In honor of Charles Darwin turning 200 years young today (you don’t look a day over 139, Chuck!), I’ve assembled some of the finest evolution-related clips from The Daily Show’s history. I have to say though, I have some misgivings about this, because I don’t believe I descended from some damn monkeys. No, I believe we all descended from space-pandas, like it says in The Bible.
Actually barely even a short note. As PZ says below if they'd played it against the history of the universe if would have been even more striking but probably would have been a video of almost nothing happening as far as life goes until the last few seconds.
Seed has compiled a short list celebratory articles and media for your Darwin Day — take a look. I rather liked The Evolution of Life in 60 Seconds: it's very short, but it puts everything in perspective by listing key events in the 4.6 billion year history of the planet with appropriate timing to fit into one minute. If they'd put it into the context of the over 13 billion year history of the universe, it might have been even more dramatic.
Also the birthday of Abraham Lincoln.
Get out and celebrate the 200th anniversary of the birth of one of the most important scientists of all time, Charles Darwin, and the 150th anniversary of the publication of one of the most important books in biology, On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or the Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. It's that day! (link Pharygula)
I've been thinking for quite a while of where it might be nice to retire to. And the more the Rethug's keep fucking things up and destroying the US the more I think about where it might be nice to move just to get away from their crap.
One thing I noticed quite dramatically in Africa is that the word "evolution" was something they were proud of their. It would definitely not be a place to move to but does emphasize that in many places in the world people are not just plain batshit crazy as many of the "C" types are here in the US.
Here's another country with hope
When we were in Ecuador, much of the local political discussion was around their efforts to write a new constitution for the country. I'd heard that there were some significantly progressive elements to the work, but this is the first I've seen some of the articles being considered: as is perhaps unsurprising for a nation well-endowed with natural resources and reliant on maintaining those resources to support the economy, they've done something terrific: they've not only written rights for nature (personified as "Pachamama"), but they've acknowledged the importance of evolution.
Art. 1. Nature or Pachamama, where life is reproduced and exists, has the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles, structure, functions and its processes in evolution. ... (link Pharyngula)
I saw this post the other day but just couldn't bring myself to watch what I knew would be shown in the video. It's a bad as you can imagine.
Watch this appalling video of homeschoolers misusing the Denver museum to promote creationism. Aside from the general pattern of lies from the tour guides, two things jumped out at me.
The really awful pedagogy. Over and over again, the creationist says some stock phrase and then pauses, waiting for his kids to fill in the missing word. This is simply demanding rote learning. Similarly, he leads the kids in asking a good question — "how do you know?" — while training them to ignore any answers. Right there on the wall is a description of radiometric dating methods, for instance, and they turn their back on it....(link Pharyngula)
Friday, June 22, 2007
Yesterday, to mark the annual coming of the summer, the anti-solstice advocacy group the Recovery Institute issued a press release demanding that public schools cease teaching that the summer solstice marks the beginning of summer and start teaching the controversy about when the summer begins instead. (link Pandagon via Bad Astronomy)
Once I start thinking about this my opinions of people start going way way way down. I'm constantly amazed at the people who for all intents and purposes seem quite reasonable and sane but who believe things with zero evidence and with no thought. Evolution is not a matter of "believing" anything. It's about considering the very slightest shred of evidence for evolution and comparing it to ZERO evidence for their preferred alternative.
Republicans Most Likely to Reject Evolution
As noted previously, belief in evolution has been injected into the political debate already this year, with much attention given to the fact three Republican presidential candidates answered a debate question by saying that they did not believe in evolution.
It appears that these candidates are, in some ways, "preaching to the choir" in terms of addressing their own party's constituents -- the group that matters when it comes to the GOP primaries. Republicans are much more likely to be religious and attend church than independents or Democrats in general. Therefore, it comes as no great surprise to find that Republicans are also significantly more likely not to believe in evolution than are independents and Democrats.