Open Thread

This is the place to bring up any old thing that strikes your fancy. I’m also asking some of the commenters from The Panda’s Thumb to bring their gripes about the ludicrous management of Uncommon Descent, that bastion of Intelligent Design close-mindedness, over here, just because the outrage is spilling over into far too many irrelevant threads.

But don’t let that stop you from mentioning anything else of far more interest than Dembskian dogmatism…


  1. #1 chris
    January 17, 2006

    djlactin, will you marry me?

    As a layman, I think this is sooooo important, and so often overlooked, or not felt to be worth addressing. In the ‘trait X evolved “to” or “for” some reason’ stakes, Dawkins, a “Professor of Public Understanding of Science”, for crying in the beer, is one of the worst offenders, and in “Extended Phenotype” he actually defends this terminology, which is why I threw the book across the room and never finished it.

    Using non-misleading language might appear a bit stuffy and pedantic at first, because, let’s face it, the concepts are counter-intuitive and not like much that happens to us on a day to day basis, but if an effort was made to create a new vocabulary for discussing natural selection on the radio, people would soon get used to it.

    Side issues 1: I believe the dark population of bloody peppered bloody moths was never genetically isolated from the light population, so, while it’s a very interesting case, it isn’t an example of speciation and is vulnerable to attack by any half educated creationist (“This proves nothing!”) Can’t we find a better example to make a cliche of?

    Side issues 2: “a different colleague opined that the origin of humans was an inevitable outcome of evolution”. It wasn’t this silly bugger, was it?

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