therealzilch

therealzilch

42p

65 comments posted · 2 followers · following 0

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - Throwback Thursday: W... · 8 replies · +1 points

Kudzu was brought to North America from its native Japan by humans, for the Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia in 1876. Normally plants such as kudzu can't cross oceans, because their seeds are killed by salt water. So this is not surprising, any more than Australia being overrun by rabbits or Austria by raccoons, both introduced also by people with boats.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - Throwback Thursday: W... · 1 reply · +1 points

Evolution doesn't work that way, Roger: you don't stack bricks over and over at random and then suddenly one day one of the random stackings is a house. You have mostly very small changes, and the ones that help the organism to survive better- and it need only be a fraction of a percent better chances to survive, given the huge amounts of time and huge numbers of organisms all mutating in different ways, in order for natural selection to allow ratcheting up slowly (ratcheting because even tiny improvements are preserved, tiny disadvantages discarded, in the long run) from simple beginnings to the complex organisms we have on our planet now.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - Throwback Thursday: W... · 1 reply · +1 points

Roger, "absolute proof" is something that can only apply within systems of formal logic such as math. Scientific statements about the world are never "absolute", but are always imperfect and subject to revision. The closest we have in science to "absolutely true" statements are parts of physical laws- for instance, the inverse square relation between distance apart and gravitational pull for bodies in space.

But even if science isn't perfect, it's good enough to enable us to hold this transatlantic conversation in cyberspace, and many other wonders.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - I Don\'t Regret It · 0 replies · +1 points

And you get to eat babies.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - The Face of Jesus · 0 replies · +1 points

Same to you, good sir.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - The Face of Jesus · 1 reply · +1 points

If you're older than dirt, what am I older than, Mr. Michael? I was walking and talking while you were still just a gleam in your parents' eyes. :lol:

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - About · 1 reply · +2 points

Thanks, engineer. I'm embarrassed I didn't think of cutting and pasting myself.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - About · 5 replies · +1 points

Off topic question: when there are too many replies in one thread, the last ones get so narrow that they are one letter wide and vertical, and thus very hard to read. I can't get the format to change by messing around with the window. Any suggestions, anyone?

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - Throwback Thursday: W... · 5 replies · +1 points

Roger: even if pinion seeds are "mostly destroyed", not all are destroyed, and those that are not destroyed are free to sprout, often far from the shade of the parent tree. Do you not believe that? Do you not see how that could result in more baby plants than having seeds that were inedible but all sprouted under the parent tree?

And about polar bears: "not declining" doesn't necessarily mean "increasing"- it can also mean "stable". In fact, that's what it says in your own link.

And as far as polar bears adapting to less ice: sure, it can happen, and something like it certainly happened in the other direction for polar bears to evolve in the first place. But ice is melting very fast as a result of global warming, and it's unlikely that they will evolve fast enough. The generation time of polar bears is about ten years, and it would take more than just a few generations for them to acclimate to the changes which are happening on a timescale of just a few decades.

This is of course true for many animals and plants. Some biologists say that the current rate of man-made extinctions is even more drastic than the greatest extinction event so far on Earth, at the end of the Permian.

9 years ago @ Do You Believe That? - Throwback Thursday: W... · 1 reply · +1 points

Forest fires don't disturb the ground? They heat it and cover it with a layer of ashes. I don't know what your definition of "disturb" is, but that qualifies as a "disturbance" to me. And to many plants and animals too, because clearings made by forest fires are usually resettled by different plants and animals than lived there before- at least at first.