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SURVIVAL OF THE THICKEST — 23 Comments

  1. Oh, as a scientist I am far above such subjective involvement with my research. This is science and even God is not allowed to argue with science.

  2. I could, but that would be a bit disingenuous! Hidden the like to it in a comments stream 🙂

    How is the job hunting going. No jobs at the moment are there!

  3. Good one. It’s partially right after all: common ancestor with other animals for example, and we do share a common ancestor with slime moulds? – the detail I’m not sure about. The tree does change occasionally as new data comes to light.

    And I’m sure God would be welcome to present a paper at any conference on evolution, since as it’s often suggested it’s his baby it would be a sell-out. But is not too reliable when it comes to turning up is he 🙂

  4. The Bad News: sadly, a new report says it’s actually 54% of Californians (i.e., 2% voted “No on 8” thinking—I use that term loosely—it meant “No on Gay Marriage”)

    The Good News: if the Fed courts DO THEIR CONSTITUTIONAL JOB, it won’t matter.

  5. Unfortunately the graph is not big enough to include them. But they are on the tree. If you go to the beginning of the line at the bottom centre of the graph and extend the line downwards 24 inches then you reach the spot where the republican genus should be situated – just above chemical sludge.

  6. Excellent, Mad Priest 🙂

    And Pope Benny and his Vatican machine, too many evolutionary steps above Dorky to be included, you think? … Or are they roughly where Republicans would be located?

  7. Hey! Slime molds are useful and cool! For one thing, they help degrade shed plant debris, and are not noticeable while doing so, because they forage as individual amoeba-like cells. The cool part is that when the pickings are slim, the individual amoeba-like cells travel toward each other and form a large sheet of cells which extrudes stalks with hardy spores. The sheet of cells can dry out and die, but the spores lie in wait for the next rain and a better grade of fallen leaves, etc.

    IT probably likes these critters too, though they aren’t model organisms in genetic studies (they were model organisms in motility and chemical signaling studies).

  8. A, it would be muchmuchMUCH better if we won at the ballot box. that would eliminate nearly all their arguments.

    B, yes you DO share a common primitive ancestor with the slime mold. That’s what the central line means.

    Slime molds are actually quite interesting. One of the best studied, Dictyostelium, lives as free cells most of the time but can come together and form a primitive society (that is, organism) for the purpose of sporulation (that is, sex). Not all the individuals will contribute to the next generation but they contribute to the success of the ones who do.

    That degree of collaboration and selflessness would appear to be beyond your average fundamentalist. Maddy, you are insulting the slime molds.

  9. Nancy and IT, thank you for that enlightening tour de force through the slime mold kingdom. I feel a better person for knowing this.

    Can we extend those criteria to subsequent life forms? I particularly like the idea of fundamentalists grouping together ineffectively waiting for new rains to come.

    Especially if we could find a way of making them wait a long long long long time.

  10. Oh dear, Erika, you Biblically illiterate liberal, you.

    There will be no new rains.

    The next punishment for mankind will be fire.