In place of today’s ‘Know Your Primate” (which will be back next week) I present the following picture:
Greg Laden has a write up of the 1.1-1.2 MYA find at Atapuerca. I mentioned this story last year and the find has finally been published. I will have more to say about this in a later post (there are several other papers out that relate – I also plan on writing about the Homo floresiensis paper and the Orrorin tugenensis paper as well). In the meantime a second paper relating to Atapuerca came out in January.
It happened while I was watching a show called Human Ape. In some ways the show was an interesting exploration of the differences between humans and apes. There was some interesting stuff I agreed with and there was some stuff where I thought they went astray (their discussion of Australopithecus boisei and Homo erectus, for example). Somewhere it happened.
You may have noticed the red “A” on the sidebar of my blog. I am, of course an atheist. I tend to lean towards the militant side of the atheist family, although I am a lot less feisty about it than some, but more than others. At any rate, it is a subject I have written very little about and now I am being scooped on stories in my own backyard. What makes this particularly painful is that Chris is, far, far, away in California.
The question has come up on ScienceBlogs as to which class of invertebrates are the best, coolest, etc. Like PZ I had though about saying Cephalopods (because of those nice octopi that helped the archaeology community find some pottery), but in the end I had to go with Arthropods. Let me give you a few examples as to why.
There have been a wide variety of responses to the PZ incident. Quite a large number of us a busy laughing at the irony of it. There has been some criticism, for example see here, here, here, here, and here. The critics argue that we are playing into the creationists hands by providing free publicity (much the same way christian protests over The Last Temptation of Christ ended up promoting the movie and increasing attendance). They also argue that we should be seeking the middle and joining with liberal and moderate christians who value science. When we point to, say Cheri Yecke, Ken Ham, or William Buckingham, we get told we are focusing on the extreme outliers, that we should work with people like Francis Ayala or Ken Miller. So, okay, let’s look for the middle. Since I live in Missouri let’s start there.