So, you found me!

If you are reading this, you already know that I’ve moved to And I’m happy to be here. The $50,000 paycheck, the guaranteed Nobel Prize, the first class air flights to anywhere I need to go (for blogging purposes only, of course!) are all nice, but these are not the reasons that I’m glad to be here.

Not even the brand new 2008 Lexus RX400h, the 72 inch High Definition Digital TV, or the iPhone/iPod package that Seed Magazine has promised to send me for everyone in my family are really all that important to me.

What is important to me is that I get to be part of an interesting, intelligent, productive, edgy yet respectful, and challenging community of science bloggers.

I blogged on for almost a year. I hope this has been good training for me, since I’m blogging with the big girls and boys now. I’m a little nervous that my categories are too vague, and I’m utterly new to “tagging” so we’ll have to see how that goes. The technology for is different than I am used to, so it will be a while before you see a picture with a caption, for instance. But I hope to continue doing essentially what I had been doing: A mixture of substantive posts about stuff I (in theory) know about and newsy tidbitty items that are essentially a filter of the science news I encounter every day, passing on that which I find most interesting from the perspective of evolution, life science, and general awe of the universe.

And the rants. Let us not forget the rants.

This is an opportunity for me to thank the people who have made this fun for me, and who have helped make it work (to the extent that is has worked). My wife Amanda is the one person that I know reads my entire blog every day. More or less. I can see with 20-20 vision at a distance, and I can do very fine close up work, but I can only vaguely see the little squiggly lines telling me that something is spelt rong. And I can’t spell for shit. (Lesser minds often interpret this as a weakness, but Thomas Edison couldn’t spell either, so bugger off.) My fingers always type “thing” instead of “think.” I wonder why. Anyway, if you read many of my posts the moment they come out and then a few hours later, you will see the Mark of Amanda. Julia, my daughter, thankfully rarely if ever reads my blog. I think she senses and is repelled by the profanity and edginess (me, sarcastic?). But she is always giving me ideas. She is a brilliant writer, and some day perhaps she will have her own blog. Maybe here, on Who knows?

I am told, and my own analysis suggests this, that only one in a hundred readers, or even fewer, ever comment on a site like mine. But I thank the commenters and the non-commenters alike, without whom would have been … well … totally useless and read by no one, I suppose.

Katherine Sharp, Ginny Huges and Tim Murtaugh, and the other folks at Seed have been helpful and supportive. I believe this is the first epinominous instance on Sb. I had other ideas, and none of them were very good. It was going to be either, Katherine’s suggestion, or Unashinda. Unashinda would have required some lengthy explanation. Katherine won out. I’m sure she will be willing to take full responsibility if this does not work out. But she doesn’t have to … I’ll take the fall.

Coturnix (Blog Around the Clock) may not remember this, but many months ago he showed kindness to this novice blogger a number of times, and helped me get my Wellies wet in ways that were very important.

PZ Myers, my neighbor in Morris and Grandmaster Dragon of Pharyngula, has helped us all in numerous ways, breaking ground (and breaking ice?) for science blogging in general. For me, PZ has provided much encouragement and assistance, both in and out of the blogosphere. I thank him especially for his frequent, and very powerful, Pharyngulations,[1] and for letting me use his CSS as a starting point for my own. All I really needed to do was remove the octopi and made some stuff red.

The startup of “Greg Laden’s Blog” has caused me to forgo writing about certain topics, because I wanted to start — or restart — these conversations at the new location. So look out. It also presents the age-old problem of what to do with the old blog. For now, it stays like it is with no new posts, and to serve as an archive. Later, I will decide what, if anything, to move to, and exactly how to do that. (Copy, move, redirect, link, etc.?) Any suggestions along these lines will be much appreciated.

Please send suggestions, requests, critiques and comments. And enjoy.



[1] A Pharyngulation is when PZ Myers links to your blog from Pharyngula, and your hit rate goes off the charts.


  1. #1 Coturnix
    November 4, 2007

    Yes, yes, yes, you are here! Welcome to the Family! [now fix your date/time of this post – see Last-24-Hours page to see how it renders]

  2. #2 Hank Roberts
    November 4, 2007

    Are y’all set to the author’s local date and time, or to UT?

  3. #3 PalMD
    November 4, 2007

    Yea…another SciBlog for me to read and maybe leave ridiculous comments on!

  4. #4 sailor
    November 4, 2007

    Congratulations on the move! My only regret is that science blogs does not remember my name and email, you old site did.

  5. #5 Dave Carlson
    November 4, 2007

    Greg, I confess to loving everything I have read on your blog, but not reading it as often as I should have. Now that you’re at SB, though, I think that will change. Hooray!

  6. #6 Dave Carlson
    November 4, 2007

    To further clarify: The thing I expect to change is my irregular reading habits, not my enjoyment of your posts! ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. #7 Zuska
    November 4, 2007

    Welcome to the tribe! And I am totally going to have to talk to Katherine about my perks.

    Hey, I do that thing/think thingy when I’m typing, too.

  8. #8 Mike Haubrich, FCD
    November 4, 2007

    Hey – Congrats on joining the big time! And to think I met you in person before you got famous and everything.

    I always thought of “Pharyngulation” as “The Pharyngula Effect.” He caused me to exceed my monthly bandwidth last month.

  9. #9 Mike the Mad Biologist
    November 4, 2007


  10. #10 Sven DiMilo
    November 4, 2007

    Hi Greg.
    If congratulations are in order, please accept mine.
    Otherwise, never mind.

  11. #11 IanR
    November 4, 2007

    Congrats on moving up to the big league/selling out to The Man.

  12. #12 MartinM
    November 4, 2007

    A Lexus? Pfft.

    Congratulations anyway ๐Ÿ˜‰

  13. #13 Coturnix
    November 4, 2007

    It’s “Pharyngulanche”.

  14. #14 Ben Harder
    November 4, 2007

    Greg, it’s extremely unlikely that you remember me, but I was a student of yours back in about 1996, when you were TF’ing Irv DeVore’s core class. That course and the other bio-anthro classes I took played a big role in my professional trajectory — and I’ve been happily writing about science and medicine since shortly after I graduated. So thanks for introducing me to such a fascinating field. Coincidentally, I’ve just launched a blog of my own — called Thinking Harder — for U.S. News & World Report. Best of luck with yours. I look forward to following it. –Ben Harder
    P.S. How is it that your first blog post was posted tomorrow? Are you in Europe right now, or have you got a time machine or something?

  15. #15 Greg Laden
    November 4, 2007

    OK, I think I’m a little closer … currently running about 20 minutes in advance rather than one day. But, I’ll keep this trick in mind for staying in the “Last 24 Hours” box for a few days at a time…

    Thanks for all the warm welcomes.

    Ben, I’ve had roughly 15,000 students in intro classes as a TA or instructor. But you, I remember better than any of them! Great web site.

  16. #16 MarkH
    November 4, 2007

    Congratulations and welcome to the family.

  17. #17 Crazyharp81602
    November 4, 2007

    Congratulations, Greg! If only I could be a part of the scienceblogs group…

  18. #18 Jeb, FCD
    November 4, 2007

    Dude, welcome. I cannot believe you got assimilated.

    Now, if we can just get Blake Stacey here…

  19. #19 Gene Goldring
    November 4, 2007

    I already read 11 blogs faithfully ending with scanning the 24 hour posts. I guess I’ll just have to sell the plasma screen. You just took my last 1/2 hour of TV time per night.

    Thanks a lot!

  20. #20 Paul Hutchinson
    November 4, 2007


  21. #21 afarensis
    November 4, 2007

    Welcome to the club!

  22. #22 Nathaniel
    November 5, 2007

    Nice. I wish the best of luck to you. I would suscribe to your rss feed but it doesn’t seem to work right now… might get that checked out. I’ll certainly be stopping by on a regular basis.

  23. #23 Greg Laden
    November 5, 2007

    Mike: Looking back (on the old blog) I realize something could be misinterpreted: I intend to send the ENTIRE blog into outer space, not just your comments. as a backup method.

    Nathaniel: I think the Seed/Sb People in New York still have to turn certain things on, which will likely happen during daylight hours today (Monday).

  24. #24 Russell Blackford
    November 5, 2007

    Hey, cool. Good move.

  25. #25 Abel Pharmboy
    November 5, 2007

    Congratulations and welcome to the menagerie!

  26. #26 Matt Penfold
    November 5, 2007

    Well done for joining Scienceblogs Greg.

    Of late I have been reading your blog more and more. Mostly I find myself agreeing with what you write but even when I don’t what you have say makes me think.

  27. #27 Coturnix
    November 5, 2007

    I found it very useful the way I dealt with the old blog. By moving only the best posts over, one per day, five times a week, I was relieved of all the anxiety about needing to “feed the blog”, which, in turn, lifted the writers’ block and unleashed the writing energy.

    With your traffic likely to double immediately, a lot of your old posts will thus gain new audience and a new set of good comments.

    And if you schedule them all in advance (I did it months in advance), yo udo not have to worry if you are offline for a few days due to work, travel, sickness, etc., as MoveableType will automatically publish some of your best stuff every day.

  28. #28 Chris Rowan
    November 5, 2007

    Welcome to the Collective! Now excuse me while I go and check where I was promised all that stuff for joining – I must have missed it at the time…

  29. #29 Laelaps
    November 5, 2007

    Welcome, Greg! I’m glad you made you finally made your way over here! I’m glad to see that you’re just as prolific as ever and that the “feel” of the old blog (i.e. the red font) is still present, too.

  30. #30 greg laden
    November 5, 2007

    Yes, the font makes the blog…

    C: Good advice about moving posts. I’ve already moved a few. Now, does one move them and preserve the original date, move them so they pop up as new as I think your suggesting, or what? I guess as new posts makes sense as they may be modified a bit anyway (of course, marked as re-posts or revised re-posts)

  31. #31 Martin R
    November 5, 2007

    Welcome on board, good to have you here!

  32. #32 Torbj๖rn Larsson, OM
    November 5, 2007


  33. #33 Kristjan Wager
    November 5, 2007

    You will be assimilated….

    Good to see you at ScienceBlogs Greg. Though I am wondering why I even bother having a blogroll these days – seems easier to just link to ScienceBlogs

  34. #34 Anne Gilbert
    November 5, 2007

    Hi, Greg:

    This blog looks like it’s going to be quite a ride! I noticed you were kind enough to list my blog, The Writer’s Daily Grind, albeit at the very bottom of your list(yeah, I know, it’s strictly alphabetical), so I’m going to return the favor and list your new blog(I b>think that’s what is known as “tagging”, which is fairly new to me, too). Anyway, congratulations. I will be sure and keep an eye on this particular site.
    Anne G

  35. #35 Sterling Camden
    November 5, 2007

    The feed doesn’t work for me either — neither through the auto-discovery button in Firefox nor from the feeds page linked at the top.

  36. #36 the real cmf
    November 5, 2007

    Thought you’d get away from my crass comments, didja?
    you know, you can enter the term “Pharyngulation” into the urban dictionary

  37. #37 Betsy B
    November 5, 2007

    nice title. and congratulations.

  38. #38 Spanish Inquisitor
    November 5, 2007

    Congrats! Just a quick tweak to Google Reader, and I’ll be reading your new blog, and looking forward to it.

  39. #39 Coturnix
    November 5, 2007

    Post them as new but add an icon that says “From the Archives” or something similar and acts as a button that links back to the original. I also put a little bit of italicized text on top, stating on what date this was first published, etc.

    Dog through my oldest archives here, e.g., first 6 months or so to see how it looks like. PZ also has a nice icon for indicating when it is a repost. A couple of other SciBlings do as well.

  40. #40 Troy Britain
    November 5, 2007

    Hi Greg,

    Your blog here now makes two Compuserve forums alums to be part of Scienceblogs (the other being Ed Brayton). Who would of thought that this interweb thing would have lasted?

    Congrats, and I hope everything is going good for you.

  41. #41 Darmok
    November 5, 2007

    Let us know when you have the web feed working, OK?

  42. #42 greg laden
    November 5, 2007

    I will absolutely make an announcement as soon as the web feed is working!

  43. #43 the real cmf
    November 6, 2007

    thought you could get away from my crass perusals and abusals didja?

  44. #44 Sandra
    November 7, 2007

    Have been lurking at your blog for a while now and I am glad that I have a new place to come and lurk. Love the posts and will try to occasionally comment.

  45. #45 Tim Jones
    November 9, 2007

    Many congratulations, and good luck at your new berth in the blogosphere

  46. #46 Greg Laden
    November 9, 2007

    Troy! Wow, how’s it going, man? Did any of the crazy people survive? Probably. I remember this one guy with one name, like Cher but it wasn’t Cher.

  47. #47 Scholar
    November 11, 2007

    Any relation to Bin? (laden)

  48. #48 greg laden
    November 11, 2007

    I refuse to answer that question.

    Actually, we’ve been trying to reign in our errant cousin for years now. Ever since he joined the CIA he’s been so full of himself.

  49. #49 the real cmf
    November 11, 2007

    the CIA? So, he is a Bush family member!

  50. #50 Gregorio Kelly
    February 4, 2008

    I saw your piece on metabolic efficiency and genome size, and thought you might be interested in a fabulous equation from mathematical biology that, unfortunately for you, devastates your belief that small genome mass is a characteristic of cells with high metabolic efficiency. The equation is a version of Kleiber’s Law used by Dr. Lloyd Demetrius in his 2004 in the Journal of Gerontology (Caloric Restriction, Metabolic Rate, and Entropy”). It is Equation (1). The term ‘metabolic efficiency’ occurs in the exponent of biomass. Although Demetrius defines the term as the ratio of efficiency of redox coupling, with the reduction reactions being associated entirely with ATP synthesis, the term makes more sense if it is taken as the measure of all reduction reactions (including glycogenesis and all protein synthesis – that is – all covalent bonds) necessary for the existence of the biomass. Metabolic Rate is then expressed in watts; biomass is expressed in grams; and metabolic efficiency is expressed as a ratio of amperages, those involved in reduction reactions versus those involved in oxidation reactions.
    If you graph this equation over a wide range of masses, each expressed as a curve, with the X axis as metabolic efficiency (ME) and the Y axis as metabolic rate, you will see that for things as small as cells, or mitochondria, or cell nuclei, high efficiency means extremely low metabolic rate.
    If, upon examination of this graph, this ensemble of curves, you note that high metabolic rates (MR) are to be found amongst things larger than one gram when ME is only over 25%, and that otherwise high MRs are to be found only with things smaller than one gram when ME is less than 25%, you will understand that multicellular creatures and organisms that exist at ME > 25%, have a higher MR than their cells, whose ME is determined by the organism of which they are a part – that is, ME for the organism is the same as ME for its cells.
    MR, measured in watts, is the recharge rate of the biomass necessary for the maintenance of the covalent bonds of its molecules, and is therefore directly related to the longevity of the organism (or cell, or organelle). Cells of organisms that operate at a high ME (25% to 45%) have cell nuclei with very low MR, but this MR can be increased by increasing the biomass of the nuclei. This is done by increasing genome mass, whether or not any of that mass ever shows up as expressed proteins in the organism.
    Let’s look at an example. Flatworms include parasitic flukes, and planarians. Genome mass for flatworms differs by 4 orders of magnitude. Parasitic flukes are embedded in their food source. This means the denominator of the ratio ME is large compared to the numerator, and the nuclei of the fluke’s cells therefore have a higher MR than those of planarians. They are not pressured to increase mass to increase MR at a low ME. With planarians, on the other hand, food is less readily available. Their ME is higher because the denominator of ME is smaller. This means that the nuclei of the cells of planarians can be increased only by increasing genome mass.
    Genome mass is a function of the operational ME of the organism of which they are a part. Genome mass in plants is greater than it is for all mammals. For achaea and protozoa that originated around submarine volcanic vents, genome mass is very small because ME is very small. Only through increased genome mass could organisms function at the surface where food/energy availability was less assured (except in parasites).
    The math is beautiful in its modeling of the bioenergetic basis of biological organization, math which models evolution as primarily about metabolism, and only secondarily about genetics. Check it out.

  51. #51 Greg Laden
    February 5, 2008


    I’m going to have TR Gregory come over here and kick your butt…

    But seriously, that is actually very interseting. I should note that the idea of cell size and Metabolic rate (not efficiency) is not my idea.

    I’t 5 AM, I’m on my first cup of coffee, and heading out the door to go to a conference in a few minutes. I’ll re-read your comment later. For now let me ask, in case you get to see this:

    How does this argument accord with various specific ideas as to why cell size matters?

    An embedded parasite is still in competition with its host and reproduces. Can we really use it’s host to measure *it* … although it is a fun idea for certain purposes. (like mobility!)



  52. #52 mexican
    February 8, 2008

    suck my dick i mean seriously i just want to sell my fucking soul i dont wanna buy sum shit and make a circle on the ground and you now light some candals and to some tridition shit

  53. #53 the tru mexican
    February 8, 2008

    i just wannna sell my god damn soul yea bastard !!!

    let me sell my fucking soul !!

  54. #54 cole
    February 8, 2008

    i love to suck fat guys dick yummmmmmmmm

  55. #55 cassy
    February 8, 2008

    hi mom i wanna give a shout out to my dogs(as in thoes 4 legged peices of shit

  56. #56 chuck young=faggot
    February 8, 2008

    i sold my soul to the devil for a brain

  57. #57 Suzanne
    June 13, 2008

    So, where’s the freaky frogs video? I’m glad you are happy on your new site, but I’m really just interested in learning more about frogs. Do you think the chytid fungus is why tadpoles are no longer sold commercially?