The Loom

Archives for November, 2003

The Hypothetical Fungus

A lot of work has gone into reconstructing an entire human being in a computer. Computer scientists put in the precise dimensions of a person’s body, factor in biomechanics, mimic facial expressions and so on. This work gets huge amounts of hype in the press, but for all the effort and all the attention, the…

Giving skepticism a bad name

Chris Mooney, CalPundit, Signal+Noise and others have been doing a great job of keeping track of the woeful textbook battles down in Texas. The Board of Education there has been arguing over how evolution should be presented in the textbooks they’re about to buy for the state’s high school students. The Discovery Institute, the headquarters…

More fun with Gregg

The other day I (among others) came down on Gregg Easterbrook for his poor grasp of science. Finding myself procrastinating today, I wandered over to his blog and had yet another good laugh. In a post today, he actually displays some interest in evolutionary biology. After discussing some work suggesting that wine might be able…

Junkburst

My hotel here in Wisconsin has a great high-speed connection and I have some downtime, and so I’ll post on a really interesting paper that just came out that may tell us a lot about how we got so complex. When I say “we,” I’m speaking very broadly. Humans, other mammals, reptiles, birds, amphibian, and…

Chimps in the land of cheese

I’ll be off blogging duty for a couple days while I head out to Wisconsin to give a couple talks at UW. I’ll be talking about what chimp DNA can tell us about ourselves. I wrote about the topic last year for Natural History, but I’ll be focusing on some newer work that has come…