Sunday, November 18, 2007
- First, evolution to create the present set of species has taken millions and millions of years, a time frame most of us cannot fathom.
- Speciation (or the development of a new species by evolution) requires a separation between members of a species and a separation of their environments .
- Evolution is occurring even today: Why do mosquitoes become resistant to DDT? Why do we need newer and newer strains of antibiotics? Why indeed is the AIDS virus so successful at avoiding every medicine we throw at it? Well, the answer is just one - natural (or in this case, human) selection. When we spray DDT or take antibiotics, we target and kill most mosquitoes(bacteria) in the environment. However, the few that due to some mutation survive, being selected by human selection, have the upper hand in reproduction, and spread the immune gene throughout the population, making the entire population resistant.
- Evolution does not happen only by random events: It is indeed true that a hurricane blowing through a garage of aeroplane parts will not assemble a Boeing 747, and it is true that random mutations on their own will not lead to speciation. However, random mutation in combination with non-random natural selection, that selects the fittest, either by killing off the weak, or by having mates choose a particular trait in the other sex.
Have been reading too much evolution. I hope to start reading more Physics from now on. Keep visiting!
BTW, I know my "speed of time" hypothesis is wrong, and if it isn't, I take no credit for getting it right. It was just a random thought that popped into my head.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
This took me on another nostalgic trip. To the times when the world was a lot more innocent than today. When a Ramayan would empty city roads, or when the only movies shown on TV were on Saturday and Sunday. The news ran everyday at 7:00 and 8:30 in the evening. Everyone saw the same programme, mostly on a black-and-white TV. Your TV was usually a Dyanora, or an ECTV, or a NELCO (which was mine). Families gathered around to watch a Buniyaad, or later, an Oshin. A 2-in-1 was a major purchase. Radios and TVs were taxed. I still remember the license my folks had taken, to own a RADIO - not a station!
In all this, my favourite TV serial was "Johnny Sokko and the Flying Robot" or "Giant Robot" as we knew it. This huge robot, controlled by a little kid, was so popular with us kids that we literally dropped everything - cricket bats, gillis, badminton rackets, chur-chand balls, marbles, even stones - to go watch this series. The next day, everyone would be doing the routine - the arms in front of the chest, then pointing upwards, followed by the "rap pa pa" tune, and flying away! Yeah, yeah, I know you want to see it too - here you go: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vY0e3aTj3pQ&feature=related
By today's standards, the graphics was crappy, the animation dodgy, and the story lines were like a three-year-old wrote it. Still, we loved it. It was every boy's dream - an adult who would do his bidding! :)
See this for some more memories: http://indrajal-comics.blogspot.com/