Saturday, November 24, 2007

Rooting interests or the BCS nightmare scenario...

LSU, who was ranked number one in the BCS rankings, lost last night to unranked Arkansas. This sets up the nightmare scenario for the lords of the BCS as the Warriors of Hawaii kept winning (they are 11-0 now). If this week Missouri beats Kansas, UConn upsets West Virginia, and Oklahoma St. beats Oklahoma, and Missouri then looses next week in the Big-12 championship game it would mean Ohio State at 11-1 would be number 1 and going to the championship game. Number two would be unclear but most likely it would be a team with two losses. The same scenario can come to be if West Virginia wins this week but then looses to Pitt next week. In other words a team that has lost twice in a season would be going to the BCS Championship Game over Hawaii, a team, if they beat Washington next week, that went undefeated. Kansas under this scenario would have only one loss and would also be out of the big game. The BCS would be shown to be the joke it is.

Besides how do you pick one two loss team over another? How it is set up now, if a team lost two weeks ago would be in better shape than one that losses this week or next (including one that would have only one). It is absurd.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Sociobiology, evolutionary psychology and Chimps. Oh my!

Over on Evolving Thoughts, John Wilkins is going to make the case for sociobiology. He starts out by distancing sociobiology from evolutionary psychology taking the position the latter takes an overly adaptationist view of evolution. It should be interesting to say the least.

What I am still waiting on is to find someone to discuss the article published in PNAS a couple weeks ago entitled Phylogenetic analyses of behavior support existence of culture among wild chimpanzees. The authors, as summed up in the commentary by Andrew Whiten accompanying the article, "conclude that the phylogenetic trees that best describe the affinities between the behavioral profiles of different chimpanzee communities are not compatible with a genetic explanation and instead support the cultural interpretation." In other words, Chimps might have social learning and the cultures that go with that. An interesting question is then, did the last common ancestral ape of Chimps and humans also have social learning/culture? If so, how does that impact how we view human evolution? If yes, then the evolution of humans in terms of brain development/intelligence/behavior/etc. must be looked at in both a biological and social context (really the interplay between the two).

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Remember in '08, Vote Colbert!

Colbert's campaign is over before it really began. The Democratic Party in South Carolina has decided not to allow Colbert to be on the ballot in their Primary. He paid the fee ($2,500) but they have the option of not letting him enter if they don't think he can win.

I have to say given they have that option, why do they charge a fee? At least it is not as crazy as the GOP. The fee for them is $35,000. Talk about crazy! Forget about paying for a campaign, someone who is working class can't get even in the game for the two major parties.

Just for this my vote for 2008 is going to be a write-in: Stephen Colbert. I encourage others to do the same. The system isn't broken, it is just set-up in a manner that isn't for, of and by the people. Colbert is a vote for pointing out the absurdity of it all in a nation that tries and sells itself as a democracy.

For those of you thinking you will be wasting you vote, REALITY CHECK you usually are wasting your vote in a presidential election. The way the electoral college works means if you are in a solid Blue or Red state, it doesn't matter who you vote for. Even in "swing" states the margin of victory is so significant in actual number of votes that you choosing to vote Colbert isn't really going to matter. Look at the numbers and think. Your vote is already being wasted. If that is the case, why not send a message? What do you have to lose? I say vote Colbert in '08! Write him in. Send a message!