Saturday, February 6, 2010

I'm a hopeless fanboy

Anyone who's been here more than a couple times knows that I sometimes wander off into the weird end of things, for example, comparing Obama to obscure Anglo-Saxon kings. A couple days ago I did a piece comparing the development of Cambrian fauna to early automatic pistols. As I said in the post, it was essentially a transmission from Planet Borepatch.

I mean, c'mon - who's going to notice something as strange as this?

How about Steven den Beste?

I'd linked to one of his posts that discussed the early Cambrian, and some of you followed the link to his site. He noticed the referrals, and not only came and read, but left a comment:
I just found this in my refers, and I thank you for your kind words.

Just wanted to mention that the original image of Hallucigenia with the spikes on the bottom and the tentacles on top was later realized to be wrong. The tentacles are legs and go on the bottom. The spikes are for defense. Once this was realized, it also turned out that Hallucigenia landed squarely in a known group of creatures.

That happened after "Wonderful Life" was published, but Gould talked about it in one of his articles in Nature, and it ended up in one of his collections.

The wikipedia article you linked to describes that and includes a more modern reproduction of the critter.

In the mean time, there's no doubt that you're right that the "early experimentation, later standardization" happened in automatic weapons just as it did in cars, and airplanes, and computers for that matter.
I usually try to keep my fanboy excitement under wraps, but squeee!! It's not every day that you get a "no doubt you're right" from Steven den Beste!

I'm going to be insufferable today

UPDATE 6 February 2010 13:27: Typo fixed. Thanks, Scotaku!


wolfwalker said...

An attaboy from SdB?

That's good work.

I miss his blogging. Every now and then he posted a clunker, but most of the time he had interesting and important stuff to say.

scotaku said...

You threw me at first with the typo "Seven." I'd always suspected he was from a hive, and I thought this was the proof I've been looking for these past thirty years.

But no.

Alan said...

That's awesome!

One of the all time great bloggers. SDB is one of the reasons I started blogging.

wolfwalker said...

Incidentally, there's another book on the Burgess Shale that's at least as interesting as Gould's Wonderful Life. In 1998, Simon Conway Morris wrote a book of his own on the subject, Crucible of Creation: The Burgess Shale and the Rise of Animals. Fantastic read for many reasons.

elmo iscariot said...