Category Archives: General Science

More Than Skin Deep

Here’s some research that confirms my own empirical experience–that people become more (or less) physically attractive to you the better you get to know them, depending on other aspects. I’ve noticed that women to whom I woudn’t necessarily have given a second glance upon first exposure become quite physically appealing over time and repeated exposure, if they have other desirable characteristics–they “grow on you,” as the old expression goes (for me, intelligence is a key enhancer).

This is probably a useful evolutionary trait, assuming that monogamy is a useful evolutionary trait.

Mystery Solved

Well, not completely. They still don’t know why Saint-Exupery’s plane went down, but now they know where.

Which reminds me. I thought that there had been an expedition launched a couple years ago to go look for Amelia Earhart’s Electra, after seeing what may have been wreckage offshore from a satellite image. Does anyone know the status?

A “Transitional” Species

Despite the date, I suspect that this is on the level. They’ve apparently discovered a link between fish and amphibians.

The fossil, a 365-million-year-old arm bone, or humerus, shares features with primitive fish fins but also has characteristics of a true limb bone. Discovered near a highway roadside in north-central Penn., the bone is the earliest of its kind from any limbed animal.

“It has long been understood that the first four-legged creatures on land arose from the lobed-finned fishes in the Devonian Period,” said Rich Lane, director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) geology and paleontology program. “Through this work, we’ve learned that fish developed the ability to prop their bodies through modification of their fins, leading to the emergence of tetrapod limbs.”

I have the word “transitional” in quotes in the post title because it’s a meaningless, superfluous adjective. All species are transitional species, in the sense that they evolved from one and are likely (assuming they don’t go extinct) to evolve into yet others in the future. Or at least that was the case until we came along.

A “Transitional” Species

Despite the date, I suspect that this is on the level. They’ve apparently discovered a link between fish and amphibians.

The fossil, a 365-million-year-old arm bone, or humerus, shares features with primitive fish fins but also has characteristics of a true limb bone. Discovered near a highway roadside in north-central Penn., the bone is the earliest of its kind from any limbed animal.

“It has long been understood that the first four-legged creatures on land arose from the lobed-finned fishes in the Devonian Period,” said Rich Lane, director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) geology and paleontology program. “Through this work, we’ve learned that fish developed the ability to prop their bodies through modification of their fins, leading to the emergence of tetrapod limbs.”

I have the word “transitional” in quotes in the post title because it’s a meaningless, superfluous adjective. All species are transitional species, in the sense that they evolved from one and are likely (assuming they don’t go extinct) to evolve into yet others in the future. Or at least that was the case until we came along.

A “Transitional” Species

Despite the date, I suspect that this is on the level. They’ve apparently discovered a link between fish and amphibians.

The fossil, a 365-million-year-old arm bone, or humerus, shares features with primitive fish fins but also has characteristics of a true limb bone. Discovered near a highway roadside in north-central Penn., the bone is the earliest of its kind from any limbed animal.

“It has long been understood that the first four-legged creatures on land arose from the lobed-finned fishes in the Devonian Period,” said Rich Lane, director of the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) geology and paleontology program. “Through this work, we’ve learned that fish developed the ability to prop their bodies through modification of their fins, leading to the emergence of tetrapod limbs.”

I have the word “transitional” in quotes in the post title because it’s a meaningless, superfluous adjective. All species are transitional species, in the sense that they evolved from one and are likely (assuming they don’t go extinct) to evolve into yet others in the future. Or at least that was the case until we came along.

No Double Standard

In a most disingenuous column, John West claims to be upset because federal funding is being used to “insert religion into biology classrooms.”

The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) is on the front lines of the battle to keep religion out of the nation’s science classrooms. A group whose self-described mission is “Defending the Teaching of Evolution in the Public Schools,” the NCSE routinely condemns anyone who wants to teach faith-based criticisms of evolutionary theory for trying to unconstitutionally mix church and state.

But in an ironic twist, it now turns out that the NCSE itself is using federal tax dollars to insert religion into biology classrooms. Earlier this year, the NCSE and the University of California Museum of Paleontology unveiled a website for teachers entitled “Understanding Evolution.” Funded in part by a nearly half-million-dollar federal grant, the website encourages teachers to use religion to promote evolution. Apparently the NCSE thinks mixing science and religion is okay after all