This one is short and to the point. It was a slow news week, we were both tired, Brian had been sick, and we took so long prepping we were running out of time to record. The result? A 40 minute BFP!
To many people, evolution is synonymous with an increase in complexity, but there are many examples in nature of organisms evolving to become less biologically complicated. Scientists call this “reductive evolution.”
The Black Queen Hypothesis (BQH) refers to a playing card, in this case the queen of spades in the game Hearts. In Hearts the goal is to score as few points as possible. The queen of spades, however, is worth as many points as all other cards combined, and therefore a central goal of the game is to not be the player that ends up with that card. In the context of evolution, the BQH posits that certain genes, or more broadly, biological functions, are analogous to the queen of spades. Such functions are costly and therefore undesirable, leading to a selective advantage for organisms that stop performing them. At the same time, the function must provide an indispensable public good, necessitating its retention by at least a subset of the individuals in the community — after all, one cannot play Hearts without a queen of spades.
Full paper found at: http://mbio.asm.org/content/3/2/e00036-12.full.pdf+html
We liked this one for a couple of reasons and take the opportunity to remark on the obviousness of evolution.
Two Syrian-American brothers sneaked back into Syria to fight the Assad government. They ran into their father in the besieged city of Idlib, and he was not happy to see them.
We both get behind these guys and their father, but contrast their story with this asshattery from last year.
Donald Trump‘s latest paranoid conspiracy theory rant is that vaccines cause autism in children. The failed Republican presidential wannabe candidate told Fox News that he “couldn’t care less” what people — including the medical community that has found this theory to be false — think; he “knows cases” where he believes this is true.
Wow. Just wow. Is anyone listening to this moron for anything other than morbid comedic purposes? Anti-vax now, halfwit? Seriously?
Items of Interest:
Rumor has it the next-generation Xbox may limit exactly what kind of games you’re allowed to play. According to sources speaking to Kotaku, the Xbox 360’s successor will have some kind of anti-used-game enforcement. There’s no explanation of what that means, but speculation surrounding the issue says the console could outright reject used-games altogether.
Are you guys kidding us? If a consumer buys your media, that copy is theirs, to do with what they will. Bite me.
The Global Secular Humanist Movement is a social movement that aims to promote public understanding and acknowledgment of the secular humanistic worldview, including economical freedom, equal individual rights and acceptance for people who hold it. It was founded in September 2010 by Faisal Saeed Al-Mutar and Co-Founded by Gordon Michael Morris.
I’ve spent some time with Faisal in Google+ Hangouts
President Barack Obama signed legislation Wednesday barring members of Congress, the president and thousands of federal workers from profiting from nonpublic information learned on the job, calling it an embodiment of the fundamental American value of fair play.
We wonder why this wasn’t already in place.
We got a phone number! That’s right, even though I forgot to mention it in the episode, I got the podcast a Google Voice number so you can call us and rage about how bad we suck. At some point, you may even be able to call in to the show live and participate. Call any time and leave us a message at: (657) 210-1237