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Toxic Toads Evolving Super-Fast
Discovery.com (not Discovery Institute) ^ | 15 February 2006 | Larry O'Hanlon

Posted on 02/15/2006 1:30:20 PM PST by PatrickHenry

Fat, toxic toads at the leading edge of an Australian invasion have evolved longer legs than those behind the front lines, report biologists.

The alarming discovery not only means the toads can spread more quickly over the continent, but it raises the possibility that under the right conditions, animal evolution can happen in just decades, not eons.

That, in turn, has major implications for animals adapting to global warming, as well as biological pest control projects, which generally take for granted that carefully studied animals introduced to fight off invasive species can not evolve into something troublesome.

The inexorable, seven-decade-long expansion of cane toads from their disastrous introduction to Queensland in 1935 has long been monitored by biologists.

One such biologist was recently driving along a toad-crowded road one night, along the invasion front about 40 miles east of Darwin, when he noticed how desperately the toads were hopping grimly toward him, all facing the same way: into virgin territory.

"It was just like an invasion in a science fiction movie," said biologist Richard Shine of the University of Sydney.


A Toxic Cane Toad: Super-quick evolution has allowed the cane toad, above, to invade Australia at a rate of 30 miles per year today, compared with seven miles per year in the 1950s.

Shine is a snake specialist, but when the toads began heading toward his study area, he decided it would be wise to "know thine enemy" before they arrived, he explained.

So for years Shine and his colleagues have been tracking cane toads, and as a matter of course they weigh the toads and measure them. Those records came in handy when they discovered that some cane toads at the invasion front were covering an unprecedented mile-and-a-quarter (two kilometers) each night.

"Sure enough, there was a pattern," said Shine of their astonishing leg-length discovery.

Not only were the legs of pioneer toads significantly longer, but the same athletic build dies out among toads as areas become more settled.

In other words, there appears to be a great advantage to getting the first crack at virgin territory. That boils down to the opportunity to produce more viable tadpoles that grow up to continue the line. For seven decades now that advantage has been awarded to cane toads with the longest legs. That has lead to the steady breeding of longer and longer-legged toads that can keep beating the crowd.

The disheartening result is that the toad invasion rate has increased from seven miles per year in the 1950s to a whopping 30 miles per year today, report Shine and his colleagues in the Feb. 16 edition of Nature.

The silver lining is that the cane toads are showing how quickly some species can adapt to new environments, a challenge now facing innumerable species worldwide as the global climate warms, said ecologist and rapid evolution researcher David Skelly of Yale University.

"We never think of evolutionary changes happening that fast," said Skelly of his fellow ecologists.

That has to change, because the cane toads are just a high profile case of something that is being seen in many organisms all over the planet, he said.

"It doesn't mean that we have no problem (with climate change) or that all species will be viable," said Skelly. But there is evidence that many species might be more able to adapt than previously believed.

Another place where people have to start thinking about rapid evolution is at the federal and state agencies where they evaluate exotic species for release as biological checks on exotic pests, said Skelly.

Right now those agencies don't consider the possibility that a new exotic species will very likely change in its new environment, for better or worse. It's time they started thinking differently, he said.


TOPICS: Pets/Animals
KEYWORDS: crevolist; ecoping; toadlicker
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"But it's still a toad."
</creationism mode>
1 posted on 02/15/2006 1:30:21 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry

ayup, they're toads


2 posted on 02/15/2006 1:31:09 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck
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To: VadeRetro; Junior; longshadow; RadioAstronomer; Doctor Stochastic; js1138; Shryke; RightWhale; ...
Evolution Ping

The List-O-Links
A conservative, pro-evolution science list, now with over 350 names.
See the list's explanation, then FReepmail to be added or dropped.
To assist beginners: But it's "just a theory", Evo-Troll's Toolkit,
and How to argue against a scientific theory.

3 posted on 02/15/2006 1:31:41 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry

Thanks for the ping!


4 posted on 02/15/2006 1:33:19 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: PatrickHenry

"Hiya, Kids! Hiya!Hiya!"


5 posted on 02/15/2006 1:33:22 PM PST by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: PatrickHenry; editor-surveyor

Well goollleee! When it becomes a kangaroo, let us know.


6 posted on 02/15/2006 1:33:57 PM PST by zeeba neighba
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To: PatrickHenry
Grrrraaaarrr!
7 posted on 02/15/2006 1:34:34 PM PST by blueminnesota
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To: PatrickHenry

Saw the title and thought this was about the Democratic Party.


8 posted on 02/15/2006 1:35:16 PM PST by Bigg Red (Never trust Democrats with national security.)
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To: All

This thing ended up in the "chat" forum pretty quick.


9 posted on 02/15/2006 1:35:42 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: PatrickHenry
Lament for Toad
10 posted on 02/15/2006 1:37:41 PM PST by Slings and Arrows ("I'd rather hunt with Cheney than drive with Kennedy." --fanfan)
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To: PatrickHenry
"It doesn't mean that we have no problem (with climate change) or that all species will be viable," said Skelly. But there is evidence that many species might be more able to adapt than previously believed.

Wait - does he mean that any supposed 'global warming' isn't really a factor at all, that species can survive and adapt and even improve? Hmmm... I think the real alarm is that the toads are spreading at a faster rate, not so much their preoccupation with global warming, but rather how to quell these toxic toads.

11 posted on 02/15/2006 1:40:50 PM PST by fortunecookie
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To: PatrickHenry

(inset pic of Susan Estridge here)


12 posted on 02/15/2006 1:47:35 PM PST by isthisnickcool (Jack Bauer: "By the time I'm finished with you you're going to wish you felt this good again".)
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To: PatrickHenry
I'd call 'em chuzzwuzzers I would.
13 posted on 02/15/2006 1:53:10 PM PST by Vaquero (time again for the Crusades.)
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To: PatrickHenry
Actually, the more interesting question is whether there's been a genetic change at all. Recall the amazon tree frogs being born legless due to environmental factors; it seems worth exploring whether some environmental factor is contributing to increased leg length in this case.
14 posted on 02/15/2006 1:54:17 PM PST by Shalom Israel (Pray for the peace of Jerusalem.)
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To: zeeba neighba
Well goollleee! When it becomes a kangaroo, let us know.

Or discovers that FLIGHT is faster than hopping and sprouts feathered wings.

15 posted on 02/15/2006 1:56:16 PM PST by GLDNGUN
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To: GLDNGUN

lol. I think the most toads have figured out in order to survive, is to hide in mud. If pursued by enemy combatants, even Rambo-Rocky Balboa can think this up.


16 posted on 02/15/2006 2:05:10 PM PST by zeeba neighba
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To: PatrickHenry
"Fat, toxic toads---evolved longer legs than those behind the front lines, report biologists. The alarming discovery---raises the possibility that under the right conditions, animal evolution can happen in just decades, not eons."

The Darwinists just never stop with the nonsense do they? We've already been taken down this primrose path by Darwin himself. He observed that the beaks of the Galapagos Island finches grew in the area of tenths of a milimeter as a result of draught. This, he claimed, was proof of 'natural selection' and 'evolution'. It was ballyhood around Darwinist circles as great evidence of 'evolution' for a century. Trouble for Darwinists is, that it has been discovered that the beaks return to normal size as soon as the drought is over, meaning it is merely a built-in adaption process, not 'evolution'.

Then there was the peppered moth 'evolution' evidence. The 'scientists' showed photos of moths that had seemingly changed colors to adapt to the environmental pollution caused by the industrial revolution, (soot, etc). The Darwinists declared the moths rapidly changed colors to avoid being seen and eaten, (hence 'natural selection'). Problem this time for the Darwinists was that the moths were faked, and they were glued to the trees by 'scientists'.

Then of course there was the earlier nonsense about the human fetus having "fish gills" and a "tailbone", which turned out to be the ear canal and the spine, (which developed before the legs did).

Need I mention the facts about Piltdown Man,

or "Archaeoraptor", (named "Piltdown Bird' because a donosaur's tail was glued to the bird)?

17 posted on 02/15/2006 2:11:43 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: TheCrusader
Need I mention the facts about Piltdown Man,

Oh, OK. I guess that means that evolution is false.

[Need I mention the facts about the evangelist Jim Jones]

Oh, OK. I guess that means that faith in God is false.

"Archaeoraptor", (named "Piltdown Bird' because a donosaur's tail was glued to the bird)?

Oh, OK. I guess that means the evolution is false.

[Marjoe, the fake evangelist named after "Mary and Joseph" and wrote the tell all book about the revival preaching "business".]

Oh, OK. I guess that means that faith in God is false.

We could continue this for awhile.

18 posted on 02/15/2006 2:27:15 PM PST by narby (Hillary! The Wicked Witch of the Left)
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To: TheCrusader
"He observed that the beaks of the Galapagos Island finches grew in the area of tenths of a milimeter as a result of draught. This, he claimed, was proof of 'natural selection' and 'evolution'."

No, he said it was evidence, not proof.

"The 'scientists' showed photos of moths that had seemingly changed colors to adapt to the environmental pollution caused by the industrial revolution, (soot, etc)."

No, they didn;t say this. They said that there were two different color variations, a light and a dark colored moth. The dark colored variety increased in numbers when the bark was darker, and light variety increased in number when it was lighter. This is a demonstration of natural selection.


"The Darwinists declared the moths rapidly changed colors to avoid being seen and eaten, (hence 'natural selection')."

You are completely misinformed. They said no such thing.

" Problem this time for the Darwinists was that the moths were faked, and they were glued to the trees by 'scientists'."

No, the studies were real. In one photo, two moths were shown together, a dark one and a light colored one. They were glued to the tree to get a good picture, as the only point in this particular photo was to show the two color strains. The rest of the photos were of single moths that were not glued to the trees and were found in the wild as they were. Please, read up a little before you say such foolish things.

"Then of course there was the earlier nonsense about the human fetus having "fish gills" and a "tailbone", which turned out to be the ear canal and the spine, (which developed before the legs did)."

Early human embryos DO have features that in fish turn into gills. And we DO have a tail-bone.

" Need I mention the facts about Piltdown Man,"

True, since it was a hoax uncovered by evolutionists.

" or "Archaeoraptor", (named "Piltdown Bird' because a donosaur's tail was glued to the bird)?"

This was NEVER accepted by science and was faked not by scientists but by fossil sellers in China.
19 posted on 02/15/2006 2:28:06 PM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
Creationists want to talk about fraud?

Intentionally and falsely trying to pass off Pandas as a science book is a far bigger and far more outrageous fraud, and will do more to destroy the ID charlatans at the Discovery Institute, than a whole army of Piltdown Men.

As Plaintiffs meticulously and effectively presented to the Court, Pandas went through many drafts, several of which were completed prior to and some after the Supreme Court's decision in Edwards [Edwards v. Aguillard], which held that the Constitution forbids teaching creationism as science. By comparing the pre and post Edwards drafts of Pandas, three astonishing points emerge:
(1) the definition for creation science in early drafts is identical to the definition of ID;

(2) cognates of the word creation (creationism and creationist), which appeared approximately 150 times were deliberately and systematically replaced with the phrase ID; and

(3) the changes occurred shortly after the Supreme Court held that creation science is religious and cannot be taught in public school science classes in Edwards.

This word substitution is telling, significant, and reveals that a purposeful change of words was effected without any corresponding change in content, which directly refutes FTE's [FTE = the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, the publisher of Pandas] argument that by merely disregarding the words "creation" and "creationism," FTE expressly rejected creationism in Pandas. In early pre-Edwards drafts of Pandas, the term "creation" was defined as "various forms of life that began abruptly through an intelligent agency with their distinctive features intact -- fish with fins and scales, birds with feathers, beaks, and wings, etc," the very same way in which ID is defined in the subsequent published versions.
Source: Kitzmiller et al. v Dover Area School District et al..

From now on -- thanks to the geniuses at DI, the discredited fools on the Dover school board, and their dedicated lawyers -- when the creationists raise the phony issue of Piltdown Man, or Nebraska Man, or Peppered Moths, or Haeckel's Embryos, none of which amounts to anything anyway, the rational side of the argument has been given the all-time slam-dunk response -- Pandas!

20 posted on 02/15/2006 2:33:51 PM PST by PatrickHenry (Virtual Ignore for trolls, lunatics, dotards, common scolds, & incurable ignoramuses.)
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To: windcliff

21 posted on 02/15/2006 2:34:03 PM PST by stylecouncilor
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To: stylecouncilor

Perfect lol.


22 posted on 02/15/2006 2:37:42 PM PST by windcliff
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To: TheCrusader

And a word to the wise toads-- big fat froglegs not necessarily good for evoluting. Especially in Oz where the barbie is popular.


23 posted on 02/15/2006 2:41:12 PM PST by zeeba neighba
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To: CarolinaGuitarman
" two moths were shown together, a dark one and a light colored one. They were glued to the tree to get a good picture"

hahahahaha, thanks for the laugh, :o) Like the moths, Darwinism is coming unglued.

24 posted on 02/15/2006 2:53:48 PM PST by TheCrusader ("The frenzy of the mohammedans has devastated the Churches of God" Pope Urban II ~ 1097A.D.)
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To: zeeba neighba; Aetius; Alamo-Girl; AndrewC; Asphalt; Aussie Dasher; Baraonda; BereanBrain; ...
The propaganda onslaught is reaching a crescendo.

Applying this to humans, every time a child is born that is taller or shorter than it's parents, it's evilution in action.

Why then don't they wish to talk about the devolution? Humans are shorter and considerably less intelligent than they were just 4500 years ago. Don't hear any bragging going on though.

25 posted on 02/15/2006 2:53:55 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: TheCrusader

" hahahahaha, thanks for the laugh, :o) Like the moths, Darwinism is coming unglued."

No, that's just you. I made it clear why that ONE picture used the staged moths (most insect photography uses staged photos, because insects are not very patient subjects). ALL THE REST (the ones that made the case) were of single moths that were found AS THEY WERE on the trees. There was nothing wrong with the studies.

I see you have run away from my other refutations. :)


26 posted on 02/15/2006 2:57:46 PM PST by CarolinaGuitarman ("There is grandeur in this view of life...")
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To: PatrickHenry
Hey Patrick, are any of your children different than you? Any of them more athletic by any chance?

It's this kind of deception that has rendered this country feckless, and contributed to the general moral decay. Schools now teach the value of dishonesty. (perhaps allah really does reward their trechery)

27 posted on 02/15/2006 3:01:59 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: TheCrusader; Aetius; Alamo-Girl; AndrewC; Asphalt; Aussie Dasher; Baraonda; BereanBrain; ...
Isn't it amazing that the frogs with the longer legs happen to be "at the front lines." I bet that olympic long jumpers evolved longer legs as a result of being at the pit, right??

Do these evo's see how foolish they look?

28 posted on 02/15/2006 3:06:26 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: editor-surveyor

Why do the children of Nobel prize winners generally amount to zilch? lol


29 posted on 02/15/2006 3:10:55 PM PST by zeeba neighba
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To: editor-surveyor

The difference is that olympic long jumpers get to the pit via mechanized transport. The frogs on the otherhand get to the front line by using their legs.


30 posted on 02/15/2006 3:12:39 PM PST by bobdsmith
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To: PatrickHenry
If I were a venomous toad I'd want to be something else too.
31 posted on 02/15/2006 3:13:43 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: PatrickHenry
"But it's still a toad."
(good natured) LOL!
Pretty good prediction of our response.
This is observable. I've never disagreed that there are changes within the species - some may refer to this as evolution.
Interesting article though!

Have a great evening!
GE
32 posted on 02/15/2006 3:13:50 PM PST by GrandEagle
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To: PatrickHenry
This thing ended up in the "chat" forum pretty quick.

Wasn't anything I called anyone THIS time!

33 posted on 02/15/2006 3:14:58 PM PST by VadeRetro (Liberalism is a cancer on society. Creationism is a cancer on conservatism.)
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To: editor-surveyor

Is that a joke about the French?


34 posted on 02/15/2006 3:16:46 PM PST by Tax-chick (My remark was stupid, and I'm a slave of the patriarchy. So?)
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To: bobdsmith
"The difference is that olympic long jumpers get to the pit via mechanized transport. The frogs on the otherhand get to the front line by using their legs."

You're getting smarter Bob, now you should be able to look at your explanation and see why talk of evolution in this regard is laughable. The long legged among any species should be able to walk faster, but that fails to prove an advantage in getting there, and has nothing to do with evolution. What if they have advanced to their own destruction?

35 posted on 02/15/2006 3:30:47 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: Tax-chick

Not intentional anyway :o)


36 posted on 02/15/2006 3:31:35 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: GrandEagle; PatrickHenry
"This is observable. I've never disagreed that there are changes within the species - some may refer to this as evolution."

What's observable? That some toads have longer legs than others? It's always been that way, where is the change?

37 posted on 02/15/2006 3:35:42 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: TheCrusader
He observed that the beaks of the Galapagos Island finches grew in the area of tenths of a milimeter as a result of draught.

Then they should have drunk bottled beer. Sheesh!

Trouble for Darwinists is, that it has been discovered that the beaks return to normal size as soon as the drought is over, meaning it is merely a built-in adaption process, not 'evolution'.

Spoken like a man who hasn't figured out Icons of Evolution is properly shelved under 'fiction'.

Anyone who wants to see this and the rest of the Crudaer's idiocy rebutted, read this

(Also, it reveals that Crusader's 'knowledge' of this area comes from reading one completely discredited book, written by a Moonie cultist.)

38 posted on 02/15/2006 3:40:16 PM PST by Right Wing Professor
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To: TheCrusader
Problem this time for the Darwinists was that the moths were faked, and they were glued to the trees by 'scientists'.

No matter how clearly it explained that nothing was "faked" in the peppered moth study, creationists will still lie about it. Probably because creationists are by and large shameless liars.
39 posted on 02/15/2006 3:46:02 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: PatrickHenry
Another mindless "natural selection" = "evolution" BS Religion of Evolution post.

I don't have as much fun when I make fun of Mooselimbs.

40 posted on 02/15/2006 3:47:45 PM PST by manwiththehands (Repeal the 17th Amendment. NOW.)
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To: editor-surveyor
Why then don't they wish to talk about the devolution?

Probably because devolution is a nonsense term.
41 posted on 02/15/2006 3:48:14 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio

You've just proven my point.


42 posted on 02/15/2006 3:50:02 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: editor-surveyor
You've just proven my point.

Impossible. You don't have a point.
43 posted on 02/15/2006 3:50:43 PM PST by Dimensio (http://angryflower.com/bobsqu.gif <-- required reading before you use your next apostrophe!)
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To: Dimensio

Tell it to webster's unabridged.


44 posted on 02/15/2006 3:55:10 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: editor-surveyor
The Webster's Unabridged is an authority on how words are used in common language, not an authority on how words should be used in a science context. Perhaps you should give up this 'argument by dictionary' before you put your foot in it.

To put it more simply, the Dictionary reflects the language, the language does not reflect the dictionary. Words in common usage seldom reflect their technical usage.

Anyone with even a small understanding of Evolution and its relation to genetics would understand that de-evolution, or devolution as some say, would take a reversal in the sequence of mutations and selection that occurred in the originating evolutionary path. De-evolution is used in common language by those with little understanding.

45 posted on 02/15/2006 4:22:30 PM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: b_sharp
re: The Webster's Unabridged is an authority on how words are used in common language, not an authority on how words should be used in a science context. Perhaps you should give up this 'argument by dictionary' before you put your foot in it.)))

Bossy, bossy.

Just because you can put together a list of definitions (that nobody reads) doesn't mean you've set the terms. Common usage will prevail.

46 posted on 02/15/2006 4:34:35 PM PST by Mamzelle (toadying to the GM?)
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To: Mamzelle
"Common usage will prevail."

Not in a scientific context it won't.

The precision needed in science is lost when the word is used as part of common language.

47 posted on 02/15/2006 5:37:45 PM PST by b_sharp (Science adjusts theories to fit evidence, creationism distorts evidence to fit the Bible.)
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To: b_sharp

What would an evolution believer know of science?


48 posted on 02/15/2006 5:43:15 PM PST by editor-surveyor (Atheist and Fool are synonyms; Evolution is where fools hide from the sunrise)
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To: editor-surveyor

It was clever!


49 posted on 02/15/2006 6:03:23 PM PST by Tax-chick (My remark was stupid, and I'm a slave of the patriarchy. So?)
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To: b_sharp

Precision? If you want precision change your name to "4151.8828125 Hertz". No, with some words and term preciseness counts. For example "femur" rather than "leg bone". With words such as "theory" or "evolution" such precision is folly. As foolish as demanding that your gas station meter the pumped gas to the nano-liter.


50 posted on 02/15/2006 6:37:40 PM PST by bvw
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