Posted on May 30, 2014 * Comments

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!

Posted on May 29, 2014 * Comments

Themed birthday party, ca. 1910-1915, likely in New Jersey. Via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Posted on May 28, 2014 * Comments

Recently I was contacted by a Catholic biblical theologian with whom I've been friends since my undergraduate days, Dr. Kenneth Miller with Rev. Dr. John Jenkins

Posted on May 28, 2014 * Comments

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.

Posted on May 27, 2014 * Comments

Themed birthday party, ca. 1910-1915, likely in New Jersey. Via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

Posted on May 26, 2014 * Comments

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:

Posted on May 23, 2014 * Comments

This week’s Fossil Friday exhibit comes all the way from the coal deposits of the Midwest dating to the Pennsylvanian period.

It looks more like a tire print than anything once living!

Posted on May 23, 2014 * Comments

In America, your opinions do not count unless you are a celebrity. And when celebrities such as Wheel of Fortune’s Pat Sajak tweet about scientific issues, media outlets give these uninformed utterances an inordinate amount of attention.

Posted on May 22, 2014 * Comments

Themed birthday party, ca. 1910-1915, likely in New Jersey. Via Wikimedia Commons.

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 2006, Oregon’s was among them and North Dakota’s was not; in 2014, North Dakota’s was among them and Oregon’s was not.) The state Republican parties of Alaska, Iowa, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas, were present in both lists. I now want to begin to compare the earlier and the later versions of these seven platforms; I’ll offer a few comments along the way.

Posted on May 20, 2014 * Comments

In the Gospel According to Saint Mark, when teachers of the law accused Jesus of driving out demons in the name of the devil, he pointed out that this strategy would be ridiculously self-defeating (Mark 3:24-27):