Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Monday, March 30, 2009

Debating Creationists

"Debating creationists on the topic of evolution is rather like trying to play chess with a pigeon - it knocks the pieces over, craps on the board, and flies back to its flock to claim victory." ~ Anonymous reviewer of Eugenie Scott's Evolution vs. Creationism : An Introduction.

pigeon_reading_dino_talons.jpg Pigeon reading image by evolutionist65

Satiety or Why Don't The Candles Taste Better Than The Cake?

Moving House... so no posts recently.. not that anybody cares... !sob!.

chewbacca.jpg image by lmproduction

New things:

Bob Dylan's Theme Time Radio: ultracool mumblings of an old-time beatnik

Ball Droppings: fun for the kiddies

Monoface: fun for the kiddies

Techreview: from MIT

AcademicEarth: Youtube for the intellectual

Dan Dennett on "Cute, Sexy, Sweet and Funny" from TED. Great talk. Obvious when you think about it. At the deepest level of 'meaning' in the mind, a monkey looking at monkey-porn experiences the same as a human looking at human-porn. It's all about porn. Did i miss something?

That Chewbacca-chick did look purrty...

I have a problem with the idea of "sweetness" existing to give pleasure to a glucose molecule so as to reinforce the idea that 'sugar tastes nice'. If this was important from an evolutionary point of view, why then doesn't FAT taste 'sweet' too? There's about 9 times as much energy in fat than sugar- you'd think a lump of butter would taste better than a sugar cube but it doesn't. Why not? Water tastes "good" but only if you're thirsty. Even if you're REALLY hungry- fat doesn't taste "good". Once you've eaten it an the cholecystokinin is released from your gut- you do get some CNS 'satiety' happening but it's a far cry from the bliss of a chocolate bar.

Why don't the candles taste better than the cake?.. maybe because there's no 'taste-bud' receptor for 'fat' like there is for sugar.... but WHY not?***

There's a taste-bud for Umami- and most of us don't even know what that tastes like! Why did we evolve a liking for MSG that has no nutritional value, but not for a high energy-density food like fat?

Perhaps this is like trying to 'explain' (from an evolutionary point of view) why men have nipples or women, orgasms. Without the missing piece of the puzzle, It's a modern "just so" story. Not everything uttered by a scientist is scientific!

Most of what we call 'taste' is actually smell anyway- i guess a BBQ smells better than a sugar cube but the evolution of our sensory systems must predate the invention of cooking by a couple of billion years.


*** maybe CD36 is a "fat-bud".