Science and Perspective.


If you know me, you know I am vocal about things I believe are wrong. Especially if they affect me and those I care about. Unfortunately, (for me) I seem to care about more and more people as I learn how connected we all are in the world. I also recognize how important my/our voices have become.

Check your feeds and followings. check your list serves and the professional communications from your organizations, your industries, your leaders. The world is a big place and we cannot respond to everything, but when something happens in your community, to your community, who speaks? What do they say?

More importantly, who is silent? Over the break or during the semester when women, men, members of the LGBTQ community, people of any religion, people from any country or culture are targeted by hate, is there a response?

Are they waiting for a response from someone higher up that they can model their behaviour after? Do undergraduates wait to see how upperclassmen respond? are the grad students waiting for the tenured faculty? Is your department chair waiting for the president of the University? Is the university president waiting for the Governor? Is the Governor waiting for the President of the country?

And you? who are you waiting on?

Tell someone, tell everyone.

I denounce racial supremacists. I denounce international hate. I denounce gender, race and ethnicity based violence and bigotry.

Now, at least I know you will not be waiting on me.


-This is in partial response to the Charlotteville, VA white supremacy gathering (August 11 2017) and violence that followed (August 12, 2017).


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Mixing your seed interferes with the diversity of nature! (My response)

A Facebook friend recently posted:

Mixing your seed interferes with the diversity of nature!

Ok. Basic rejection of the sentiments in this post.

Starting with the definitions.

Mixing of seed. I and most of the respondents on the original post take this to mean reproducing with others outside of your race. This is evident in the responses and Anku Sa Ra’s responses to them.

Interferes. This implies that the mixing of seed is contrary to the natural order of diversity in nature.

The diversity literally means variety. Numbers of different things in the simplest sense.

Nature. Occurring outside of deliberate intervention or man made influence.

If you are against the rest of what I am writing, start by telling me where these definitions are wrong.

Now. First, mixing of seed implies that there are fundamental differences between the seed (genetic material) of the races. And within the framework of the statement, differences that do not occur in nature. It is not true. Lots of racist scientists have tried to establish boundaries between (artificially constructed) races, eugenics is the most well known. But, we are all one species. We can all interbreed. Though there is lots of variation which is reduced within close proximity within geographically isolated populations, but that does not stop reproduction even between individuals whose ancestors have not crossed paths in millennia .

Diversity in nature indeed hinges upon differences between people and organisms. Sickle cell and other variations in our genes allow various groups to survive mosquito borne diseases as an example. Without variation, one catastrophe could wipe out an entire population by climate change disease etc. so micro and macro evolution work to counter these possibilities and the diversity in nature becomes greater over time unless interrupted by outside forces.

Interfering with natural diversity cannot happen by “mixing seed” in fact, that would contribute to the diversity in nature as it has since the beginning of earth biology. when humans have reduced the mixing of seed, it has inherently created weaker populations. Monocultures like corn and Augustina grasses for example take huge investments to maintain their health as they become less and less genetically diverse, especially under shifting climatic conditions. Isolated populations such as native people of the americas were hit hard with introduced diseases from the old world. Many such people died out due to the combination of deliberate genocide, enslavement and disease.

Granted, I am phenotypically black by American standards and married to a Mexican woman with whom I have two amazing sons, so I do have an emotional horse in this race. Heh. Race. And full disclosure, all of my brothers have children across cultures and what some would call races.

At the core, a statement like this, by a religious leader disgusts me. But, once I put that aside, it is wholly an unsupported opinion.

Some references:

the diversity of life by E.O. Wilson;

The Naked Ape by Desmond Morris;

Evolution at Berkeley

Indiana discusses convolution and the red queen hypothesis here.

This nature article highlights genetic drift and loss of diversity in populations.

This article points out how race and ethnicity arguments blur the understanding of genomics.

Inside and inside dog

Inside every inside dog is an outside dog waiting to get out. Inside every outside dog is an inside dog waiting to get in.

Sent from my iPad

Spider man’s pun: a web

So… Alma says, “there is a spider on the clock: go kill it.”
First, I go take a macro photo to document it of course. But then the spider is like, “you got a flash? I am the Flash!”
It starts running around the molding and then the clock face, and jumps off the clock!

I am not afraid of spiders and I do not revel in the death or suffering of others, but, this is one of those small yellow spiders that bite hard. I got bit by one off of CJ’s clothesline in winton when we used to take care of Merlin’s dogs.

Anyway, I have kids now and if I can help it, they are not gonna get bit by any spiders if I can help it.
So as the spider descended on its invisible web all, Tom Cruise, Mission:Impossible style, I clapped my hands together. Now, the web was still attached to the clock and without even thinking, I said, “Time’s Up!”

Proudest moment of my life…just realized, I still haven’t washed my hands…
Anyway, proudest moment of my life. Killed a spider with my bare hands, to protect my family, while making a bad pun worthy of an action movie from the late eighties.

NB: the spider died almost instantly, so I do not think it suffered.


Sent from my iPad

Natural Earth

Ok. So you have to make a map and you need data. Check out Natural Earth. This is an excellent resource to find your data about the natural world.

Happy in a place…

Today Jill Korach (awesome person) said her work deals with how being happy in a place makes people more likely to protect it.

This makes me think of the places I have been happy and the places I want to protect.

I realize, we need to introduce people to the things that create happiness in a way that connects you to a place. The sounds, the smells, the light, the feel of the breeze, the beauty of the birds and the plants. Are we doing that in conservation? In our science classes?

Math and Biology opportunity

Hello BEiNGS,
Follow the link for an opportunity international students are eligible for.


You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty. -Jessica Mitford, author, journalist, and civil rights activist (11 Sep 1917-1996)


My avocado looked sad.
I said let’s play whackamole ey?

Ancilleno Davis, PhD. Candidate
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology- Miami University, Oxford Ohio

R-code fail 2018 3 30

Occasionally, you will do something that causes you significantly more stress or work.
it probably happened to others before you and may happen to others after you.
read about mine so you dont do the same thing.

Step1: write #googleearthengine code to generate raster images in three different models.

Step 2: write #rcode to lay those three models on top of one another and extract the values for them at 100 randomly selected points.

Step 3: export the new table as a csv file

Step 4: take two days to laboriously visually classify each of those randomly selected points from satellite imagery.

Step 5: make sure to Save the file

Step 6: run the R code again

Step 7: realize you just ran the r code to overwrite the points you just laboriously visually classified with the raster values.

Step 8: start to cuss.

Step 9: save the file under a different name and LABORIOUSLY VISUALLY CLASSIFY 100 RANDOMLY SELECTED POINTS!!

Step 10: save your work and give up for the day.

Safe spaces

Safety also includes psychological and emotional safety, the feeling of being free from the likelihood of being harmed. Once a person sees behind the curtain and knows the space is not safe, there is no safe space until you drop the curtain and remove the threat.

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