Good call, Jerry

California Attorney General Jerry Brown has joined the good fight.

Brown, a former California Democratic governor, said the California court’s summer ruling allowing gay marriage led the way to his argument.

“The right of same-sex couples to marry is protected by the liberty interests of the constitution,” Brown said by telephone, referring to the ruling. “If a fundamental right can be take away without any particular justification, then what kind of a right is it?”

The fact that California has a simple majority of bigots is not reason enough to take away the right of a minority. The reason it takes 38 states to ratify an amendment to the U.S. constitution is that it’s quite possible that 26 states could impose highly disagreeable rule over the other 24 – imagine if 25 southern states could have banded together and banned interracial marriage. (Unsurprisingly, it would likely be mostly southern states, again, voting in favor of bigotry if an amendment banning gay marriage ever came to a vote at the state level.)

Coy Creationists

Have you ever noticed that creationists are getting more and more coy and more and more dishonest? From repeating claims about evolution that are blatantly false even after the real answer has been explained to them to coming up with the hooey that is intelligent design (as if it isn’t a repackaging of creationism), so many have turned to flat out lying. They’re liars. They’re immoral charlatans and mountebanks, peddling lies to society, especially children. Why they are given even a modicum of respect is beyond me.

More snails

I love me some snail.

Biologists have tracked down genes that control the handedness of snail shells, and they turn out to be similar to the genes used by humans to set up the left and right sides of the body.

The finding, reported online in advance of publication in Nature by University of California, Berkeley, researchers, indicates that the same genes have been responsible for establishing the left-right asymmetry of animals for 500-650 million years, originating in the last common ancestor of all animals with bilateral body organization, creatures that include everything from worms to humans.

“Previous studies indicated that the methods for breaking left-right symmetry in animals seem to differ widely, so there was nothing suggesting that the common ancestor of humans, snails and other bilateral organisms had a common strategy for left-right asymmetry,” said Nipam H. Patel, UC Berkeley professor of integrative biology and of molecular and cell biology, and an investigator of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

“Indeed, scientists thought that one of the genes that is critical for setting up left-right asymmetry in vertebrates was only present in vertebrates and related groups and not in any other animals,” said UC Berkeley post-doctoral fellow Cristina Grande. “But we found that gene in snails, which has a lot of evolutionary implications. This cellular pathway was present already in the ancestors of most animals.”

There isn’t much I have to add to this right now. It’s just another good piece of evolutionary study. Pretty.