Evolving Thoughts

Evolution, culture, philosophy and chocolate! John Wilkins' continuing struggle to come to terms with impermanence... "Humanus sum, nihil humanum a me alienum puto" - Terence

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Hippos and teeth

Scientific American reports work that follows on from my recent post about molecular systematics and whales - again, ignoring convergent traits of teeth and primitive traits of the group. In so doing they have managed to identify the nearest known (but extinct) relatives of hippos, a group called anthracotheres, whose fossil record goes back to 41 million years, a "mere" 12 million years after the earliest fossils of whales can be found. Again, teeth provided a false signal, being convergent.

Monday, March 07, 2005

I'm back, sorta

So, here I am, in front of a computer cast off by Noah at the end of the voyage, with an operating system that mocks the meaning of the word "operating", pondering being a postdoc...

... to discover that I am not considered an academic here...

It seems that research is something done by General Staff, not by academics. They teach, it seems. Oh well, so long as they pay me, I don't really care what they call me.

The flat, which resembles a cheap hotel room without room service, had an oven that was not actually connected to the gas pipes. Great fun was had by my brother and I as we turned it on. And I have as yet no computer, telephone, TV or video, no books (they arrive in the morning), no glasses or even a pen and paper. The weekend was a blast, let me assure you...

But I'm here. 1000km away from my family, but here. Things will pick up shortly, and then I can say witty things again. Right now I'd settle for making sense.

Late Note:
Yes, I'm now listed as an academic. They ticked the wrong box, which is rather the story of my life...