Precambrian Archaeology

I have had an epiphany, you see I have realized the error of my “evilutionist” ways and have been born again. Since I don’t have millions to donate to the church (I spent all my money trying to get an education in a vain attempt to deny GOD) I have decided the best way I can spread the message is through my blog. To that end I have developed a radical new theory to explain lifes origins (God did it). I have also developed an radical new creation science I call “Precambrian Archaeology”. The basis of this new theory is as follows.
Precambrian archaeology, as any creationist will tell you, is important because we learn from it the the Cambrian explosion was caused by a bacteria trying to form a synthesis with a mitochondria. The resulting conflageration caused the extinction of the Neanderthals. Which, of course, I can’t prove but if Jesus personally holds atoms together I don’t see why this theory isn’t possible.
I have illustrated the theory below the fold…

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Archaeology and Creationism (YEC and ID)

Christopher O’Brien has a most read post on Archaeology and Creationism I’ll quote a part of it:

A lot of hard methodological and theoretical work has gone into understanding the signatures of human intervention in the natural world. The larger lessons of human “design” tell us more about the constraints on the designers rather than their abilities. More importantly, archaeologists never separate the design from the designer: understanding the material culture is only a proximate goal of archaeology. Archaeology’s ultimate goal is to understand human behavior, i.e. the nature of the designer. To suggest that direct study of the Designer is irrelevant is intellectual cowardice.

I, for one, am happy to see the Archaeology community take notice of the way creationists are abusing the science of archaeology to further their own agenda. As Chris points out, if we limit ourselves to the approach of ID (we can only infer design and not the traits and characteristics of the designer) we would be abandoning the whole point of archaeology…
Oh, and be sure to check out his post on “Intelligent Design” and childbirth (not the eyebaby type either)…an argument sure to make cause fundie head explosions…

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Red Knot Update

The Red Knot is a small bird the winters in Tierra del Fuego and Breeds in Canada. Along the way it stops in various places in North America where it feeds on horshoe crab eggs. Unfortunately:

These eggs are being harvested unsustainably (for use as bait for conch and eels), and unless an emergency moratorium on harvesting is implemented, the results could be disastrous for shorebirds, especially the Red Knot.

What can you do?
Go to bootstrap analysis and be educated on the issue, then follow the links and sign the petition – I did!

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Palace of Ajax: Found?

Added Later: My good blog buddy Duane over at Abnormal Interests has a post on this as well. I should mention that a Syrio-Palestinian archaeologist could not get away with it – nor should Lolosn (I don’t know how classical archaeologists get away with it…we need to sick Binford on them). But you will have to follow the link to find out what I’m talking about…
Anyone who has read the Iliad knows the story of the Trojan War – the ten year battle to regain Helen. The story, as told by Homer, is a glorius portrayal of the Greek mindset of the time – by turns comical, savage and sublime (some of the scenes between Andromache and Hector for example of the latter). Several other Greek poets used the war as a backdrop as well. Euripides, for example, used the Trojan war as a backdrop to explore the arrogance and cruelty of those who led the march to war (and his works have echoes in todays war on terror). Sophocles was another who wrote on the subject of the Trojan War. One of his earliest surviving plays, Ajax, recounts the sad demise of one the the Greeks fighting the Trojan War. Ajax was the King of Salamis (an island pivotol in later Greek history) and brought twelve ships to the war. According to a story on ABC News the Palace of Ajax may have been found.

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Of Cichlids and Snails: A Foray into Malacology

Perissodus microlepis is a cichlid fish with an interesting specialization. They eat scales from other fish and come in two forms. “Left handed” forms attack the right side of fishes and “right handed” forms attack the left side. An interesting adaptation is that the jaws of these fishes are curved to the left or the right depending on which type they are:

The victims survive, though becoming wary of attackers from either side. If the population of left-handed scale eaters were to exceed that of right-handed scale eaters, however, the fish would become more wary of attacks from the right side. As a result, the right-handed scale eaters would have an advantage, and their population would increase. These forces ensure that the relative populations of left- and righthanded fish remain roughly equal.

This has usually been taken to be an example of frequency dependent natural selection. The same process operates in crabs and snails…

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How Evil Are You

Added Later: Okay so three ScienceBloggers have taken the quiz and on average ScienceBlogs is 42 % evil, scientific proof that ScienceBlogs is (on average) less evil than Wilkins…but then PZ hasn’t taken it yet
Less evil than Wilkins apparently…

You Are 32% Evil

A bit of evil lurks in your heart, but you hide it well.
In some ways, you are the most dangerous kind of evil.

Uncommon Descent: This is What Happens When the Ignorant Claim to Have Expertise in a Subject They Know Nothing About…

Over at UD the response to the new finds in Gona is extremely comical, they even seem to have adopted an equivalent of the ‘How do you explain pygmies and dwarves” argument so beloved by Pharyngulans the world over. Explain these seems to be their argument… Gee, that’s a tough one, how will us poor anthro types explain it? …

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In Memorium: Stanislaw Lem

Added Later: Coturnix also has a post on Lem as does Thoughts from Kansas.
BBC News is reporting that Science Fiction writer Stanislaw Lem has passed away (due to heart disease) at the age of 84.
You can find out more about Lem here

Transforming RNA into DNA: Cool OOL Research

Added Later: The entire research paper is available Conversion of a Ribozyme to a Deoxyribozyme
through In Vitro Evolution

This is interesting. According to Science Daily scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have successfully converted RNA to DNA through the use of in vitro evolution (we are not talking about translation). From the Science Daily article:

The molecular conversion or transfer of both genetic information and catalytic function between these two different genetic systems, which are both based on nucleic acid-like molecules, is exactly what many scientists believe occurred during the very earliest period of earth’s existence.
This “evolutionary conversion” provides a modern-day snapshot of how life as we understand it may have first evolved out of the earliest primordial mix of RNA-like molecules-sometimes referred to as the “pre-RNA world”-into a more complex form of RNA-based life (or the “RNA world”) and eventually to cellular life based on DNA and proteins.

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Does My Blog Own Me?

Grrlscientist wants to know if my blog owns me? Well, it owns 50% of me…although Mrs. afarensis thinks it’s closer to 100%.

50 %

My weblog owns 50 % of me.
Does your weblog own you?