Life Science

Perry Marshall 2.0

This is weird. Perry Marshall has posted a complete transcript of our discussion on Unbelievable on his website. That’s actually useful, since most of us can read faster than someone else can talk. What’s weird is that he’s annotated it with his rebuttals, after the fact. It’s like — and this has happened to me…

Another day, another creationist

My conversation with Perry Marshall about “evolution 2.0” is now online on the radio show Unbelievable. Marshall is sales and marketing guy who has written a book titled Evolution 2.0: Breaking the Deadlock Between Darwin and Design, in which he claims to have worked out a reconciliation between science and religion based on arguments he…

Top 10 Newly Discovered Species of 2015

As 2015 comes to an end, I always love to review the top newly named species of the year. Here are the top 10 (in alphabetical order) as determined by an international taxonomist committee: LOVE the cartwheeling spider!! Source: State University of New York, College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF).

BERGMAN.

Over on Twitter, I was startled by the assertion that many scientists convert from evolution to creationism, convinced by the evidence. Many scientists convert from evolution to creationism, convinced by the evidence. #science #evidence https://t.co/G83RRSQvKl — yecisscience (@Prophecy_YEC) December 26, 2015 What was startling about it was that I’m getting used to mainly hearing from…

“By night all cats are gray”  – Miguel Cervantes in Don Quixote   I’ve always liked Siamese cats.   Students do, too.  “Why Siamese cats wear masks” is always a favorite story in genetics class.  So, when I opened my January copy of The Science Teacher, I was thrilled to see an article on Siamese cat…

Dinosaur 13

Last night, I watched an excellent documentary, Dinosaur 13, so I’m going to recommend it to you all — it’s available on Amazon streaming video and Netlix. It’s the story of the fossil T. rex, Sue, and it’s enthralling and depressing. The fun part is the beginning, when some commercial fossil hunters discover tyrannosaur bones…

Evo devo in the real world

I disagree with Razib Khan on a lot of things, but he’s exactly right on recent fads in biology. Periodically I get frankly stupid comments that seem to imply that the incredible swell of results coming out of molecuar genetics and genomics are revolutionizing our understanding of evolutionary and population genetics. Over the past generation…

An honest appraisal of evo devo

In a review of a new book edited by Alan Love, The evolution of “evo-devo”, Adam Wilkins makes a few telling criticisms of the sub-field I enjoy. Evo-devo has come a long way since 1981 though the Dahlem Conference laid some of the important groundwork for what followed and was, indeed, widely appreciated as having…

Reduced heart function with low oxygen

“Drosophila melanogaster – side (aka)” by André Karwath aka Aka – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons –   Researchers at the University of California at San Diego were interested in understanding how exposure to low oxygen concentrations impact heart function. For humans low oxygen delivery to the heart can occur…

Building a chordate: the notochord

I know this is a horrible photo — I just snapped a picture of the journal hardcopy, which I own, instead of grabbing a PDF from the web, because it’s from 1985 and I’d have to pay to get a copy of my own paper — but this is what I was doing in grad…