10 Minutes - Carpooling, Evolution, and Heavy Metal

Hi. It's Joe.

Today is one of those rare mornings when I don't have car pool, so instead of limping through rush hour traffic on the beltline in Madison WI, I'm going to use the time more productively to post here and generally take it at a leisurely pace. What the heck, it's Friday!

I am not entirely sure why my carpool mate prefers to religiously follow the herd of commuters into work at exactly the right time to catch the worst of the rush hour traffic mayhem. He doesn't have to. We have core hours at work, which means as long as you are accessible between 9 AM and 3 PM, they don't care how you break up your day. We totally don't have to be at work as early as 7:45, like we usually are. The worst rush hour traffic in Madison is from 7:30 to 8 AM. He could also leave work later, since his wife picks up his daughter from daycare.

But then, I shouldn't complain. Because we alternate driving days, I am effectively getting 100 MPG on carpool commute days to work. I drive a Prius that normally gets about 50 MPG. So with him driving every other day, I am saving even more on gas. That's almost worth the snails pace leg of the commute on the beltline. Of course, we don't pool every day. On Mondays, I usually have a music lesson or class after work in Madison, so I can't pool. Those days are nice. I can go in later, avoid the bulk of the traffic, and because of my lessons, I go home well after the commuter traffic has died down. But it is rare that we don't pool at least 4 days a week. Today (Friday) is another exception because my coworker wants to bug out of work early.

I finished reading "The Blind Watchmaker" by Richard Dawkins, and should be able to intelligently discuss its contents with Caitlin. We have kind of a study group of our own going where she is trying to educate me on Creationism and I am trying to educate her on evolution. I doubt we will ever see eye to eye on the origins of life on earth. But at least we will understand the foundation of the two polar opposite beliefs. Mutual understanding is always a good thing. A part of me believes that the truth will reveal itself through education, but another (more realistic) part of me understands that human beings are extremely good at the willful suspension of disbelief. I'm no exception. Evolution does seem hard to comprehend sometimes. Human brains don't grasp such huge time scales and such small increments of genetic change. We also tend to disregard or minimize information that doesn't fit our pre-existing belief system. The nice thing about evolution is that it is based on math and science, probabilities and evidence from nature. Creationism, I think, requires a deviation from the Laws of Nature and a "hand of God" that can make inexplicable things possible.

Now I am reading "Mere Christianity" by CS Lewis, the counterpoint to the Dawkins text. It's actually a pretty easy read, although some of the assumptions are questionable. But this is why we discuss stuff, Caitlin and I. I am sure Caitlin feels negativity towards Dawkins' explanations of things as well. It's a shame that the world has become so dogmatic in its beliefs that people can't accept contradictory information anymore. That will be the demise of humanity. Not that I'm any less dogmatic about science, reason, and evolution. But at least I am aware of the problem. That's a start.

Tomorrow, my awesome rocknroll band GUPPY EFFECT is going to cover a classic 70s heavy metal album in its entirety at Heavy Metal Fest in Delavan WI. I can't wait. It is going to be a good time. It sucks that the organizers of the event suck and dropped the ball on funding, but everyone pulled together and decided we will ask a $5 suggested donation to pay the sound guy and gas money for the bands. We are all about the rocking, not the profits.

Well, the lemmings in Madison are probably just about to work now (it's 7:45). So I am going to end this and get going. It is going to be a hellish but fun day at work. I will relish it the way Ghengis Khan relishes pillaging a Chinese village.


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