Daily Archives: September 22, 2009

Book Note: The Great Dinosaur Discoveries

Sbling Darren Naish has a book out! It’s called Great Dinosaur Hunters and Their Discoveries.

Publisher’s notes:

This elegantly illustrated volume is a journey through more than two centuries of remarkable discovery. Books on dinosaurs are usually arranged by classification or epoch, but this unique work tells the story chronologically, in order of the key finds that shaped our understanding and brought these creatures to life for the public. From the fragmentary remains of giant extinct animals found in the early 1800s to the dinosaur wars in the American West to the amazing near-complete skeletons found around the world today, Darren Naish tells how these discoveries have led not only to the recognition of new species and whole new groups, but also to new theories of evolutionary history. Along the way, we encounter dinosaurs both familiar and obscure-including Tyrannosaurus rex, the giant sauropods, and most recently, the feathered dinosaurs of China. As he describes these significant finds, Naish explains in clear, accessible language, how our ideas about dinosaur appearance, biology, and behavior have developed and changed over time, and what the state of knowledge is today.

See Darren’s commentary on it here.

I can’t wait to get my review copy!!!

A former animal researcher speaks out

Dario Ringach used animals in his research in neuroscience. When extremist animal rights activists tried to blow up his house in 2006, and accidentally almost blew up the wrong person’s house (in characteristic fashion, they got the address wrong, and the bomb did not function) Ringach got spooked and quit using the animals. Recently, Ringach has been speaking out regarding this issue, and the current Nature News has a write up.
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Primitive Cultures are Simple, Civilization is Complex (A falsehood) II

In the first part of this discussion, I reminded you that we are talking about “falsehoods.” “Falsehood” is a term I and others have co-opted and have used for well over a decade in courses across the land on evolutionary biology and related topics. The idea is to identify a statement that, when uttered in some particular demographic or sociocultural context, invokes a relatively consistent set of meanings in the minds of those present, such that those meanings are at least iffy, probably wrong, and often (but certainly not always) offensive and destructive in some way. Such a construct … this falsehood thingie … can then be de-constructed in a way that becomes an enlightening learning experience.
Continue reading Primitive Cultures are Simple, Civilization is Complex (A falsehood) II

The Rapture is Not Happening

You know, if the Rapture happens, God is going to take PZ first, so he can make PZ collect tickets at the Pearly Gates, then after everyone is in, including all of PZ’s nemesi, St. Peter slams the door on him and makes him stand on a cloud forever.

So, I checked to see if PZ is still there, given that yesterday was the predicted start of the Rapture and all, and he’s still there.

How could the bible be wrong?