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Recent Comments

I tend to agree, but it depends on *how* something was tested. In "Darwinian Agriculture", I argue that testing by ability to persist is weaker than testing by competition against alternatives. Trees compete against each other, but forests don't. Societies often compete and their moral systems pr...(read more)

There are so many possible coincidences, it would be surprising if none of them happened.

I observed 2012 transit of Venus, right on schedule.

Don't know an easy way to prove changing earth-moon distance, but changes in speed of earth's rotation can be seen as changes in number of days per year, v...(read more)

Great post!

Evolution of antibiotic resistance is indeed fairly easy, but how about evolving something visibly different? Evolution of simple multicellularity from a unicellular ancestor is easier than you might think: http://www.snowflakeyeastlab.com/

If we can solve the earth-orbits-the-sun prob...(read more)

Since most of these would, if successful, result in an imperfect copy of yourself, rather than extending your own consciousness, you could include "have children." If you really want a perfect copy, rather than a genome enriched by a partner, then human cloning is closer to feasible than cryopreser...(read more)

Tax-deferred retirement accounts make sense if you expect your tax rate to be lower in retirement than now. I expect tax rates to increase, so would rather pay the tax now than when I take the money out. In US, Roth IRA allows that.

"Your Money or Your Life" is worth reading. Build up your sav...(read more)

You might like the "simple practice cases" in my recently published book, Darwinian Agriculture. Has natural selection favored solar tracking by leaves because it increases photosynthesis, or because it decreases the photosynthesis of competitors? What sex ratio (in reindeer, say) is favored by na...(read more)

It's even a little trickier than that. If overall population is increasing then one offspring this year may lead to greater proportional representation in the gene pool than two offspring next year. What few people recognize is that the opposite can be true if the population is decreasing.

But I ...(read more)

I think that only works if you say "even if that were true, which we don't need to discuss now, I would argue that..." It's much harder to get someone to accept "for the sake of argument" something they strongly disagree with.

For example, I would only accept "morality comes from the Bible" if I ha...(read more)

You may find this story (a scientist dealing with evidence that conflicts with his religion) interesting.

http://www.exmormonscholarstestify.org/simon-southerton.html

In addition to the emotional issues you raise, there's the question of thresholds and scalability. If the puppy program already exists, giving $10 will help more puppies. But, for many scientific research projects, there's no point in even starting with less than $100K in hand. That could be $10 e...(read more)