A Farewell and a List of Post Titles

This post will be my last for the foreseeable future. I began writing 3.8 Billion Years in 2012 to help me clarify how biology and evolution were relevant to my hazy ideas about aging, dying, afterlife, and being alive. The blog has done its job, more or less. Reading over the posts, I’m refreshed by hearing my own thoughts talk back to me about so many topics. But the writing has been hard work and, for now, I’m burned out.

This web site, 38by.blog, will remain available as long as visitors continue to drop in. A Thematic Table of Contents, tabbed at the top of this page, outlines the main ideas here with sample posts about each.

I’ve added below an alphabetized list of all 150+ post titles. I hope the reader may find a title or two engaging enough to copy them into the Search box at the top of the sidebar and take a look.

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

Brock Haussamen


Animals and the Law: More Like Persons or Property?
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 Ball Games
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
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

The Gambler’s Fallacy and Other Biases of the Brain
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
On Revising My Will
On the Cosmic Calendar, A Date To Remember
Our Actual “Eve”

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
The Purpose Problem

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

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 Pink 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”
Thorns and Roses

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
What Is the “Nature” in Naturalism
Whistling Past the Graveyward
A World Without Blue
Who Were Homo sapiens’ Parents?

Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin


10 thoughts on “A Farewell and a List of Post Titles

  1. Deeply grateful for your sustained commitment to the themes and content you have so succinctly and ,may one say , brilliantly offered us over the last seven years. Perhaps our cells have fully renewed since you started this hymn to our little part in ghus grand living tapestry you have woven before us. I feel part of a long and magnificent adventure thanks to you and your dedication to this ever evolving story. You have taught me to reach deeper into our living mystery and to see death as a natural unfolding in an endless emerging context. Thank you for working so hard to find and refine the words and images of our biological heritage. I find myself reading more deeply and widely thanks to you. I , too, come from the humanities, thus so appreciate your courage and stamina to embrace your inner qualms by sharing your ” green” quest with all of us. How
    I wish some teacher could have opened the many portals to science and philosophy you have for us in times past. I plan to continue this quest- ioning you have initiated. Thank you for suggesting the movement in Spiritual Naturalism- with our civilization challenged by climate disruption , and our species causing and threatened in this Sixth Extinction, I find a renewed energy , maybe even a mission, to
    find the means to coalesce your themes into
    a kind of Earth First Movement that the younger generations are currently picketing for
    Around the world. Green Speed, Brock 🌿☘️🌴

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Mark. It’s good to hear that the view here has made a difference for you. “Death as a natural unfolding in an endless emerging context” is certainly part of that. And “Green Speed” to you also.



  2. I started reading these blogs only recently. And, have enjoyed them very much.
    I’m working my way back through the Table of Contents. The pursuit of the ineffable by way of the physical, of meaning via knowledge, is at the core of our being human, being alive.
    “Fare thee well” indeed, Brock. We stumble through this mystery together, and alone.
    The blog does a nice job of highlighting the “together” part, and making the “alone” part
    less alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jim, thank you. Your words regarding “The pursuit of the ineffable by way of the physical, of meaning via knowledge” are a helpful summary of part of this effort. I’ll keep them in mind. And sociobiology suggests that for humans, the balance of autonomy vs togetherness is a constant, uniquely human struggle.



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