Uncategorized

Category archives for Uncategorized

Are Pigs Really Like People?

We hear this all the time. Pig physiology is like people physiology. Pigs and humans have the same immune system, same digestive system, get the same diseases. Pigs are smart like people are smart. Pigs are smarter than dogs. And so on. Ask a faunal expert in archaeology or a human paleoanatomist: Pig teeth are…

In 2008, I was visiting the Nobel Conference held annually at Gustavus Adolphus college in Minnestoa. The conference was on Human Evolution. The college provided space in a large room for people to have their lunch, and while I was having lunch on the first day, I noticed a table off to the side staffed…

How the bird got its beak!

Just a pointer to my latest post on 10,000 Birds exploring recent research in which scientists created a GMO chicken with the normal bird beak replaced with the terrible face of the ancient thunder lizards! Well, not exactly, but sort of. Click here to read all about it!

Transparency vs. Harassment

Michael Halpern, of the Union of Concerned Scientists, and climate scientist Michael Mann have written an editorial for Science, “Transparency and harassment.” Open records laws hold Universities and other public institutions accountable, protecting against biasing influences such as we might see from funding sources. (See: Cry for me Willie Soon). Over the last couple of…

What is scientific consensus?

A group of scientists attending a major conference get together in a bar. They talk, but they agree on nothing because they are critical academics. The server comes along to take the beer order and says, “I noticed you all are constantly arguing. What are you arguing about?” “Sensitivity,” one of them says. “It is…

The funniest thing ever

Just so you know. This is not something where you watch the first minute and get it and go “oh that’s funny” or not and them move on. The plot is complex you must watch it until the very very end or don’t bother. Just sayin’ this because people seem to not do that a…

I once knew a young woman who was in high school and shall remain nameless. One day I picked her up at school to drive her home, and asked how she was doing. “Depressed, actually,” she said. “Why, did something go wrong at school?” “Kinda,” she replied. “The social studies teacher was out today.” “That’s…

Lomborg in Oz

I’ve written here about some of Bjorn Lomborg’s work, generally critical of it. But the Abbot Government in Australia apparently likes what Lomborg is doing well enough to have earmarked $4 million (in some currency or another) to ensconce a version of his academically questionable enterprise right in the middle of Australian academics. I would…

What is H5N2 Avian Influenza? H5N2 is a bird influenza virus that is making news. This mainly affects domestic fowl, and in this sense is not a topic central to 10,000 Birds. But, wild birds are part of the story, and the virus itself has changed and has been known to make wild birds ill.…

The American Biology Teacher has hosted a guest editorial by Glenn Branch and Minda Berbeco of the NCSE. The editorial points out that climate science is under a similar sort of anti-science attack as evolution has been for years, though generally with different (less religious) motivations. Also noted is the problem of fitting climate change…