The Sixth Extinction

extinctionThere is irrefutable scientific evidence of five global mass extinctions in the history of this planet independent of a flood, loose morals, or a mythical, Puck like god flitting through the bushes playing tricks on the gullible humans to make it seem like the earth has been around  long enough to be overdue at the cosmic library. Elizabeth Kolbert has written a very readable account of these extinctions and represented contemporary evidence that suggests a sixth extinction is in progress and may well be inevitable no matter how much profit Exxon or BP made last year.

Kolbert makes it clear that what causes an extinction can be catastrophic or gradual but the bottom line is that the existing species on the planet are in trouble when something alters the environment, even a little bit. So when you hear that Global Warming is nothing to worry about—it has happened throughout the life of the planet—it’s good to remember that compared to the dominance of most animals on this Earth, humans are little more than a speck  on the timeline. And those other dominate species are all extinct now, their deaths greatly the result of environmental changes much like Global Warming.

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Whatever you do, don’t say vagina

This has been reprinted in several venues but I picked it up at The Daily Kos.

Idaho Teacher Under Investigation For Saying ‘Vagina’ During Biology Lesson

Yes, it’s really true.

VaginaThe 10th grade science teacher is being investigated by the Professional Standards Commission of his school, for uttering the word vagina during a biology lesson. Some parents are upset at this teacher for using a word straight out of the approved textbook, and are seeking to have him investigated. Under what actual grounds they might have a case is not at all clear however.

The students are already even given the option to opt out of the horror of having to hear a term that designates a female organ.

Tim McDaniel, who teaches 10th grade science at Dietrich School, told the Twin Falls Times-News that four parents were upset when they learned that his lesson included the word “vagina” and information about the biology behind female orgasm.

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