A Brief History of Laelaps

It seems that I’m down with the memes again, for as I was searching for some Thoughts in a Haystack I managed to once again become infected. Indeed, John has asked me to put my money where my mouth is when it comes to throwing around words like “pseudoextinction” in reference to my blog, and hence here’s a fitting meme about the “evolution” of Laelaps;

In order to understand from whence Laelaps sprang, we need to travel backwards through the mists of time to the tumultuous year 2006. On October 18th, 2006 I wrote my first “real” science-oriented blog post about the lack of understanding about evolution in the U.S. Although I don’t know how significant the post is looking at it a year later (it doesn’t say much that has not been said more eloquently or effectively elsewhere), it is significant in that it got me addicted to blogging about science, and in the weeks that followed I would get dragged into many a debate with ID-advocates and creationists that frequent the ProgressiveU.org blogs. Still, my efforts paid off (literally) as I won a $500 scholarship for my efforts.

As much as I liked the attention I got on ProgressiveU, I felt a bit constrained by the format and struck off for WordPress.com, which afforded me a bit more flexibility and creative control. On December 12th, 2006, I started up my new blog and continued writing as I had done previously, primarily transcribing whatever came into my head concerning evolution but not committing myself to much actual research. An early post about virgin births in geckos is indicative of my earlier style, which was based on discussing what was appearing in news reports but not going further to look at the actual research.

I continued along with my more relaxed style for quite some time, but I knew that if I wanted to be a real science blogger I was going to have to put some more effort and research into my writing. Hence, on May 14, 2007, I posted a relatively short post on the paleoecology of the Jurassic Solnhofen fauna in Germany (from which Archaeopteryx is known), and thus a more developed blogging system took root.

I kept up my more-researched posts for some time, but it was not until August 11, 2007 that Laelaps became especially well-known. Traffic had been building for some time prior, but my rather long post on hypotheses of human evolution catapulted the blog onto a new level of awareness, the positive feedback I received pushing me to continue to write similar entries on horses, sabercats, feathered dinosaurs, etc.

Now, however, I’m a proud member of ScienceBlogs, and even though I think I have developed a decent writing/research method, I’m sure things will continue to change as I continue to write. Indeed, as I go back to some of my older writings I’m going to update the old posts as is necessary, an attempt to make the “old” new again and fill in the gaps of my writing as the gaps in my understanding of nature are filled in as well.