Coup In Madagascar Creates Danger for Lemurs

National Geographic has the story:

With Madagascar’s government paralyzed after a recent coup, looters are invading the African island country’s protected wildlife sanctuaries, harvesting trees and threatening critically endangered lemurs and other species, conservationists said this week.
Marojejy National Park in northern Madagascar has been closed to tourism. In other parks, rangers are abandoning their posts, according to reports.

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Stupid Creationist Quote Of The Day

This one comes to us courtesy of Casey Luskin at Evolution News and Views. In a post discussing the NCSE’s views on the supernatural Casey says:

Eugenie Scott better reign in her staff members or the NCSE will not only lose its religion-friendly image–it may land some school districts or state boards of education in court if their advice is followed. [emphasis mine – afarensis]

Because, of course, that has never, ever, happened with people following the advice of the Discovery Institute.
(Hat tip to AtBC)
* Luskin has fixed his spelling error, which is fine with me as that was not the point. His post still contains the hysterically funny “you will get suuuuuueeed if you listen to the NCSE” language.

Pathology of Chimpanzee Skeletons At Kibale

Paleopathology, for all practical purposes, is the study of the diseases and traumas that affect humans in the past. Necessarily, it is restricted to the study of the skeleton which severely limits the scope of what diseases can be studied. Even with that restriction a wide variety of questions can be addressed. We can, for example, ask how the change in lifestyle from hunter-gatherer to agriculturalist impacted human health. Or we can look at disease patterning in a given lifestyle. We can also look at whether disease and trauma differentially affect a given group such as young versus old or male versus female.
Since chimpanzees are our closest living relatives, understanding the diseases and traumas that impact the chimp skeleton might shed some light on human evolution. We can ask, for example, what selective factors impact chimpanzees It goes without saying that it would also be helpful to conservation biologists as well. There is a growing body of literature on the subject.

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Interesting Fossil Picture: Oligocene Frog Larva

The picture below is of a frog larva dating to the Oligocene. It comes from Larval development in Oligocene palaeobatrachid frogs.

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Huh, I Wonder If All Math Geeks Pay Their Bills This Way?

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NCSE On YouTube!

The National Center for Science Education has a YouTube Channel!

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Who Are You Going To Believe? Me Or Your Lying Eyes?

Duane asks a really good question. In discussing the video below he says:

Do you see a process for the continuance of rituals among Homo sapiens in this little experiment? I do. Please notice that I didn’t ask about the origin of rituals. That’s another question. I do think this experiment also puts question of the value of ritual on the table: value for the learning and enculturation of young, considerable; value for adult activity, little or none.

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