Friday, March 9, 2012

New look for microraptor

Scientists now believe that microraptor (a pigeon-sized dinosaur) was actually blue/black in colour--similar to a crow! That is really cool and quite interesting.

This could have some interesting implications for evolution too, as scientists are realising that the dinosaur may not have behaved as they originally believed. Originally thought to be nocturnal, having this colouring suggests that it wasn't. If we look at modern day birds, we only see this colouring on diurnal birds--those active during the day--such as crows and magpies.

Below is a reconstruction of fossil data to show how it looked:

One other interesting point is it's tail--the reconstruction suggests that it is very fine, as opposed to modern day birds' rudder-like tails. This may mean it was used for displays and courtship rather than function. However, given that it has 2 pairs of wings, rather than a single pair, it may not have needed a rudder tail, as the second pair of wings may have granted it the same level of mobility.

Here is the article I found the picture and information from if you'd like more of a read:

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I am disappoint.

That's a massive number of people who really aren't doing their job properly. It would be interesting to see where their samples were taken from, and how the influence the geographic areas these people were sourced from could skew the results...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Religion of it all

If ID is truly non religious as it claims to be, religion should never come into the debate.

Yet, it still happens that Intelligent Design will call those who accept evolution atheists to give a negative appearance (especially in religious America). Even in the face of many Christian churches (including the Catholic church) accepting evolution as being able to co-exist with their beliefs.

Also, as I said in my last post, they claim that ID should be taught because of the widespread acceptance of creationism--yet if someone draws parallels between the two they are very quick to dismiss any links existing.

It just seems to me that religion shouldn't even be a factor here at all, but the IDers cite religion only when it suits them--again having their double standards.

On a side note, I think everyone should try and get a hold of the paper I just read. Citation below!

ROSENHOUSE, J. & BRANCH, G. 2006. Media Coverage of “Intelligent Design”. Bioscience, 56, 247-252.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Interesting quote

I was reading a paper about including ID in the science curriculum and came across something that amused me. It talks about Michael Behe (the guy who thought up irreducible complexity) and his reasoning for including ID. In the first paragraph he is quoted, this is written:

He also asserted that “the theory of intelligent design is not a religiously based idea” and that “intelligent design itself says nothing about the religious concept of a creator.” He added that intelligent design is an elegant theory that is overwhelmingly and sensibly embraced by the public.
Right after this in the next paragraph he says:
Behe invoked the popularity of this idea as justification for its truthfulness. Because opinion polls  (Newport 2004) demonstrated that 45 percent of the American public believed in creationism and one-third were biblical literalists...
So basically he is saying ID is not religious, but it should be taught in schools because the religious concept of creation is believed by 45% of Americans, and 33% believe in taking the bible literally. Yep. Good logic, guy. 

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Bill Nye!

Bill Nye won the Humanist of the year 2010 award just recently. It makes me happy!

This is an adaptation of the speech he gave. I think it's fantastic, and it does have some relevant arguments for the Evo ID debate, which is worth a read. I think some of the other points he makes are fantastic too.

Bill Nye is a secret hero of mine. Even living in Australia I still saw some of Bill Nye the Science Guy and I could probably say that it played a small role in where I am today. In fact, I think when I started doing my SciComm degree I said at one point "I could be Bill Nye!". He really is awesome, and we need more people like him in the world.