly recommend applying next year to anyone interested in this area and even if you can't go you can look at their wiki page. Their are lots of tutorials that walk you through data analysis and programming, and even some pictures from the week (I think a few people will be uploading more this week - only one with me in it so far lol).

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

What if You're Wrong?

This was a real question and answer period after a Richard Dawkins talk (a very common question to atheists by christians) and his answer is good - put to southpark-ish animation and I liked it enough to share - it's only a couple minutes

Friday, February 26, 2010

I want one

The MacGyver Multitool, actually I may have one....





Great Ad

Well, some people complained that I left the hot atheists up on purpose for a month but mostly I was at a conference in San Diego and just got lazy. I saw this ad online today and decided to share:


One of the best ads I think I have seen in a while. This was actually a public service message by Sussex Safer Roads.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sexiest Female Atheists

I found this over at Common Sense Atheism and had to share (now I like Natalie Portman and Jennifer Love-Hewitt even more!

This is directly from the site:

"Of course, there are probably hundreds of sexy actresses, models, and porn stars who just aren’t known as atheists, but here’s a list of the sexiest female confirmed atheists. (Here, I’m taking ‘atheist’ to mean “doesn’t believe in a personal god”, which would include many agnostics and Buddhists.)

atheist miranda kerr

atheist rose byrneatheist jennifer love hewitt

atheist adrianne curryatheist monica bellucciatheist diane farratheist natalie portmanatheist eva greenatheist jarah marianoatheist bree olsonatheist asia carreraatheist carrie fisheratheist asia argentoatheist arian mayeratheist angelina jolieatheist kaylee carver

Written by lukeprog in: General Atheism |

Sunday, December 13, 2009

How Observant Are You?

FYI This blogs picks on religion

Us science-ey, atheistic types get all sorts of arguments from religious people about why people "believe" something and one of the most common is they just know or they feel it etc, or that things have happened in their life they can't explain, which is really just a matter of the problem our human brain has with coincidences and the tendency to look for patters (which makes sense from an evolutionary perspective). But, what I really want to point out is that people in general, are very bad at observing the natural world and that we often selectively see what we want. This effects people's perspective - in fact many religions actively reject the idea of even trying to see the big picture by commanding that one not subject themselves to doubt or disbelievers etc....

This video isn't directed to religion in any way but it doesn't show how observant we really are (actually how bad we are). This is exactly why we need the scientific method (or maybe this is all just a social construct....oh another time) because trusting in our senses and observations alone fails most of the time. This also brings into question the reliability of eye witnesses as well, but thats another topic.



(PS and if you are wondering exactly how this relates to religion, it is that most religious people (especially fundamentalists) do not look at the big picture (compare their religion to others and seriously ask why one is better), they do not ask "what am I not seeing" that should be asked (evidence of biblical scholarship for example - who wrote what and when exactly), what evidence is there or not etc...)

For example most fundamental christians have no idea of the history of their own religion - like the actual date of Dec 25th for christmas itself which is related to a pagan holiday. In fact the details of christmas are a hodge-podge from the gospels since none of them give much detail, none tell what time of year, only one talks about a manger etc.... Not saying that theologists haven't tried to answer some of these - they have (although I think very poorly) but most people don;t even know the issues exist and are not even looking at the big picture.

In Fact, Bert Ehrman talks about the same thing in his book Misquoting Jesus, and Luke over at Common Sense Atheism discusses Ehrman's take on this.

Lets Sing Some X-Mas songs!

I found this over at Pharyngula and thought you might like it to start the season off right. Not overly anti-theistic btw: