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Charonomicrobium's Avatar Joined almost 3 years ago
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Go to: Belief In God Plummets Among Youth (CHART)

Charonomicrobium's Avatar Jump to comment 37 by Charonomicrobium

The trend among youth is a good one, but if the poll is reliable, the scary thing is that still 70 to 90% of U.S. people answer yes to a question that is akin to "Do you disdain reasoning?"

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 12:40:06 UTC | #947558

Go to: Cleric says polio vaccination 'un-islamic', warns of jihad against docs

Charonomicrobium's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Charonomicrobium

So...here we see a rare demonstration of the actual mechanism of natural selection for intelligence in our species. ;)

Fri, 15 Jun 2012 12:31:58 UTC | #947555

Go to: Rare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life

Charonomicrobium's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Charonomicrobium

Gack! So I don't know how to use block quotes apparently...let's try another

Comment 27 by GreatWhiteShark

Is it not interesting at all? or are we all simply being sychophantic to impress the big fella? It is, in fact, quite interesting. However journalism creeping into what some would think of as scientific literature is about as helpful as a bible in a bar fight.

Sure the discovery is interesting. But poor journalism tends to misrepresent science so often that I think many of us have a knee-jerk reaction to call it out. And how does that make us sycophantic by trying to "impress the big fella"? Richard's a great scientist, but we'll grill him if we think he's wrong, which is what any honest scientist will invite.

Fri, 04 May 2012 13:21:26 UTC | #939639

Go to: Rare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life

Charonomicrobium's Avatar Jump to comment 28 by Charonomicrobium

          [Comment 24](/articles/645747-rare-protozoan-from-sludge-in-norwegian-lake-does-not-fit-on-main-branches-of-tree-of-life/comments?page=1#comment_938281) by  [AgriculturalAtheist](/profiles/186711)          :


                 > [Comment 9](/articles/645747-rare-protozoan-from-sludge-in-norwegian-lake-does-not-fit-on-main-branches-of-tree-of-life/comments?page=1#comment_937826) by   [rationalmind](/profiles/46875) :> > > > [Comment 8](/articles/645747-rare-protozoan-from-sludge-in-norwegian-lake-does-not-fit-on-main-branches-of-tree-of-life/comments?page=1#comment_937805) by    [AgriculturalAtheist](/profiles/186711) :> > > > > > > [Comment 1](/articles/645747-rare-protozoan-from-sludge-in-norwegian-lake-does-not-fit-on-main-branches-of-tree-of-life/comments?page=1#comment_937695) by     [Richard Dawkins](/profiles/53) :> > > > > > Irritating, headline-seeking rubbish. This creature may be our most distant eucaryotic cousin, but that makes it a very close cousin compared with bacteria.> > > > > >   Richard> > > > > >  Well that does seem a bit harsh. Is this organism, in fact, not a bacterium?> > > > > > > NO! Bacteria are prokaryotes that lack organelles or a proper nucleus. This is a protozoan. It is a eukaryote with those structures.This is one of the most fundamental differences in life on earth.I'd be the last person to argue from authority as it is not a rational way to make a conclusion. However, I would caution anyone to be VERY sure of their facts before they accuse Richard Dawkins, of all people, of making a mistake concerning a matter involving the evolution of life on earth.> > > Yes, I KNOW that, which is why I was pointing out that the organism, though small, is NOT a bacterium.Richard's comment also seems to me to beg the question that, given this "may" be our most distant eucaryotic cousin (which, one would think is no small feat of a discovery and worthy of note in biology and here), it is STILL a long way away from bridging the "gap" between bacteria and the first true unicellular organisms.  Humans of all persuasions have a long history of debating what might be in these gaps, but is it not a bit of a leap to suggest the chasm is yet very great between bacteria and the first cell? How would we know what such an intermediate would look like, or how fast it would appear?To consider how I interpreted his logic, what if the statement had been (as indeed it might have been a century or so ago when microscopic life, let alone ANCIENT microscopic life, was little known): "The trilobite may be our most distant cousin, but that makes it a very close cousin compared with bacteria."  It just seems intended to steal the thunder or downplay the significance of the discovery.  Or, if it is significant, but he takes issue with the the way the article is written, then what, if any, is the significance of the discovery? Does it even warrant a paper published on it?

Hate to break it to you, but bacteria are unicellular organisms too. The first eukaryote did not constitute the "first cell".

Fri, 04 May 2012 13:13:22 UTC | #939637

Go to: Rare Protozoan from Sludge in Norwegian Lake Does Not Fit On Main Branches of Tree of Life

Charonomicrobium's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Charonomicrobium

Another example of uninformed reporting, as Richard appropriately points out.

To me, as a bacterial microbiologist, the nastiest, itchiest thorn in the side is the repeated assertion that we know of "no other group of organisms that descend from closer to the roots of the tree of life than this species". (As this statement comes from an associate professor of microbiology, I suspect that it was quoted out of context.)

The 'tree of life' contains not only eukaryotes, such as this beast, but prokaryotes too, and the latter are much more evolutionarily basal than are eukaryotes! In fact, prokaryotes exist in two other domains of life (the largest phylogenetic division established) all their own -- the Bacteria and the Archaea.

The Eukarya constitute a domain that branched from the Archaea, but keep in mind that although the Archaea are the ancestral stock from which the main cell body and chromosomal DNA descended, bacteria contributed a lot in the way of laterally transferred organelles, such as mitochondria, plastids and eukaryotic flagella.

Sun, 29 Apr 2012 12:27:12 UTC | #938132

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