5/1/2017Call for Papers deadline for “The American Experiment: A Republic, If You Can Keep It”
6/22/2017 » 6/24/2017Genetic and Reproductive Technologies, Deerfield, IL
6/24/2017 » 7/1/2017“The ‘Wicked Problem’ of Climate Change?” Star Island, Portsmouth, NH
7/7/2017 » 7/14/2017Summer Seminar on Intelligent Design, Seattle, WA
7/19/2017 » 7/22/2017“Religion, Society and the Science of Life,” Oxford, UK
It was a pleasure to have videography and graphics enhance rather than detract from the scientific message. And Walt, you are quite right about the refreshing personal passion and work of a scientist on display rather than someone expounding a message.
Having heard Neil give his lecture on this work first-hand, much of the material was familiar to me and it was most enjoyable to see the video version. It is really quite a remarkable discovery and analysis.
The section on hexadactylism was fascinating. (why doesn’t the word quatrodactylism exist? I guess that’s part of ectrodactylism)
There were only two hints of metaphysical judgments, possibly unintended, that I could detect. One was the placement of humans at the end of the tree of life, indicating a rather anthropocentric perspective. The other was the use of “just” in the phrase “…we are just…inner fish…” Whether intentional or not, it does reflect a reductionism that we would find unjustified.
I was also hoping he would allude somehow to whether or not there has been progress in understanding the relationship between the Tiktaalik fossil and the tetrapod tracks found in Poland that predate Tiktaalik. Skeptics have jumped on that puzzling discovery to cast doubt on the dominant transitional role of Tiktaalik. But presumably the earlier transitional species may have died out while Tiktaalik survived.
If the other episodes are equally informative, this will be a valuable series.