Open thread

New Bird Species Found In Idaho, Demonstrates Co-evolutionary Arms Race: “One does not expect to discover a bird species new to science while wandering around the continental United States. Nor does one expect that such a species would provide much insight into how coevolutionary arms races promote speciation. On both fronts a paper to appear in The American Naturalist proves otherwise. Julie Smith, now at Pacific Lutheran University, and her former graduate advisor, Craig Benkman at the University of Wyoming, have uncovered strong evidence that coevolution has led to the formation of a species of bird new to science in the continental United States. Benkman discovered in 1996 what appears to be a new species restricted to two small mountain ranges in southern Idaho (the South Hills and Albion Mountains). This species is a morphologically and vocally distinct ‘call type’ of red crossbill (Loxia curvirostra complex), which is a group of seed-eating finches specialized for extracting seeds from conifer cones.”  That’s so cool.

This is what a lot of Christians think, and that’s a very sad thing.  Although it’s text from a graphic, here’s what it says: “Jesus loves you unless you are Muslim, Atheist, Mormon, A Free Thinker, Homosexual, Capable Of Logical Reason, or Pro-Choice.”  You can’t argue that that’s precisely how they feel, as though they’re allowed to determine who’s worthy of their god’s love.  I can tell you this: they offend the very spirit of their own faith.

It will be very interesting to see how this works out.  I personally hope it happens and spreads like wildfire.  “The National Anti-Vivisection Society (NAVS) and Animal Defenders International (ADI) applaud the news that Ireland could become the first European country in the world to ban laboratory experiments on monkeys, after a long-running campaign in the EU.”

You have to go see this video.  The article is compelling and summarizes the findings, but the video speaks for itself.  Do animals laugh?  Do they enjoy fun and learn to appreciate it from humans?  Watch the video to find out.

Be sure to go see today’s Astronomy Picture of the Day.  I’d love to see the moon like that.

I’m so sick of this administration playing politics with this planet!  “The Bush administration has again been charged with interfering with federal climate science, in order to underplay the significance of global warming. In a continuing investigation, the US House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform held its second hearing on the issue on Monday. Documents ‘appear to portray a systematic White House effort to minimise the significance of climate change’, said a memo released by the committee.”  See the article for more details.

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