“We should be extremely cautious in concluding that an organ could not have been formed by transitional gradations of some kind. Numerous cases could be given amongst the lower animals of the same organ performing at the same time wholly distinct functions; thus in the larva of the dragonfly… the alimentary canal respires, digests and excretes.”
So, I have been following PZ Myers’ blog at Pharyngula for some time and it always makes me smile when he comments on some of his email correspondance. Well, I had a bit of a mention in a news story last weekend which looked at the control of feral cat populations (see the Ottawa Citizen article). As a result, I received the following email:
I have posted a few times about “cryptids” and mentioned that the study of cryptids is called “cryptozoology”. This has been very much a fringe science ever since its inception in the 1940s. The disparagement has resulted from an over-reliance on anecdotal evidence and what some would call an “overabundance of credulity”. What I am going to discuss here is not so much pure cryptozoology as the concepts that underpin it.
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So, I get asked all the time “what’s the difference between dragonflies and damselflies?” Here is my response: