Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The importance of Ida

Ed Yong at Not Exactly Rocket Science tells it like it is: Darwinius changes everything.
The new fossil is remarkably complete and well-preserved, although the media glossed over these facts in favour of the creature's ability to cure swine flu. Ida was hailed as a "missing link" in human evolution, beautifully illustrating our transition from leaping about in trees to rampant mass-media sensationalism.
Recreated through CGI, Ida is also set to play a pivotal role in the climax of the new Harry Potter film, where she will be voiced by Keira Knightley and wield a powerful 'Changus Totalus' spell. Special effects will also be used to insert Ida into previous seasons of the Wire and past G8 summits.
Here's a slightly more serious discussion of the find from PZ Myers. Darwinius Masillae.
People have been using remarkable hyperbole when discussing Darwinius. She's going to affect paleontology "like an asteroid falling down to earth"; she's the "Mona Lisa" of fossils; she answers all of Darwin's questions about transitional fossils; she's "something that the world has never seen before"; "a revolutionary scientific find that will change everything". Well, OK. I was impressed enough that I immediately made Ida my desktop wallpaper, so I'm not trying to diminish the importance of the find. But let's not forget that there are lots of transitional forms found all the time. She's unique as a representative of a new species, but she isn't at all unique as a representative of the complex history of life on earth.
And yes, I will at some point write something myself. I'm just currently trying to get this blog going and thinking of topics. Any ideas?

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

NOM? Not so om nom nom!

The National Organization for Marriage put together an advert called Gathering Storm. I'm sure this hasn't managed to pass anyone's notice. In case it has, here it is.

Fortunately the there has been a great deal of negative reaction to this video and many parodies made. Just look it up on YouTube, you'll find a lot.

Recently they made another video. This time using children to push their bigoted agenda. Apparently children are confused as to how someone could have two daddies.

While these videos are to most of us somewhat funny and ridiculous, they are also in my opinion disgusting and harmful. So by all means spread the word and do not be shy to speak against their nonsense.

Like PZ Myers said: Oh, and for any kids who are actually confused, here's how to tell who your parents are. They're the people who love you and take care of you and worry about you all the time. That's all that is important. Their anatomy? Not so important.

That's the bottom line.