Thursday, April 13, 2006

Missing Links

Today's biology and/or politics tidbits.

  • Some are calling Australopithecus anamensis a "missing link" between early hominids and more apelike ancestors. The researchers' paper is here.
  • In some ways the creationists have it really easy. If you dispense with the notion of evidence-based empirical proof, you can work really, really fast. Here are two articles announcing that they've already "debunked" Tiktaalik, just days after it was announced. Those poor saps in the fact-based biology community often take years or even decades to come up with "conclusive results" like those.
  • Luckily, however, detonating the fundies' so-called rebuttals doesn't take decades, or years, or even days. Minutes, is more like it. Here are two examples.
  • National Geographic has an article about a type of catfish that likes to crawl out of the water and hunt on dry land. The researchers say this helps show that water-to-land adaptations are really not that complex or difficult. I just say "Yikes!".
  • That article links to a good essay titled "Was Darwin Wrong?".
  • An article over at Political Cortex: War of the Worldviews: The Religious Right vs. Democratic Pluralism
  • Meet Himantura kittipongi, a newly discovered freshwater stingray(!) that lives in the Mekong River. Newly discovered, but already considered endangered. You hear that a lot these days.
  • The latest Laonastes update. Seems the locals consider them rather tasty.
  • The fundies are claiming that a professor at Cornell will be teaching a pro-ID class in the near future. Well, except that he isn't, really, so don't freak out. His blog is here. You may or may not agree with the reasoning, but it should be obvious that he's not one of "them", and the ID folks are (as usual) misrepresenting what's really going on. Be sure to read his article arguing there's an evolutionary connection between religion and warfare.
  • More creationism in Kentucky.
  • Believe it or not, we're now seeing creationism controversies popping up in Canada and the UK. And here I always thought they were both such reasonable countries...
  • A blog post titled Tiktaalik is putting the WIN back in Darwin. Great title, great post, and it even comes with a picture of cute baby animals. What more could you ask for?

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