Naughty Free Fire Zone

We found a couple of items at PhysOrg that are … well, a bit difficult to describe. After you read about them, you may be tempted to indulge in school-yard humor. But we urge you, dear reader, to restrain that mischievous 12-year-old boy who lurks within each of us.

The first item is Cutting a bugs’ penis shorter found to reduce reproduction chances.

Before you start snickering, you need to read this excerpt:

Lopping off sections of a penis, for most species would involve serious injury and trauma (for some the mere thought of it might be enough) — but not so, apparently, for L. simulans. The males of these little bugs, which are typically just 11 millimeters or so in length, come equipped with a penis that is very nearly comical in its length, on average 7 mm, which for those keeping track, is in the neighborhood of two thirds of its body length (it drags the thing around beneath itself). Even more odd is that most of the penis, aka its intromittent organ, is bereft of nerves, muscles or even blood vessels. And even odder than that is the fact that the female organ into which the male places its appendage is much too short to accommodate such length. Thus, the researchers sought out to discover the reason for such a mismatch.

You’re interested, aren’t you? Okay, we’ll let you read it for yourself.

Here’s the next item we found: New evidence helps explain why some soft tissue fossilizes better than others. The headline interested us because of the claims of creationists that such tissue somehow proves that the Earth is young — see, e.g., Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat?

But it’s not really about that. Instead, the article discusses this:

For many years scientists have debated whether the “Cambrian Explosion” was the result of more species suddenly developing or whether it was just the result of more remains being fossilized and found. In this new effort, the researchers suggest it might have had to do with the development of the anus and a through-gut.

There are obvious implications for Darwin’s Doubt, the book by Discovery Institute vice president Stephen Meyer, in which he claims that the Cambrian explosion is proof of intelligent design.

This is good stuff, but it’s going to be a challenge, dear reader. Your Curmudgeon is running a classy blog, so you must maintain a proper scientific attitude. We understand the almost irresistible temptations of the subject matter, but your comments must be — ahem! –in good taste.

We now declare this post to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. Talk about those articles or whatever you think is interesting — science, politics, philosophy, etc. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

Copyright © 2015. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

add to del.icio.usAdd to Blinkslistadd to furlDigg itadd to ma.gnoliaStumble It!add to simpyseed the vineTailRankpost to facebook

. AddThis Social Bookmark Button . Permalink for this article

5 responses to “Naughty Free Fire Zone

  1. “The first item is Cutting a bugs’ penis shorter found to reduce reproduction chances.”

    Well, duh.

  2. Jeepers! So Lorena Bobbitt was actually conducting scientific research! Who knew?

  3. “In this new effort, the researchers suggest it might have had to do with the development of the anus and a through-gut.”

    What, it’s been about 600 million years and the Intelligent Designer still can’t figure out how to keep colons from the occasional catastrophic malfunction?

  4. Ok as usual changing the subject entirely. I wondered about Islam and its perspective on science. After all 1/4 of the world’s population apparently follows this creed. After a little research I happened upon Ash’arism.
    It has persisted since the mid 900’s as a dominate philosophy in the religion.
    Here it is ca 935 AD … “The Asharites, their allies and progeny, believed it blasphemous that anything could limit the power of omnipotent God: even God could not limit His own power, they said. It was worse than presumptuous to suppose that God would create Natural Laws which made events predictable, effectively tying His own hands. No, the theologians insisted, every single thing that happens on earth or in the heavens—from a falling leaf to the rising moon – occurs because God consciously wills it to happen. Suddenly, there were no more rational, physical causes of repeatable, dependable and predictable events, only Divine actions willed individually. ”
    These guys don’t write letters to newspapers apparently as in their view, the argument is already decided.
    This philosophy is dominant in Islam today.

  5. Charles Deetz ;)

    @Och Will So it is pretty much goddidit for Islam no matter what it is. Wow!