1. says

    Nice! Looking forward to this. Will share it with my hyper-intelligent niece who doesn’t always get all the science she craves in elementary school.

  2. Trebuchet says

    Is that one of those Japanese giant salamanders?

    The show, of course, will simply be more proof that PBS is a commie athiest America-hatin’ eviloutinist organisation that needs to be defunded by loyal God-fearin’ Republicans in Congress.

  3. throwaway, gut-punched says

    I’m sure there are already people waxing apoplectic about this being paid for with their tax dollars and are doing everything in their power to stop it from being shown at a decent time, or force it to be shown on one of the unreliable over-the-air additional broadcasting channels where the people who SHOULD see it won’t. Especially after a special committee voted 5-1 to not approve science standards with evolution and climate science as part of the core… that’s a pretty safe bet.

  4. says

    When we look, at the plants and bushes clothing in entangled bank we are tempted to attribute their proportional numbers and kinds to what we call chance. But how false a view this is! Everyone has heard that when an American forest is cut down a very different vegetation springs up; but it has been observed that the trees now growing, on the ancient Indian mounds, in the Southern United States, display the same beautiful diversity and proportion of kinds as in the surrounding virgin forests. – from teh first edition of On the Origin of Species. I feel like this was needed.

  5. says

    Wait, is Shubin a Dawkweasel, or a decent human being? Maybe it’s me, but it’s just so hard keeping track these days…

    One thing I do to get a sense of someone from their popular science book is to take note of how many women are mentioned in their acknowledgements, discussion of the scientific history, and references. You Inner Fish impressed me in that regard** (and I just loved it generally). One that comes to mind as a contrast is Simon Levin’s Fragile Dominion: men, men, men, men, men. Of course, they cover different subject matter, but often I’ll read two books that have chapters telling basically the same scientific story and you can easily spot the difference if you’re paying attention. You frequently hear the excuse that, well, there just haven’t been many women doing pathbreaking work in a field, but then others in the same field seem to be aware of them, so…

    Also, I didn’t get the impression reading it that Shubin was trying to be inclusive – he just seems to exist outside of that White Western Male science bubble (which probably contributes to his work being more insightful). All of this said, I know nothing about him personally.

    *…and people outside the US or wherever the author is from. Oh, and also their discussion of their students and their work.

    **It wasn’t a scientific analysis at the time, and I might be exaggerating things as it’s been a while since I read it. Will have to look through it again.

  6. otrame says

    I think Your Inner Fish is the best of the recent, “Yes, Virginia, there is evolution.” Shubin writes very well. Looking forward to this.

  7. Trebuchet says

    I think it’s possibly Tiktaalik, though I could be wrong.

    I had to look up Tiktaalik (though the name was familiar) and I’m certain you’re correct, since Shubin was one of the discoverers. Now I’ve got to see if the book is available for Kindle.

  8. Trebuchet says

    And naturally I forgot to add the snark: Obviously it’s a fake since there are NO TRANSITIONAL FOSSILS!

  9. says

    @SC #18 Thanks for the tip. I’m always analyzing the media I consume with an eye to feminism and diversity,* but this criterion isn’t one I’ve considered before.

    *For example, The Magic of Reality is full of boys doing the stuff, as evidenced by the illustrations. I’d be more specific about that one but I didn’t buy it and returned it to the library before doing my thorough review. I should remedy that.

  10. says

    It’s funny imagining Shubin promoting the show with booth babes.

    Mebbe some booth Tiktaaliks? That one looks so friendly.

    I love this book, too. I find his writing has this wonderful low-key, thoughtful quality. Nice weaving of the field stories and natural history; whole thing just works. It’s one of those things I find myself picking up and leafing through again, now and then.

  11. David Marjanović says

    Is that one of those Japanese giant salamanders?

    Even in this picture, the eyes, the nostrils, the teeth, and, uh, the scales are different. :-) So is the position of the shoulder girdle, actually, though not by much.

  12. blbt5 says

    Glad to hear from PZ Shubin’s a good guy, because I just read his book “Inner Fish”, and really loved it. He really puts together the whole biological developmental picture, down to the genetics and chemistry. But was the slobbering homage to NASA really necessary?

  13. carlie says

    Shubin’s writing is very accessible, and he tells a good story on tape, too. If you want a preview of his style, he was featured in the “great transitions” episode of PBS’s Evolution series, and there are clips online of his interview.