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February 2008 Archives

The 2005 Schol Bio paper included the following question. The three examples shown represent just some of the diversity found in bony fish. Use the diversity of the fish and/or any other named group(s) to discuss the following statement: 'Diversity is the end product of evolution.'

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Here's a link to a set of articles that summarise talks on various aspects of evolution research. They're straightforward & easy to read, & should give you some interesting additional background to some recurring questions.

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 Those of you who've come to one of my Scholarship preparation days may have noticed that I've got a bit of a bee in my bonnet about pseudoscience. It really annoys me when I see science being mis-used to sell a product or promote a particular point of view. A good friend of mine has just sent me one of the worst examples I've seen for a while, & I thought it could be useful to share it with you. Here's the lead-in to the article...

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Blogging on Peer-Reviewed ResearchHere's another paper on coevolution - this one a bit closer to home. It suggests a coevolutionary relationship between a weta species and the characteristics of many fleshy fruits of NZ plants (Burns, 2006).

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I think it was Thomas Edison who said, Genius is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. In other words, success (in any field) requires a lot of hard work. (True also of preparing for Scholarship exams.) Now here's another science-relevant quote...

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Here's something for your reading list: an excellent extended essay on how our view of human evolution, & of our place in the world, has changed over time. Enjoy!

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Oops! I forgot... but anyway, Happy Darwin Day for the 9th of February. Charles Darwin would have been 199 years old. Next year's the 200th anniversary of his birth & also the 150th anniversary of the publication of The Origin of Species; I'll have to organise some birthday celebrations :-)

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I know you may read this & think I'm a bit odd... But anyway - just after the L3 exam I was talking with a student & she said, why did there have to be cockroaches in a question? My answer: why not? They're just another animal (even if many people don't like them much) & the examiner had obviously chosen this particular example to tease out understanding of evolutionary processes. (Could have been worse - they might have chosen tapeworms!)

 

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I mean, extinctions of giant fish, not giant extinctions of fish! This is about a paper that I read last year & put aside as a 'general interest' topic for when I was looking for something to write about.

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Ages ago I saw an item on TV about cuttlefish - one of the neat things I took away from it was how cuttlefish and other cephalopods (octopus & squid) use colour to communicate, and how precise their control of skin coloration is. And I would tell my students about it, but I didn't have the pictures! Well, take a look at this...

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Recent Comments

  • Alison Campbell: a cat may look at a cephalopod! read more
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  • Stephen: Snap or is that Schnapps! I'm reading The Drunken Botanist read more
  • Alison Campbell: Perhaps you should be promoting 'liquid oxygen' enemas for maximum read more
  • herr doktor bimler: Sorry, that was supposed to be a comment on the read more
  • herr doktor bimler: I see a potential market here in selling Charles Atlas read more
  • herr doktor bimler: drinking a couple of spoonfuls of 'liquid oxygen' isn't going read more
  • herr doktor bimler: Speaking of fermentation: http://eusa-riddled.blogspot.com/2013/08/smut-dont-drink-it.html read more
  • Alison Campbell: an army of post-docs looking for that place to settle read more
  • herr doktor bimler: Tunicates are inevitably compared to senior academics, because they reabsorb read more