This is a wonderful & touching way to spend 7 minutes in science history joy: Wallace: The Other Guy to Discover Natural Selection
Via the New York Times.
And I quote:
“If, by some simple and possible means, such as the lessening of the Earth’s magnetic field, which now deflects most of the cosmic rays, they came through in great strength, evolution would go mad.”
From Amazing Stories, February, 1940. Via Fresh Photons.
By DAVID NG
Jesus then entered the farm, and saw creatures of every shape and size, and so said to his followers, “Hey, my Dad made that creature, and that creature, and also that creature… Actually, now that I think about it, he made them all.”
And at the early dawn of the seventh day, just before He rested, God did a lot of pretty complicated things at super duper God speed. This was so that people would think the whole Creation thing probably took a lot longer than seven days.
The heavens opened and the angels proclaimed, “Fear any literate man, capable of impressive facial hair, who is uncomfortable on boats, has a thing for finches, and is named Darwin, for he is basically an unrighteous phony. So it is said in the very literal Kingdom of God.”
And the Lord said, “Yes, my child, the unicorn was a first edit. They were poorly designed so I had to do away with them – kept goring themselves when nuzzling and stuff. Indeed, not my best work.”
With Cain facing Abel, God then commanded, “Look deeply into his eye, and marvel at my handiwork, because my child, making that eye work properly, took, like, for freakin’ ever!”
And God appeared to Moses as a Burning Bush – not a monkey, but a bush. Because clearly, God is no monkey.
Hope so… (send in some submissions if you hope so too)
Full paper available here (pdf)
Journal of Fantastic Phylogenetics 2012 8(9): 42-49
Abstract: In this study we present the preliminary finding of what could be the first record in history of hybridization between mammalian Orders (Perissodactyla and Cetacea). Phylogenetic analyses from the unicorn (Equus unicornus) mitochondrial genes (protein-coding Cytochrome b, Cytb) show a matriline belonging to the Narwhal (Monodon monceros) while nuclear (V-kit Hardy-Zuckerman 4 feline sarcoma viral oncogene homolog, Kit) clearly show a sister relationship of the unicorn-pegasus (Equus alatus) clade with the rest of the Perissodactyl family Equidae. Our preliminary study strongly suggests the need for further investigation because this finding could completely revolutionise our understanding of the processes of hybridization in mammals.
From the Introduction:
Hybridization is widely known from the plant kingdom (Rieseberg & Carney 1998) and horizontal gene transfer has been repeatedly reported in prokaryotes (Jain et al. 1999). However, these forms of genetic exchange have never been prevalent (or even recorded in the case of horizontal gene transfer) in the Mammalia and never been recorded at such an evolutionary distance between organisms (Equidae and Cetacea).
Here are presented the incongruent results from two phylogenies built with mitochondrial and nuclear genes of E. unicornus showing relatedness to two different orders of the Mammalia.
This awesome fake paper by Anna Bazzicalupo, via the Science Creative Quarterly
DARWIN AS SANTA (A.K.A. ONE WAY DARWIN COULD JUMP THE SHARK)
See other Ways Darwin Could Jump the Shark
“Sporting his full white beard, Darwin is hired to impersonate Santa Claus at the local mall. He initially does well in this job, looking the part, being punctual, amicable, and knowledgeable about reindeer. However, he soon begins to insist on teaching children words like “invertebrate.” He also starts giving out stylish feces beads instead of candy canes. Later, he gets in an argument with another Santa Claus in another mall over biologically sound explanations for Rudolph’s glowing nose. The “Darwin vs. Santa Claus” fistfight goes viral on YouTube.”
By David Ng via McSweeney’s. Image: Source Unknown.
(see more of Popperfont’s Sciencegeek Advent Calendar Extravanganza here)
“This image from Ernst Haeckel’s 1874 The Evolution of Man shows comparisons between cross-sections of different animals and their embryos at different stages of development. For Haeckel the development of an embryo retraced the evolutionary history of the animal. The different colors represent the four types of tissues out of which all the organs formed. Ernst Haeckel. Anthropogenie, oder, Entwickelungsgeschichte des Menschen. Leipzig: W. Engelmann. 1874.” – link
“Title: Outlines of Comparative Physiology
Maker: Louis Agassiz, 1851
Significance: In opposition to Darwin” – link
“Nott, Types of Mankind
Here American physician J. C. Nott attempted to illustrate geologist Louis Agassiz’s theory, which was that each region of the world was populated by separately created sets of species, both animal and human. Such ideas about human species at the time were often influenced by western racial prejudices, as the idea of multiple, separately created races could be used to justify slavery and other forms of subjugation. Darwin disagreed, firmly maintaining that all humans were descended from the same human ancestor. Josiah Clark Nott (1804–1873). Types of Mankind…. Philadelphia: Lippincott and Grambo, 1854.” – link
By DAVID NG
He makes exploitative
Darwin appears as the “man in need of a haircut” in an episode of Gossip Girl, and is the first contestant voted off Survivor: Galápagos. Eventually makes Barbara Walters’s list of most fascinating people of the year. Cries during interview.
He sells Darwinian fashion accessories
Darwin takes advantage of the current interest in natural fashion products. Begins marketing items like organic-cotton neckties and honey-flavored lip gloss. Darwin-sanctioned “stylish feces beads” appear soon after.
Darwin becomes a staff writer at Rolling Stone. Is asked to critique animal-related movies. Loses credibility when caught gushing over Catwoman.
Hosts free holiday cruises
Moonlighting as an authority on nature and boats, Darwin takes advantage of free holiday cruises. His cruise talks are very successful and Darwin becomes the No. 1 hit when Googling the words “lido deck.”
Guest-stars on The Dog Whisperer
Memos to the effect of “He sailed on a boat called the Beagle. Isn’t a beagle a dog?” begin to circulate. Capitalizing on this attention, Darwin joins The Dog Whisperer as a dog-anatomy expert. Wins Emmy for segment on comparative dog-tail structure. In acceptance speech, cites the fact that “dog” spelled backward is “god” as evidence of a Christian conspiracy.
Joins the Ice Capades
Darwin is hired for small part in a Lion King–themed ice show. Takes skating lessons and practices hard. Soon nails both the triple axel and the triple lutz. Is fired from the show when he tests positive for performance-enhancing drugs.
Loses his mind
Darwin endorses Scientology.
Dresses up as Santa Claus during holidays
Sporting his full white beard, Darwin is hired to impersonate Santa Claus at the local mall. He initially does well in this job, looking the part, being punctual, amicable, and knowledgeable about reindeer. However, he soon begins to insist on teaching children words like “invertebrate.” He also starts giving out stylish feces beads instead of candy canes. Later, he gets in an argument with another Santa Claus in another mall over biologically sound explanations for Rudolph’s glowing nose. The “Darwin vs. Santa Claus” fistfight goes viral on YouTube.
(Originally published at McSweeney’s for Darwin’s bicentennary)