The Loom

Archives for February, 2004

Networks Under Construction

As biologists figure out more about how life is, they can then figure out how it got to be that way. First there were genes. Mendel noticed that somehow the wrinkles on wrinkled peas could be transmitted down through the generations, even if some of those generations had no wrinkles at all. It turned out…

Return of the Howlers

Apologies for the long radio silence. Travelling and the obligatory pre-travelling frenzy shut down the blogging assembly line for a couple weeks. Having wrapped up my west-coast jaunt (thanks to the great crowd that came out for the CSPAN taping at Stanford), I can write a bit about some of the new science that has…

West Coast Soul, or How to Get on TV

If you live in the Bay Area, please join me noon on Monday, February 23, at Stanford University for a talk about Soul Made Flesh. (Here are all the details.) The talk is sponsored by the Stanford University Center for Biomedical Ethics and the Stanford Brain Research Institute. It’s gratifying that such great organizations that…

My Darwinian Daughters

My wife and I have two lovely daughters: Charlotte is two and a half, and Veronica is seven weeks. And we are tired. We think of ourselves as being on the losing end of a tag-team wrestling match–particularly at about seven in the morning, after Veronica has gone through a few hours of pre-dawn nursing,…

Flesh Air

I’ll be on Fresh Air with Terry Gross today, talking about Soul Made Flesh. If you miss it today, it will be archived at the show’s web site.

Flower Power

“Abominable” is not the sort of word that most people may associate with flowers, but for Darwin, it was a perfect fit. He saw life on Earth today as the result of millions of years of victories and defeats in the evolutionary arena. Flowering plants, by that reasoning, were among the greatest champions of all.…

A while back I had the pleasure to join a team of scientists and teachers to build web site that explains evolution. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the Howard Hughes Medical Foundation, it charts the history of evolutionary thought (both before and after Darwin), and lays out the different lines of supporting evidence…

The Monkeys Win

Georgia’s State Schools superintendent Kathy Cox has backed down from her ban on the word evolution. While this is excellent news, Georgia is still left with an incompetent superintendent. For one thing, she thinks Intelligent Design is an acceptable theory to teach in schools. For another, she justified removing the word evolution from state science…

“Conservative board members said they wanted to make sure that schools teach sound science, arguing that evolution is a flawed theory that cannot be proven.” –“In Kansas, key decision on teaching evolution” Associated Press, August 12, 1999. If the new fad of “sound science” takes hold in Washington, I bet we’ll see creationists taking it…

Unsound unscience

Check out Chris Mooney’s post on the latest move in Washington to gut government science, which cloaks itself in bogus terms like “sound science.” This dreadful campaign probably won’t get much attention in the national media, but its effects–on conservation, climate change policy, and so on–could be profoundly bad.