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Archives for August, 2006

Incorrect Guide to Science

The Panda’s Thumb is compiling a chapter by chapter rebuttal of The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design. This book is part of a series of shoddy academic endeavors that includes The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History; they could remove the word “politically” from the cover and capture a more accurate representation…

This is a reminder that I will be hosting the fifth edition of Mendel’s Garden. Mendel’s Garden is a blog carnival devoted to genetics. If you have written a genetics related entry on your blog and would like it to be included in the carnival, either email me (evolgen [at] yahoo [dot] com) or use…

American Idol and Grant Review

As a fledgling scientist, I am not privy to the process of grant view. It may as well occur behind a green curtain, and all I get to see is the hologram of the intimidating wizard in the form of an email announcing that I did or did not get the tiny morsel of cash…

Phylogeny Friday – 25 August 2006

Last week’s Phylogeny Friday introduced the three domains of life: bacteria, archaea, and eukaryotes. The bacteria and archaea are commonly referred to as prokaryotes, although that creates a paraphyletic taxon. Today, we will focus on the eukaryotes (organisms with nuclei and organelles). This taxon contains plants, animals, fungi, and a bunch of other lineage with…

Birth Rates, Politics, and Education

A couple of people are talking about this Wall Street Journal article which claims that Republicans are popping out more babies that Democrats, and this disparity will lead to an relative increase in the frequency of Republicans. It’s been pointed out that the statistics and logic behind this argument are flawed, and the math in…

Did Evolution Go Missing?

The Chronicle of Higher Education reported earlier this week that the U.S. Department of Education neglected to include “Evolutionary Biology” in it’s list of eligible majors for the new Smart Grant program (the NYTimes and New Scientist also report on this, as does the NCSE). This drew extra attention because the omission left a blank…

Positive About Prokaryotes

In last week’s edition of Phylogeny Fridays, I mentioned an essay that argued that biologists should refrain from using the term “prokaryote” because its definition is entirely negative. The author, Norman Pace, writes, “no one can define what is a prokaryote, only what it is not.” Furthermore, I pointed out that prokaryotes are a paraphyletic…

Interesting Reviewers

Jim Crow has published a perspective in Genetics on his favorite reviewers from 1952-1956 when he was associate editor of the journal. He prefaces it by writing: As far as I can ascertain, the editorial correspondence from that period is lost, so I am writing this from memory. Naturally, my recollections of events half a…

Polar Bear Shrinkage

To be filed under: “Every dude who’s gone swimming in a cold pool in the Hamptons could have told you that.” Polar bear genitals are shrinking: The icecap may not be the only thing shrinking in the Arctic. The genitals of polar bears in east Greenland are apparently dwindling in size due to industrial pollutants.…

I gave Lawrence Krauss some shit regarding his double standard towards the tolerance of willful ignorance. He’s cool with calling intelligent design proponents ignorant, but won’t go all the way and say all religion is anti-knowledge. Judging by the letters in the NYTimes, there are some people who took umbrage at Krauss calling anyone ignorant:…