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New Book Alert: “The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity”

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For all you bibliophiles out there, I want to draw your attention to a new book on the Cambrian explosion, by Douglas Erwin and James Valentine. I haven’t read it yet, so I cannot comment on the contents. Carl Zimmer reviews the book here, however, and it appears to have some stunning art work. The book is priced on Amazon at $55.99, although sadly it is not currently available on kindle (so we’ll have to make-do with the hard copy).

Purchase your copy here!

4 Replies to “New Book Alert: “The Cambrian Explosion: The Construction of Animal Biodiversity”

  1. 1
    Robert Byers says:

    Buy the book but remember its founded on presumptions in geology.
    There is no biological investigation dealing with these creatures.
    only bilogical conclusions being drawn from fossils or data points of these creatures and then using geology to make or oppose ideas about evolution.
    what the physics here of analysis!

  2. 2
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Evolution vs. The Honey Bee – an Architectural Marvel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4181791

    Bumblebees Find and Distinguish Electric Signals from Flowers – Feb. 21, 2013
    Excerpt: The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers.
    Flowers often produce bright colours, patterns and enticing fragrances to attract their pollinators.,,
    ,, flowers also have their equivalent of a neon sign — patterns of electrical signals that can communicate information to the insect pollinator. These electrical signals can work in concert with the flower’s other attractive signals and enhance floral advertising power.
    Plants are usually charged negatively and emit weak electric fields. On their side, bees acquire a positive charge as they fly through the air. No spark is produced as a charged bee approaches a charged flower, but a small electric force builds up that can potentially convey information.
    By placing electrodes in the stems of petunias, the researchers showed that when a bee lands, the flower’s potential changes and remains so for several minutes. Could this be a way by which flowers tell bees another bee has recently been visiting? To their surprise, the researchers discovered that bumblebees can detect and distinguish between different floral electric fields.
    Also, the researchers found that when bees were given a learning test, they were faster at learning the difference between two colours when electric signals were also available.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....143900.htm

    Research Discovers Oldest Bee – Oct. 26, 2006
    Excerpt: Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered the oldest bee ever known, a 100 million year old specimen preserved in almost lifelike form in amber,,,
    The earliest angiosperms (flowering plants) didn’t really begin to spread rapidly until a little over 100 millions years ago, a time that appears to correspond with the (appearance) of bees,,.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....184944.htm

    Flowering Plant Big Bang:
    “Flowering plants today comprise around 400,000 species,“To think that the burst that gave rise to almost all of these plants occurred in less than 5 million years is pretty amazing,,,”
    Pam Soltis, curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

    “A major problem for Neo-Darwinism is the complete lack of evidence for plant evolution in the fossil record. As a whole, the fossil evidence of prehistoric plants is actually very good, yet no convincing transitional forms have been discovered in the abundant plant fossil record”
    Jerry Bergman – The Evolution Of Plants – “A Major Problem For Darwinists” – Technical Journal – 2002 online edition

    Carnivorous Plants – Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig, Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research,
    Excerpt: Moreover, it appears to be hard even to imagine clear-cut selective advantages for all the thousands of postulated intermediate steps in a gradual scenario, not to mention the formulation and examination of scientific (i.e. testable) hypotheses for the origin of the complex carnivorous plant structures examined above.
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....s/carn.pdf

    I like these following examples of irreducible complexity in plants since they are readily easy to see:

    Wild Orchids of Israel: Seduction of the Long-horned Bee (Irreducible Complexity) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFftHXbjEQA

    Hammer Orchid and Wasps – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4n85-SqxQ

    Of related interest from the insect world:

    Orchid Mantis – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_jwfKyxBrc

    Thank God for Flowers – Hugh Ross – August 2010
    Excerpt: Paleontologist Kevin Boyce and climate modeler Jung-Eun Lee,,, recently discovered that flowering plants contribute much more than romance and beauty to humanity’s wellbeing. They uncovered evidence suggesting that without flowering plants, human civilization would not even be possible. Boyce and Lee found that a world without angiosperms (flowering plants) would not only be drab and uninspiring but would also be much drier and hotter and lacking in species diversity. The researchers noted that angiosperms transpire water to the atmosphere about four times more efficiently than other species of plants.
    http://www.reasons.org/thank-god-flowers

    It is interesting to note that plants are far more sophisticated than many people realize:

    Plants may be able to ‘hear’ others – June 2012
    Excerpt: Plants are known to have many of the senses we do: they can sense changes in light level, “smell” chemicals in the air and “taste” them in the soil (New Scientist, 26 September 1998, p 24). They even have a sense of touch that detects buffeting from strong winds.,,,
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....thers.html

    Timelapse video of Flowers and Leaves – video
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/li.....t#p00lxwrh

  3. 3
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Evolution vs. The Honey Bee – an Architectural Marvel – video
    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/4181791

    Bumblebees Find and Distinguish Electric Signals from Flowers – Feb. 21, 2013
    Excerpt: The research shows for the first time that pollinators such as bumblebees are able to find and distinguish electric signals given out by flowers.
    Flowers often produce bright colours, patterns and enticing fragrances to attract their pollinators.,,
    ,, flowers also have their equivalent of a neon sign — patterns of electrical signals that can communicate information to the insect pollinator. These electrical signals can work in concert with the flower’s other attractive signals and enhance floral advertising power.
    Plants are usually charged negatively and emit weak electric fields. On their side, bees acquire a positive charge as they fly through the air. No spark is produced as a charged bee approaches a charged flower, but a small electric force builds up that can potentially convey information.
    By placing electrodes in the stems of petunias, the researchers showed that when a bee lands, the flower’s potential changes and remains so for several minutes. Could this be a way by which flowers tell bees another bee has recently been visiting? To their surprise, the researchers discovered that bumblebees can detect and distinguish between different floral electric fields.
    Also, the researchers found that when bees were given a learning test, they were faster at learning the difference between two colours when electric signals were also available.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/re.....143900.htm

    Research Discovers Oldest Bee – Oct. 26, 2006
    Excerpt: Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered the oldest bee ever known, a 100 million year old specimen preserved in almost lifelike form in amber,,,
    The earliest angiosperms (flowering plants) didn’t really begin to spread rapidly until a little over 100 millions years ago, a time that appears to correspond with the (appearance) of bees,,.

    Flowering Plant Big Bang:
    “Flowering plants today comprise around 400,000 species,“To think that the burst that gave rise to almost all of these plants occurred in less than 5 million years is pretty amazing,,,”
    Pam Soltis, curator at the Florida Museum of Natural History.

    “A major problem for Neo-Darwinism is the complete lack of evidence for plant evolution in the fossil record. As a whole, the fossil evidence of prehistoric plants is actually very good, yet no convincing transitional forms have been discovered in the abundant plant fossil record”
    Jerry Bergman – The Evolution Of Plants – “A Major Problem For Darwinists” – Technical Journal – 2002 online edition

    Carnivorous Plants – Wolf-Ekkehard Lonnig, Max-Planck-Institute for Plant Breeding Research,
    Excerpt: Moreover, it appears to be hard even to imagine clear-cut selective advantages for all the thousands of postulated intermediate steps in a gradual scenario, not to mention the formulation and examination of scientific (i.e. testable) hypotheses for the origin of the complex carnivorous plant structures examined above.
    http://www.math.utep.edu/Facul.....s/carn.pdf

    I like these following examples of irreducible complexity in plants since they are readily easy to see:

    Wild Orchids of Israel: Seduction of the Long-horned Bee (Irreducible Complexity) – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yFftHXbjEQA

    Hammer Orchid and Wasps – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hv4n85-SqxQ

    Of related interest from the insect world:

    Orchid Mantis – video
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_jwfKyxBrc

    Thank God for Flowers – Hugh Ross – August 2010
    Excerpt: Paleontologist Kevin Boyce and climate modeler Jung-Eun Lee,,, recently discovered that flowering plants contribute much more than romance and beauty to humanity’s wellbeing. They uncovered evidence suggesting that without flowering plants, human civilization would not even be possible. Boyce and Lee found that a world without angiosperms (flowering plants) would not only be drab and uninspiring but would also be much drier and hotter and lacking in species diversity. The researchers noted that angiosperms transpire water to the atmosphere about four times more efficiently than other species of plants.
    http://www.reasons.org/thank-god-flowers

    It is interesting to note that plants are far more sophisticated than many people realize:

    Plants may be able to ‘hear’ others – June 2012
    Excerpt: Plants are known to have many of the senses we do: they can sense changes in light level, “smell” chemicals in the air and “taste” them in the soil (New Scientist, 26 September 1998, p 24). They even have a sense of touch that detects buffeting from strong winds.,,,
    http://www.newscientist.com/ar.....thers.html

    Timelapse video of Flowers and Leaves – video
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/li.....t#p00lxwrh

  4. 4
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: SpaceTop presenter is redefining hands-on computing (w/ video) – Feb. 27, 2013
    Excerpt: Jinha Lee, an MIT graduate student, this week showed his SpaceTop, a desktop environment where you can “reach inside” a computer screen and manipulate objects as if they were real
    http://phys.org/news/2013-02-t.....video.html
    Space Top Computing – video
    https://vimeo.com/59231624#

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