Daily Archives: March 19, 2014

Biologic Institute

http://www.biologicinstitute.org/

The Mismeasure of Man: Why Popular Ideas about Human-Chimp Comparisons Are Misleading or Wrong

By Ann Gauger

The more we learn about life,
the more clearly it reveals design.

You have probably heard that our DNA, the stuff that makes us human, is only 1% different from chimps. The claim that we are little more than apes is now part of the Zeitgeist of our culture, having been propagated in the popular press for nearly 40 years. However, that statement and the conclusions drawn from it are false.

Let’s look at the first claim, that we are only 1% different from chimps. That measurement only compares base changes in human and chimp DNA. It doesn’t include other kinds of changes to the DNA, like deletions and insertions or rearrangements. In addition, because of the sequencing methods used, repetitive DNA is not included.

Now that complete or nearly complete genome sequences for humans and chimps are available, a better picture of our differences and similarities is emerging. A 2007 essay in the journal Science, “Relative Differences: The Myth of 1%,” says this (the pdf is here ):

Researchers are finding that on top of the 1% distinction, chunks of missing DNA, extra genes, altered connections in gene networks, and the very structure of chromosomes confound any quantification of “humanness” versus “chimpness.”

To be specific, in addition to the 1% distinction already noted, entire genes are either duplicated or deleted between the two species, sometimes in long stretches called segmental duplications. Such duplications represent a 6.4% difference between chimps and humans. There are also insertions and deletions within genes, which affect the structure and function of the proteins they encode. That contributes another 3%, according to some estimates. And there are entirely new genes, specific to humans.

Global Climate Change
Environment Ethics

Discovery Institute – The Human Exceptionalist

http://www.discovery.org/che/the/

The Human Exceptionalist newsletter is a monthly publication, authored by Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith. The newsletter alerts readers to important developments in a diverse set of issue areas—but especially those that define how we, as a culture, view the sanctity of human life. The newsletter is not just a way inform readers, however. It is also an educational tool, meant to provide subscribers with the arguments needed to defend ‘human exceptionalism’ in their homes and communities. In short, it is the “next step” in Discovery Institute’s growing work in this field, and in our efforts to combat the anti-human sentiment that is becoming so prevalent in our culture.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

David Attenborough – Humans are plague on Earth – Telegraph

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthnews/9815862/Humans-are-plague-on-Earth-Attenborough.html

Humans are a plague on the Earth that need to be controlled by limiting population growth, according to Sir David Attenborough.

Sir David said commentary from presenters like himself is becoming less necessary as camera work is able to tell a story Photo: PA

By Louise Gray, Environment Correspondent

12:01AM GMT 22 Jan 2013

The television presenter said that humans are threatening their own existence and that of other species by using up the world’s resources.

He said the only way to save the planet from famine and species extinction is to limit human population growth.

“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now,” he told the Radio Times.

Sir David, who is a patron of the Population Matters, has spoken out before about the “frightening explosion in human numbers” and the need for investment in sex education and other voluntary means of limiting population in developing countries.

“We keep putting on programmes about famine in Ethiopia; that’s what’s happening. Too many people there. They can’t support themselves — and it’s not an inhuman thing to say. It’s the case. Until humanity manages to sort itself out and get a coordinated view about the planet it’s going to get worse and worse.”

…(read more).

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Sir David Attenborough: If we do not control population, the natural world will

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/10316271/Sir-David-Attenborough-If-we-do-not-control-population-the-natural-world-will.html

Attempting to solve famine in Africa by simply sending flour bags is “barmy”, Sir David Attenborough has said, as he argued it was nature’s response to too many people and not enough land.

Sir David Attenborough Photo: BBC/Atlantic Productions

By Hannah Furness

7:00AM BST 18 Sep 2013

Sir David, who is soon to present a programme on human beings, said population control was a “huge area of concern”, adding the world was “heading for disaster unless we do something”.

He warned if humans do not act soon, the “natural world will do something”, as he argues famine in Ethiopia is about “too many people for too little piece of land”.

He suggested humans are “blinding ourselves” to the problem, claiming: “We say, get the United Nations to send them bags of flour. That’s barmy.”

In an interview with the Telegraph, ahead of new programme David Attenborough’s Rise of Animals, he admitted the issues had “huge sensitivities” but insisted it was important to “just keep on about it”.

When asked about comments he made on population control earlier this year, when he said human beings were a “plague on the Earth, Sir David agreed they could be considered “blindingly obvious” but claimed nobody else had made the point publicly.

…(read more).

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

The War on Humans


DiscoveryInstitute

Published on Feb 18, 2014

Are humans the enemy? Should pigs and peas have constitutional rights? The War on Humans is a 31-minute documentary that critiques growing efforts to disparage the value of humans in the name of saving the planet. The documentary investigates the views of anti-human activists who want to grant legal rights to animals, plants, and “Mother Earth,” and who want to reduce the human population by up to 90%. The video features Discovery Institute Senior Fellow Wesley J. Smith, author of a companion e-book with the same title.

Global Climate Change
Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

Analyzing the uphill optimism of the Millennial generation

PBS NewsHour

Published on Mar 19, 2014

Each generation leaves a unique imprint. “The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown” sheds light on how today’s youngest adults differ from and clash with their parents and grandparents. Author Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center joins Judy Woodruff to discuss what distinguishes today’s Americans aged 18-33.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics

President Obama Hosts a Screening of “Cesar Chavez: An American Hero”


The White House

Published on Mar 19, 2014

President Obama delivers remarks before a White House screening of a film celebrating the life of Cesar Chavez, who dedicated his life to making sure that our country lived up to the words of our founding and the idea that all of us are created equal. March 19, 2014.

Environmental Justice
Environment Ethics
Food-Matters