• Here’s How The Anti-Abortion Movement Plans To Modernize Its Approach – “Speaker after speaker talked about reclaiming the language and co-opting the label of feminism for their efforts. In doing that, they […]

    • Hmm, interesting. All this time I thought evolution wasn’t directional, now the evolutionary biologists are talking about it reversing and being undone. Something seems to be poorly worded.

      • I completely agree!

        • I was shocked when the article just suddenly ended without even mentioning possible alternative explanations. It could be that the bone was lost in most two-legged dinosaurs, but not in the particular line that led to birds. It could be the bone was not actually lost, but being small, it didn’t fossilize well in the relatively few specimens of dinosaurs in the line to birds. Or it could be that the bone is present in dinosaur embryos (and is somehow functional in them*) and reappeared in adult birds as the result of a mutation in the genes regulating growth rather than in the genes regulating structure (which are kind of the same and deeply interact with each other, so I’m not sure that’s a meaningful distinction.) Finally, the bone in birds could be an example of convergent evolution, which the article rejects without explaining why.

          I would have expected the Smithsonian to be better (and more nuanced) than this; maybe the article was cut down from a much fuller treatment (but why would space limitations apply to an online article?)

          Also, in general I would hope that the comments on an article like this at a site like the Smithsonian Magazine would explicate these issues, but they’ve been hijacked by a bunch of creationists making off-topic, baseless assertions, and the people who might know something have spent all there energy refuting the trolls. Where is an evolutionary biologist when we need one?

          [*] If the bone provided no survival benefit while still existing, I doubt it would be preserved in a functional form for very long, because random mutations in it would be neutral from a survival standpoint. Just like the gill arches in embryonic mammals; if they were somehow preserved into an adult mammal, they would not result in the adult having functional gills, too much else has gone missing or been re-purposed to some other essential function (which would probably kill the adult mammal long before it became an adult.) I found a very interesting-seeming artical about gill slits that I haven’t had time to read yet; tomorrow everything is going to be shut down by a blizzard, so maybe I’ll get to catch up on my reading…

          • Pharyngula wrote a blog addressing that article

            Death to Dollo’s Law!

            • Thanks for linking to that! My original thought was that the language of the article was weird, but it *was* on the Smithsonian website, so I was like, maybe because I’m not an evolutionary biologist I’m misunderstanding this? I should listen to my gut more often. 🙂

    • GNDR 322: “Female Trouble”

    • The flip side of the Gizmodo article is “But why does it work for Asprey?” Steve Magness digs in and concludes: it’s probably the drugs.

    • I tried that buttered coffee, it is one of the vilest things I’ve ever tasted. I felt physically ill after I drank less than a half cup and if I drank it on a regular basis I assure you I would lose weight if only because of the nausea.

      • I agree, it just sounds like an oily black coffee. But then again I do like my cream and sugar.

    • The Gamergate article seems fine. I don’t see a pro-gamergate slant on it at all. I wouldn’t be surprised if things got heated enough that some Feminists got banned, but I don’t think they’re leaning in the direction of Pro-Gamergate at all.

      Also, I kind of just assume that some portion of Feminists are 4chan sock puppets. That’s the kind of thing they do.