Sulfur played vital role in the development of life on earth

Sulfur played a vital role in the history of life on earth a new study says, and the fact that sulfur was abundant in the early earth, meaning plenty of material for microbes to metabolize to serve as fuel for photosynthesis, means that the abundance of sulfur in the early earth played a vital role in the oxygenation of the earth’s atmosphere.

However, because sulfur quickly degrades in an oxidized environment, the sulfur chemistry of early life on earth was “quickly lost to time,” as the article says.

Because sulfur is quickly oxidized in an oxygen-rich environment, and then removed from the atmosphere by precipitation and run-off into the ocean, the sulfur chemistry of early Archean life was phased out and lost to time. However, by understanding the mass independent fractionation process, it should be possible to learn more about the atmosphere of the pre-oxygenated Earth and the conditions in which the first life on Earth lived.

The process behind the mass independent fractionation of sulfur remains uncertain, but the two most popular hypotheses are either photolysis (the breaking apart of molecules) by ultraviolet light from the Sun, or reactions between elemental sulfur. “However, the actual phenomenon, reaction or mechanism is still to be identified,” says Dmitri Babikov, a Professor of Physical Chemistry and Molecular Physics at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

The article says that sulfur isotopes could serve as potential indicators of environments similar to that of the early earth’s, but that today’s technology is too limited to be of any help in identifying such indicators in potential exoplanets. Let’s hope the Jim Webb telescope is launched soon, for much is yet to be learned about the universe at large.

A summary course in logic

I’ve decided to take it upon myself to correct a few basic misconceptions about the nature of logical fallacies.

First thing’s first is what is called the “fallacy fallacy” ( wherein a fallacious argument is taken to be incorrect ”because” it is fallacious, rather than merely being an example of faulty reasoning.

Take the following statement:

Bears have fins, only mammals have fins, therefore bears are mammals.

The conclusion is correct, while the reasoning is demonstrably false. An argument can still be correct even if it is fallacious.

Let us examine another statement:

Bears have fur, only mammals have fur, therefore bears are mammals.

The conclusion is the same as the above statement, but unlike the previous statement, the reasoning here is not demonstrably false, meaning that the reasoning here is sound.

So, to reiterate, an argument doesn’t have to be incorrect because it is fallacious, for logical fallacies have nothing to do with matters of “correctness,” it only has to do with flaws in reasoning.

On natural hierarchies and material conditions

I was disputing whether or not right wing “anarchism” is legitimately anarchism or not. The devil’s advocate in the discussion told me that right wing “anarchists” reject “constructed hierarchy,” while still believing in so-called “natural hierarchies,” I rejected that therefore right wing individualism is true anarchism, because anarchists reject all hierarchies.

The discussion eventually lead to one about solipsism, natural law, the great man theory of history, so on and so forth, and it lead me to write this little entry about that conversation and where it lead me. So, here we are.

Right wingers believe in natural hierarchy, it’s an essentialist viewpoint, but as we shall see there all natural hierarchies are spooks, there’s no such thing as a “natural order of things,” as per Hume’s guillotine, “an ought cannot be derived from an is.” The world isn’t static and immutable, it is constantly changing. My opponent brought up the right wing belief of the “cycle of history,” summed up like this: “Strong men create good times, good times create weak men, weak men create hard times, hard times create strong men ad nauseam.

This is way too much of an overgeneralizing statement, and ignores material conditions. I pointed out the exact conditions of the Cold War couldn’t have occurred without the invention of nukes, even if there are rough analogues to Cold War esque situations in the past (which there are, but that’s a discussion for another time). My point being that the invention of nukes is what lead to the Cold War, and the Cold War wouldn’t have occurred without them.

Material conditions are important, natural orders don’t exist, the world is not static, and tomorrow will be different from today, as the actors of history are always changing, as is the setting itself.


People here will often shout that we should be “proud of our democracy and freedoms,” but as Westerners we should know that our democracy comes at the expense of other people’s democracy as we plunder their resources and hold them in economic vassalage. You tell me I should be proud to be an American, or a member of the EU, but why? The fact I was born a marginalized, working class American is completely out of my control, I could’ve been born an orphan in Syria for example, all of us could have. Not to mention that these countries were built off the back of slavery and genocide, which still happens to this day, there’s a reason indigenous peoples protest Australia Day, Canada Day, Columbus Day, so on and so forth, because our prosperity is at their expense.

So, tell me, why should I be patriotic? There’s a difference between gratitude and pride after all, I am grateful I was born in the US versus, say, Somalia, but I have no reason to be proud of that. And even so, being born here, I still am a marginalized person living a precarious existence, I have more in common with the people of the global south than I do the capitalist class here.

Mathematics of the evolution of the human-chimp lineage

Kleinman has challenged me to “do the math of the chimp-human lineage,”
since six million years is roughly equivalent to six hundred thousand
generations, and herein I’ll show how it’s far easier to calculate than
he thought. On average, at conception, you start out with 150 new
mutations right off the bat, something Kleinman should be aware of, and
since for the purposes of this calculation six million years = six
hundred thousand generations, we will calculate 150 times 600000 and see
what we get.

150 x 600000 = 90000000

So, knowing that at conception you have 150 mutations right off the bat,
and that there has been roughly six hundred thousand generations since
the LCA of both humans and chimps, we can safely assume a minimum of
ninety million mutations having occurred since then cumulatively in each
generation from the past to the present.

Kleinman’s one pony trick, the so-called “replication issue,” is easily
solved when one realizes we’re dealing with relatively small populations
isolated from each other by both time and space, and hence mutations
could spread far more easily in such small populations than they can in
a population as large as that of modern humans, which for most of
history was also relatively small, having ballooned only in the last 10k
years since the invention of farming.

The Good DrDr may contest this by asking how many of these mutations
were “beneficial mutations,” and as we shall see only the environment
determines whether a mutation is beneficial, neutral, or negative,
something DocDoc contests but is true nonetheless.

Abolish government

The time has come to abolish the state, which has proven itself wholly incapable of protecting and serving all of its citizens and only serves to protect the interests of the ruling class. No reforms will be able to undo this fact, for as long capital exists there will be someone willing to subvert the gains made on behalf of the common people. The only way to right this wrong is by revolution, not reformism.

The time for action is now, the working class will overthrow the bourgeois state and replace it with communism. Get out there and organize folks, prepare yourselves, or else we will all suffer due to the hubris of our “betters.” This is evidenced by the Australian government’s reluctance to adequately fight climate change, the very thing causing those wildfires in Australia in the first place, and its refusal to tax the billionaires, only taking money from the National Disabled Fund, from people who actually NEED that money,

Trump is cutting food stamps and social security, leaving many more people without access to life-saving safety nets, charity doesn’t cut it, we need bread! The police are actively crushing squatting movements, which are occupying vacant homes and claiming them for themselves, there are more empty houses than there are homeless people, we can afford to spare a few of them.

Sending riot squads out against defenseless mothers and children in Oakland, they have declared war on the people. The time has come to fight back! Reclaim our streets! Reclaim our dignity! Act now!

Newton’s Giants

“I stand on the shoulder of giants,” Newton said. Just imagine a series of giants, each one hoisted on the shoulders of equally great giants below them. Who bears the load? Who is the loadbearer, the original giant that hoists all of those giants up above them, like Atlas holds the sky? Who’s the Atlas of Newton’s Giants?

We may never know, but I suspect, that if the myths are true, they have reached apotheosis, think of them as the patron god of giants. Imhotep seems a plausible candidate, but I doubt it, as far back into the past as he was, he lived far too recently for him to qualify as the ORIGINAL giant. Could it have been he (or she) who first invented fire? That seems like a plausible candidate, after all the usage of fire has shaped our bodies down to the bone, reducing our musculature by half, making our jaws weak, but allowing room for our brains to grow, for the appendix to shrivel away, and to help free humanity from the shackles of creation, of our inner animal nature.

I’d say that they, the person who first invented fire, are the Atlas of Newton’s Giants.