Our Relationship With Serpents: Guest Post by Dusty Rhoads

It is my pleasure to introduce our guest blogger Dusty Rhoads! Dusty Rhoads is a Brigham Young University graduate, a herpetologist, and is the author of the book, The Complete Suboc (ECO Herpetological Publishing, 2008), which covers all North American ratsnake species west of the Pecos River. Dusty is currently pursuing his PhD in Biology at Ole Miss (the University of Mississippi) studying the evolution, ecology, and conservation of reptiles and amphibians.


“Shouts would then pass from camp to camp, “Khabar dar, bhaieon, shaitan ata!” (“Beware, brothers, the devil is coming!”), but the warning cries would prove of no avail, and sooner or later agonizing shrieks would break the silence, and another man would be missing from roll-call next morning.”

— from The Man-Eaters of Tsavo (JH Patterson, 1907)


In March, 1898, two male African Lions (Panthera leo) with an unsavory penchant for man-flesh terrorized the workers of the Uganda Railway camped in Tsavo, Kenya and brought the construction of the railroad to a halt for nearly a month. Continue reading Our Relationship With Serpents: Guest Post by Dusty Rhoads

Macroevolution and the argument from ignorance

Let’s think about Creationists (and let you remind you that by creationist I mean those who demand a literal reading of the scriptures as scientific texts–all the LDS members of my Biology Department at BYU believe evolution is the way life on earth emerged, and the way the human body was formed, yet believe in a Creator. However, literalist creationism, where it exists in Mormonism, is a leak from sources other than the Restoration that misunderstands the scriptures’ purpose. More on that in what follows.) Creationists love to talk about ‘macroevolution’ as if it was some mysterious magical thing that is problematic for evolutionary biology—science’s dirty little secret we don’t want you to know about. Continue reading Macroevolution and the argument from ignorance