Tits In No Danger of Getting Own Cartoon

Countless movies and documentaries are boringly dedicated to the apparently highly-moral lives of penguins.

Why not European penduline tits then?

Here’s why…from this week’s The Economist:

[...] both males and females [of the European penduline tit or Remiz pendulinus] abandon their offspring, a strategy that, perversely, increases the number of chicks they have overall [...] in between 30% and 40% of cases both parents desert the clutch [...] both males and females can mate and lay eggs with up to seven different partners in one season

I’d say, the chances of any producer selecting Remiz Pendulinus as the inspiration for next big-budget cartoon, are pretty much zero…

ps More on low-morality birds: Promiscuous Mama Birds Bank on ‘Nannies’

Way to go, Senator Brownback!

Kudos to Sam Brownback for the wisdom of not dismissing evolution wholesale as an atheist conspiracy (“Creation does not preclude evolution“, International Herald Tribune, June 1).

But will the Senator have the courage of accepting the consequences?

Brownback states that “the process of creation [...] is sustained by the hand of God in a manner known fully only to him“. In other words, God may as well have been using multi-billion-year evolution, 6-day creation or whatever else of His liking.

Therefore, to think of “evolution” as changing one species into another is no blasphemy.

To the contrary, it’s a hard-headed, literal reading of the (English?) Bible that strikes just as absurd and close-minded as those declarations by scientists using evolution to “prove” the non-existence of God.

As for “man’s unique and intended place in the cosmos” (another of Brownback’s points) that may well be but… it is a dangerous reasoning path for a person of Christian faith.

The way of Jesus is one of humility, not hubris.

Anti-evolution at the Vatican

Catholic circles especially in Rome are unwisely toying with the idea of discounting the Theory of Evolution, as it would confine God “to just lighting the blue touch paper for the Big Bang” (Evolution and Religion – In the beginning“, The Economist, April 19).

Furthermore, if natural selection works with random steps, according to some people we lose the “unique, God-given role in the animal kingdom” for the human species, especially favoured by Pope Benedict XVI.

Actually, the “blue touch paper” issue is ill-posed. Even if the Universe has been created to follow Natural Laws such as Evolution, there is enough built-in uncertainty, such as in Quantum Physics, to allow any Creator to tinker at His pleasure.

And regarding man’s unique role…I would rather promote more humility…it makes little sense to try to defend one’s standing when the counterpart is… God!