Friday, October 29, 2004
A word about myself, I have a bachelors degree in anthropology and have also attended two years of grad scholl in anthropology (although sadly I did not get my masters degree - long story). So I think this is just about the coolest thing ever. A species of Homo erectus has been discovered in Indonesia. What makes this totally unique is that adult Homo floresiensis stood three feet tall and had a cranial capacity of about 380 cubic centimeters. Even more astonishing is the fact that H. floresiensis was a tool user. Follow the link Homo floresiensis , as well as the links to Nature's website for more info.
Posted by afarensis, FCD at 10/29/2004 08:43:00 PM
According to Josh Marshall (follow the link and scroll down a little) the President is now requiring anyone who attends his rallies to pledge their personel allegiance to him. Not to the United States, not to freedom, liberty or justice for all. To George W. Bush. I find this appalling, it absolutely undermines the ideas this great country was founded on. Let's get this straight Mr George W. Bush, I pledge allegiance to the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. I will not now or ever pledge allegiance to any one person! I am a free human being, a citizen of the United States of America and I will like hell put your interests above those of this country. Quite frankly, the whole idea strikes me as treason. I will pledge allegiance to freedom, to democracy, to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I will pledge allegiance to reason, to the best the human spirit has to offer, to love, to a genuine passion to help alleviate human suffering and to defending this great country of ours. I will not, Mr. Bush, pledge allegiance to someone who substitutes ideology for rational thought, who thinks they are more important than the interests of our country, who would sacrifice over 200 years of a grand and noble tradition, the likes of which have been a beacon of hope in a cold and fearing world. I will not pledge allegiance to a man who would rather have a personality cult than lead through the greatness of his ideas....
Posted by afarensis, FCD at 10/29/2004 08:08:00 PM
Saturday, October 09, 2004
I am almost finished reading Peter Grant's "Ecology and Evolution of Darwin's Finches". As is well known, the finches on the Galapagos Islands provided Darwin with one of the final pieces in the puzzle of the origin of species and are considered a model demonstration of the effects of natural selection. Grant's book provides a concrete illustration of the correct way to apply evolutionary theory to solve ecological problems. Starting with an overview of the various genre and species on the Galapagos Islands the book moves through environment conditions and feeding behavior, demonstrating how each has an impact on species distribution. Along the way, Grant reviews previous studies of Darwin's finches and provides exhaustive references for anyone who wants to explore the question in more detail. Finally, Grant discusses species distribution in terms of adaptive radiation and considers various scenarios whereby the islands were populated. Although one should have some familiarity with ecology and biology, the book can be read by anyone. I highly recommend the book!
Posted by afarensis, FCD at 10/09/2004 08:57:00 AM