Sunday, September 7, 2008

Evolution Meets Global Warming


I'm always ready to leap on the most interesting scientific and natural news and make them know to my loyal readers.

In a bizarre twist of fate, evolution meets global warming in a rush to preserve the noble hunter of the north, the polar bear. Polar bears are increasingly affected by the loss of ice and are now literally changing their coats to compensate. By rolling in tundra lichen and algae pools, the bears better blend in with the melting landscape. Lately, scientists have been seeing births of cubs where the fur is already stained green, and they speculate that the plant dyes are being transfered directly in utero. It's really edifying and slightly humbling to see evolution at work.

Um, okay, I totally made this story up. It's important that we treat everything we see and read on the Internet with skepticism. Any story that you see like this should put you immediately on alert. Are there other sources (e.g. news sites, Wikipedia, etc) that are carrying this story? Does the story make sense from what you've learned in school or heard others say? Do you know a subject matter expert that you could talk to that could confirm the facts? I also always check out to see if it has been registered as an urban legend. No sense in forwarding stuff to folks and ending up propagating falsehoods. It makes you seem unreliable and, well, stupid or at least naive. 

Even worse are those idiots that make stuff up like this in the first place. Wait! Oh, I think I just dissed myself.

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