The blog, a farewell, and a list of posts

I began writing 3.8 Billion Years in 2012 to figure out how biology and evolution could clarify my hazy notions about aging, dying, afterlife, and life itself. By now, eight years and 150+ posts later, the blog has done much of its job. And reading over the posts is refreshing; to me, I had helpful things to say that I have sometimes forgotten.  But the writing has been hard work and I’m done for now.

I’ll keep this URL––––available as long as visitors continue to drop by. At the top of this page, the Blog posts tab opens up the sequence of posts, last one first. The tab for Thematic table of contents opens an outline of the main ideas of the blog, with links to relevant posts about each. This table is the best way for a reader to find an overview of the blog as well as easy access to key posts.

An alphabetical list of all titles follows below. Enter the key words for any of them into the Search box in the sidebar to go there. 

Finally, my gratitude to the many readers over the years who have checked in regularly, commented often, and taught me much. Thank you all.   

Brock Haussamen

Post Titles Listed Alphabetically

Animals and the Law: More Like Persons or Property?
Ants As Pets and Pests
Are There Any GOOD Viruses?

Beavers, Humans, and Evolution
Before Heart Surgery
A Biologist Looks at Religion, the Humanities, and Out Compulsive Sociability
Bill Bryson’s A Short History of Nearly Everything
The Biology of Suffering
Black Body and Soul
Black Swan Events
The Body Electric
The Brain Speaks Out
Breath: Divine Gas in a Smart Body
The Brown Sisters: 35 Annual Portraits
The Buddhist Body Guard

Chet Raymo on Santa Claus, Hot Stoves, and the Blooming, Buzzing Confusion
“Comparison Is the Thief of Happiness”
Cooperation and Competition
Cyanobacteria: R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Creativity: Survival Tool Or Higher Gift?

“Damn it, it’s MY Body That’s at Stake”: Autonomy, Sociality, and Imperfect Choices
Darwin and the Buddha
Darwin and the Roots of Morality
Darwin’s Dark Vision: “Ten Thousand Sharp Wedges”
Dawkins on Values and Science
Dawkins: Not One of Our Ancestors Was a Failure
Defining “Miracle”
The Democracy of Living Things
Dinosaurs in the Backyard
“Do Atheists Have Deathbed Conversions?”
Do Virtues Require Adversity?
Dylann Roof and the Southern Code

Emergent Phenomena: More Than the Sum of the Parts

The Evolution of Laughing and Crying

The Fading Individual
The Family Dog Dies
The Family Dog Grows Old
The Family Dog Grows Older
Feces As Medicine
Feeling Old? Envy the Lobster
Fertility and the Evolution of Ball Games
Finding Meaning At Auschwitz
Five Reasons Why I’m Afraid of Dying – And Some Reassurances
Five Things I Expect My Core Belief To Do For Me
Forgiveness and the Second Law of Thermodynamics
400 Million Years of Ferns
Friends and Allies

Genes Are Like Sentences, Genomes Are Like Books
Genesis For Non-Theists
Getting Dead
God Loves You. Does Evolution?

“Hello, Science” (2): What All Living Things Strive For and Value
Hindus Seek Detachment. Have Plants and Animals Already Found It?
The Homely Truth About the Shortest Day
How Consciousness Might Have Evolved
Hope Jahren’s Lab Girl and the Dramatic Life of Plants
How Language Encourages Belief in an Afterlife
How To Make a Religion
Human Evolution, Backward and Forward
Humboldt’s Vision of Nature

I Like Lichens
The Immortal Jellyfish
In the Men’s Locker Room
Is DNA Alive?
Is the Universe Alive?
It’s Diversity All the Way Down

Katydids, Cicadas, Crickets, Grasshoppers

Lessons From the Origins of Life
Life After Dying? Absolutely
Life Before Fossils
“Life” in Other Words
“Life is….”
Life Is Precious, Life Is Cheap
The Limits of Happiness
Living As Meaning
Living Closer
Lucky Life

Magical Thinking: Happy, Healthy, or Hazardous?
Meditation and Science: Two Views of Life
Michael Graziano on How the Brain Creates Consciousness and Spirituality
“The Mind Is Mainly Drawn to the Future”
Most of Your Cells Aren’t Yours
The Music Man
My Genome and Me
My Million-Year-Old Back Yard
My New Heart Valve Has a Serial Number

Near-Death Experiences: What They Tell Us About THIS Life
Neil deGrasse Tyson on the Hidden Costs of a Cosmic Perspective
Neil Shubin’s ‘The Universe Within’
No Pain, No Sympathy
Non-Theists, God’s Love, and Evolution

Oliver Sacks and the Comforts of Metal
Ol’ Man River and Wilson the Volleyball: Two Spiritual, Secular Icons
On Revising My Will
On the Cosmic Calendar, A Date To Remember
Our Actual “Eve”
Our Talky Mind

The Part-of-Something-Larger Experience
People Are Different
Peter Wohlleben’s The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate
Pilgrimage to the Ancestors
The Pioneers: Archaea and Bacteria
Plants As Aliens
Police Brutality and the Brain
Pope Francis on Dogs in Heaven
Pope Francis on the State of the World
Prickles, Thorns, Spines, Hooks
The Purpose Problem

“The reckless, the degraded, and the vicious”: Was Darwin a Bigot?
Religion for Atheists
Reverence for (Some) Life

Sam Harris and the Science of Morality
Seasons and Heartbeats
Self-Deception: Why We Fool Ourselves
Sink Or Float: the Ordeal by Water
Six Interesting Ways that Cars Are Like People
The Sixth Mass Extinction
Size Matters
The Spiritual and the Sentimental
Spiritual Naturalism
Spirituality and Evolution
Spirituality and Genes
Spirituality From Science
Stem Cells: How To Build a Body
Stephen Hawking, Cosmology, and Spirituality
Steven Pinker on the Decline in Violent Deaths
Steven Pinker on Disgust, Sex, and Happiness
Steven Pinker on Emotions and Genes
Suicide and Evolution
Survivors and the Terminator
Symbiosis, or How We All Get Along

Taking the Universe Personally: Neil Shubin’s The Universe Within: The Deep History of the Human Body
“There’s No Natural Selection For Happiness”

The Very, Very Long View
Video: “Big Bang Big Boom” – A History of Life

Walking Up the Ramp
Walk, Run, Eat: The Evolution of Our Body
What Birds Are Saying
“We Are All Mutants”
What Is the “Nature” in Naturalism
Whistling Past the Graveyward
Winning-Streak, Everyone-Agrees-With-Me, You-Cut-Me-Off, and Other Biases of the Brain
A World Without Blue
Who Were Homo sapiens’ Parents?

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin