You are browsing the archive for evolution Archives - Page 2 of 3 - Mountain Beltway.

1 March 2016

How to Clone a Mammoth, by Beth Shapiro

I just finished an interesting book with a provocative title. How to Clone a Mammoth, by Beth Shapiro, is a readable, sober assessment of de-extinction, the idea of bringing back extinct species through a variety of techniques. She defines very clearly at the outset that the purpose of de-extinction is ecological – to restore critical / desired organism/organism or organism/abiotic environment interactions in ecosystems. It is, in other words, a …


2 Comments/Trackbacks >>

14 April 2015

Compare and contrast: Two Chesapectens

Two new GIGAmacro images of fossil scallops from Virginia’s Coastal Plain – Chesapecten nefrens: link Chesapecten jeffersonius: link My vision is to get the opposite side of each of these samples as well as a half-dozen other species in this genus, perhaps even multiple individual specimens of each species, to allow students to do a lab where they plot morphological changes over geologic time as an example of what the …


No Comments/Trackbacks >>

21 January 2014

Virginia House Bill 207: encouraging pseudoscience is a bad idea

I was first alerted to the proposal of a new bill in the Virginia House of Delegates last Wednesday by a colleague at James Madison University, Eric Pyle. Eric and I serve as state Councilors for the state of Virginia in the National Association of Geoscience Teachers. As such, we are sincerely concerned about any policy that would weaken science education in the Old Dominion, in particular when it comes …


14 Comments/Trackbacks >>

9 September 2013

Monday macrobug: pine sawfly larvae

These “caterpillars” are the larvae of the pine sawfly, Neodiprion sp. They were grazing on a small pine in my front yard. Sawflies are relatives of bees, wasps, and ants – they’re members of the Hymenoptera. But their larvae look so much like the larvae of butterflies and moths (Lepidoptera) and flies (Diptera), don’t they? Beetles, too (Coleoptera) have “grubby” larval morphology. They’re wormy things, long bags of hungry guts …


No Comments/Trackbacks >>

14 February 2013

The Discovery Institute feels sorry for my students

Periodically, I get requests to use my images in publications. It’s very easy to find my photos, because I publish a lot of them on this blog, or on my NOVA website, and they always rise to the top of a Google image search. I got a distinctive one on┬áMonday: Dear Mr. Bentley, My boss Dr. Stephen C. Meyer at the Discovery Institute is finishing up a book that discusses …


176 Comments/Trackbacks >>

20 February 2012

Honey, I shrunk the grad students

On the airplane ride back from Texas, I bought a copy of Michael Crichton’s semi-posthumous final novel, Micro, which was co-authored by Richard Preston after Crichton’s death in 2008. Preston wrote a superb book about Ebola virus in the DC area, so I was intrigued to see his influence. Plus, and of utmost priority, I just wanted some light reading for the plane. It was mediocre. If you’ve read Sphere, …


No Comments/Trackbacks >>

24 January 2012

Paleoproterozoic stromatolites from the Malmani Dolomite (Transvaal Supergroup)

After our safari, Lily and I were taken up onto the Great Escarpment in northern South Africa. The escarpment is supported by sedimentary strata of the Transvaal Supergroup that overlie the Archean basement rock of the Kaapvaal Craton. The Transvaal strata are Paleoproterozoic in age, somewhere between 2.5 and 2.0 billion years old. They are a mix of siliciclastic sediment and carbonates. Here’s the view from an overlook dubbed “God’s …


5 Comments/Trackbacks >>

16 October 2011

A graphical dalliance

I read an article in the current issue of Physics Today with interest. It deals with the nature of scientific controversies, as percieved by the public and by specialists in the field in question. The author, Steven Sherwood, compares the origin of the ideas of a heliocentric solar system, general relativity, and human influence on the Earth’s climate. Each of them follows a similar pattern, he argues, with the initial …


6 Comments/Trackbacks >>

10 September 2011

A dismaying course, part II: evolution

Picking up where we left off on Thursday’s post on the relationship between the 2011 Republican presidential hopefuls and science, we examined their statements on climate change. Today, we look at the other information compiled by NPR, their statements on evolution. Michele Bachmann I support intelligent design. What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for …


14 Comments/Trackbacks >>

19 January 2011

Video book review III: evolution

Amazon links to the five books mentioned: Your Inner Fish by Neil Shubin Why Evolution is True by Jerry Coyne (and here’s his blog) The Greatest Show on Earth by Richard Dawkins (and we gave a shout out to the superb The Ancestor’s Tale by Richard Dawkins, also) (the video with the giraffe neck dissection) Evolution: the Story of Life on Earth by Jay Hosler, Kevin Cannon, and Zander Cannon …


1 Comment/Trackback >>