Nonrandom Evolution

“Extinction is the rule. Survival is the exception.”

Next “Evidence for Evolution” Piece Coming Out Later Today… In the Meantime…

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Part 2 of the “Evidence for Evolution” series should be out later today if everything goes to plan! In the meantime, here is a “nonrandom” selection of inspiring science related media that you may or may not have heard of!

Melodysheep is one of the most popular science channels on YouTube. It is famous for remixed science videos known as the “Symphony of Science.” In these videos, the greatest of the modern scientists and science popularizers, people such as Stephen Hawking, Carl Sagan, Morgan Freeman, Michio Kaku, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Richard Dawkins, David Attenborough, Bill Nye et al., are synthesized and made to appear as if they are singing. (I think “songified” is the word I’m looking for.) The videos are superbly edited and produced, and personally speaking, Melodysheep is my favorite YouTube channel. Here are a few of my favorite videos in no particular order: 

“A Glorious Dawn,” featuring Sagan and Hawking, “We are All Connected,” featuring Richard Feynman and Neil deGrasse Tyson, “The Poetry of Reality: An Anthem for Science,” featuring 12 different scientists and enthusiasts, “Humanity’s Epoch: ANTHROPOCENE,” which you just need to see for yourself, and “Ode to the Brain,” featuring Sagan, Nye, and others. 

To be honest, it’s hard to just choose a few of these videos as most of Melodysheep’s Symphony of Science videos are sublime. Here are some other superbly done YouTube videos that you just have to see!

1. Space Shuttle Launch in HD. This. Is. Incredible. Be sure to turn your speakers up as loud as you can handle (and use surround sound if you have it), as the video was actually made to give you a feeling for just how powerful a shuttle launch [was]. It nearly moved me to tears as it emphasized to me just how great we humans can be when we cooperate and “put our minds together” in the pursuit of a worthy and noble goal! Prior to the 20th century, no one was capable of imagining a way humanity could ever possibly escape Earth’s atmosphere. In 1895, for example, Lord Kelvin, a prominent scientist and mathematician of the late 19th and early 20th century who ‘discovered’ the minimum possible temperature or “absolute zero,” infamously stated that, “heavier than air flying machines are impossible!” He could have never imagined a day when humans were not only flying around the planet, or, in what would have seemed utterly preposterous, launching themselves in chemically fueled rockets by way of a controlled explosion in an effort to exceed Earth’s escape velocity and soar to the Moon! (Be sure to also check out this video… A man captured America’s final shuttle launch from his cell phone camera whilst flying in airplane!)

2. Carl Sagan’s penultimate interview (set of 3 videos averaging a bit under 7 minutes each), given on May 26th, 1996. He discussed science, pseudoscience, religion and more. He also delivered one of my favorite lines, “Science is more than a body of knowledge. It is a way of thinking, a way of skeptically interrogating the universe.” Most of my readers are likely familiar with Carl Sagan’s Cosmos and Pale Blue Dot, but I’d wager that many of you haven’t seen Carl speak off of a script. In my opinion, he was even more eloquent in regular conversation and debate, speaking (as he wrote) in perfect paragraphs and subtly commanding and dictating the course of events. There have not been many people, at least in our day and age, whom are able to show such dominance while speaking in such an incidental manner. Neil deGrasse Tyson tends to dominate conversations, but he does so through the use of interruption. When Carl spoke, you simply knew to just shut up and listen because the man was about to drop some knowledge! 

3. Physicist and Nobel laureate Richard Feynman on “Beauty.” Part of The Feynman Series of videos by Reid Gower, whose name you may recognize as the creator of The Sagan Series. I highly suggest viewing both sets of series if/when you have the time. Richard Feynman was able to look at the world through child’s eyes (which is an incredibly high compliment), and he was able to see “things” about the natural world that others were unable to see or simply overlooked as being “unimportant” or irrelevant. Feynman’s famous line, “I can live with doubt, uncertainty, and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of certainty on different things, but I’m not absolutely sure of anything, and there are many things I don’t know anything about! But I don’t have to know an answer. I don’t feel frightened by not knowing things…”

4. “…There’s something more. Spaceflight speaks to something deep inside us, many of us, if not all. A scientific colleague tells me about a recent trip to the New Guinea highlands where she visited a stone age culture hardly contacted by Western civilization. They were ignorant of wristwatches, soft drinks, and frozen food. But they knew about Apollo 11. They knew that humans had walked on the Moon. They knew the names of Armstrong and Aldrin and Collins. They wanted to know, who was visiting the Moon these days?” This is my favorite video from the aforementioned “Sagan Series.” That line spoken by Carl Sagan gets me every time. I’ll let Carl speak for himselfTHE SAGAN SERIES (part 6) – End of an Era: The Final Shuttle Launch

5. I wasn’t going to add this video as it isn’t a science video, but it is an excellent video nonetheless. It’s a speech by New Zealand MP Maurice Williamson in regards to the recent passing of a bill [in New Zealand] allowing same sex marriage. Williamson studied physics at university, and he uses that background to make a few science-based jokes and to belay the irrational fears of those who believe the world will end (or something like that) due to the passing of the bill. It went viral recently, and I hope you enjoy it and share it with your friends and family. 

I hope you enjoy the infotainment provided! I have a whole treasure trove that you’re welcome to ask me about, but I just wanted to share a few of my favorites with you. If you have some personal favorites that you’d like to share with me, please write them in the comments, Tweet them to me @NonrandomEvo, or use the “Contact Me” page at the top of the screen to email them to me, and they may be added to this list! Thanks for reading and remember, my next piece in the “Evidence for Evolution” series should be out later today.



Author: Jake

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