Check out this link:

Welcome to the Straight Dope message board, BADope. Don’t forget to post the link to the staff report you are referring to: What’s the story on North American Earthworms?

Sorry, I’m a newbie.

No prob, BA, welcome to the Boards! We’re glad to have you here.

It helps others if you post the link to the column or staff report, so everyone who wants to respond can be on the same page (so to speak).

I love that article! I especially liked the line, “Earthworm taxonomist Sam James, a professor at Iowa’s Maharishi University of Management” What do earthworms, managers, and transcendental meditation have in common? They all have a home in the Tall Corn state!

Frankly, it all rather read to me like an April-fool’s column. But perhaps it was merely incompetent reporting.

Was I the only person who thought that this staff report, from a staff member who is usually more thourough, read a bit like Straight Dope Lite?

What are the differences? What are the competing theories? Which ones do fish like better? These are compelling and vital questions left unanswered.

No, it was reported in the New York Times, too, I think–I wanna say it was in August 2000 of thereabouts, an academic paper about the European earthworm’s progress was presented, and it was so curious it got picked up by several outlets in the press.

Contrary to the response which said that the earthworm balance has been static, it’s been the last 30 years or so that they’ve noticed a lot of those European buggers in the upper Midwest, especially in the forest areas. I know they happened to have a news story about it in the faculty rag here, but for the life of me I couldn’t find it when I did a search this afternoon.