The Loom

Archives for January, 2006

Crocodiles and Sentence Diagrams

What do they have in common? Ask my brother.

Plagiarizing Dinosaurs

I’ve got an article in tomrrow’s New York Times about the discovery of a remarkable case of convergence: an ancient relative of today’s crocodiles and alligators that evolved a dinosaur’s body–80 million before the dinosaurs evolved it. Here’s the paper. Update, 1/26 7 am: Here’s Seth Sean Murtha’s nice sketch of Effigia okeeffeae. A bigger…


My review of the Darwin show at the American Museum of Natural History is in the new issue of Discover. You can read the full text here.

The Return of the Puppet Masters

Are brain parasites altering the personalities of three billion people? The question emerged a few years ago, and it shows no signs of going away. I first encountered this idea while working on my book Parasite Rex. I was investigating the remarkable ability parasites have to manipulate the behavior of their hosts. The lancet fluke…

Comment Jam

My apologies for the comment freeze over the past couple days. I’ve been away and have been distracted with catching up with other business. It should get resolved soon. You can always reach me directly at blog at carlzimmer dot com.

Science Blog Convergence

I’ve just been rejiggering my RSS to pick up all the blogs that have come together at Science Blogs. Many of my favorites, like Chris Mooney and PZ Myers, plus ones new to me. As if I didn’t have enough ways to burn up my time…

A Complicated Death

Last year was the hottest on record, or the second hottest, depending on the records climatologists look at. The planet has warmed .8 degrees C over the past 150 years, and scientists are generally agreed that greenhouse gases have played a major part in that warming. They also agree that the warming will continue in…

They Just Keep Piling On

Governor Ernie Fletcher of Kentucky uses his State of the Commonwealth speech last night to plug intelligent design: As I close, let me recognize Kentucky’s veterans. You have served to protect our liberty and the freedom that spurs our quality of life in this nation. Please know that this administration is committed to supporting you.…

Updated Cat Evolution

I’ve updated yesterday’s cat evolution post with some tough comments from an expert on cat fossils. Check it out.

Rick Perry’s on board! And no postmodern vagueness for him. He’s here to tell us that intelligent design is a “valid scientific theory.” That’s right, governor. Just check out all the work on intelligent design going on in the biology department at your state’s fine university. Um…wait…it’s there somewhere. Just let me figure out how…