October 18, 2010
We have the twin spectacle of two great blog carnivals showing up on the same day: House of Herps (the creatures, not the disease) is doing a rain-dance at Mainly Mongoose, a cool South African-based site run by zoologist Lynda.
And for the beetle lovers among you (and who couldn’t be?) An Inordinate Fondness has gone next door, to roost at Beetles in the Bush.
October 13, 2010
Our southern neighbors have chosen today as National Fossil Day, part of Earth Sciences Week, established by the American Geological Institute to “…help the public gain a better understanding and appreciation for the Earth Sciences and to encourage stewardship of the Earth. While Canada is well known for its fossil sites, (and its fossilized Conservative government) we don’t seem to take part in the celebration. Allow me to offer my best wishes to all those south of the border who are paying tribute to the earth by honoring fossils:
(Shell fossil photographed high in a mountain pass above a glacier in Jasper National Park.
Deposited there by the mighty hand of God when he caused a world wide flood to destroy all people who sinned more than Noah by the massive forces of plate tectonics that continue to shape the earth.)
Hat-tip to Panda’s Thumb..
October 3, 2010
The 28th edition of the Carnival of Evolution is up at….Carnival of Evolution! Who da thunk?
This carnival has a special feature on the blog Sandwalk by Larry Moran, plus a lot more evolutionary bloggy goodness.
August 12, 2010
Lauri Lebo is the author of The Devil in Dover: Dogma v. Darwin in Small-Town America, a book about the 2005 First Amendment trial of Kitzmiller v. Dover, in which intelligent design was ruled the same as creationism. In a new opinion piece, Lauri responds to David Klinghoffer’s post, which in turn refers to an earlier article by Lauri entitled Creationism: Don’t Use the ‘C’ Word. Klinghoffer says (bold accent added by me),
“…she thinks Discovery supports critical thinking on Darwinism with the secret aim of providing a path for something wildly different, incompatible and contradictory — namely, for creationists to teach the Bible as a science text book.”
In her response, Lauri once more connects the dots between creationism and I.D, and exposes the underbelly of the new creationists:
So what are these “enormous differences”? Here is DI’s definition of intelligent design:
“Intelligent design is the theory that certain features of the universe and of living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.”
Here’s the thing, even their own definition gives away their sleight of hand. No matter how many times they deny it, intelligent design relies on the supernatural. They can hide it in the passive voice all they want, but when you talk about an “intelligent cause” you are talking about a creator. And that makes it (wait for it) creationism.
But don’t take my word for it. Especially when Discovery Institute and its fellows have so many words of their own that reveal their intention.
Read the complete article in Still trying to get Creationism into to Science Classes
Hat tip to the Sensuous Curmudgeon.
July 28, 2010
PZ Myers opens up our familiar concept of evolution and refines our understanding when he blogs on a more dynamic picture of evolutionary change.
From: It’s more than genes, it’s networks and systems -
First, it’s not exactly wrong — it’s more like taking one good explanation of certain kinds of evolution and making it a sweeping claim that that is how all evolution works. By reducing it to this one scheme, though, it makes evolution far too plodding and linear, and reduces it all to a sort of personal narrative. It isn’t any of those things. What’s left out in the 101 story, and in creationist tales, is that: evolution is about populations, so many changes go on in parallel; selectable traits are usually the product of networks of genes, so there are rarely single alleles that can be categorized as the effector of change; and genes and gene networks are plastic or responsive to the environment. All of these complications make the actual story more complicated and interesting, and also, perhaps to your surprise, make evolutionary change faster and more powerful.
Read the complete article at Pharyngula, which is based on Jonathan Bard’s paper, A systems biology view of evolutionary genetics. Bioessays 32: 559-563.
Hat tip to Homologous Legs
July 27, 2010
Phil Plait of Bad Astronomy blog will be presenting a new Discovery Channel series called Phil Plait’s Bad Universe. In three parts, Phil Plait will be examining some misconceptions held about astronomy and science.