Archives for March 30, 2009

Virus hunter Nathan Wolfe is outwitting the next pandemic by staying two steps ahead: discovering deadly new viruses where they first emerge — passing from animals to humans among poor subsistence hunters in Africa — before they claim millions of lives. I would be very interested in your opinion on this.

“Texas has sent a clear message that evolution should be taught as a scientific theory open to critical scrutiny, not as a sacred dogma that can’t be questioned,” said Dr. John West, a senior fellow at the Discovery Institute, a Seattle think tank that argues an intelligent designer created life. Post

Polycarbonate water bottles have received plenty of bad press for releasing potentially toxic compounds into unsuspecting drinkers, but there may be another culprit: everyday plastic packaging. A German study of commercially-available bottled water found contamination by chemicals that mimic natural sex hormones. When the researchers raised snails in the water, they bred with extreme rapidity…

From the NCSE: March 30, 2009 13:00 PDT SCIENCE SETBACK FOR TEXAS SCHOOLS “Somebody’s got to stand up to experts!” cries board chairman Don McLeroy. OAKLAND, CA March 30 After three all-day meetings and a blizzard of amendments and counter-amendments, the Texas Board of Education cast its final vote Friday on state science standards. The…

… If Atheists Ruled The World

Natalie send me this:

Six Bonobos Die in Sanctuary

Six bonobos, a species of chimpanzee, have died from a flu epidemic in a month at the Lola Ya Bonobo in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Ten more have contracted the flu. These are apes in a rehab center, and apparently the flu (we’ll assume for the moment that the diagnosis is accurate, but…

A few weeks ago I heard a story [about a teacher in Oklahoma] … Her students did so well, they won a science competition and were asked to fly somewhere to accept the prize. For many of those students, this would be their first trip on an airplane and their first trip outside of rural…

What you ‘get’ is what you see.

The caption of this photograph at The Guardian says only, “Nowruz celebrations in Afghanistan.” Nowruz is the name of the Iranian New Year, which is celebrated in a number of countries by people of several faiths. The baskets of dried fruits eaten during the holiday provide the only visual connection to the colorful festivities, and…

Richard Dawkins: Unethical?

Dawkins, for example, argues as a scientist that religion is comparable to a mental virus or “meme” that can be explained through evolution, that religious believers are delusional, and that in contrast, atheists are representative of a healthy, independent, and pro-science mind. In making these claims, not only does Dawkins use his authority as the…