"Evolution happens like a movie, with frames moving by both quickly and gradually, and we often can’t see the change while it’s occurring. Every time we find a fossil, it’s a snapshot back in time, often with thousands of frames missing in between, and we’re forced to reconstruct the whole film. Life is what happens in between the snapshots."
— Joe Hanson
Joe’s latest It’s Okay To Be Smart video explores our scaly evolutionary lineage, predating our grandest grandparents of all - modern humans (yes, we in fact do have a much more enriching and fantastic ancestral history beyond our third cousin’s mate on your father’s side who was a quarter Polynesian….or something).
One of the most basic questions we’re faced with as human beings, regardless of age, race, creed, color, or country or origin, is "who are we?" But we can go even deeper than that, asking "what" are we? Yet, that question even begs an even more enchanting query…"how" are we?
When exploring what starts out as such a seemingly simple question, we find that we’re at the end of a very long, nearly incomprehensible
branch rung road which - never mind the fact that we’re still very much recent travelers - has some pretty intense twists and turns when using some of the vehicles called anthropology, paleontology, archaeology, paleobiology, geology and genetics to traverse this route of biodiversity from whence we came.
I encourage all of you to watch Joe’s recent video which briefly explores this intimate connection we have to the millions of years of biology and complex chemistry we share with everything and everyone around us. Plus, Joe apparently has been taking some flack from the religious fundies who have the time to patronize, slander, and sling their anti-intellectual dogma around the internet, but just can’t seem to figure out how to steer themselves onto the proper educational websites and online open resource material which is widely accessible to everyone…in the world.
Be sure to check out Joe’s follow up video on our fishy ancestry, ‘Do Fish Have Thumbs?’, where he interviews Dr. Neil Shubin, paleontologist, geneticist, and author of the book 'Your Inner Fish: A Journey into the 3.5-Billion-Year History of the Human Body', to which a 3-part series has been developed under the same title by PBS.
In Joe’s interview with Shubin, the “anatomical mix between fish and a land-living animal" - known as Tiktaalik - is explored. What is Tiktaalik and why is it so special? Because it proves that the ‘Darwin fish’ (below) is well, a thing. And Christians/Creationists hate it :)
Read Slate’s article on the Tiktaalik fossil featuring Dr. Shubin, and why it’s a slap in the face to creationism.
Related: Stated Clearly’s videos on Natural Selection, Evolution (and how it works), Genes, DNA, and even, where we are in our understanding of the origin of life.