In late 2012, GQ magazine asked Florida’s Senator Marco Rubio, “How old do you think the Earth is?”
He answered “4.55 billion years” and no one ever talked about it again.
Sunday the 18th's episode of Cosmos begins with the flood myth (the Babylonian version featuring Gilgamesh, not the gritty reboot with Noah). Thereafter, Neil deGrasse Tyson takes us to the early Earth, asks how the first life arrived on our planet, and speculates about how life might move between planets and even galaxies. And then he addresses the present and the future with a meditation on how civilizations rise and fall.
This week's fossil is one that everyone should recognize. Though this one dates back to the Miocene, it is a delicacy people still enjoy today, myself included! It may look like a footprint or even a sloth coprolite (that's a fancy word for fossilized poop), but no, it was probably as tasty then as it is now. What was this little creature? Where was the fossil found?
First person to identify it gets bragging rights for the week!
In part 1, I reported that in 2006, there were eight state Republican parties with antievolution planks embedded in their official platforms, and that in 2014, there were again eight such state Republican parties. In part 2 and part 3, I offered pairwise comparison between the earlier and the later versions of those planks in the states in both lists, namely Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, along with a few comments.
Recently I was contacted by a Catholic biblical theologian with whom I've been friends since my undergraduate days,
I’m a pretty enthusiastic person. In casual conversation, I don’t shy away from hyperbole and tend to think a lot of things are “the best thing ever.” But truly, truly, getting a position with NCSE, having my very own NCSE avatar? Best. Thing. Ever.
Having observed (in part 1) that there are seven state Republican parties with antievolution planks embedded in their official platforms in 2006 and 2014, I undertook (in part 2) to begin to offer pairwise comparisons between the earlier and the later versions of those planks, along with comments. I managed to get through Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, and Minnesota before running out of steam; now the project is to finish off with Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas.
I hope everyone had a terrific Memorial Day weekend! This week’s fossil used to be green—but now is quite dark indeed, having been found in coal deposits in the mid-west. So what was this mystery plant?
It was a Lepidodendron. From Encyclopedia Britannica: