Skepchick Quickies, 5.20


Jen is a writer and web designer/developer in Columbus, Ohio. She spends too much time on Twitter at @antiheroine.

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  1. Twins:
    “Miss Washington, from Dallas, Texas, said she plans to tell the boys about their DNA differences when they’re old enough to understand.”

    My parenting advice for the day: tell them before they are old enough to understand. That way, you fulfill your parental duty and duck the guilt, but you don’t have to deal with pesky questions like “So, who’s my real dad?”

  2. Sweet. All we need to do now is stop detaining people illegally and America will be able to march confidently into the 20th century.

  3. Why oh why do people persist in calling fossils “missing links”? It’s time to leave the Great Chain of Being behind, everybody.

    (Google is a sinner, too. Check out what happens when you click today’s logo. Fuckers.)

  4. It’s almost as if we need a website (say, similar to Snopes) that can take sciencey news and retrace the Science News Cycle back to the actual story. Here’s what’s being reported, here’s what really happened and here are the distortions introduced by various media. So, when grandma shows up wearing the tinfoil hat, you can send her a link and hope for the best.

  5. I agree with Blake. You start using this “missing link” term too much and the people who you really need to convince of evolution’s truth are going to stop listening. This isn’t going to do anything to persuade fundies that human evolution takes place. To them the “missing link” is the transitional fossil between neanderthals and us. I think presenting it like this is going to backfire on the scientific community in the game of public relations.

  6. @tiger kitty: You see, God created fossils in the dirt, like he created light particles en route to the Earth. Things were created to look old, just like when you take a piece of leather and artificially weather it to make it look old.

  7. This can’t be a missing link because it isn’t a “link”. This was a female that died before it had any offspring. It isn’t a “link” at all, except the last link in the chain of organisms that led to it.

  8. @Outsider:

    Actually, the Universe is going to be created next Thursday afternoon, with an apparent age of 13.7 billion years. We’re just living in an incredibly detailed set of scratch notes.

  9. Modern humans are missing links to the humans we evolve into in a couple million years. We’re just too used to thinking in one way when it comes to time.

  10. My sister and I had measles in 1963. No negative outcomes but really, that shit should be history you tell your kids and grand kids about.

  11. Of course, the creationist world is already abuzz with proclamations that science is wrong yet again.

    I’ve noticed something – creationists like to use media reporting articles rather than actual science articles to “disprove” evolution. I’m sure I don’t have to elaborate on why I think they do this.

  12. @daedalus2u: To stretch the analogy, couldn’t a link be disconnected from a chain and still say something about all of its peers??

  13. I, too, think the “missing link” term is thrown around way too much.

    But hey, I’m a paleontologist by training. So what do I say about “Ida”?…

    Look at the Pretty.

  14. James, it could, but it isn’t a link because it doesn’t “link” anything. There are plenty of descriptive terms that could be used that are accurate. Missing link is just not one of them.

  15. I like the Google image, and I think the creature is actually kind of cute, and fascinating, and science-y and all that. Incredibly well-preserved, an awesome opportunity for science and a better understanding or ourselves and from whence we came and all that… But then I heard the History Channel was involved and I cried a little. It can’t be real if it’s on History. :-(
    Sadly, I am forced to conclude that (while totally freaking awesome and I still want one as a pet) Darwinius masillae is the “The DaVinci Code” of paleontology (or, for my redneck friends, the Dale Earnhardt, Jr. of paleontology). Extremely hyped, apparently overrated and pretty cool, but not THAT cool.

  16. Re: Twins with two fathers.
    I have now decided to name my band
    Heteropaternal Superfecundation.

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