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Just this week, the discovery of the 300-million year old Gerobatrachus hottoni ("Hotton's elder frog") confirmed the previously contentious inference that modern frogs and salamanders evolved from one group of ancient primitive amphibians. The dispute arose because of a lack of transitional forms; but, like so many "missing links," this newly discovered fossil sealed the gap. The fossil record is one of the strongest lines of evidence for evolution, yet it continues to come under attack by present-day creationists and advocates of Intelligent Design. This week on Skepticality, Swoopy talks with eminent paleontologist and professor of geology Donald R. Prothero about his bestselling Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters. This comprehensive book explores not only the rich mosaic of fossil discoveries and transitional forms, but also the very nature of science—and the "monkey business of creationism."
Show Notes
 

Date – May 27th, 2008 read by Swoopy


We are a nation of news junkies.
Nearly eighty percent of people read the news online.
Popular news aggregators and RSS feeds pull news from many sources.
One of the most popular news sites is Google news.
Google chooses to put Science and Technology in one category.
A lot of science news gets buried in the large amount of daily tech junk. 
You can leave feedback with Google to tell them you want Science to have it's own feed.
We have Google Earth, certainly Science deserves it's own category.
Google the phrase "missing link" and you'll find some interesting stuff.
In the last month German scientists may have discovered the link for echinoderms.
Another exciting discovery shows how frogs and salamanders evolved into two species.
Filling in the gaps in the fossil record continues to strengthen the theory of evolution.
Yet the Intelligent Design movement persists, with no scientific evidence.
Donald R. Prothero is an evolutionary scientist of great distinction.
His book Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters was published in 2007.
Professor Prothero is a member of the editorial board of Skeptic magazine.
Prothero has authored, and co-authored 22 books and over 200 scientific papers.
He is a professor of Geology at Occidental College and lectures at Cal-Tech.
The dinosaur bug bit Professor Prothero early, around age 4.
The amount of dinosaur material for children has exploded in the last few decades.
Looking at old dinosaur books is a good way to note how much more we've learned.
Prothero challenges global warming skeptics to ignore the evidence around them.
Prothero's work in magnetostratigraphy documents the changing of the earth's poles.
Information from these studies tells us a lot about our geologic past, and possible future.
What the Fossils Say discusses the very nature of what science is, and isn't.
The word theory has come to mean something very different in common vernacular..
Gravity is also a theory.
Ask your local book seller why the Science section is SO SMALL.
The Grand Canyon bookstore on the rim sells a book about Flood Creationism.
National Parks should be a science playground, not a place for religious rhetoric.
Prothero went to see Expelled after it's opening and was not impressed.
Prothero also disagrees with Dr. Randy Olson about the success of Expelled.
One of the biggest victories over Expelled is the injunction against further distribution.
This means the film may not be released on DVD.
Ironically Prothero was a contest on Win Ben Stein's Money and won.
He beat Ben Stein because Ben missed all the science questions. 
We're hoping Professor Prothero puts the footage on YouTube soon.
One of Professor Prothero's favorite documentaries is Who Killed the Electric Car.
Who Killed the Electric Car has not yet made as much money as Expelled.
Professor Prothero agrees that an Evolution film festival would be great.
One of Professor Prothero's upcoming books is on natural disasters.
There will never be a shortage of seismic activity.
Professor Prothero will be speaking on June 4th at the Field Museum in Chicago. 
If you're interesting in auditing a class at Occidental you can contact Professor Prothero.
They should sell What the Fossils Say at the Creation Museum in Kentucky.
They claim all species of dinosaur were on the Ark and were small and all herbivores.
You can order a copy of Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why it Matters here. 
Skepticality outro.



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