Pharyngula

Quran apologists are ridiculous

Yet again, another defender of Islam hangs the truth of his holy book on the scientific accuracy of the text. It’s amazing how defensive these fundies get over the possibility that the author was merely transmitting the guesswork of the time, and like any scientific hypothesis, stands a risk of being shown to be wrong…

Cephalopod meeting!

Unfortunately, this event is not on my calendar: the Cephalopod International Advisory Council (CIAC) is meeting 8-14 November in Hakodate, Japan, to discuss recent advances in cephalopod science (pdf). It looks delightful. I’ve always wanted to visit Japan. But alas, all I can do is tell you you should go.

How would you feel if NOAA sent a camera to snoop around your most intimate moments, huh?

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Dan Graur has suggested some changes to the classification of DNA. It’s one more pile of terminology to keep straight, but the distinctions are conceptually useful — I particularly appreciate literal vs. indifferent DNA as subdivisions of functional DNA. The pronouncements of the ENCODE Project Consortium regarding “junk DNA” exposed the need for an evolutionary…

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Braaaaaaains

This is the head of a tapeworm that takes up residence in people’s skulls. You aren’t trying to eat dinner right now, are you?

Would you invest in Answers in Genesis?

Financial information has to be reduced to the simplest possible form for me to follow. Fortunately, a reader, Brian, has been extracting the data from Answers in Genesis’s Form 990 tax information, and this chart tells me what I need to know.

Death to Dollo’s Law!

Hint for science journalists: if the hook to get readers to pay attention to your story is to warn them to sit down because a 19th century “law” of evolution has been shown to be wrong, you’re going to irritate scientists, who will then write rude blog posts sneering at your writing. That’s the case…

Just yesterday, Japanese fishermen caught a 6m long giant squid, and it lived for a few hours before expiring. Here’s a video of the rare beastie swimming about, with shots of the tragic corpse afterwards.