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KC Metropolitan Skeptics Message Board › Meetup details changed: The Midwest Skeptics Society November 7th, 7 p.m. Meetup

Meetup details changed: The Midwest Skeptics Society November 7th, 7 p.m. Meetup

Kansas City S.
user 6125311
Overland Park, KS
I've updated this Meetup page with the current description for the topic tomorrow. For more details, see the full listing: http://skeptics.meetu...­

When: November 7, 2009 7:00 PM

Black Dog Coffee House
12815 W 87th St
Lenexa, KS 66215

Fredric Heeren is a science journalist who has written for The Boston Globe, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Nature, New Scientist, Scientific American, and other publications. His specialties are cosmology, evolutionary biologyand paleontology.

Saturday night he will tell the group how his life has taken a detour since his upbringing as a conservative Christian and his being asked to join the Discovery Institute of the Intelligent Design movement. Fred wrote a book about evolution that followed the ID playbook - - but before publishing it, he decided to throw it away and start over, this time, starting with the evidence rather than with an agenda. His research since then has taken him to 530-million-year-old Cambrian fossil sites in southern China, 1.7-million-year-old fossil beds where he witnessed the Leakeys discover a new hominid near Lake Turkana, Kenya, and 40,000-year-old skulls an hour’s journey inside a Carpathian mountain with a Romanian cave-diving crew, where they turned up the earliest modern human fossils in Europe.

Fred has just returned from Brazil and Argentina, where he has joined the paleontologists excavating the worlds largest dinosaurs from the Cretaceous - - and tiny proto-mammals from the Triassic. So Saturday night he would also like to lead a discussion about South America’s ideal conditions to re-play life’s tape, i.e., to actually run the theoretical test propose by Stephen Jay Gould. Gould held that if we could re-run the tape of life, animals would evolve differently each time. Starting with identical fauna from both sides of the Gondwana/Laurasia divide, paleontologists are now in an ideal position to actually observe the result of their separate evolution from the time of the continental split. Which wins in evolution? Contingency or constraint?
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