Posted on April 18, 2014 * Comments

Episode #2 of PBS’s Your Inner Fish—entitled “Your Inner Reptile”—comes complete with silly shots of people with scaly skin and snaky tongues. The slow-mo shots of leaping bikini-clad women tipped me off that the producers were mostly men. Fortunately for all of us, such silliness is brief and excellent content fills the program.

Posted on April 18, 2014 * Comments

This week on Fossil Friday, I give you an incredibly easily identified fossil. I mean, come on, it's the whole body!  Plus, I'm going to tell you it's a synapsid from the Permian. What could be easier?

Posted on April 17, 2014 * Comments

“Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” by Savile Lumley

How would the creationism-evolution controversy have been different if World War I had never happened? Today the question is answered by Abraham “Ab” C. Flipse, a historian of science at and the university historian of VU University Amsterdam, whose recent research focuses on the creationism-evolution controversy in the Netherlands.

Posted on April 16, 2014 * Comments

A year and a half ago when I heard about a new Showtime series about human contributions to changing climate—Years of Living Dangerously—which aired its first episode this past week, my first thought was the classic 1982 Peter Weir film The Year of Living Dangerously.

Posted on April 15, 2014 * Comments

“Daddy, what did YOU do in the Great War?” by Savile Lumley

How would the creationism-evolution controversy have been different if World War I had never happened? Today the question is answered by Adam Shapiro, Lecturer in Intellectual and Cultural History at Birkbeck, University of London, and author of Trying Biology: The Scopes Trial, Textbooks, and Antievolution in American Schools (2013).

Posted on April 15, 2014 * Comments


Photo Credit: brianbrarian via Compfight cc

Posted on April 14, 2014 * Comments

The center of the universe might be closer than you think—in fact, it might be right under your feet. A conservative Catholic crank, Robert Sungenis, is now resurrecting the long-discredited geocentric model in a bizarre movie called The Principle.

Posted on April 11, 2014 * Comments

The first of three PBS episodes of “Your Inner Fish” debuted Wednesday, April 9. Confusingly, the second episode of “Your Inner Fish,” due next Wednesday, is titled “Your Inner Reptile.” Fortunately, the content is clear, compelling, and entertaining; all attributes of the host as well, Neil Shubin. Given Shubin’s irrepressible enthusiasm, he could make shucking corn entertaining.

Posted on April 11, 2014 * Comments


Photograph by Joshua Rosenau

This week on Fossil Friday, I bring you one of the most famous fossils of all time. The jaw should look a little familiar to those who love fossils. But it's not the jaw that made this animal so interesting to paleontologists.

What was this animal? Where was it found? And why is it so important to our understanding of life on Earth?