Biological evolution is a like culture, too much can happen all at once followed by what seems like eons of boredom, Heads or tails: staged diversification in vertebrate evolutionary radiations
Adaptive radiations, bouts of morphological divergence coupled with taxonomic proliferation, underpin biodiversity. The most widespread model of radiations assumes a single round, or ‘early burst’, of elevated phenotypic divergence followed by a decline in rates of change or even stasis. A vertebrate-specific model proposes separate stages: initial divergence in postcranial traits related to habitat use, followed by diversification in cranial morphology linked to trophic demands. However, there is little empirical evidence for either hypothesis. Here, we show that, contrary to both models, separate large-scale radiations of actinopterygian fishes proceeded through distinct cranial and later postcranial stages of morphological diversification.
Which evolves first as a perquisite to change and proliferation of the new species, the head or the tail. It is still hard to say. I like that Sallan and Freidman ask both why and how. If something works why adapt, why change. Over the course of millions of years, most likely the environment. Not just the physical environment driven by weather or geological changes, but changes species themselves have made to their environment.
Newt Gingrich just happens to be the current poster boy for the way conservatives do great discredit to credentials. Someone visiting this planet might listen to Newt and easily get the idea that a Ph.D in history mean the holder of those credentials has proven a total lack of understanding of history. Newt’s Bad Precedents
“I’m not sure I understand how that works,” Bob Schieffer, of CBS, said to Newt Gingrich on “Face the Nation.” Gingrich was explaining how he would handle, or manhandle, judges who didn’t agree with him. In a debate a few days earlier, on Fox News, he had called America’s courts “grotesquely dictatorial”; he said that he had “warned” Supreme Court Justices to their faces that if “you keep attacking the core base of American exceptionalism, and you are going to find an uprising against you which will rebalance the judiciary.” He told Schieffer that he was ready to send the Capitol police to bring judges to Congress to explain their decisions, to abolish entire courts, and, as President, to put his hands over his ears and pretend that he didn’t hear rulings that he didn’t like.
Gingrich expounds on various theories so often and so grandiosely that it can be hard to know whether he is stating a policy or just making things up. But he seemed as serious about this as about anything.
The upper level of the federal court system already has too much political DNA in its workings. Newt would go Stalin on their ass and make sure they did not issue any decisions the conservative Politburo did not like.
A small step for lungfish, a big step for the evolution of walking. Ancient fish use thin limbs to walk and lift body, important steps for terrestriality.
“Even if you believe that minor girls should be punished for sex, mandatory pregnancy strikes me as way too harsh”. I get that parents are parents regardless of political leanings. They have a way of either forgetting or remembering and being paranoid about their own teen sex adventures. They don’t want their kids to make mistakes in addition to some deep psychological stuff that sets off alarms about their kids and s*x. Amazingly the more information a teen has, the better decisions they’ll make. When has hiding and prohibiting basic information and access to health care resulted in more positive outcomes.
It was probably the most important research on flu in years, but most people won’t be allowed to read it all. As New Scientist revealed in September, researchers at the University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, created a mutated H5N1 bird flu that could go pandemic – and would be lethal to half its victims.
Bioterrorism experts in the US immediately questioned whether the method for making such a plague should be published. Now the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity has recommended that the “general conclusions be published, but that the manuscripts not include the methodological and other details that could enable replication of the experiments by those who would seek to do harm”.
The one major concern is that governments will over react and stop the sharing of information between international labs. Not only are all non-U.S. citizens not a threat, but they might be essential if such a pandemic ever broke out.
Minus 8 – Everybody’s Gotta Learn Sometime