This week's Fossil Friday is so delicate and lovely, it looks almost like I drew it on parchment. But no, these squiggles were left by a sea creature during the late Jurassic. It was found more recently in modern day Germany. There are many relatives of this fellow around today, but who was this ancestral beauty?
Post your answers in the comments section below. Person to identify it first wins bragging rights for the week.
In a two-part post on “The Two Woodrows” (part 1, part 2), I used Woodrow Wilson’s famous comment “of course, like every other man of intelligence and education, I do believe in organic evolution. It surprises me that at this late date such questions should be raised” as a pretext to recount the story of James Woodrow, Wilson’s uncle, a leading Presbyterian theologian of his time whose acceptance of evolution was a cause célèbre in the 1880s. But actually it was a (lengthy) digression. What I really wanted to talk about was the context of the comment.
In tonight’s debate between Bill Nye and Ken Ham, the Science Guy went on stage equipped with the most vital tool of all in any oral debate over evolution and creationism: a showman's flair, developed over three decades of experience explaining science to the broad public.
Of course, he also had the science on his side, which doesn't hurt. But it isn’t a guarantee of anything in a stage debate: competitive debaters are judged by their ability to argue either side of a question. Debate is a tool for showing who's a better orator, not necessarily who's right.
Tonight at 4 p.m. for us in Oakland, 7 p.m. in Cincinnati, I plan to tune in and watch the debate between Ken Ham the Answers in Genesis frontman and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
I confess: I don't often tell my liberal Berkeley friends that I have listened to Glenn Beck. Recently while eavesdropping on one of his videos, I found myself wondering which was more astonishing: Beck’s arrogance or his breathtaking historical ignorance.
Last week on Fossil Friday, I gave you a giant jaw to contemplate. Many of the scientists in our office thought for sure it was of reptile origin, but in fact it came from an Eocene mammal!
What kind of mammal could have such a ghastly jaw line? It was from the genus Protitanops, found in what is now Oregon. It sort of looks like a modern day rhinocerous. Yikes! Check out this picture to see what the Protitanops looked like.
While the National Center for Science Education can lay original claim to the NCSE moniker, having been around over three decades now, there is another stellar organization that we are often confused with: the DC-based National Council for Science and the Environment.
This week's Fossil Friday was a bit of a shocker to me. Looking at the enormous jaw and terrifying teeth, I thought for sure this was some sort of gnarly reptile that would tear you limb from limb, given half a chance.
But no! Upon further investigation, this is the jaw of a mammal dating back to the Eocene. Though common in what is now California, this specimen was found in Oregon.
Any ideas as to what genus this lower jaw came from?