One of the questions in the 2007 90717 paper was on an example of coevolution in bats & flowers. I had a look at the original reference and it's such a neat example, I thought you might be interested in hearing a bit more detail about it.
January 2008 Archives
Back to the dinosaur/caveman milk ad. (If you followed the link you may have found & watched a whole bunch of similar ads. All quite funny - I like the dino trying to wipe squashed caveman off its foot, in the one I linked to! - but all based on a (sadly) fairly common misconception about the history of life on Earth.
I'm going to be off-campus for the next month - in fact, I'll be out of NZ & travelling in Europe :-) While I intend to post an item a couple of times a week while I'm away, when I can get to a computer (no, really! I do!), there might be the occasional lapse. So please bear with me; things will be back to normal by the last week of February - & if you're lucky I won't subject you to too many holiday photos!
A couple of science concepts that people often seem to have difficulty with are fact and theory: what the terms mean, and how we distinguish between them. One of my scientific heroes, the late Stephen Jay Gould, covered this very well in a 1981 essay. I've just been re-reading it & thought I'd post the most directly relevant section here.
A headline in a recent edition of the New Zealand Herald caught my eye: "Revealed: a dino's bugbear". The article kicks off: Biting insects might have killed off the dinosaurs, rather than a cataclysmic meteor impact, a new theory claims. Scientists now say disease spread by ancient mosquitoes, mites and ticks was probably the major factor that finished off the extinct reptiles. Gosh! (Said in a somewhat cynical manner...)
I found this on Pharyngula & thought I'd share it - it's a catchy little number & might reinforce a concept or two. (And a little frivolity never hurt anyone!)
... this is rather funny :-)
But - what's wrong with it? Critique the science, not the ad's effectiveness!
Another argument says that evolution cannot possibly be tested, and what possible utilisation can there be? Well, OK, that's two for the price of one.
... but after one of last year's weekend Schol sessions, someone asked me how you get to be a uni lecturer/researcher ie what would you have to do to get there. And we talked about it a bit. And now I'm searching round for a blog topic & thought, you're all probably heading for some sort of science career, so you might be interested in the answer too.