Quantcast

«

»

Feb 17 2014

I keep telling you, you’re a big fish

shubinandfriend

Nobody believes me. Well, not nobody…but Ray Comfort sure was incredulous, and I’m always getting these querulous complaints from people. Now, though, I can just tell them to watch Your Inner Fish, the PBS series that will be coming to your television in April.

You can’t wait? No problem. PBS has already made available an informative web site with video excerpts, interactive demos, and a classroom guide. You can see it all now! I’ve been perusing it for the last hour, and it’s all very well done.

Hmmm…and this summer, my colleagues and I have to put together a high school curriculum for teaching evolution…a good chunk of my work might already be done for me here.

37 comments

Skip to comment form

  1. 1
    Trebuchet

    Just more proof that PBS is a Commie Libereal Nazi Socialist Atheist channel! As you’ll no doubt be hearing soon on Faux News.

    Seriously, thanks for the reminder that I need to finish reading the book. I’ll keep a lookout for the show.

  2. 2
    Samuel Vimes

    Nice! I loved Shubin’s book!

  3. 3
    Cuttlefish

    I’m a small cuttlefish.

  4. 4
    petemoulton

    This is great news! I loved Your Inner Fish, so much in fact that I’ve read it twice. Having seen some of Shubin’s lectures on video, I think he’ll translate very well to TV.

  5. 5
    echidna

    None of the links work for me. I think it might be a region thing.

  6. 6
    garydargan

    I loved Shubin’s book too but likewise none of the links work for me either. I guess that’s what you get for living in a country which removed teaching evolution from the science curriculum.

  7. 7
    Daz: Experiencing A Slight Gravitas Shortfall

    Dunno what’s up with the links, but this search turns up several results. And the couple of videos I checked worked fine in for me in the UK, so it doesn’t seem to be a regional thing.

  8. 8
    Menyambal

    I thought we were monkeys?!?

  9. 9
    Matt G

    They should really talk about the genetics of tail-building to go along with the proconsul fossils.

  10. 10
    Lofty

    I thought we were monkeys?!?

    That too but later on.

  11. 11
    anuran

    I thought we were neotenous sea squirts

  12. 12
    DrMcCoy

    “403: Forbidden”
    “We’re sorry, but this video is not available in your region due to right restrictions.”

  13. 13
    JohnnieCanuck

    There’s bigger fish in the sea. But yeah, that’s us, walking around on our pelvic fins and typing with our pectoral fins.

    You never hear, “If we are descended from fish, why are there still fish?”. I wonder why.

  14. 14
    azhael

    Not at all. They too are hugely derived fish, though.

    I´m really looking forward to this new series even though PBS has a bad habit of disappointing me. Spread the monophyletist gospel Shubin!
    By the way, the new Cosmos is coming!!

  15. 15
    azhael

    Fuck, this is why i shouldn´t be allowed a computer….

  16. 16
    azhael

    In case anyone is wondering what this idiot was trying to do, i was attempting to quote anuran…but failed…misserably. My apologies for dirtying the thread…

  17. 17
    Carol Sperling

    I hope that’s an old photo, because if they made him take the fossil (or a reproduction) all the way back to the Arctic just to get that photo, well – they are just a bunch of meanies….

  18. 18
    Carol Sperling

    I just realized how dumb my last comment was. Of course it’s a new photo, because they only uncovered the fossil completely in the lab. DOH ! I guess they had to get the shot on location for dramatic effect.

  19. 19
    David Marjanović

    I thought we were neotenous sea squirts

    That was a neat idea, but not very likely. The sea squirts are monophyletic with respect to us; and it turns out they’re more closely related to us than the cephalochordates are, so it’s more likely their sedentary lifestyle is an innovation.

  20. 20
    Lynna, OM

    Looks like a great PBS series judging from the bits and bobs available now. I sent the links to several friends who have intelligent and inquisitive children.

    Also sent the links to some creationists who don’t drink coffee, so they need some outrage to get them up in the morning.

  21. 21
    David Marjanović

    BTW, you’re not much bigger than Elpistostege, which is going to hit all the news any month now. :-)

  22. 22
    David Marjanović

    Fuck, this is why i shouldn´t be allowed a computer….

    Looking at the source code of your first comment, it turns out you used <blockquote cite=”"> and put the quote between the quotation marks. In fact, the list of allowed HTML tags is badly misleading; the “cite” part doesn’t work, it’s allowed in the sense of not being stripped out before publication, but it’s not shown.

    The “cite” part isn’t intended for the quote anyway; it’s meant for the author. What you need to do is to put the quote between an opening <blockquote> and a closing </blockquote> tag:

    <blockquote>quoted text here</blockquote>

    automatically becomes this:

    quoted text here

    However, there is a reason you shouldn’t be allowed at a computer or even a typewriter. :-) It’s the fact that you used an acute accent (´, as in áéíóúý) instead of an apostrophe (‘, the same as a single quotation mark). Look for it, the apostrophe is on your keyboard!

    Also sent the links to some creationists who don’t drink coffee, so they need some outrage to get them up in the morning.

    That’s nice of you :-)

  23. 23
    azhael

    Thank you so much David, my technological incompetence and i are in your debt.
    In my defense, i’m spanish and our keyboard’s have the apostrophe in an inconvenient position. Many of us have the bad habit of using the accent since it’s much handier. Mind you, even when writting we can’t seem to make the apostrophes vertical, we always go to an accent by default.
    Of course this is entirely your fault, you people are weird :P

  24. 24
    David Wilford

    While you’re waiting for the new series, here’s something from the PBS archives to enjoy:

    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/link/

    One of the better NOVA shows, and that’s saying a lot.

  25. 25
    gussnarp

    The way Shubin lays out a line of evidence of evolution from embryological experiments in the lab through the prediction of where to find Tiktaalik, to finding it just where predicted is nothing short of brilliant. It’s easy to understand, engagingly written, and I think one would have to be absolutely willfully dishonest and ignorant not to find it compelling. I’m glad it will be making it to TV. Unfortunately, creationists think PBS is a tool of the devil and don’t watch it.

  26. 26
    knowknot

    Really looking forward to this.
    I talked my daughters (11 & 9 at the time) through the book as I was reading it, and even in translation the story of discovery and flow of detail were extremely engaging and thought provoking for them.
    If this production captures any of the “feel” of the book – taking for granted that the details will remain intact – I can’t help but imagine that it will, at least in some small way, spark something beautiful and vibrant in any number of minds.

  27. 27
    ChasCPeterson

    so, as intended:

    I thought we were neotenous sea squirts

    Not at all. They too are hugely derived fish, though.

    yeah, both probably wrong. As DDMFM points out in #19, the urochordate larva –> cephalochordate –> vertebrate story is another beautiful hypothesis ruined by ugly data. And urochordates, larval or adult, are not derived fish, if we use a reasonable definition of ‘fish’ (i.e. a vertebrate, or if you really want to be pedantic about it, a craniate).

  28. 28
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    And here I thought we were derived from horses. Who ate peas.

  29. 29
    David Marjanović

    In my defense, i’m spanish and our keyboard’s have the apostrophe in an inconvenient position.

    Oh, I’m in a worse situation. My native language is German, I’m in Germany using a German keyboard, and the apostrophe is Shift+# because Really Standard German only ever uses the apostrophe in poetry and only ever uses accents for French words. Therefore, lots of people genuinely don’t know the difference; I’ve even seen some use the grave accent (`; Shift+´) instead of the apostrophe.

    Fortunately I learned French early, and French uses pretty much everything. :-þ

    a vertebrate, or if you really want to be pedantic about it, a craniate

    Probably the same thing anyway. Molecular data strongly support lampreys and hagfish being sister-groups, meaning that Vertebrata and Craniata would be synonyms; morphological data weakly support lampreys being closer to us than to hagfish, but the characters in question may be correlated (the hagfish may have reverted a few things because they live in the dark and mostly scavenge); the fossil record sucks.

  30. 30
    ChasCPeterson

    Molecular data strongly support lampreys and hagfish being sister-groups,

    hmm, that’s interesting (talk about your long branches though!). I was under the impression that lampreys had cartilaginous homologs of vertebrae, which if true (I’ll look it up after posting) would mean that hagfish have lost them, reverting to the notochord alone.

  31. 31
    barnestormer

    That’s great news! I enjoyed the book a lot.

  32. 32
    azhael

    if we use a reasonable definition of ‘fish’ (i.e. a vertebrate, or if you really want to be pedantic about it, a craniate).

    But what if one uses fish as synonimous with chordate (which i think is reasonable too) which was what i was implying? If you include urochordates and cephalochordates within fish, then urochordates are very highly derived fish.

  33. 33
    David Marjanović

    I was under the impression that lampreys had cartilaginous homologs of vertebrae, which if true

    Is true.

    would mean that hagfish have lost them, reverting to the notochord alone.

    Possible. There could have been selective pressure for this once they started tying themselves in knots.

    But what if one uses fish as synonimous with chordate (which i think is reasonable too)

    I don’t think anyone has ever done that before.

  34. 34
    azhael

    My professor for one. And i see no reason not to, to be honest (can´t think of any good reason why a hagfish is a fish but an Amphioxus isn´t), but if you have an argument not to i would be very interested in hearing it.

  35. 35
    leepicton

    The single most accessible and readable book of all. It read like a detective story with a fabulous payoff. I keep meaning to read it again, but my to read list is just too big right now. But I can find time to watch the series for a refresher (I can knit while watching TV, so can claim to be a multi-tasker). If you only have time to read one book on evolution, this is the one.

  36. 36
    ChasCPeterson

    i see no reason not to, to be honest (can´t think of any good reason why a hagfish is a fish but an Amphioxus isn´t), but if you have an argument not to i would be very interested in hearing it.

    Seriously?
    Because words mean things, and the word “fish” and its Germanic ancestors and cognates have been used for a really long time to mean vertebrates*: bony fish (ray-finned and lobe-finned), cartilaginous fish, and jawless fish. Period. No biologist has ever (at least since 1800 or so) used the word “fish” for an amphioxus; they have always been called cephalochordates or lancelets instead.
    Would you favor expanding he word ‘crustaceans’ to include spiders? How about using ‘lizards’ in a way that includes alligators and birds?
    same thing.
    Your professor is just being cute. No zoologist in the world would seriously include larval tunicates as “fish”.

    *starfish, shellfish, cuttlefish, and jellyfish notwithstanding; apparently unimaginative archaic speakers of English included any aquatic animal, but that’s not your proposal (or your professor’s), right?

  37. 37
    azhael

    used for a really long time to mean vertebrates*: bony fish (ray-finned and lobe-finned), cartilaginous fish, and jawless fish.

    So is a hagfish a fish? Because traditionally, it has been considered as such and yet… for the longest time, they were not considered a vertebrate…(i´m aware they might be, but we are talking about tradition, right?). So clearly this traditional fish=vertebrate has not been the case.
    Also, the “used for a very long time” meaning of fish has excluded tetrapods, so this traditional usage is flawed and obviously could do with some dusting, so what reason other than tradition is there not to extend the term to include all chordates?

Leave a Reply