A creationist group is organizing an event at a major university (unnamed, since I certainly don’t want to promote the event), and some scientists there wanted advice on how to respond. One approach we discussed was using humor to push back. I love the idea, but it's not as simple as you'd think. How can satire and humor work? And how can they backfire? Read on.

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Last week I presented you with a pretty easy fossil, but in my defense you haven’t been the quickest in identifying plants in the past…

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This week on Fossil Friday, I bring you another fossil from our Fossil Fan, Gerald Wilgus. Gerald photographed this fossil while on his motorcycle adventure across the West. I felt like I could really relate to this fossil in particular—not because of its vegetarian lifestyle or love of water, but being eight months pregnant, I feel about as big as this fellow, lugging its unwieldy body across the Miocene plains. Ugh!

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This week's Fossil Friday comes from another Fossil Fan: Gerald Wilgus!  Gerald snapped this picture on his travels through the Ashfall Fossil Beds site in Nebraska earlier this week.  Dating from the Miocene, this is just a small piece of the entire body - and I won't tell you which part as I like to keep our fans on their toes (hint! hint!).

Can you identify this fossil? First person to get it wins bragging rights for the week!

 

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This past week on Fossil Friday, I gave you a fossil from our Fossil Fan, Dan Coleman. Dan told us that he wasn't quite sure what it was, but he had some thoughts. You all had a lot of great guesses too.

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This week on Fossil Friday, I bring you a true fossil mystery from Fossil Friday Fan Dan Coleman! Dan tells me that he found this specimen on the Taylor Ridge I-75 road cut in Ringold, Georgia, and it dates from the late Ordovician to early Silurian. 

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I have a three-year-old daughter who is obsessed with Curious George. I think I can recite every word to every one of the 102 episodes, which means that I know roughly 102 scenarios in which the Man with the Yellow Hat tells George, “Be a good little monkey,” which in turn means my daughter is familiar with the 102 scenes in her favorite show that make her mother yell “APE!” Yes, Curious George is not a monkey; he is a chimpanzee, which makes him an ape, as the Man with the Yellow Hat should well know as a scientific illustrator of some kind and with a scientist (who, alas, wears a lab coat) for a best friend. But I am digressing a little bit because ape vs. monkey is not the subject of this post. The subject is:

Misconception: Humans evolved from monkeys.

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This week on Fossil Friday, I gave you what looked like a plate full of ramen noodles—or maybe it was plain old spaghetti. Nope. Raymond King knew it almost right away: it was a slew (a herd? a flock? a murder?) of brittle stars. Meanwhile Dan Coleman guessed that it came from the Miocene—good call!

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This week on Fossil Friday, I have a terrible head cold—achoo!

In my delirium, between sneezes, hot tea, and blowing my nose, I was able to scrounge up a fossil that is a perfect represention for exactly how stuffed up my head feels right now. This picture is stuffed to the brim with one type of organism!

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Chances are, if you’ve been in the same house or apartment for many years, you’ve probably accumulated stuff that you don’t need. NCSE is like that, so before I retired, I promised to return to help sort out archival materials—helping to decide what to keep and what we no longer need. This is turning out to be a rather fun project as I am going through old files that neither I or anyone else has looked at for a long time.

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