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  • Weekly Ezine for Democrats
  • 50 yrs of darkness creates sharper flies
    KYOTO--A university study that kept about 1,400 generations of pomace flies in the dark for more than 50 years has witnessed significant changes in their appearance and reproductive behavior. Discovered by a Kyoto University research team, the findings are expected to attract attention as the first successful attempt to unravel the mysteries of biological evolution through laboratory experiments.
  • Believers in Denial
    The polar ice caps are melting before our very eyes, low-lying land is already being reclaimed by the rising seas, more and more species are teetering on the brink of extinction as they find themselves ill adapted to the changing environment around them. Despite a few inevitable mavericks, the consensus in the scientific community is overwhelming: anthropogenic (i.e. caused by humans) global warming - AGW - is a reality, the speed and extent of the warming eclipsing anything that has been seen before in at least the last half a million years, and correlating convincingly with the dramatic increase in the amount of carbon dioxide humans have been pumping into the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution. None of the other hypothetically possible causes fits the evidence. This isn't even new science: the physics behind the heat-capturing qualities of carbon dioxide has been known about for 150 years.
  • Religion seen an 'oddity' by ministers, Archbishop says
    The Archbishop of Canterbury has accused the government of treating religious faith as an "eccentricity" practised by "oddities".

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Comments

Another good article eviscerating global warming deniers. However, I would very much like to see the debate move beyond the validity of global warming - which I think has been settled - and on to what to do about it. By continuing the needless debate regarding whether or not global warming is real, we are ignoring the much more important debate on the proposed "solution," cap-and-trade, which will do little to diminish global warming (or AGW, as it's now being called) but which will create another "bubble" in which firms like Goldman Sachs will make yet another trillion dollars facilitating carbon swaps. On this point, the hoax allegations are right on.

The findings indicate that when a species is reproduced in an abnormal environment over multiple generations, changes first occur in its olfactory and other sensory organs

What a silly generalisation. Unless he means "species" as in "this particular species", this quote seems to be saying that any species in any abnormal environment will adapt first by changes in sensory characters, which we absolutely know is not the case. Maybe it was just lazy writing, but this guy really should know better.

That being said, this certainly looks like an interesting study, although it is by no means the first findings published on natural selection in a laboratory environment (R. Lenski's long-term E.coli experiment for one). I would be particularly interested to know if they tried to backcross these "darkness" flies with members of the original stock, and if so whether they were still able to produce viable offspring.

I think the sooner the big companies are allowed to make extreme profits, the sooner something will be done. The big scare from the right/the denialism they are pushing is all economic ("will oil companies still be able to rape and plunder?", etc.) As soon as they can figure out their new cartel, we'll all be able to care about the Earth and then Bill O'Reilly will always have been for it and Beck will cry for us all...

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