towards a more “natural” definition of partnership

I love this NYT Op-Ed by David George Haskell, “Nature’s Case for Same-Sex Marriage“. It’s such a peak example of what you can do with the op-ed format: brief, clear, well-informed, but lyrical as the best nature writing. I think it’s an exquisite piece.

An inspection of the bark of these trees reveals garden snails grazing on thin, vertical lawns of lichens, yeasts and algae. Like the trees, each sexually mature snail makes both egg and sperm. Mating among these gastropods is charged with romantic tension; two males and two females are caught up in every embrace. Downstream from the Mall, at the outlet of the Potomac, marine snails called slipper shells add yet another twist: they begin life as males, before maturing into females.

the rules of engagement

A house collapsed after the 2008 Wisconsin Floods. Photo credit: US Air Force via the Great Lakes Echo.

I follow Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist, on Twitter, and I respect both her work and her efforts to engage the evangelical community with the issue of climate change. She works at Texas Tech, in a part of the country not known for its fierce commitment to climate science, and has endured considerable harassment because of her job. A few days ago she got this reply during an exchange on Twitter from Anthony Watts, a climate skeptic blogger: Continue reading “the rules of engagement”