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Date: 2006/06/30 03:58:58, Link
Author: nuytsia
Oh Richard....
You are such a bad boy!

Date: 2006/08/09 22:21:09, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (GCT @ Aug. 09 2006,14:33)


I didn’t see comrade’s post, but anyone that goes by the name of comrade can’t have anything good or intelligent to say. Bill, I’m glad to see you (or someone) back cleaning up the thread. Frankly, I’m not interested in the thoughts of anti-ID folks. I understand their arguments, have read their books, listened to their lectures, etc. I come here to read your thoughts and others that are, at a minimum, intriqued by Intelligent Design. Thanks for keeping the thread readable.

Comment by Barrett1 — August 8, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

I like this post. It starts by saying anything associated with communism (even words! ) is bad, but then quickly moves on to endorse the ruthless removal of all dissenting voices. Even the ones you don't get to see.

As steve says... amazing!  :D

Date: 2006/10/13 02:53:32, Link
Author: nuytsia
Have I got this time line correct?

Dembski comments on the fact that Dawkins' site looks better than his and suddenly JAD turns up there?

Coincidence or design? ???

Dembski: Curse Dawkins! His site makes mine look tardy. Springer!
DS: Yesth marthter?
Dembski: Unleash the Imbecile!
DS: Not..... the Imbethile marthter?
Dembski: D*mn your eyes man! Do as I say!
DS: Yesth marthter.

Date: 2006/10/25 01:54:32, Link
Author: nuytsia
Amazing flame fractals take your breath away

Unfortunately the subsequent comments just seem to confirm the stereotype of software engineers....

Also Nature (God) uses OOP
This is true too, look at all living things and you will see OOP in the genetic code. Look at eyes, for example. You will see the re-use of objects across species. Ears, noses, lungs, livers, kidneys, tongues, hair, teeth, it just goes on and on. On top of that, He made it self replicating and self sustaining. The Master Programmer definitely knew what He was doing.
Posted: 10/04/2006 @ 23:19

And in reply...
how far is it from math to Intelligent Design?
You are right, math is everywhere in nature... But does math happen by itself or is it part of Intelligent Design? Does something come of nothing? No, I think not. Time has come to admit we humans are not at the top of evolution. Anyway the fractals are really really beautiful and inspiring. Thanks to Rodger for sharing this.
Posted: 10/05/2006 @ 12:52

Nice pictures though...

Date: 2006/10/30 22:02:27, Link
Author: nuytsia
But why would inanimate nature make any steps toward life?

Oh and while you're there, why would an avalanche want to destroy a village?  :angry:

Wretched snow with it's undesigned, designed, undesigned designessnessness...

Date: 2006/11/01 23:06:20, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote ("Rev Dr" Lenny Flank @ Nov. 01 2006,23:05)

My hunch is that they will give up on evolution completely, and launch into some anti-big-bang thingie instead.  Shades of Heddle's "comsological ID".

I'm not so sure? The big bang doesn't upset the religious as much, as it still seems kind of magical.
It's evolution that gets people mad enough to rush into schools waving bricks shouting "do I look like a monkey?".

As cdesign points out, that's the real problem. As long as that culture exists, there's the opportunity for money and power. My guess - same old arguments in a shiny new suit. Tailoring by the DI? (after all it's been pretty lucrative so far hasn't it?)

Date: 2006/11/04 22:32:00, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (guthrie @ Nov. 04 2006,19:33)
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 02 2006,17:45)
Quote (guthrie @ Nov. 02 2006,15:20)
Quote (ScaryFacts @ Nov. 02 2006,14:39)
Quote (jeannot @ Nov. 02 2006,14:26)

It is my understanding that humans have hair designed for swimming while chimps do not (IIRC.)

I suggest replacing the word "designed" with the word "optimised".  That would help remove any doubt about design and designers from the statement.

I really don't think that swimming was a selective factor in our lineage. I would imagine that our low pilosity is somewhat linked to our clothes, but it doesn't seem to fit with those who don't wear any (maybe their ancestors?).

There was that aquatic ape hypothesis floating around a few decades ago, though IIRC it has not gianed a large following even now. (snip)

There's a bit on the aquatic ape hypothesis at Wikipedia.

About two years ago I read Clive Bromhalls "The Eternal Child" that argues a good portion of differences between humans and chimps can be explained by extended neotype. Of course he then takes this argument for a really long scenic stroll. Still it does seem to answer a lot of points and the differences between fetal and adult skulls of chimps are interesting.

I'd be interested to know if anyone else has heard anything on the merits of this idea?

Date: 2007/01/05 03:22:17, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hi Steve. I agree with Lou

After playing around with Blogger I moved to WordPress as well. The lack of flexibility chafed slightly to begin with, but WP is so much better than Blogger. I've been using it for 6 months and have been really pleased.
The service is constantly being tweaked and improved.

I'm now starting to use WordPress for a collaborative work related project, it's early days but it looks to be going well.


Date: 2007/01/19 04:01:51, Link
Author: nuytsia
[quote=phonon,Jan. 18 2007,17:12][/quote]
Wolves were bred to become almost all the domestic dog breeds we see today.

Actually Darren Naish had an interesting post on this subject in October. Controversial origins of domestic dogs
Things might not be that black and white. Well worth a read.


Quote (GCT @ Jan. 18 2007,20:48)
No way!  Eden had plants made of meat for the carnivores?  That would have been soooooooo cool.

Yep! Sausage trees. You also have breadfruits, which goes to prove that the sausage sandwich is god's chosen food. Sadly there doesn't appear to be a brown sauce tree, so god was close but no cigar.

Oh, and I guess a plant being eaten doesn't count as something dying?  I think the tard just overflowed, better go get the plunger.

Yes and I suspect eating insects wasn't sinful either. What were anteaters eating? Tree sap? And what about swallows and martins?

Date: 2007/01/20 21:49:31, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (stevestory @ Jan. 20 2007,04:08)
I think OE is being overrun by trolls...

What is going on? Are these people for reals? Or is there a silent group of you guys who've decided to troll the place into the ground?

It's interesting that the hblatavsky post is still up.

The comments on this Pharyngula post about Hovinds 10 years pointed to this rather familiar post on "Shelley the Republican". More info on Shelley here.

OE reminds me of a news story from the UK a few years ago. Two men in a village both thought they were calling to an owl each summer, but eventually discovered they were calling to each other.

Date: 2007/02/14 13:49:32, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 13 2007,14:57)
I think we evolved from a group of hominids crouching in creekbed in Africa, all holding hands in the dark while listening with terror to the tigers growling. Without altruism, the human race would never have survived. And now, after having forgotten what it was like to have tigers as our natural predators...

A tiger! In Africa?
I said "A tiger! in Africa?"
(etc, etc)

Date: 2007/04/18 17:19:02, Link
Author: nuytsia
Darren Naish blogged about this behaviour in Greater Noctules back in June 2006.
I must admit, being a bit of bat hobbyist, I was pretty gobsmacked. But in the post preceding that one Darren talks about other bird-eating species.
Very cool stuff. :O

Date: 2007/04/19 04:07:22, Link
Author: nuytsia
Yeah but the reason that albatrosses stay out at sea is that they're afraid of the bats.
Stands to reason! ;-)

Date: 2007/04/20 03:05:13, Link
Author: nuytsia
pdf is up.
It's here!

Date: 2007/04/20 05:17:37, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hmmm... well I've commented once or twice here, but usually refrain.
Thinking about it, I reckon I started coming here regularly when the UD thread started up (which coincided with my moving to Australia), prior to that I popped over occasionally from the Thumb (as I recall the first time might have been the ape promiscuity/semen discussion where a lot of the comments got 'walled'  :angry:  ) Since then it's been a (more or less) regular stop along with the Thumb and various ScienceBlogs.
I'm afraid I don't comment much as I really don't have the strength to go panning for gold in the UD sewer, I guess I'll just titter from the sidelines.
Keep up the good work!
Nearly 500 pages of Uncommonly Dense - what a landmark achievement.  ;)

Date: 2007/04/24 23:21:07, Link
Author: nuytsia
Really hate to bring this thread back on to topic but I've just noticed that the BBC have an article on this find.
Curiously it's filed under Wales?

Cos like, that where coal comes from... Wales.
You know?  ???

Come home to a real fire...  :D

As you were soldier...

Date: 2007/05/12 03:19:09, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hi Louis,

Interesting post. (nice tidy up as well). But I'm not sure if I followed your points fully but I think my thinking might be slightly warped as I'm a botanist and my chemistry studies were soooooo long ago.
Your comparison of metabolites with the immune system kind of falls over for me as I seem the immune system as being purely against parasites, whereas metabolites can do this as well as dissuade other organism from eating you or (in the case of excretion) nobbling your competition.
Am I missing something here?
Sorry if this sounds dense.

Saw a rather nice figure a few years ago on chemical evolution in Apiaceae. As I recall the figure showed a series of increasingly complex defensive molecules and showed the number of species (and genera, i think) that used them.
It was a nice little curve. I'm sure it's in one of my books I'll see if I can dig it up.

In relation to your point on not poisoning yourself with your own toxins, I'm reminded of the observation that a fair number of mistletoe species often grow on other mistletoes and/or plants within the same order (Santalales). The records I have are fairly patchy I'll be honest, but I'm surprised at how often it's recorded and had come to the assumption that metabolite compatibility might be a reason for this.

I hadn't heard about THC being a plant hormone. Again I assumed it was purely defensive particularly in light of the fact that it builds up to it's highest levels in the female inflorescences - to protect the seed one assumes?

Date: 2007/05/12 04:16:28, Link
Author: nuytsia
Cool.  :)

Date: 2007/06/13 04:02:33, Link
Author: nuytsia
Just spotted this link on Afarensis.
After a request by Pappa Cambria, there’s now a Creationism group on Flickr.

Membership is open to everyone, so you can add your own cards. Sometime before next Darwin Day I plan to write up the rules for Creationism: The Card Game (or CreationismTCG if I get carried away). I’ve got a fairly well fleshed-out idea of how it would work, and it won’t be a Magic rip-off. There’s a nod to Netrunner though.

Briefly the game will be Creationist versus Scientist. The Scientist’s goal will be to gain 30 credibility points, which ends the game. The Creationist’s aim will be to gain as many credibility points as possible before the Scientist wins.

The full match will be two games, with the players playing once as Scientist and once as Creationist with the winner being the player with the highest aggregate credibility. The Scientist player will gain points by publishing papers and books. The Creationist player will gain credibility by getting religion into schools or interfering with the Scientist’s cards.

Knowing that many member of AtBC have an artistic flare I thought I'd just mention this!

Date: 2007/06/16 07:16:26, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hmmm... interesting questions.

Seeds actually have a number of ways of trying to avoid germinating if established plants are already present.

Seeds are sensitive to nitrate levels in the surrounding medium. Where established plant are growing soil nitrate levels tend to be low. If levels are high it's suggest a low competition.
Similarly soil temperate fluctuations are used as a measure of competition. In an established environment the soil is insulated somewhat from the suns radiation during the day and losing heat during the night.
In bare/cleared areas diurnal soil levels can fluctaute wildly and again many seeds will repsond to that.
I have to do a lot of wild seed germination in my job and use of trace levels of KNO3 and comparison of constant and alternating incubator tests are a standard starting point.


The plant used in this work (Cakile) is an interesting member of the Brassicaceae, fruitwise, and from what I've observed probably exhibits two forms of dispersal.

(I've actually got a Cakile species under germination trial at the moment and it shows little in the way of dormancy. As soon as you extract the seeds from the fruits they tend to go - and quickly.)

The majority of the family have the typical dehiscent capsule that many might be familiar with, termed a siliqua (silicula applies to a minor shape change).

With Cakile the fruit is indehiscent and corky, usually holding a pair of seeds. The fruit actually splits into two pieces. The larger top half (normally holding a larger seed) drops of and one assumes is dispersed by wind and water hopefully to washed up on a beach several miles away. The lower half (the seed tends to be smaller) however doesn't appear to be particular dehiscent and I suspect that these seeds get either buried in the sand around the parent plant or if the infrutescence disintegrates somewhat you might get a tumbleweed effect. Either way these lower portions may well end placing several kin seeds in close proximatey.

This is perhaps why this plant was chosen for this work?

Interestingly similar behaviour is exhibited by beet (Beta vulgaris - Chenopdiaceae). Seabeet (B.vulgaris ssp. maritima) have dense fused woody fruitheads bearing 2-5 seeds.

Thinking through your idea a bit more, it's interesting to speculate on the consequences of fleshy fruits. Dispersal by passing through an animal gut strikes me as a situation where several seeds may be deposited in close proximity and those seeds may or may not be kin.

Not sure if that answers all your question?
I'm afraid I've had a fair amount of wine this evening. :-)

Date: 2007/06/16 21:38:26, Link
Author: nuytsia
[quote=Ichthyic,June 16 2007,13:35][/quote]

Interestingly similar behaviour is exhibited by beet (Beta vulgaris - Chenopdiaceae). Seabeet (B.vulgaris ssp. maritima) have dense fused woody fruitheads bearing 2-5 seeds.

similar behaviour meaning differential behavior wrt to kin?

do you have the reference?

so I still remain unclear:

Sorry! The comparative with Beta is that the seeds are dispersed in clumps (and they are a coastal species). So when germination takes place you can have a situation where several kin might be growing together. From observations from germinating Beta, seedlings are usually staggered over a few weeks. So would the seedlings allow for kin or do they try to suppress competition?

My interest in your original comment was on the aspect of dispersal mechanisms and the possibility for kin recognition. As you say some mechanisms might lend to this more than others. Ants and animal gut (myrmechory and endozoochory) over wind (anemochory)?

Is this REALLY the first time kin selection has been demonstrated in plants?

Don't know if this is a first but I've just read through your discussion on PT.
Related to that discussion - I don't think there are as many botanist as there are zoologist.... because "everyone" knows plants are boring! :angry:

I had some knowledge of plant root interactions but I haven't read on anything like this before. I was familiar with allelopathy and the use of plant root exudates as a cue for the germination of some parasitic plants. Of what I've read it's seemed obvious there's a lot going on in the soil we don't know about.

Cool little paper (I actually grabbed it this morning). It'll be interesting to see what follows this.

Date: 2007/06/17 00:37:59, Link
Author: nuytsia
Dear lord that Pleasuria page is..erm... interesting.

Does Dembski ever check anything he posts about?

The concept of is that of an initially small, adult oriented, company specializing in high quality sexual products, but capable of expanding into other fields -- all related to pleasure. While vibrators and lingerie can indeed be "pleasuria" so can everything from lawn chairs to clothing to boats to recreational vehicles. is intended as both a profitable venture and a moral venture designed to increase the quality/pleasure of human life. is intended as an independent self sustaining vehicle for the promotion of pleasurian philosophy (and ID/pleasurian science). This philosophy is grounded in logic and formalized in the sciences of relativity, thermodynamics/black hole dynamics, psychology and sociology. Where hard science and/or logic are required to defend pleasurian philosophy it will be provided. Otherwise, pleasurian science will remain in the background (or on the upcoming PAGE #2).

Ahhhh... it's okay, it's got hard science in it
(and getting harder all the time I'd imagine... check out first wedge link for details)

Date: 2007/06/17 01:10:03, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Henry J @ June 17 2007,00:26)
Re "Are we closer to bats than to mice? "

That's what Tree of Life says. Primates, tree shrews, bats, and flying lemurs are in one of the major divisions. Rabbits, rodents and elephant shrews are in another. (Regular shrews in a third.)


I think this paper (Bininda-Emonds ORP, Cardillo M, Jones KE, MacPhee RDE, Beck RMD, Grenyer R, Price SA, Vos RA, Gittleman JL, Purvis A (2007) The delayed rise of present-day mammals. Nature 446:507-511.) recently revised all that. Larry Moran and Mike Dunford give overviews on the paper.

Very cool pdf available at the BBC.

Looks like Primates now lie closest to Lagomorphs and Rodents. Unless something newer has turned up? :-)

Date: 2007/06/17 01:32:09, Link
Author: nuytsia
Yes there aren't many posts here on plants and this I think is the first one on living plants! :p

I'm involved in a small Australian conservation program and we've been trying to fund a few honors projects on seed biology and we've basically been told there that the students aren't interested.
It's a bit frustrating really.

Date: 2007/06/17 02:30:50, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (stevestory @ June 16 2007,22:28)
Speaking of ScienceBlogs, John Lynch actually scooped us on this story by almost an hour.

What can I say? It's Saturday. It's very slow around here on the weekends.

Interesting speculation by PvM in the comments.

Date: 2007/06/18 03:48:39, Link
Author: nuytsia
It's hard to say really. I've been out here 18 months and the circles I move in here and back in the UK are conservation minded.
In some way Australia seems a little more on top of their game. They take quarantine/plant health issues far more seriously than Britain does.
Green politics seems to be highly polarised at times. The major employer (by some margin) in Tassie is forestry and "tree huggers" are seen as public enemy number one by many. In more rural areas a green sticker on your car will get it vandalised fairly rapidly. The last election here I was rather startled to see large mobile signs in town say "Don't vote green". No actual alternative stated, just don't vote green.
I read somewhere a little while ago that Australia's atitude to it's wildlife is a legacy of British settlement. People desperately trying to change the land into a second Britain. In part it makes sense many of the original settlers didn't want to be here, after all.
Driving through central Tasmania you can kind of see that. It's pretty depressing. Huge tracks of land devoid of native trees. Hedgerows of Hawthorn. Windbreaks of Poplar (in areas prone to drought). Willow choked waterways. The commonest birds in towns are  Housesparrow, Starlings, Blackbirds, Pigeons and Goldfinches. There are a few places where you're hard pushed to find a native bird. (Edited: and still sounds bad...)
Australian attitudes to Australia do seem to be changing. Friends here comment on there parents thinking of the UK as home even if they were born in Australia. Most of the people I meet are pretty proud of being Australian and that attitude is kind of trickling down into it's native heritage as well. So perhaps the next generation will be far more pro-active in trying to preserve the native flora and fauna.

Presently in the circles I move, the feeling can get pretty dark, with lots of problems and little funding.
It felt a bit like that in the UK too, but Britain has only a fraction of the biodiversity that Australia has.

Botanising in Western Australia is pretty mind blowing stuff. On my first trip out I couldn't recall what I'd done in the morning by the middle of the afternoon. :-)
There, I ended on a high note.

Date: 2007/06/19 03:49:20, Link
Author: nuytsia
I knew I should have gone for the one word answer.
"Yes."  :D

Date: 2007/06/21 04:26:32, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (stevestory @ June 21 2007,04:01)
Quote (djmullen @ June 21 2007,02:18)
Granville said:    
On a completely different topic, Dave, you (I believe it was you) had a post many months ago where you suggested that if evolutionary simulators wanted to better simulate reality, they should subject everything to random errors, their entire program, the compiler and OS and the hardware (well, that was the idea anyway). I thought that was one of the most significant points ever made at UD (though as I recall no one else seemed to).

Because it was dumb as hell.

If I recall correctly wasn't this the post where it was pointed out that using the same logic, if you wanted to properly model a falling object you have to run that simulation on a computer thrown out of plane?

Date: 2007/06/21 05:05:33, Link
Author: nuytsia
I've had a little bash meself!
This is my best effort so far. ;)

Date: 2007/06/21 05:18:37, Link
Author: nuytsia
I love the way that the links after the quiz just tell you you are going to HECK regardless of what you select.
"Oh yes you are!"

Think this site might have been developed in the best traditions of Hibernian Catholicism. The image of a nun with a ruler keeps looming large.
For some reason.....

Date: 2007/06/22 17:00:18, Link
Author: nuytsia
:D It's one of mine....

I think you're right.... I'll try to get around to making some changes over the weekend.
I'm working on a "Street Theatre" card at the moment but I  can't find
a) when that all happened
b) a decent photo of a clown

Anybody help?

Date: 2007/06/23 05:49:12, Link
Author: nuytsia
Well I'm not sure what they are called in the US but I think this is comparable to Top Trumps cards.
Basically you deal out the pack between you and your opponent. You look at your first card and read what you feel is it's best rated feature. If your opponents top card rates lower you win their card. You place both cards at the bottom of your pack and move to the next card. Of course if you lose your opponent now has control and get to chose the attribute from the card.
You play till someone has all the cards.

Ah just writing this down I can feel waves of nostalgia washing over me... or it might be the wine.

Date: 2007/06/23 06:18:39, Link
Author: nuytsia
Nice... but I think I'd try a black background (set well back) and lighting from the sides... it might give you a better effect?

Date: 2007/06/23 23:28:30, Link
Author: nuytsia
Cheers for that Lou!

I'm off to the UK soon so I'll see if I can find some suitable street festival and get the right image.
Tasmania is a little cool and quiet at the moment for that sort of thing.

Date: 2007/06/24 00:35:00, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 24 2007,00:05)
btw, someone who thought the card was mine sent me a PM to bring to my attention that Davison's name does not have a second "d" in it.

Bum! I was editing the card and just noticed that myself.
I'm a fool  
All fixed now. Thanks.
It occurred to me that this should be a twinned cards really so I created a DAJ card to oppose the JAD card (and vise versa).

Meanwhile I've been exploring the Shallit stuff. Seven posts on DFtCW and all the embarrassing stuff appears to have been erased from UD.
Goodness how unusual! :D

Date: 2007/06/24 00:41:33, Link
Author: nuytsia
Oh by the way...

I saw this and thought of you! ;)

Date: 2007/06/24 04:53:54, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hmmm... I think I'll try to refrain from joining in on the phallus issue...
Quote (Ichthyic @ June 23 2007,20:35)
I rather like a faint hint of texture to the background.
easy to make it flat black if most would think it better.

How does the original crystal look in that set up?

I guess all of this is really just a matter of taste but I would like the background dead black.
Check out this guy's succulent photos on Flickr.
They usually make me drool in the most unbecoming way.
His Caudiciform set is particularly saliva inducing. (or is it just me?)

He plays around with the backgrounds, but black works best as far as I'm concerned.

Date: 2007/06/25 17:51:43, Link
Author: nuytsia
The menus were posted on PT back around early April 2005.
I remember this clearly, as I read them whilst I was visiting the University of Queensland.

I still remember sitting in open mouthed amazement staring at these pictures.

Date: 2007/06/27 07:00:15, Link
Author: nuytsia
This is pretty cool.
Big, long billed and living in warm waters.

The fossilised remains of the animal, which lived some 36 million years ago, were found in what is today Peru.
At 1.5m (5ft) tall, the penguin looked quite different from its modern-day cousins, a report in PNAS journal says.

From the BBC site. Couple of other sites report this as well.
Article from the Guardian here.

Worse headline perhaps from USAToday
Giant penguins once roamed prehistoric Peru

Paddled perhaps?

Date: 2007/06/29 02:27:43, Link
Author: nuytsia
I don't think anyones mentioned The Green Slime?

I remember seeing this about twenty years ago, but only because of the truly awful music. It was a pretty bad film as I recall.
In fact thinking about it, I think it was part of an early Channel 4 bad movie showcase, which included the classic Wild Women of Wongo. Could we sneak that one in?

Date: 2007/06/29 02:35:05, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Richardthughes @ June 28 2007,23:20)
Quote (Ftk @ June 28 2007,23:05)
Well, there he is now!  RF, that last drive by was the infamous Richardhughes who lured me in with his seductive ways.  

He's dangerously appealing to females, and if he had not lured me in here, I wouldn't have to be scanning the internet for more effective OCD medication.


.....have I called in at a bad time?

Date: 2007/07/02 05:50:26, Link
Author: nuytsia
Just thought I'd mention the fact that I whilst engaged in my daily toil the other day I met an global warming denier.

He was a retired electrical engineer.

You can imagine my surprise!

Date: 2007/07/13 16:52:14, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (silverspoon @ July 13 2007,16:26)
Quote (Louis @ July 13 2007,15:26)
KNIGHTS OF ID???????????????????

Oh now I have seen EVERYTHING!

Louis (Promptly dies!)

The knights of ID are represented by Monty Python’s Black Knight.

Ahhh yes...

Date: 2007/08/23 05:35:04, Link
Author: nuytsia
#  Rich Says:
August 23rd, 2007 at 1:51 am

Is your blog satire? I can?t tell.

It might be the wine but that just seemed to be the cherry on the cake.

Date: 2007/09/01 18:28:40, Link
Author: nuytsia
Wonder if anyone out there could shed some light on this?
I think this might be a fossil coral but I'm unsure.

This was found in central Tasmania. The area is apparently a good site for fossil plants (what we were looking for) but the sediments we were picking at seemed to be more marine with a lot of bivalves and brachiopods.
Larger view and second image availbale.

Any help appreciated!

Date: 2007/10/14 02:30:05, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (carlsonjok @ Oct. 13 2007,06:19)
It must be a British thing, because I thought that Mr. Bean movie was a dud. Here is hoping he is a better theologian.

carlsonjok I think you're confusing Rowan Atkinson with Rowan Williams.

This is Rowan Williams...

Nice to see the church reaching out to young people... ;-)

Date: 2007/10/19 08:11:13, Link
Author: nuytsia
Can't argue with what's been suggested but if you'd like a few more suggestions...

Personal all time favourite movies
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
The Good the Bad and the Ugly (1966)
but i guess everyone seen these a dozen times.
I have too, but the novelty still hasn't worn off....

Extremely good are the Richard Lester musketeer films - The Three Musketeers (1973) & The Four Musketeers (1974) - these films are just stunning. The background dialogue is hilarious. The cast is great and Spike Milligan is just superb.  All other Musketeer films are pants! ;-)

A really super British film is A Matter of Life and Death (1946) which stars David Niven. Considering the year this was filmed the effects are quite brilliant. It's a cheesy story filmed absolutely exquisitely. I like the ambiguity to the central storyline.

Hitchcock, of course - To Catch a Thief (1955), Vertigo (1958), North by Northwest (1959), etc, etc

Peter Greenaway films are usually very interesting. Personal faves-
The Cook, the Thief, His Wife & Her Lover (1989), Pillow Book (1996)

I've recently discovered Kevin Smith and have been renting out films. Dogma (1999), Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back (2001) and Clerks II (2006) are superb. I particularly like "Strike Back" for the over top diamond theft scene and Chris Rock's paranoid megalomaniac director.

If you particularly like prolong, gratuitous, knob jokes then Mel Brooks' Young Frankenstein (1974) is to be recommended.

Date: 2007/10/22 05:06:32, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 21 2007,18:28)
Logo inspiration for

My offering....

A bit heavy handed? :p

Date: 2007/10/22 16:33:57, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 22 2007,09:01)
Quote (nuytsia @ Oct. 22 2007,05:06)
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 21 2007,18:28)
Logo inspiration for

My offering....
(snip image)
A bit heavy handed? :p

Maybe just "disco institute" for legal reasonons?

Good point...

Something like this perhaps? ???

I did toy with the idea of putting Dembski's face on Disco Stu, but I buggered my back up on Saturday and I shouldn't really spend too much time on the PC.  :(

Date: 2007/10/26 08:06:37, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (oldmanintheskydidntdoit @ Oct. 24 2007,03:40)
Quote (HalfMooner @ Oct. 24 2007,03:31)

100% classic :)

I agree...
but the mirror ball got me thinking...
and one thing lead to another...

My last.
I promise. :D

Date: 2007/10/26 22:24:47, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Richardthughes @ Oct. 26 2007,08:55)
Hi Nutsia - just to check:

Do you give us unconditional rights to use and abuse these?

No worries! Do with them as you see fit.
I can pass on the psd files if someone wants to play with them a bit more!

It's funny but when I first came to this forum little did I imagine that I'd end up airbrush John Travolta's crotch.
It's strange where life takes you...
You sure you don't want to join the banned?

Goodness. I'm a bit slack to be honest and not up to the level of contribution that most put in here, but I'll contribute what I can.
So okay, count me in. :)

Of course you do realise that I was never recruited to the Evil Atheist Darwinist Conspiracy™ whilst I was doing my degree? :angry:
I may not be fully trustworthy....

Date: 2007/10/27 09:22:20, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Dr.GH @ Oct. 26 2007,16:06)
Quote (nuytsia @ Oct. 26 2007,20:24)
It's funny but when I first came to this forum little did I imagine that I'd end up airbrush John Travolta's crotch.
It's strange where life takes you...

Airbrushed a crotch?  Goodness, did you give Dembski a penis, or remove one?

Hey it was Travolta's crotch!
Scientologists.. well, fair enough... but there is such a thing as standards you know!  :p

Date: 2007/10/31 03:40:24, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Mister DNA @ Oct. 30 2007,18:04)

Seriously, to even be eligible for post of the week (which I agree - steve_h deserved it), I would have had to have done it more like this:
He asked, "Why Lord, in my most troubling times, were there only one set of footprints?"

So I told him, Their was only one set of footprince because you're outta here, homo. - DS

Pure gold!  :D

Date: 2007/11/23 03:03:34, Link
Author: nuytsia
Browsing through Flickr today I stumbled over a Creationist photo pool "The Best of God's Creation".
Alas all is not well with a certain element polluting the stream.

Firstsheaf writes...  (with my emphasis)
Hey Everyone!

Thank you all for posting such awesome pictures. It is such a joy to see so many wonderful pictures popping up here everyday and building up this site so quickly. This is so cool!

There is a problem I've been running into that I would appreciate some help with. I have been forced to delete mating animal and insect pictures from the pool because some people don't understand the concept of unspoken rules. Please refrain from uploading these offensive pictures, regardless of whether or not you think it is tasteful or funny.

Let me ask you a question? On a regular site relating to God in some way that includes pictures like human beings and man-made structures, do you think they would tolerate pornography? Even without a rule, it would be an unspoken one. In like manner, I don't want to have to see animals or insects going at it when I'm checking on this site. I find it offensive though I understand the humor that some people might see in such things, though I don't. I'd much rather just enjoy my little visits here and not have to deal with such Tom-foolery.

The way I see it is this: If an angel were to take a picture of me with my husband, I would be pretty offended and think he were pretty gross and most likely a fallen one at that. I understand that seems absurd. In like manner, that's how absurd this problem is to me. I just don't understand the concept of how someone can think this kind of picture-taking is appealing in some way and that it's not terrible to do to a species that can't even defend itself against it. Again, I understand that this is not a rule. But I think it goes without saying on a site like this.

Furthermore, please do not repost these offensive pictures that have been deleted from the pool. They will continue to be deleted, inadvertently embarrassing those who post them in the process. It is no mistake that they are being deleted. Please be tasteful and respectful of God's Creation. He gave us dominion, but please don't abuse that privilege and use this pool as a forum to display this tastelessness and abuse.

For the rest of you, please know that this is in no way directed at you. We truly appreciate your joining this group and sharing such wonderfulness. Hope you all have a really terrific day!

Smiles :O),
Victoria Tribby

Can't help thinking that getting to know God's Creation must be a total minefield for Firstsheaf.

Perhaps I've been in biology too long but I don't recall finding animal sex either erotic or offensive.
You also have to wonder, does she know what flowers do?
Or bees in flowers for that matter...
... oh yeah baby...

"Do you mind?"

Sorry. But this just tickled me.  :D

Date: 2007/11/23 16:34:57, Link
Author: nuytsia
Oh dear, the Brazilians aren't playing ball!

This will almost certainly get the chop so here's the OFFENSIVE image..

:O Honestly!

Date: 2007/11/23 16:45:19, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (dhogaza @ Nov. 23 2007,05:19)

Shot this one for a biologist friend working for the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife.  Red-legged frog male in amplexus with a bullfrog female.  Illegal in ten southern states!

See I'm not finding this erotic either.

Perhaps if the bullfrog was in fishnets and high heels?

Perhaps not. :p

Cool image by the way!

Date: 2007/11/23 17:24:28, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Louis @ Nov. 23 2007,09:16)
Quote (Assassinator @ Nov. 23 2007,23:04)
See I'm not finding this erotic either.

Ya don't wanna know what kind of fetishes are around the world ;) I bet at least some people on this planet would get a hard one from those pictures, wich grosses me out.

Erm.......has anyone got a tissue?


Hmmm... I guess this all part of the wonderful diversity that is Teh Creation.

Louis I assume you aren't at work?

Date: 2007/12/06 05:32:26, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 04 2007,15:11)
I'll fess up.

I'm an 80s fan.

Depeche Mode, Tears for Fears, Annie Lennox, Dead or Alive, Madonna, Falco, Billy Idol, Lisa Lisa & Cult Jam, Wham!, Simple Minds, 'Til Tuesday, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, The Hooters, Howard Jones...

Ouch! :angry:
Since when is liking Depeche Mode embarrassing?

The only disk in my collection I'm even slightly embarrassed about is the Communards. I did own an Oasis CD but I gave it away... 10 years later though i still feel dirty.
I went through my music buying peak late 80's to mid 90's starting from gothdom, sauntering through shoegazing indie and then slowly broadened my tastes after being lent a Tom Waits tape!

My CD consumption has really slumped in the last few years and I have a suspicion that I might be getting old as most new bands I hear sound bloody awful and/or all the same.
Still don't let me stop you youngsters enjoying yourselves

Date: 2007/12/07 04:35:50, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Dec. 06 2007,01:36)

Oh boy, I think an argument might be a' brewin'. What, exactly is wrong with Oasis?

Come on, spill the beans.

ooopps ???  .... okay fair question....
for me it's not one single thing. It's

1) They can't sing.
2) Their lyrics are truly awful.
3) It's all too samey.
4) Their sound isn't particularly original.

No one or two of these attributes is necessarily  bad, - I like
1) Morrissey
2) Pop Will Eat Itself
3) Cocteau Twins
4) Loop
- but Oasis fall at all four hurdles?

Still do bear in mind I'm just an ex-shoegazing goth!  ;)

Oh, and my guilty pleasures? I have a few, actually. Depending upon who I talk to:

Elton John
Pet Shop Boys (no, I'm not gay either)
Lionel Ritchie/The Commodores
Jan Hammer
(apparently now) Oasis.

Someone was bound to point out that Oasis are piss poor sooner or later. Just truly sorry it had to be me.   :p

Pet Shop Boys are an interesting case. I never liked them till they covered "You were always on my mind", a song that I also dislike intensely. For some reason the track just clicked and my attitude softened. Strange.

Edited to add - (cos it's teh nu sex)
As others feel the necessity to out that there straight - I'll just say I'm not gay either, but according to my ex I make a good proxy lesbian. What a sweety!

Date: 2007/12/07 05:08:35, Link
Author: nuytsia
Beautifully put carlsonjok.
I couldn't agree more.

Date: 2007/12/07 07:04:56, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Lou FCD @ Dec. 06 2007,22:10)
Quote (guthrie @ Dec. 07 2007,07:01)
Whats one of them then?



Can I just say in my defense that I was, even at that tender age, far to cynical to behave like that!
I was, as I recall, a gippy (gothic hippy)
So you start here then move to here, give yourself a slap and move on to this.

Good god I've never seen the video to that Chapterhouse track. Aren't they such sweet boys. You just want to take them home and eat them all up...  :D

Date: 2007/12/16 03:50:07, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Nov. 28 2007,13:16)
The first Blackadder is the weakest Steve, so if you liked the first, you should love the rest.

In my personal opinion, Blackadder II is better than Blackadder the Third, but Blackadder Goes Forth tops them all.

Strangely I think I remember more dialogue from the first series of Blackadder than any other

Still I remember the night "Bells" (1st episode, 2nd series) aired and just being blown away...
...the schoolyard the next day had the same kind of buzz that followed the the first episode of "The Young Ones". :D

For some reason I never really got into Blackadder goes forth and I'm not sure why? But it's often said to be the best.
Ian's right Steve, if you found the first even vaguely funny you're going to love the rest. It's cracking.

Date: 2007/12/17 06:15:47, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Albatrossity2 @ Dec. 16 2007,10:25)
Slightly OT, but as some of you know, Kansas, Oklahoma, and other states out here in flyover country experienced an ice storm this week. Today I took advantage of the sunshine to photograph some of the ice creations that have not yet melted.

Ice can be pretty; sometimes you can even forget how lethal it is...

Wow! Those are gorgeous.

Date: 2007/12/21 19:19:03, Link
Author: nuytsia
Well here's my entry for a Christmas song. Prepare to shed real human tears.  :p

Not having a TV or Radio I hadn't heard "Earth Intruders" so I had a look at the video on YouTube. Pretty cool, but am I the only person to be reminded of this whilst listening to it?

Date: 2007/12/24 17:27:47, Link
Author: nuytsia
Well it's Christmas Day in Tasmania so this demi-lurker wishes you all a Happy Christmas.

Look forward to seeing the fun and insanity that 2008 brings.

Many thanks for all the laughs I've had from this forum over the year!  :)

Date: 2008/01/03 06:00:02, Link
Author: nuytsia
Rather than drink to excess and give myself a thumping headache the next day I decided to be healthy and get out into the great outdoors.

Sadly I chose to do this on what was probably the hottest day in Tasmania for 2007 and I got dehydrated and gave myself a thumping headache about 18 hours ahead of the usual schedule.

Anyway it wasn't a total disaster because i came across this. :O

This has to be the largest spider I have ever come across.
It was about 10cm across, maybe slightly more.
(That's a clicky image by the way if you want to see a few more shots on Flickr)

A friend has given me a nudge and I now think this is a fishing spider (Dolomedes) but I'd love to really pin this down.
Is there anyone out there who can help?  :)

Date: 2008/01/04 05:09:33, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Lou FCD @ Jan. 03 2008,08:26)
I only count six eyes.  Is that accurate?

In the process of trying to ID this spider I've learnt a bit about spiders eyes and apparently their arrangement is useful in determining family.

There are eights eyes on this one. They are in two rows with the eyes in the top row being larger. The outer two of the top four however are slightly to the side and are, for some reason (light reflectance?), slightly less obvious than the more central six.

Check out this webpage on spider eyes.
I'm reckoning now this is family Pisauridae and either Dolomedes or Megadolomedes. A couple of good front on images that look very similar to my little lady.

Edit: To more add a  bit english

Date: 2008/01/04 05:13:33, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Henry J @ Jan. 03 2008,08:31)
Lions and spiders and bears, oh my...

This is Tasmania.
It should be snakes and spiders and ants, oh my... :p

Date: 2008/01/29 03:22:37, Link
Author: nuytsia

Date: 2008/02/13 06:01:50, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (IanBrown_101 @ Jan. 24 2008,16:36)
The only really exciting thing we get around here are red kites. There's actually quite a few near here (Aberystwyth) which is pretty cool. Other than that it's pretty much just your basic list.

Ian I saw my first ever chough in Aberystwyth (actually it was a small flock) and I was ever so excited.

In terms of my backyard - well I don't actually have one but out of the back window I do see blackbirds, house sparrow and starlings... but occasionally I get some native birds like New Holland Honeyeaters, Yellow Wattlebirds and the Sulphur Crested Cockatoos have returned now that the neighbours almonds are starting to ripen. :-)

I was out rockpooling (US translation: looking at stuff in tidepools) over the weekend and had a brilliant time. I haven't done this in years and have never done this in Australia and it was so cool.
(Few clicky images below)

Saw my very first live keyhole limpet - not IDed as yet.

Weird shell to body ratio?

There were lots of these cool decorator crabs Naxia tumida

This little half crab was pretty cool. Lomis hirta

Apparently this is in it's own monotypic family.

Some pretty variable seastars. Patiriella calcar

Oh and a sea anemone that actually stalks it's prey. Phlyctenanthus tuberculosa

And loads of other bits and pieces including some of the largest starfish I think I've ever seen. Selected image from the day here.
This was so much fun, that I've ordered a load of Australian marine life books and hope to get back out there again ASAP.

This is the dawn of my second third childhood! :-)
Just need a decent net and bucket....

Date: 2008/03/05 05:25:03, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Mar. 03 2008,09:39)
Quote (Annyday @ Mar. 03 2008,17:34)
Dear sweet God. My inner physicist is weeping. Not only might the universe be no more than six thousand years old, there's no real difference between five billion and fourteen billion,

This is one of the most valuable things that FTK taught us in her time here: that 6,000 years and 4 billion years are really the same thing.

Indeed but I can't help think that if there was that order of discrepancy in her restaurant bill she'd probably notice the difference?
.... but just in case, is anyone interested in opening a restaurant catering for creationists. It could be a goldmine?  :D

Date: 2008/03/28 22:35:34, Link
Author: nuytsia
The Aloe vera Andrex toilet paper advert always annoyed me as it had several potted Agave in it and was done with a very bad Mexican accent??
It's like sticking a picture of a catfish on a can of Tuna.

It didn't claim to be science, so I suppose I can't fault them for making no effort to get their facts straight

Date: 2008/04/13 04:17:43, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ April 10 2008,03:04)
One interesting little side point the article doesn't speculate on is the business of it losing its front legs first. Interesting to ponder why it wasn't the other way around.

I wondered about that but oddly this is happening in a genus of skink found in Australia.
Check out Lerista. Apparently some species showing a reduction in digits or limbs, others lack front legs and two species having no legs at all.
The front limbs seem to go first?
They're being studied as a model to try and understand snake evolution.
Very cool skinks.

Date: 2008/04/19 20:54:16, Link
Author: nuytsia
Those are some really nice shots of great birds Albie.
I particularly like the 2nd yellow rumped warbler shot.

I found this on my living room window earlier this week.

I love moths but they're such b4st4rds to identify.
This might be Syneora mundifera but IANAL* so it could be something totally bloody different. :-(

I picked up this a few days later at a friends house.

No idea what it is but  I assume it's another Geometridae.

* I am not a lepidopterist - in a perfect world this phrase would be used more often. :angry:

Date: 2008/04/28 08:16:03, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Louis @ April 25 2008,10:24)
The universe just got a whole lot darker.

Here's to Humph. Brilliant musician and wonderful raconteur and, to be frank, a genius.

I'm off to toast a brilliant man with something inordinately expensive.


P.S. In his honour: Cockfosters.

This is a sad loss.

He used to have me in stitches on "I'm sorry I haven't a clue".

Date: 2008/04/28 16:26:02, Link
Author: nuytsia
Not quite in my backyard but I thought I'd share...

I saw my very first velvet worm last week

This is the Tasmanian Giant Velvet Worm (Tasmanipatus barretti), a monster of almost 75mm!!!111
This is a rather rare species only occuring in an area of 600 square km up in the north east of Tasmania. Luckily for me I was out with a friend who knew exactly the kind of habitat to look in.

Here's a shot that gives a better sense of scale

After reading about these and seeing them on TV documentaries it was very cool to see one for real. :-)

Date: 2008/05/08 06:38:53, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 07 2008,02:55)
Quote (Mr_Christopher @ May 06 2008,19:20)
Fark the DVD, I can't wait for the Expelled soundtrack!

This should be the first track.

This video is not available in your country.

WTF is that!  :angry:

Date: 2008/05/10 23:34:40, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (stevestory @ May 10 2008,08:58)
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 10 2008,17:48)
That is an amazing shot.

It's less amazing if it's a telephoto lens, but the blurry leaves in the background suggest it might not be such a thing. Impressive.

(also, lovely plumage ;-) )

Well speaking as someone who has a telephoto lens (not a swanky one, mind) I'd be bloody chuffed with that shot. :p

That's a great shot and a gorgeous bird.

Date: 2008/05/13 20:04:18, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 13 2008,11:30)
Quote (bfish @ May 13 2008,20:03)
Story #3) some bats are capable of producing sounds 100 times louder than a rock concert.

That was actually a pretty interesting read, though I don't recall where it was I read about it.

Several years ago I was watching Noctule bats flying down a valley and over a lake. It was early evening with good light and the bats were quite low so I got a great view and didn't bother with my detector. As they flew over head though, I could physically feel them because my ears started pinching.

They were loud, I just couldn't hear them. :D

Date: 2008/05/20 10:09:59, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (lkeithlu @ May 20 2008,01:13)
Rural Middle Tennessee
I feel so alone... :(

It could be worse, you could be living in Tasmania.

Think I might be the most isolated lurker here.
I wait to be proven wrong. ;)

Date: 2008/05/22 00:14:19, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (bfish @ May 20 2008,16:34)

Hey, I've been to Tasmania. In fact, twas there that my wife and I found out she was pregnant with our now 4 year old. We were staying at a B&B on the Freycinet Peninsula at the time. Beautiful place. In a mere three days on the island we saw an echidna, a platypus, and two black tiger snakes in the wild, plus a very large number of quolls and such, as they roamed the highway at night looking for roadkill, and often becoming it.

Yeah Tassie is great for wildlife and really quite beautiful. It's just a touch too quiet... even when you live in the damn capital.

I should have said I'm originally from the UK, I've been living in Tassie for over two years now. Previous 16 years were spent near Haywards Heath. Childhood spent in Gloucestershire and South Wales.

Nearly stepped on a Tiger snake back in February. Boy was the snake unhappy. Yes indeed.
I've seen plenty of echidnas here but rarely see platypus. Echidnas are very cool but are equipped with weird genitalia. Check out this page and click on photos... if you're interested. :p

Date: 2008/05/22 00:33:02, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Ptaylor @ May 20 2008,17:44)
Quote (nuytsia @ May 20 2008,10:09)

It could be worse, you could be living in Tasmania.

Think I might be the most isolated lurker here.
I wait to be proven wrong. ;)

We could perhaps argue that one - North Shore of Auckland, New Zealand is where I work and play.

That's cool.
I'm willing to acknowledge defeat.
You're the most isolated person on this board.

and you're prize is .... er.. damn what's the prize?

Quote (bystander @ May 20 2008,18:42)

A small town 2hrs south of Sydney so a long distance hello to you both.

Hello the North!

Date: 2008/05/27 17:06:42, Link
Author: nuytsia
A variation of this this project is already underway...

I've been pitching in a few ideas into the mix.

Date: 2008/07/02 07:36:12, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (J-Dog @ June 20 2008,00:20)
Welcome to Summer everyone.

Ahem. May I just point out that for some of us it's winter.

So whatever you plan to do get on with it, cos it's bloody freezing down here at the moment.  :angry:

Date: 2008/07/04 07:36:47, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (bystander @ July 02 2008,17:18)
DOL suggests that she could be in the extras part of the DVD *shudder*

Can someone who is fluent in speaking in tongues, translate her comment into english? ???
Quote (O'dreary @ July 02 2008)
Russ, this’ll turn you off if nothing else does: I am supposedly on the video (I do not care one way or the other - they burnt up km of tape on me, and whether or no, fine, but I try to explain what I would have said in dead tree media. Thankfully, the trees and their dependents live.)

How does this woman make a living?

Date: 2008/07/16 03:33:43, Link
Author: nuytsia

Casey finds science paper too full of "sciency jargon".

Carl and PZ try to help.

For some reason this this came to mind.

Date: 2008/07/17 17:04:09, Link
Author: nuytsia
Yay!  1000!
Congrats to all.

Surely it's time to party?

Date: 2008/07/18 08:20:31, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (bfish @ July 17 2008,18:58)
And can we get a show of hands....... how many people have read damn near every word of part I of the Official Uncommonly Dense Discussion Thread? I would be one. I'm sure I haven't missed more than 20 or 30 pages - and possibly none. Rather daunting, really, in retrospect.

I'm pretty sure I've read the whole damn thing as I started hanging out here just after Dover and got addicted.

It's been interesting to see how the activity on this thread has waxed and waned over time. It'd be lovely to see the posting activity plotted over time to see what events caused the most kerfuffle.
Any volunteers?  :D

I'd like to echo the comments of others and express my thanks to all those who enter the tardmines.
As to UD finishing... well as lcd kindly points out the ID revolution is really close now.
I mean really, really close.
Really, really, really close.
Any day now.
Just you wait!

What's the time on the Dembski clock again?
Oh yes.

Date: 2008/07/24 21:52:49, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Alan Fox @ July 23 2008,04:01)
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,July 19 2008,07:24)
Quote (Alan Fox @ July 19 2008,05:03)

Found a couple of months ago (dead or dormant) under the edge of a pool cover. The larger one was about 80mm or 3" long. Could they be some kind of moth larva?

The friend who found them just reminded me I said I had an idea where I could get some info. on a science site bursting with eminent academics.

Ooops I missed this as well.

This gentlemens flickr set might prove useful.

I wonder if it's a Lycidae beetle larvae.

I found something rather similar a while ago and haven't been able to pin it down either

but I think it's probably Lycidae as well?

Date: 2008/07/28 03:52:21, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Alan Fox @ July 27 2008,02:13)
Thanks Nuytsia.

There is an abandoned orchard next to my friend's property which is carpeted in dead and decomposing wood, and lycid beetles seem quite evident around. But they tend to be on a much smaller scale, perhaps 20mm. What scale are the larvae in your photos? They do seem very similar in general appearance.

Hi Alan,

Goodness hard to recall really but I think around 40mm.

The curious thing about this larvae was it was actually found in Eucalypt foliage harvested from a low branch of a tree. Not in keeping with the general description of this famiy but I'm assuming there are, as ever, exceptions?

It had a single pseudopodium at the base of the abdomen. The abdomen contracted and expanded to aid movement.

Date: 2008/07/28 04:57:20, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ July 27 2008,13:28)
Down to the Carquinez Straits, saw several of these:
None of these were new to my list, but it was cool anyway.

Looks like a very cool day Arden!

I popped over to Canberra a fortnight ago to visit friends and had a very nice time.

Saw my third wild platypus and got my first ever shots!

Not brilliant, I know, but I was rather chuffed.

Saw the usual Kookaburra

Sulphur Crested Cockatoos, Eastern and Crimson Rosellas, Galahs, Crested Pigeons, an inordinate amount of Aussie Magpies and Magpie Larks (don't get these in Tassie).
Also saw Wedge-tailed Eagle, Kangaroo, Wallaby, Emu, Darters (Anhinga), Cormorants and some snow. :-)

Also got my first really good look at Common Myna

which are an introduced pest species to mainland Australia. Thankfully they've not got into Tassie.

Date: 2008/07/29 06:52:38, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (deadman_932 @ July 28 2008,16:16)
For those who don't want to bother reading the cited .PDF -- and I don't blame you -- Lönnig implies strongly that the trap/digestive systems in carnivorous plants (particularly Bladderworts [Utricularia] ) are "irreducibly complex" a la Behe's B-S.

Anyhoo...does anyone know of a take-down of that particular article Sewell cites in near-orgasmic terms?

Can't point you to a debunking, but have to agree that the pdf is a stinker of an article.
For two guys working in a plant breeding institute their botanical and ecological knowledge is either lousy or convenient.

The brief wikipedia article on Carnivorous plants mentions a couple of half-way there plants (described as borderline carnivorous).
Of the top of my head I know that Silene and Lychnis species trap insects on sticky stems for no explicable gain other than to possibly stop theft from the flowers by non pollinators.

What's interesting to observe here is that when plants are given as examples of speciation it's dismissed, because plants aren't very complicated... until of course they catch insects, then it's either this or this for people like Sewell.

Working with plants as I do, I don't see how carnivory is any more complicated than anything else plants generally have to do.

Date: 2008/07/30 01:42:18, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Jim_Wynne @ July 29 2008,09:58)
A friend sent me the photo below of some sort of insects he found in his apple tree.  Anybody know what they are?

Some sort of Hemiptera.
Look like shieldbug larvae to me?
Wikipedia page.

Date: 2008/07/30 22:37:59, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Richardthughes @ July 30 2008,08:59)
It's the best song ever. The flat, monotonic delivery, the left footed, quirk meter - a bit like split enz, except horribly, horribly shit. Is there no part of culture ID can't fuck up?

If this was a P-A-R-O-D-Y, I'd be applauding and dothing my tard cap. But this isn't - run this through the EF..

Some nugget came up with it
Some nugget actually recorded it
They listened to it, and rather than auto-euthenising decided to share it.
Dembski listened to it and decided to share it

What long odds of clusterfuckery and assclownery are required that this, erm, 'song' can come to life on teh_interwebs?

Surely this is all part of ID inspiring the arts, that they were banging on about a year or so ago?

If so, things could get very ugly.
This could be the shot in the arm* that christian rock is looking for?

* or should that be nail in the cross?

Date: 2008/07/31 17:32:42, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (bystander @ July 30 2008,18:11)

We sometimes find  Echidna's curled up next to the house and in the mountain behind us there are Wallabys. There are a lot of Wombat holes around but we haven't seen one yet.

As for birds, Where I live is supposed to have the highest diversity of parrots in the world. Our favourite is the Black Cockatoo. Their call is not as raucous as the white Cockie.

Wes would like the Wedged Tailed Eagle. Another bird that is fascinating to watch, especially when the dive to grab a rabbit or lizard.

Bystander what part of Australia are you in?

Blue tongues are cool as are echidnas.
This was my very first echidna I saw in Tassie. :-)

I also agree on the black cockies. Their call is just so eerily gorgeous. Here in Tassie they tend to be a mountain bird, but during the winter they come down into Hobart and strip the cones of the pine trees and ring bark the branches of elms.
All good fun! :-)

Quote (dhogaza @ July 30 2008,21:28)
We passed a very large plowed field full of white birds that back home, in winter, might've been mew gulls or the like.  Sulphur-crested cockatoos, a thousand or so of them, more than I've *ever* seen in a pet store in North America! :)

Black cockatoo are cool, won't disagree with you on that score.

Lorries, parrots, cockatoos ... nice.

When I first got to Tassie I saw a field full of Sulphur crested Cockies and Forest Ravens. It was a most bizarre site.
According to my local guru, in Tassie you rarely see these birds feeding with any other species, but when you do it's almost always this combination. He reckons there's some kind of stand off between them.

Think my favourite parrot has to be the galah.
On my very first visit to Australia I spent an hour watching a flock in Kalbari play on a climbing frame and in the sand pit below (and I do mean play). It was the first time I'd really seen a bird expend so much energy doing bugger all.
It was fascinating!

Apparently the locals don't like them that much as they keep destroying the lawn and they killed the top of the Norfolk Island Pine in front of the police station.
I read a report that a flock of Galahs was observed to fly straight into a twister, apparently just for the hell of it.

Date: 2008/08/08 17:03:21, Link
Author: nuytsia
Last weekend I popped down to South Arm in search of Greenhood orchids (Pterostylis species) but sadly failed to find one.

So I ended up at the beach and found this....

Isn't that cool?

Well here's another shot

I took a bit of video too. Not brilliant, but it shows the animal vanishing as it settles into some weed.

I find these decorator crabs very cool, partly I suppose because we didn't have anything like this in the UK. I've purchased a few books and browsed the web for information on Australian Majidae but there seems to be a bit of confusion. I'm not 100% on the species but I'm reckoning it's Notomithrax ursus.

Date: 2008/08/10 04:14:44, Link
Author: nuytsia
This was rather cool.
Saturday was a beautiful day in Hobart so I popped into the Botanic Gardens to photograph some of the rarer endemic flora that's beginning to go into flower.

As I came round a corner I scared a White Goshawk that had been sitting on a wall.
I followed it through the garden till it settled in an Araucaria and took a few shots.

Right on the limitations of my 75-300 lens but I was still pretty pleased with these.
A friend had said they'd seen a White Goshawk in the gardens a few months back, but this was still a surprise as these tend to be a rural bird and the BG is in the center of Hobart.

Date: 2008/08/15 22:00:19, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Erasmus @ FCD,Aug. 15 2008,13:35)
i hear bigfoot is in northern california.

Do you have an address?

Asking the right question to the right person often saves a lot of time... :-)

I think I decided it was a fake after seeing this.
I think it was the Knight Rider music.  :p

Date: 2008/10/15 05:16:29, Link
Author: nuytsia
As way of a political break...

Went for a stroll on Sunday and came across four echidnas during the day.

Check out those front claws!

The rear leg of these animals is quite odd as it faces outward. I can't think of another mammal that does that.. other than perhaps the platypus?
Anyone else?

In the late afternoon I met one at the top of a hill and took the opportunity to roll it over (the soil was too dry and hard for it to burrow down).

You get a good view of the rear legs here. Apparently the large claws on the rear legs are important for grooming between the spines.

These are such cool creatures. The wikipedia entry on the short beaked echidna is well worth a read.

Date: 2008/10/16 05:21:39, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Henry J @ Oct. 15 2008,03:07)
The rear leg of these animals is quite odd as it faces outward. I can't think of another mammal that does that.. other than perhaps the platypus?

Could that be characteristic of egg-laying mammals in general?

Aaaaahhhh...  good point.
From wikipedia
Monotremes retain a reptile-like gait, with legs that are on the sides of rather than underneath the body.

Hmmm.. wish I'd thought to look that up originally.
I suspect McCain would be doing better in the polls if he'd picked an echidna instead of Sarah Palin as his running mate.  Cuter, and a much better understanding of foreign policy.

The difference between McCain and an echidna?
One is an ancient organism surrounded by pricks. The other is an egg laying mammal.

Date: 2008/11/13 01:04:04, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (sparc @ Nov. 12 2008,13:50)
Patrick learned a lot from Sarah Palin:      
Nowadays, real SETI researchers aren’t even looking for prime number sequences like what was proposed by Sagan.
Next he may point to unreal SETI research done - I kid you not - in Paris, France.

Their obsession with Seti is probably due to confusion.
They mistake SETI researchers with SETTEE researchers*, which UD is full of.

*Like armchair generals, but with less style

Date: 2008/12/17 02:39:35, Link
Author: nuytsia
Great article here on recent work on Hawai'ian Honeyeaters and there origins.

But check out the comments.

Date: 2009/01/13 04:56:37, Link
Author: nuytsia
Had a very cool day on Saturday.

Went to visit a friend living down the coast at Taroona (Tasmania) and we went exploring the local beach as there was a very low tide that day.
Late in the afternoon we were walking amongst some rocks and we (literally) stumbled upon a native water rat.

This is only the second time I've seen one. They tend to be very shy and rarely seen out during the day. This is one of Australia's native placental mammals.

Later on I popped inland to a local nature reserve and watched a Spider Wasp (Pompilidae) species excavating and then resealing a nest chamber

If you follow the link through on the image there's a few bit of video of it in action. The sand flying out of the burrow is pretty impressive. :-)
Interestingly it was getting hassled by another Pompilidae species which looks to be have been attempting to take the chamber and/or I assume the spider that was stashed inside.

Reading the wikipedia entry one subfamily of Pompilidae actually has members that are kleptoparasites of other Pompilidae wasps.
Not sure of the identity of either of the wasps as yet, but will be interested to find out.

Date: 2009/01/18 04:06:44, Link
Author: nuytsia
Happy birthday!

Date: 2009/01/18 04:17:19, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Wesley R. Elsberry @ Jan. 17 2009,11:21)
Academic Free-For-All Day


Why stand on the shoulders of giants when we can peer from between their ankles?

That's lovely.
The t-shirt competition looks interesting too, but I can't help thinking that shirts with  "Academic Free-For-All Day"
on the front and "End the Tyranny of 1,000 Years of Learning!" on the back would be good.
Put on a shirt, find an "Academic freeDum" group, slip yourself in and see if anybody notices... or even compliments you on your alternative design.  :D

Date: 2009/01/18 23:08:23, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Reciprocating Bill @ Jan. 18 2009,00:13)
I dunno. The T-shirt contests I most enjoy are rarely about the shirts.

Ahhhh so your more a fabrics man are you?

You materialists. You're all the same.

Date: 2009/01/23 03:51:21, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Kristine @ Jan. 22 2009,09:17)
Denyse... You can put a man on Mars?

She reads them one of her love poems.
You'd be amazed how far they go. :D

Date: 2009/01/24 02:35:02, Link
Author: nuytsia
Belated birthdays wishes guys!

Date: 2009/01/27 02:27:58, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (keiths @ Jan. 26 2009,15:47)
In its first 30 seconds, the video du jour on the UD homepage manages to misattribute a famous Richard Dawkins quote to Charles Darwin.


Jeebus. What a crock.

I notice one of the commenters declaring "Darwinism" dead is quoting Davison.
Nice touch!  :D

Date: 2009/02/04 05:57:11, Link
Author: nuytsia
[quote=Erasmus,FCD,Jan. 30 2009,16:31]hey daniel in all seriousness you should check this one out.

More is better: the uses of developmental genetic data to reconstruct perianth evolution
Lena C. Hileman and Vivian F. Irish  2009
American Journal of Botany 96:  83-95.


it's the current issuue.

Speaking as somone who has an interest in botany but no bloody access to journals... if someone could pass on a copy of that to me.... well that would be lovely.

ETA - I have been touched by loveliness.

In a good way. In a good way!!!  :angry:

Date: 2009/02/04 15:05:31, Link
Author: nuytsia
Great news Louis.
Congratulations to you and your wife!

Date: 2009/02/11 05:51:59, Link
Author: nuytsia
Cup of sugary tea for clamboy!  :p

At the risk of fueling RFJE's persecution complex...
Quote (RFJE @ Feb. 10 2009,14:51)
This is from you Louis

"Dear All,

Since a major part of all our online (and possibly even offline) existences is spent engaging in debate with various types of people. I was curious about a few things.

1) What actually motivates us to do this?"

Louis, I don't if you're an atheist, but you know many evolutionists are.  Forgive me if I'm wrong, and I ask these questions under no false pretense.

Assuming that you and I are just results of biochemistry, then what chemical process took place in you to motivate you toward science?  I am completely sincere, this is an honest question?  

this is an honest question?

No I don't think so.

No this and what follows is a way of moving onto a topic where you probably won't have your arse handed to you so easily... whilst still trying to plead the same point.
No longer able to claim your god lurks behind the "mystery" of the peptide bond... it's time to move on to a myriad of far more nebulous points.
Smart move too!
These are (mostly) bigger questions and far harder to resolve. You'll be able to lodge your "Heere be Dragones" sign in some of these for decades.
That must feel far more reassuring?

I must say I'm slightly disappointed to find that you didn't ask whether "we've really looked at our hands? I mean really looked at them?"

What is it in us that gives us a desire to know what we don't know?  It must be important, because we fight so hard to guard our perceptions of reality.
Something that works gets selected for. A species that develops a talent in learning how to manipulate its environment is going to have an edge. Chimps, bonobos and orangs show an impressive set of problem solving skills. Our lineage took it further. A lot further.

It must be important, because we fight so hard to guard our perceptions of reality.

I hate to point this out but our species has a terrible history of curbing it's curiosity in front of authority. Particularly military, religious or a heady mix of both.

But if it is just a biological process that eventually gives in to entropy then why is it so important to us?

We are all going to die so why bother living? This is a nonsense question. We all find our reasons to do things. Otherwise we wouldn't do them. At best this is a philosophical question not a scientific one.

Are there  chemical processes that cause love, hope, trust?

There should be somewhere in us.

In the brain, that would be my guess.
It should be able to be diagrammed.

Yes. Possibly. Probably.
How accurate those diagrams are will vary.

Where did sacrificial motives come from? Survival to the fittest.  Chemical processes in the mind?  Should we not have found them by now.

Do have a read about social insects you'll find it most enlightening. Ants and bees are well into sacrifice to save their siblings.
The fact that you think such behaviour might be down to a a few simple chemical process doesn't speak well for you to be honest. That you might think that that is the expectation of evolutionary science.... well....  speaks volumes.

What about ethical judgement--the innate sense of right and wrong?

Some people think that G W Bush was right to invade Iraq. Others don't.
Some people think it's right to deny gay people the rights enjoyed by straight people. Others don't.
What's your point?

Will, determination are these just products of digested, fats, carbs and proteins and the energy they produce.
What about a sense of fun, enjoyment, satisfaction vs. dullness, and boredom?  Chemical processes?

For someone who supposedly teaches science you seem to show a total lack of love for it. If life and all it entails is ultimately explained in terms of chemistry, physics and biology does that rob it of it's wonder?
Over twenty years ago I had to learn (no great hardship; I relished the experience - like a condiment junky relishes a burger) the detailed biochemistry of photosynthesis (as known then) and I still think it's as cool as fuck. Nothing I've learnt about science has ever detracted from the fact that this is an amazing place to be.
Honestly does understanding how the world works only bring you ambivalence or contempt? Is there only value in seeing it as a magic trick? If so you have my pity.

Why do we cook and not eat our food raw like animals do?  Is it not to enjoy the taste?  What chemical process triggers this desire?

Honestly you are asking this?
Two advantages to cooking....
1) Pre-breakdown of proteins and carbohydrates making digestions easier
2) Killing off parasites and pathogens.
Any group of individuals adopting this have an advantage. Good ideas/practices spread.
You don't know this?

Where did sexual attraction come from and how did it come at the same time as the sexual organs evolved?  What gene is affection associated with, or by what chemical process is it triggered?  And why is it associated with sex?

Where did sexual attraction come from and how did it come at the same time as the sexual organs evolved?

Oh please cite your evidence for this claim.
Pretty please!!!!!!

A very brief summary of the science of sex
The Joy of Sexual Reproduction (for adults only apparently- flagged by creationist (sigh) - very good)
Evolution of Sex
The Origin of Sexual Reproduction

Will, conscience, emotions, desire, ambitions, motivations, intentions bad and good, are all undeniably a part of our being.  They are as real as the screen in front of you.  They can be defined by neither mathematics, nor diagrammed by chemistry.  They can not be included in cell biology for observation.

You know you are dead right. As far as I know they've never isolated the "bad intentions" cell.
Take that science!!!

Where does music come from?  Is this also a product of chemistry in the mind?  I am a musician and it seems to come from elsewhere.

I've never heard you play so I can't comment.
Perhaps it does come from somewhere else....

What other species has serial killers?  Why are there people who kill for fun or fascination.  Are these mutations or evil?  Is evil just an idea of antiquity or is it evil--ask anyone who is on the receiving end of an evil and they will tell you.

Have you ever owned a cat?
Dolphins pods living around east coast of Scotland kill porpoises for no apparent reason. Chimps are known to kill members of other tribes if they catch them alone.
You don't need to believe in god to recognise evil. Atheists don't have any trouble deciding if something is evil. Whether we can realistically attribute this human concept on the natural world is debatable and frankly doesn't get you very far apart from tutting at cats, dolphins, etc.
Again this is a philosophical question not a scientific one.

If someone told you that affection or hate were not real because they are not perceived by the 5 senses, would tell them they were crazy? because they are perceived IN you.  What is the perceiving unit?  Even it is unseen and can not be defined by natural means.

This is of course bullshit.
Which sense is schizophrenia experienced through?
Your argument here, that a rational approach is far too simplistic, is a strawman.

What chemical process gives us the perceived sensation of knowing ourselves inwardly, but at the same time gives us the desire to project a certain image on the outside?  How can we discern a fake, even when we have no proof?  Isn't it because most of us are guilty of hypocrisy at one time or the other?

If all of this is just the brain, then we should have been able to detect the chemical and biological activity associated with it, if we are nothing more than chemicals.

As I said at the beginning of this (as far as I know) scientific knowledge of how the mind works is still in it's infancy so you are safe to hide your god in here if you like.
It may take quite some time to resolve an issue of this subtlety and complexity.
But this is, of course, an argument from ignorance.
Some of us would prefer to wait for the evidence to come in before believing in ripping yarns.

But what if we have a soul Mr. Louis?  A spirit that perceives all these things that we undeniably sense inside.  And what if the Bible is true that our soul is eternal and we will give account?  Is our sense of fair and unfair a shadow of God's judgement?  Do we have his spiritual DNA?

I don't suppose we could prevail upon you to actually provide some evidence that the soul exists could we?
You know you'd be ever so famous if you could.
Lecture circuits. TV interviews. Oprah.
You'd be rich. Rich beyond your wildest dream.
Rich beyond k.e.'s wildest dreams.
... and those are really wild.

Bloody hell this is the longest post I've ever made.
This wine is really good!

ETA - Took me too bloody long to write though!!!  :angry:

Date: 2009/02/11 06:02:48, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 10 2009,21:40)
Quote (deadman_932 @ Feb. 11 2009,11:25)
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 11 2009,03:26)
Any chance of you getting your undereducated arse to a library? Or are you going to continue whining?


You just don't understand.

Denial said very forthrightly that he doesn't have the opportunity to "get down to the library," what with work, family and the tedious,time-consuming chore of carefully composing lengthy fallacy-strewn screeds that misrepresent what he's been told from day-to-day and the scant bits he's been able to learn for himself from creationist sites.

Asking him to read actual books or articles -- on top of his grueling daily mental contortions -- simply isn't fair.

Damn you evos and your impossible standards.

Yeah, sorry, I forgot that being minimally informed about a topic upon which one is bloviating is too high a bar to set.


It's an easy mistake to make when you've been goose stepped into rational thinking.
Apology accepted.

Date: 2009/02/11 15:54:27, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Arden Chatfield @ Feb. 11 2009,07:42)
Quote (steve_h @ Feb. 11 2009,13:09)
Also from Jerry        
For example, the designer might not want each organism to live forever so there must be some defect/design in the genome to ensure this.

Wait -- is he offering an Intelligent Design explanation of Original Sin?

Possibly. I think he's saying that if we look at the genome we should find a "best before" date on it.
I wonder if we'll also find a list of ingredients and a serving suggestion in there too?

Off to the lab with you Jerry! Do tell us what you find!!!

Date: 2009/02/12 02:38:16, Link
Author: nuytsia
Well it's been almost two decades since I got my Biology degree but I still haven't recieved my cape, jackboots, flask of ebola or the secret decoder ring*.

Pull your bloody finger out Darwinist Conspiracy!
...."Bunch of slackers"....


*That ring does go on the finger doesn't it? Only I'm hearing these rumours..... ???

Date: 2009/02/12 14:44:55, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Louis @ Feb. 11 2009,21:27)
*That ring does go on the finger doesn't it? Only I'm hearing these rumours..... ???

No. The diagram detailing use is included in the package. It made my eyes water on the first attempt I can tell you, but it is necessary. Honest.

Dammit! I knew I should have tried to join the Royal Family or the Black Helicopter guys. :angry:

Quote (Kristine @ Feb. 12 2009,06:10)
Now, no one can say I didn't blog the controversy. ;)

Nice!  :)

Date: 2009/02/24 23:42:36, Link
Author: nuytsia
Happy Birthday!!

Date: 2009/03/02 06:02:57, Link
Author: nuytsia
Not sure how many here following the pro-science guys on youtube but I thought AronRa's latest video was rather lovely.
I particular like the start! :D

The poke at Behe is rather good too.

Date: 2009/03/24 15:23:07, Link
Author: nuytsia
Happy birthday Kristine!

(apologies for lateness)

Date: 2009/04/24 19:40:11, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hi folks.
Would anyone here know if this fossil tooth can be identified beyond the fact that it's a shark?

It was collected by a friend at Pinhay Bay (which is just down the coast from Lyme Regis in Dorset) a few years back.

Date: 2009/04/25 00:22:05, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hi Gary,

Many thanks for the very speedy reply!

The wikipedia page for Isurus dates the genus as far back as the Late Paleocene but I'm fairly sure this tooth is Jurassic (the area is referred to as the Jurassic coast).

I'm not 100% sure on this I admit, but given this information, is there any other possible candidate?

Date: 2009/04/26 15:16:36, Link
Author: nuytsia

I have to say that the images of Isurus teeth do look very similar.
Hybodus don't seem a good match.
Interestingly the google search on Pinhay Bay brought up a pdf and the cliffs in that area are Lower Jurassic to Triassic.

I think a museum is going to be have to be the next stop.
Thanks for the help guys!

Date: 2009/05/03 07:42:28, Link
Author: nuytsia
Happy birthday Lou!

Date: 2009/05/29 07:53:54, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Richard Simons @ May 15 2009,15:09)
Quote (jeannot @ May 15 2009,15:41)
I am not sure that the wild ancestor of pea is extinct. I thought it was Pisum fulvum.

But the wild ancestor of broad bean, which is as old as cultivated pea, is unknown/extinct.

You could be right about the pea. It is a long time since I've done any reading on the topic and I don't have my material on the subject handy.


I had to attend a meeting at a plant breeding institute a few years ago and was told at the time that the pea was domesticated twice once in the middle east and once in Ethiopia. I got the distinct impression that these were from different species but must admit my memory is rather fuzzy on the detail and I certainly don't have any refs. :(

In regard to the synthesis of RNA article, I found this comment on the Nature page interesting.
What is most promising is that it may lead us to be able to show, definitively, that man did not in fact ascend or evolve from apes [as I had always found odd] but rather we evolved along a seperate, but similar strain of the same... for lack of a better term, primordial ooze. Like the other prehistoric beasts, some went inland and some went back to the seas, and others still made for the trees. This is a wonderful study and I hope to read more.

WTF?  ???

Date: 2009/05/29 18:38:36, Link
Author: nuytsia
Quote (Lou FCD @ May 29 2009,09:49)
Casey, you're a star!

Why Do People Laugh at Creationists?, installment #30.


Yes, Casey seems to becoming a big hit on Youtube

Science Vs. Casey Luskin (Haeckels Embryos, Fox News)
Casey Luskin: Liar, Hypocrite, Imbecilic Assclown.

Happy Days!  :D

Date: 2009/06/21 07:00:26, Link
Author: nuytsia
Not a paper but this presentation at TEDS on the geckos tail I thought was rather cool.

Date: 2009/06/30 04:59:51, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hi Folks,

Looking for a little help here.
Are Enslow Publishers a good science promoter?

I've been approached by the publisher to use a pair of my images for a childrens education book and it suddenly occurred to me that I might end up contributing to a creationist book.

I've done a bit of searching but descriptions of evolution related products are sketchy and nuetral (which I guess is good for book sales on this topic).

I found this....
GORDON, Sherri Mabry. The Evolution Debate: Darwinism vs. Intelligent Design. (Issues in Focus Today Series). Enslow. 2009. PLB $31.93. ISBN 978-0-7660-2911-8.

Gr 7 Up–This impeccably balanced presentation of the arguments on both sides of the heated debate includes a list of the key players, past and present, and the battlegrounds where the conflict has been fought and continues to rage. Excellent sidebars, chapter notes, and sources make this a fine starting place for further research.

and that's about it.

Date: 2009/06/30 07:24:19, Link
Author: nuytsia
Thanks for the reply didymos!

Date: 2009/07/03 01:14:43, Link
Author: nuytsia
Hi Folks!
Over the last couple of months myself and a former colleague of mine have been putting together a series of webpages covering the topic of seed conservation and seed germination and dormancy.

The germination and dormancy section is about 20 pages and discusses a little of what we currently understand about this area.

The pages have been created to support an online germination database. The germination testing is work being carried out by the Tasmanian Seed Conservation Centre. It's mostly native flora but there are some introduced species too. Currently we have about 2100 tests on 405 taxa but this will grow. Long term we hope to have test data for most of the Tassie flora and possibly more.

The database can be found here -
and the seed biology pages are here -

If you have an interest in plant science please do go check it out and see what you think.
Or pass this on to anyone you know who might be interested. Cheers.

Date: 2009/07/03 01:16:20, Link
Author: nuytsia
Happy birthday Rich!

Date: 2010/06/14 01:21:47, Link
Author: nuytsia
I have to say that I've never understood the appeal of football.... but this explains quite a lot.

I'm grateful to now be living in Australia where the coverage isn't as excessive (and inevitably whingy) as the UK (shudder).