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Edition 1

Miles’s Science News

Dinosaur Nigersaurus’ Feeding Technique Discovered

NOVA Episode Proves Truth: Intelligent Design is Really Religion, Not Science

Discover Where You Might See A Comet

Meteor Shower Tonight!

Education for the Family

Most of you kids out there know humans are descended from other primates.  Primates are apes, monkeys, lemurs…and you!  Yup, humans are primates.  And guess who created this theory?  Charles Darwin himself.  He was the one who studied all the animals on the Galapagos Islands, including this marine iguana:

But now on to the main story.  A high school in Dover, Pennsylvania, was having issues with the school board.  A man on the school board apparently burned a poster showing evolution.  If you wondered what he was doing that for, it was because he was insulted that humans are related to apes and monkeys.  So, he and other members of the school board put a new textbook on the school supplies list.  It was called “Of Pandas and People” and it was all about a created theory about something called Intelligent Design.  This was created to teach students that an “intelligent agent” was making everything.    This is the start of the problem that was shown on the NOVA Episode Judgement Day: Intelligent Design on Trial.

After the problem started, the real trouble started.  Some parents were supporting the fact that Intelligent Design might be religion being taught in the classroom.  But to convince the students that Intelligent Design is science, the school board had to teach the students that Darwin was wrong. So, they created a statement that said that Darwin’s theory is not proven and that Intelligent Design is a pretty accurate scientific theory.  The teachers were supposed to say this statement, but they refused.  So the school board members came in and made the statement instead.  But then, it was off to the courtroom.  Parents sued the school board claiming that Intelligent Design is religion in disguise.

But for the full story, go to the NOVA website.   I think the episode was great.  In the comments, tell me what you think!

Astronomy

Have you ever looked up into the sky? If you ever see a blinking white dot moving among the stars, chances are you are seeing a comet. I can’t promise that you might be seeing a comet, they are rare. But I’m going to tell you about two comets — Halley’s Comet and Comet Holmes — 17P Holmes to be precise.

Let’s start with Halley’s Comet. Halley’s Comet is only seen every 76 years. Whew! I’ll be 61 when it comes by Earth again! Halley’s Comet is one of the most popular comets.

Comet Holmes is seen every 6.9 years. In fact, I saw Comet Holmes just last week! It was a pretty cold night, but I was able to make it out. Right now, Comet Holmes can be seen right below the constellation Cassiopeia. Look at this diagram:

You’re pretty much geared up on these two comets! See ya!

This is a special news bulletin from The Miles and His Favorites Discovery Newspaper:

Tonight, November 17th, there will be a meteor shower, with a couple dozen meteors per hour. It is called the Leonid Meteor Shower. The best time to see it is midnight and later. Please look north for the best views. Please make sure that there are little or no lights in the area as lights make it harder to see the meteors.

This has been a special bulletin from The Miles and His Favorites Discovery Newspaper.

Natural History

Ever thought a lawn mower-like dinosaur could exist? In the 1950s, a new dinosaur was discovered in the Sahara region of Africa. It was named Nigersaurus taqueti by Dr. Paul Sereno in 1999. But the discovery this year? How Nigersaurus ate. Remember when I said “lawn mower-like dinosaur?” Well, I meant it. Nigersaurus had a very wide jaw, like a vacuum cleaner. This picture shows a model of Nigersaurus’ head:

Nigersaurus was a sauropod like Diplodocus and Seismosaurus. Which means it ate plants. Well, it went along the ground, with its head down, sucking food up into its big jaw like a vacuum cleaner!

This picture was taken at the National Geographic Society’s exhibition about this dino. This link is to a press release about the discovery and the exhibit. The exhibit includes a skeleton of the Nigersaurus and another discovered African Pterosaur. There are many more dinosaurs to discover. Who knows? Maybe you will discover one someday!

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