+' Rolla Peace Newsletter, August 8, 2017

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Rolla Peace News

August 8, 2017


Dear Friends:

          In this newsletter is:

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)
          Leapin' Lizards!



We vigil for peace in front of the Rolla Post Office THIS THURSDAY, AUGUST 10, 2017, (and all subsequent Thursdays until peace is established) from Noon to 1:00 PM. Please try to join us. The temperature is predicted to be in the 70-80s. If you do not feel comfortable standing with us in front of the Post Office, please consider driving by and showing your support for our message by honking your horn and flashing a peace sign.


Apparently responding to North Korea's latest missile testing, and their response to the new sanctions imposed by the UN, our President had this to say: “They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen before.” He accuses Kim of being “very threatening, beyond a normal state,” then goes on to make threats that are even more threatening and abnormal.

We desperately need someone in command who has a clue about diplomacy. So far, the U.S. has been attacking, invading, and otherwise oppressing only poor countries who don't have nukes. North Korea has them. We should be trying to find a way to convince them that we aren't going to attack them, and to find some common ground for an adult relationship.

And by the way, Mr. President, in case you have forgotten, the world has seen this before, and it wasn't pretty. But this time is different — we aren't the only nation with nuclear weapons.

Lots of people are calling Kim Jong-un crazy, but if there's anything crazier than threatening a nuclear attack on a nation that also has nuclear power, I don't know what it is.

There's a
video clip of Trump making this outrageous statement, if you want to watch it. He has his “I'm being Presidential” face on.

3. THE MISFIT MATHEMATICIAN (Tom's column, http://tomsager.org)


I've always liked lizards. No trip to the zoo could ever be complete without visiting the reptile house. Lizards can do amazing things like sloughing off their tails and growing them back; but here's something I would never have guessed possible:

Lizards can evolve genetically in a matter of months. We tend to think of evolution (at least those of us who believe in it) as being a slow process taking many generations; but here's a documented case of lizards, responding to environmental stimuli, evolving the ability to function at cooler temperatures within months!

So why is this important? We are changing our environment at an unprecedented rate. Some extinctionists argue that it's impossible to evolve fast enough to keep pace with our changing climate. Hardly a convincing argument for extinction; but if lizards can evolve quickly, maybe we can too. Lizards may hold the key to survival in a changing environment.

And here's another thought: Maybe evolution plods along at a snail's pace in stable environments, but speeds up proportionally as environmental change accelerates.

Science can be fascinating; but let's never forget:
“Science will never be used chiefly to pursue truth, or to improve human life. The uses of knowledge will always be as shifting and crooked as humans are themselves. Humans use what they know to meet their most urgent needs — even if the result is ruin.” —John Gray
And if you don't believe that “humans use what they know to meet their most urgent needs — even if the result is ruin,” read Helen's article above.


Rolla Peace News is distributed by email once a week on Tuesday evenings (except on rare occasions) and is posted on the web at http://tomsager.org (click on Grassroots Rolla: top of rightmost column).

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Wage peace,

helenm (at) fidnet.com