The Loom

X-Men may be closer than you think | CNET

I suspect all science writers have had the unhappy experience sooner or later of busting their butts to translate tough science into clear writing, only to have a headline writer top it off with a load of nonsense.

For more on the unhappy collision between Darwin and X-men see Chris Mooney here.

(Fraternal hat tip)


  1. #1 Paul Riddell
    May 3, 2006

    And how much do you want to bet that the headline writer was pushed by some editor who wanted to make some idiot tie-in to the next X-Men movie? (Sorry: long experience with moron newspaper editors leaves me twitchy.)

  2. #2 cats
    May 4, 2006

    That’s not the worst, of course. I have seen some much more ridiculous ones.

  3. #3 Markk
    May 5, 2006

    While I really like Chris Mooney’s blog that article bugged me.
    I know little about Steven J Gould personally, except he wrote some fun essays in Natural History. Mooney blames Gould for a viewpoint that Mooney himself, in the very article, shows Gould did NOT hold, and specifically quotes him as denying. It came across as if Mooney got paid to rip Gould.

  4. #4 Ian Rennie
    May 10, 2006

    Funnily enough, I’ve always thought of X-Men and other superhero comics as good examples of what it would be like to live in a creationist universe. Sudden appearance of new and completely different creatures, vast leaps in genetic information in a single generation, an idea of “direction” in the development of species, all creationist ideas. Of course, that’s because superhero universes, like all fictional worlds, actually do have creators.

  5. #5 Bob C
    May 10, 2006

    Mooney is a good writer, I enjoy reading his stuff. But in the article, he writes “… the vast majority of mutations tend to be very harmful to organisms.” Aren’t neutral mutations far more common than harmful or beneficial ones?

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