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Creationists Love Baseball

The Creation Museum is located in northern Kentucky, just across the Ohio border from Cincinnati. Answers in Genesis, the folks behind the so-called “museum”, claim that their “museum” is within a 6 hour drive of 2/3 of the US population. This is not true — Kentucky is in the middle of bumfuck nowhere (I’m an…

Darwinism is Dead

Olivia Judson says Darwinism is dead. She’s right. Anyone who talks about “Darwinism” or “evolutionists” gets my attention. That’s not to say that any use of those terms is incorrect. But they are often used as framing devices by creationists, and those frames get carried over into the lay discussion of biology. You should read…

The End of Theory?

Wired Magazine has published an article by Chris Anderson arguing that theory is dead (The End of Theory: The Data Deluge Makes the Scientific Method Obsolete). The argument: with our ability to generate vast amounts of data, there is no need for theory. Now, it’s hard to parse what Anderson means by “theory” from the…

Synteny — A Semantic Debate

There’s a post up at Pharyngula describing the concept of synteny in comparative genomics (Basics: Synteny). The definition given by PZ Myers will sound pretty familiar to those of you who have read some of the genomics literature. The problem: it’s not quite correct. It’s actually the definition that I think most comparative genomics folks…

The Evolutionary History of Birds

Phylogeny Friday — 27 June 2008 I haven’t done a Phylogeny Friday in about a month, but a recent paper reporting a “phylogenomic study of birds” was worth mentioning (doi:10.1126/science.1157704). Now, this isn’t phylogenomics as Jonathan Eisen defined it. The bird evolution paper describes building a tree using lots of molecular markers. I don’t have…

PLoS Genetics has published an interview with Jenny Graves. Graves is one of the leaders in monotreme and marsupial genetics, and has been involved in some of the recent mammalian genome projects, including the platypus genome project (doi:10.1038/nature06936). She is also an expert in the evolution of mammalian sex chromosomes and sex determining genes. However,…

Going for a Sweep in Game 3

Dak at Fire Joe Morgan asks: I’ve been watching a fair amount of SportsCenter / BBTN today, and every two minutes someone mentions that there are “seven teams going for a sweep in an interleague series!”, as if this is some sort of big deal. There are fourteen interleague series this weekend. If every match…

John Hawks has an interesting post on what it means to be human in which he argues that our “human-ness” (humanity?) is our shared evolutionary history. I like it. But Hawks also writes the following: It is our history that connects us to our distant relatives, not our genes. Even with a close relative like…

Where I’ve Been the Past Couple Weeks

If you check the archives of this blog (which I know all of you do on a fairly regular basis), you’ll see that I haven’t posted anything in over two weeks. Those kind of blog hiatuses can’t be good for traffic, but I have a legitimate excuse: I was out of the country. Readers with…

The Phylogenetics of Animal Testing

Phylogeny Friday — 30 May 2008 Research on animals in under attack throughout the world. Animal rights activists not only stage rallies against animal testing, but they also engage in criminal behavior. They vandalize property, sabotage experiments, and terrorize researchers. How can scientists fight back? Michael Conn and James Parker have written book documenting the…