Remember when Pope Francis called for action on climate change? That was back in the fall of 2015. Last week I had the opportunity to see what some Catholics are doing in response to his call for action when I visited one of our local partners, The Prairiewoods Center. The Center is run by nuns; it’s a ministry of the Franciscan Sisters of Perpetual Adoration. They provide education on evolution and climate change to tens of thousands of people.
Lots of you identified the Ordovician element of the mélange here, but I wonder how many of you noticed the hint? I advised you to write big. And as it happens, the name of the genus of eurypterid you see here before you is Megalograptus—big writing. You might wonder why a genus of sea scorpion from about 450 million years ago should be so named. After all, it’s not like they were famed for their three-decker novels.
One of the titles below will make Stephanie Keep’s head explode, or maybe she’ll just make like a hydra and tear off her face. Brownie points if you can identify which article, and why. And enjoy all the other interesting articles we found this week!
Eileen Hynes is a teacher at Lake and Park School in Seattle, Washington. She is a member of NCSE’s teacher advisory board, a National Geographic Teacher Fellow, and a NOAA Climate Steward.
The Quaternary (or Anthropocene, if you like) element of the mélange here is a USB flash drive belonging to Dan Phelps, who provided the photograph. But what is the Ordovician element?
The devil’s lexicographer is Ambrose Bierce (1842–1914?), the author remembered for his compilation of satirical definitions, The Devil’s Dictionary (1911). The devil’s chaplain is Charles Darwin, who in a 1856 letter to Hooker, exclaimed, “What a book a Devil’s chaplain might write on the clumsy, wasteful, blundering low & horridly cruel works of nature!”. The task at hand is examining what the former said about the latter in the spirit of Thomas F. Glick’s What about Darwin? (2010). But, as I noted in part 1, although Bierce announced early in his career that his program was “calm disapproval of human institutions in general…enthusiastic belief in the Darwinian theory, intolerance of intolerance, and war upon every man with a mission,” he seems not to have attempted to discuss Darwin seriously at any length. His references to Darwin are mainly facetious.
Last week I visited two very different schools.
It’s Cloudina hartmannae! The genus is named for the legendary paleontologist Preston Cloud Jr. (1912–1991), a pioneer in the study of the Precambrian, while the species is named for the polychaete specialist Olga Hartman (1900–1974).
A well-rounded selection of articles this week, with research findings from evolution, climate change, and education. Enjoy!
Again with the enigmatic fossils from the Ediacaran! Well, I guess that it’s true what they say: you can take the boy out of the Ediacaran, but you can’t take the Ediacaran out of the boy. (Isn’t that what they say?) In any case, fame and fortune—for suitably small values of fame and fortune—will certainly be yours if you are the first to correctly identify today’s fossil in the comments below.