Bare Bones Biology attends the March for Science

At Texas A&M University.











Of course, we already know that Science is the study of natural phenomena using the scientific method.






Many natural and unnatural phenomena were present.










And available for study.




If you decide to use any of these pictures for anything, please credit:  Photos by Lynn






And remember it is not all fun and games.  The basic truths are important to the survival of the above species and the climate that provides their basic needs.






Science tells us about a lot of things that we can do.

But there are many more that we can NOT do safely.








So faking science to win elections or for any other reasons conceivably could be genocidal.


And to all you wonderful Texas marchers, there are already people in London, California, and various places between who are quite impressed by the way in which you have brought the subject to its relevant point.



Bare Bones Biology 220 – Healthy Living

Last evening, I was puttering around, thinking about healthy living. You know, the three of us have started a healthy living project ( The phone rang. It was my nearest neighbor. Her car stopped working, someone gave her a ride to the top of the canyon, and there she was, stuck and alone, three and a half miles away. Walking home for three miles in the deep, dark bottom of the canyon, with only half a moon rising and no defense bigger than a stick. It may not be unhealthy, but it feels like it. Being eaten by a bear, is that really what the word means? Unhealthy? Or is it just bad luck?

1408113-canyon_gardenASC_0821RLss copyThe Oxford American dictionary gives the definition of healthy as: “Having or showing or producing good health.” The thesaurus on my computer is a little more specific, and answers the necessary next question: “What is health?” by saying: “The general condition of something in terms of soundness, vitality and proper functioning.”

I like functional definitions, because they can usually be tested. For example, if your kidney is not functioning properly, that very fact suggests a method to determine the cause of the problem. But that would be unhealthy. You might know you are unhealthy because you feel bad. It’s not so easy to recognize how good a healthy person can feel, and use that good feeling to maintain vital, living health. Some people “feel bad” and don’t even know it. They think it is normal.

The problem of how to stay healthy has increased enormously in the past 20 or 30 years. The culture I was born into studied biology in hopes of improving the human condition. The so-called “greatest generation” genuinely cared about human welfare. On the contrary, the prime directive of the newly evolved corposystem is the bottom line, and so it uses the word healthy primarily to get us to buy stuff. Or to believe whatever it wants us to believe. So the words no longer mean what they mean. That’s why I’m taking all this time to define the words healthy and health before we continue with our Healthy Living project.

Health is the general condition of something in terms of soundness, vitality and proper functioning. Healthy refers to something that is sound, vital and functioning properly.

140904-canyon-ASC_1128RLSss copyIs that you? Is it me? Is it my sunflower that I planted earlier this year? The community that provides our sewage disposal and clean water and food? Is it the trees on the side of our mountain? Is it perhaps the entire mountain ecosystem? Is it the whole living earth? Is the earth functioning properly? Proper for what? For whom? Who says what is proper? Surely not the drug companies.

The dictionary says that healthy is lacking disease. Is that just me, living with the bears so that I can avoid the bad-air sickness that now covers most of our country, causing “epidemics” of asthma, alzheimers, cancers of various kinds? Does healthy only apply to humans? Or also to horses and dogs and cats and bears and trees and corn, and even kidneys and ecosystems and cells? I guess so. I guess anything that can die can be unhealthy. And we all know that disease is not the only cause of disease. For example, goiter can be caused by a mineral deficiency, and obesity is a proven cause of ill health because it unbalances so many interactions within our physiology that must function properly to continually balance our physiology at the point of health, as we meet the physical and emotional challenges of our environment.

So it’s not so simple to maintain health, is it? But I think we can agree about the definition, and I think we can use the definition, in coming weeks, to define the questions we need to think about if we want to be healthy. Healthy for whom, and why, and how?

This is Bare Bones Biology a product of and KEOS radio 89.1 FM in Bryan, Texas.

A podcast of this blog can be downloaded at:

Native Street Scene in Benicia


Bare Bones Biology 159 – Facts versus Fancies – Money

Our modern American corposystem is built around something that isn’t even real. Money. Some people have gained a whole career and a lot of well deserved admiration using the power of money in a positive way, and written books about it, but I’m not referencing the books, because they are based on the idea that money is a real thing, rather than a short-term corposystem fix.

On the contrary, fame and money are figments of an unsustainable human dream of power in the same way that winning, or success, are merely human opinions that we have decided to believe. Even with the best of intentions, these corposystem fantasies are likely to cause more harm than good to the Biosystem, and to a good life for us. When it comes to planning our lives, I think it’s better to go with what is real.

Even though everything does keep changing, some things are real. A car is a real thing. Life is real. Food is real. An ear of corn. When you eat it, you become a living link in the living Biosystem. Money is not a real thing; it is a human agreement. Or rather it can be a real thing. It is really a piece of paper with a pretty picture on it. But as money it only exists in the shared promises among people.

130716-Spencer-ASC_4638RLSs copyYet, we have built an entire system that is based in our common delusion that money is a real thing. Our corposystem defines itself by convincing us that money is power; most of its propaganda is meant to teach us that money is a real resource, like sunshine, or roses or meat; but really. money is only a human promise to pay. You can use it to buy stuff; that’s the promise; and so long as the promise is honored – yes, money is a good thing to have.

Most often you get your money by spending your time wisely. You can use your time to make the things you need – or you can trade your time for money. Let’s pick food for an example, because it’s a real thing you cannot live without. You could spend your time (which is also a real thing) growing food, or you could trade your time to someone else, let’s say McDonalds, and in exchange they will give you money, which is not a real thing, but you can use it. You could use the money you earned working for McDonalds to buy food. Or you could buy something you do not need, but if you do that, you have wasted your time AND your money, and you will have no other way to get what you do need unless you can get someone else to give you some of their time/money.

Your challenge as a living human today is to balance your time and money to get the real things that you need for your good life. Your obligation to the future of humankind is to do this in a way that does not cause harm to the Biosystem. If you do a good job, the money can come and go without causing permanent harm.

The corposystem, however, does not support either of these challenges, because the ethic of the corposystem is to grow more money. Instead of helping us to grow the good life by focusing on real things that we need, the corposystem tells us to spend our time and money buying more things that we don’t need. To throw away our things and spend our money buying more things. We end up spinning away our time and our money, and the irreplaceable Biosystem resources – wasting them to make money for the corposystem.

And then the corposystem will crash, because nothing can grow forever if it consumes resources, and when it crashes our money will be worthless.

Life is not about money, nor is it about supporting a system that becomes more and more unbalanced with every turn of the wheel. Life is about sustaining Life by balancing the Biosystem. We know how to do this, but we won’t, because we believe so deeply in the unbalanced growth required by the corposystem that we think it would be unethical to take any steps toward controlling human overgrowth of the Biosystem.

This is Bare Bones Biology, a production of KEOS radio, 89.1 FM, in Bryan, Texas, and FactFictionFancy. A podcast of this program can be downloaded at Bare Bones Biology later this week or next week.

Photograph of Spencer and Remington in Chama, New Mexico.

Bitsy in Santa Fe – 130605

130605-SantaFe-ASC_3383RLSsBitsy is snoring fl at out on the fl oor of our little travel trailer, taking up the entire space. She has been bored stiff for the past four days while I, first, slept for two days more or less, and then worked for two days to produce the current blog/podcast, and so today she rejoiced in a whole afternoon of social interactions.

130605-SantaFe-ASC_3391RLSWe arrived a bit early at the end of the rail line in Santa Fe, because we like watching trains come in, and so chose the opportunity for a bit of restful meditation while waiting for the event. Or at least I meditated. She watched and waited for something more interesting to happen. Which it surely did. What fun to meet my cousin Nancy, whom I have not seen since I was more or less about 6 or 8 years old. We had at least two lifetimes to talk about, while Bitsy flirted with every passing dog lover, and finally tried to make friends with the entire trainload of people heading back to Albuquerque.

130605-SantaFe-ASC_3404RLSsNow here I am sitting up late at night, feeling quite hyper, making pictures while Bitsy snores.

Last Week






We Dragged out Another Bale of Hay

The horses were delighted, and what we learned is that it takes them about two weeks to eat one bale, even though the bale is small.

During that two weeks, all kinds of progress has been made in my lifelong effort to “catch up,” whatever that is. Probably the only way to catch up is to throw it all away and start over, but then we could be accused both of irresponsibility and of wastefulness, so we keep on trying.

Maybe we should judge progress by the reduction in the numbers of bales of hay. You will be happy to hear I’m not going to list everything we accomplished in the past two weeks, but maybe you will enjoy a few of the pictures I took at the Red Wasp Movie festival. Several photographers worked the show, so you will have to go to the Face Book page, about the time the next bale of hay rolls out. There will be more photos there — and around the middle of November the next hay-bale picture I hope will not include weeds in the background that are higher than the horses, I will have elected a President, and my health will be perfect. How’s that for a plan?