Next Fall, I’ll be back in the classroom teaching introductory biology again. One thing I’m planning to do is to use Shubin’s Your Inner Fish for that course…and just look what the good man has done just for me: all the figures from the book have been released as powerpoint slides.
OK, he probably didn’t think about me at all, and he’s releasing them for everyone to use, but still…it’s awfully serendipitous.
Grab ’em all, teachers! These are tools for getting more evolution into the biology classroom!
It’s a great book, and even the news that Shubin uses Powerpoint can’t diminish my admiration of the man… much.
That’s awesome, but where were these figures this semester when I was teaching Comparative Anatomy? Anyway, Shubin’s book has made me a better teacher.
Glen Davidson says
The only good that cretinism/IDiocy ever did was to provoke some great scientific responses to their lies, like Shubin’s book.
Eat your failure, IDiots.
Those are really cool slides. We need more young people being exposed to side by side examples of the kinds of changes that have happened over the many many years that life has been evolving on our little backwater planet. I wish I was in your class, P.Z., and not here in Everett WA. Living in a town that at one time(?) shot and lynched Wobblies fills me with shame and fear.
No Gods, No Masters
Thanks for sharing that… I’ll have to pass it along to the rest of my dept.
So then why are there still fish?
Re-reading it currently on my commute. Great book (as a non-biologist) that’s well illustrated too. :-)
Naked Bunny with a Whip says
I can see through their skin! I’m totally trippin’!
Fantastic book, just finished The Greatest Show on Earth. I wonder which book I will get tomorrow on my birthday?
Releasing the inner creationist:
Thanks for the heads up. Now where was the corcoduck? Sorry, with so many transitions think of all the new gaps. It is hard to keep up organizing the gaps so that they make sense.
history punk says
It’s just microevolution.
Thanks for this. I’ve forwarded it to all our biology teachers. Here’s hoping it makes its appearance next semester.
I still love the notion that my, say, 109-greats-grandparent was a single-celled microorganism, and that some of my distant, distant cousins still are.
Thanks so much!! As a homeschooling parent teaching evolution, I’m always looking for cool resources to explain science to my kids. My 9 year old daughter took one look at the arm bones slide and pronounced it awesome, which of course is the response we want :-) Thanks!
Excellent! I leaned as much about biology from books like You’re Inner Fish and Microcosm (highly recommended) as I did in my General Biology I and II courses this year.
Hey! I’m reading that book at this vey moment. Well, not this very moment…I’m typing at this very moment. But I will be reading it…..now!
Wish I had a good biology teacher from my high school years – at the polar opposite to dpattersonmonroe, my family was Christian, so the theory of evolution was the big ‘E’ word. We didn’t get a textbook, but we looked online and my mother approved of Christian-based ones, but disapproved evolution ones.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is why I failed human anatomy and have never held an interest in biology until recently, when it became encouraged by reading and studying about evolutionary theory – which I still only sort of understand.
You lucky dog. If only all of my single-celled cousins were nice and distant I wouldn’t have to deal with them at Xmas.
Sven DiMilo says
I’ve tried teaching my inner fish but the damn thing won’t listen.
Down boy! Down!
Total layman here, but I thought bony fish evolved after our ancestors left the ocean. Am I off-base?
Glen Davidson says
Is it really portraying the dog as ancestral to humans?
I hope not.
Sven DiMilo says
Ronin: yes, you are. As a group, osteichthyans (bony fish) were around for at least a hundred million years before some of them became tetrapods.
Hmph. We’re still fish…
I’d like to add my five stars to collective kudos for The Inner Fish. This non-scientist found it readable and educational.
No Creationist could read it, however; it would break their Jesus filters.
GOAT ON FIRE!
Rachel Bronwyn says
What a fantastic resource. Now, when will someone do one on cetacean evolution? I’d hate to have to do the work myself.
I’m surprised you didn’t say “get biology back in to the biology classroom … especially in Texas”.
I blame my inner fish for my bad knees.
David Marjanović says
Warning: Ichthyostega (third from the top) was not capable of putting the soles of its feet on the ground. (The palms of its hands, yes, but not the soles of its feet.) It wasn’t able to twist its legs like that. It wasn’t able to stand or walk; if it ever came to land, it moved the way seals do.
Kel, OM says
Oh awesome. I loved this book, it was a great read.
Oh, I snapped those up something fierce.
I mean, I teach history, but you never know. I’ll offer copies up to any faculty member that wants them, for sure.
Fantastic book. Terrific idea to release these to the public.
I believe most of those illustrations (if not all) were created by the wonderfully-talented Kalliopi Monoyios.
Everyday Atheist says
Sweet. May have to print these and “accidentally” leave them lying around in the room my Catholic mother-in-law is staying in.
Richard Eis says
Which is SO the point. Hehe
Loved the book.
Why would a Catholic have a problem with it.
David at 29:
It must have been a juvenile?
The simplified answer to your question is that there are two main groups of bony fish, the “ray-finned” fish, and the “lobe-finned” fish. All land vertebrates (tetrapods) are descended from the lobe fins, and the only surviving lobe-fins that are still “fish” are the lungfish and the coelacanths (though cladistically, all the tetrapods are still fish).
The ray-fins went on to take over the seas, and branched into several families. The vast majority of modern “bony” fish descend from one of those families, whose first appearance was after the tetrapod colonization of land.
“Ship and boat diverged; the cold, damp night breeze blew between; a screaming gull flew overhead; the two hulls wildly rolled; we gave three heavy-hearted cheers, and blindly plunged like fate into the lone Atlantic.”
Ahem. You’re In A Fish.
Rutee, Shrieking Harpy of Dooooom says
“Why would a Catholic have a problem with it.”
well, if she disagrees with the orthodox ruling that, well, Science is right about the origin of life and all that fun stuff, then she’d have a problem with it.
Hey, Your Inner Fish is available in a Kindle edition! I’ve just gladly put more money into Prof. Shubin’s pocket.
If there’s anyone reading this who hasn’t yet picked up the book: please do so. It’s not just a fascinating look at our evolutionary history, it’s also infused with the pleasure of finding things out. After reading it, you’ll want to hug Neil Shubin.
Rob Clack says
Neil’s book is terrific and I hate to make a negative remark, but the slide showing Eusthenopteron, Tiktaalik, Ichthyostega, etc, is wrong. The manus of Ichthyostega is unknown, so the reconstructed bones are in his imagination. Humerus, radius and ulna are known, but that’s all.
Of course, Jenny knows this stuff better than I do. For the latest, you could email her. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Awesome! Thanks so much for the link. I’ll be teaching an intro to biology 2 class next semester, starting off with evolution, as well and these slides will be great!
I’m a community college instructor in east texas (don’t laugh at me). I made my zoology class read this book for a massive amount of points. Most students actually enjoyed it and a few began to see evolution and natural selection for the elegant process that it is. I did have one IDiot that needs to do more reading, i sent him in the direction of The Greatest Show on Earth. I’m adding both books to the optional extra credit book list for my non-science majors classes.
Actually, the manus in the figure looks greyer than the rest of the image, which I’m pretty sure is intended to indicate that it’s speculative, not based on anything actually found.
I think he just wanted to emphasize that there was something there, even if it’s a guess as to what it looked like.
I was just reading through her review paper —
Clack, J. A. 2009. The Fish–Tetrapod Transition: New Fossils and Interpretations. Evolution Education and Outreach, 2:213–223. doi 10.1007/s12052-009-0119-2
It might be nice if PDFs of her older papers were also available online for open-access download. Just a thought.