How to make a dinosaur: Start with a chicken . . .

July 25, 2011

Dinosaur hunter extraordinaire Jack Horner explained to an audience at TEDS that he always wanted a pet dinosaur . . .

(From a talk recorded March 4 2011.)

Jack Horner may look familiar to you.  Or you may not recognize him without the cowboy hat.  Horner is famous enough in dinosaurphile circles that a character who looked like Horner, down to the red shirt and cowboy hat, was included in the Jurassic Park movies.

This is, in loose form, real science.  It’s the sort of stuff that somehow gets squeezed out of science curricula in middle schools and high schools.  What student will not find it interesting to talk about why we can’t clone dinosaurs from mosquitoes trapped in amber, but how we can regress a chicken to bring out atavistic traits?

Such material may cause apoplexy among some cliques at the Texas State Board of Education — because this reinforces evolution ideas.  Horner says, “We can fix the chicken — because evolution works.”

Science teachers:  Can you find some way to shoehorn this stuff back into your classes?


Evolution 2009, in Kearney, Nebraska

May 20, 2009

Evolution 2009 kicks off Wednesday, September 2, 2009 at the University of Nebraska atKearney.

In honor of Darwin’s birth bicentennial and the sesquicentennial of his most famous work, the program is dedicated to evolution in different fields of biology.

High school instructors can get in for $75.  World class scientists like Jack Horner, Brad Davidson, Shannon Williamson and Randy Moore will present — along with world class evolution and legal evidence expert, Nick Matzke.

The main hotel will be the Ramada Inn in Kearney, where I spent a cold, snowy night in November 1979 after a kindly truck driver from Consolidated Freightways rescued me from certain hypothermia a few miles out of town, where my car had spun into nearly six feet of snow.

Now, can I find some excuse to get to the conference?

I predict:  For the 21st consecutive year since the field of intelligent design was proposed, there will be no new research supporting intelligent design, even in the poster sessions.  This is a science conference, and intelligent design supporters will quietly boycott the entire affair.


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