The Loom

Archives for December, 2005

Stumbling On Through the Blogosphere

Wandering around Amazon.com a couple weeks ago, I discovered that they are letting authors blog. It didn’t take long for me to set one up here. But once I had set it up, it occurred to me I wasn’t sure what exactly I should write for it. I then belatedly discovered this article and some…

Why is it that politicians who say they want to strengthen science teaching standards can sound so post-modern about science? Two examples: 1. John McCain grooving with the kids on MTV about evolution: “I see no reason why students should not be exposed to all theories, recognizing that Darwin’s theory’s certainly one that is generally…

The Other Panda’s Thumb

If you could travel back to Spain about ten million years ago, you’d have no end of animals to watch, from apes to bear-dogs to saber-tooth tigers. With so many creatures jockeying for your attention (and perhaps chasing you down for lunch), you might well miss the creature shown here. Simocyon batalleri was roughly the…

Semiotics of a Leaf–The Dope

In October I wrote about the latest ideas about the evolution of autumn colors. The paper is now out.

When Judge John E. Jones III issued his decision in the Dover creationism trial on Tuesday, I downloaded the document with a vague sense of dread. It wasn’t just that the decision was 139 pages long. I knew that Judge Jones had ruled that teaching intelligent design was unconstitutional, but I was worried that he…

Tree or Trellis–The Dope

For the information hounds out there, Alan Templeton’s paper, “Haplotype Trees and Modern Human Origins,” on which I based my previous post is now published.

Dover: ID is out!

Judge Rules Against ‘Intelligent Design’ Initial reaction: what a relief. Once I have a chance to read the decision, I’ll have something vaguely more insightful to say… Update: Oy. The decision turns out to be 139 pages. PDF here. Update, 11:30 am: Okay, I’ve had a chance to give it a quick read, and while…

Blunt talk from L. Lynn Hogue, conservative law professor from Georgia via law.com. Hogue has signed an amicus brief in the Georgia textbook sticker case supporting the removal of the anti-evolution disclaimers. “I’m not religiously sympathetic to anti-evolutionists, who I think are lunatics.” Professor Hogue, please drop a line to the President.

Chimpanzees at Pre-School

There are few things as fascinating to me as the question of how our ancestors evolved from small-brained, tree-dwelling apes. But sometimes it all can feel a bit abstract. After all, we’re talking about things that happened six million years ago. Recently, though, I had a weird experience that brought our evolutionary history smack into…

Tree or Trellis

Over the weekend I was part of a panel at the American Anthropology Association, the topic of which was “Updating Human Evolution.” I got to listen to ten presentations by scientists, each offering a look at how our understanding of our ancestry is changing with new research. While they were all interesting, I was particularly…