Sturnus vulgaris

When Pluto was “demoted” as a planet I was taken aback by the reaction. It was like people had lost an invisible childhood friend. But science changes, refines, and, yes, overturns old verities, and this is process is much more interesting to me than a sentimental connection to something learned in childhood.

Contra that guy who claimed that everything he needed to know he learned in kindergarten — what a dullard he must be among grown-ups (admittedly a dwindling portion of the species) — I live to learn new things every day.

For instance, I found this explanation of bird species, speciation, and naming fascinating. Genomics is turning things upside down. Gene expression, which is what actually makes me me and you you (a lot of people don’t seem to get that cloning something leads to a genetic copy but not a flesh and blood duplicate) is, unsurprisingly, something we share with the other animals.

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