“Silly,” “comically short,” “feeble,” “itty-bitty,” “teeny-tiny,” “useless,” and “wimpy” are not generally phrases you’d associate with a fearsome predator, but they are just some of the adjectives science writers used to describe one of the fiercest of the fierce—T. rex … or its arms, anyway. And now there is a new dino on the block with similarly disproportional arms. What if anything does it mean, evolutionarily, that there are now two predators with tiny arms? 

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07.25.2016

Lots of great stuff last week, but if you only have time to read one thing this week, read the interview with Mary Schweitzer below. What might the world look like if more scientists took Jack Horner’s approach?

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As an organization, NCSE is focused on science education—and as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, it tries to stay out of politics as much as possible. With the recent Republican National Convention making headlines though, politics was definitely on my mind this week (and no doubt your mind too!)

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Some time ago, I wrote about Lamar Smith (R–Texas and chairman of the House Science Committee) and his efforts to intimidate climate scientists. In that post, I noted that Smith had issued:

…a Congressional subpoena—the King Kong of information requests—for all emails and correspondence between the paper’s authors and NOAA officials.

You might say that as taxpayers we have a right to see everything that government employees and government-funded scientists write to each other…but when the only correspondence that is sought is that concerning a scientific finding that pisses off a politician, society’s collective you-know-what detector really ought to go off.

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07.20.2016

Two things I really like are whales and blogger/author/fossil hunter Brian Switek. So, naturally, when I saw that Switek had written about whales, I was excited. His piece “When Whales Started Living Large” summarizes new research by paleontologists Nicholas Pyenson and Geerat Vermeij—but before I get to that, a diversion…

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