Pharyngula

Archives for January, 2006

Life is chemistry

Sometimes creationists say things like, “Evolution doesn’t explain the origins of life!” The common reply is that that’s the domain of abiogenesis, not evolution, with the implied suggestion that the creationist should go away and quit bugging us. That’s a cop-out. I’m going to be somewhat heretical, and suggest that abiogenesis as the study of…

Daniel Dennett has this new book out, Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon (amzn/b&n/abe/pwll), and I don’t know that I want to read it. It was just reviewed by Michael Shermer in Science, and my general feeling was an uncomfortable vibration, liking some of what they said, but feeling at the same time…

Happy Birthday, RSR

Everyone sing their birthday wishes to Red State Rabble, who is also optimistically looking forward to an uprising by the moderates of Kansas in the coming year.

Amsterdam?

Why not me? My father’s side of the family was part Dutch, and my daughter’s name, Skatje, is apparently a term of endearment over there, so I am eminently qualified. Oh, well. They’d probably all misspell my name with an extra “j”, anyway.

This will blow your mind.

On our way to Gilead

My small town isn’t as bad as this, I’m happy to say. “Where would the condoms be?” I asked with total sincerity and seriousness—I am an adult after all. “We don’t have condoms.” “You’re a pharmacy without condoms?” “Well,” she scoffs, “that’s not exactly the kind of behavior we want to promote now, is it?”

More calls for submissions

I got a couple more requests to drum up interest in up-and-coming carnivals. The Dharma Bums are hosting the next I and the Bird carnival, so if invertebrates aren’t your bag, but highly derived tetrapods with elaborate keratinaceous external insulating coats are, send them a link. If even that isn’t sufficiently narrow in scope for…

A survey of British beliefs about the origin and development of life had the following results: 22% chose creationism 17% opted for intelligent design 48% selected evolution theory the rest did not know. Or how about this result? Here’s what the people in the land of David Attenborough would like to see taught in school:…

Giant octopus attacks!

Here’s a nifty video (mpg) of an octopus confronting an ROV working off Vancouver Island. The poor thing was just trying to crush and eat an interloper (or perhaps disassemble it for spare parts to use in its high-tech scheme to take over the world), and the ROV operator uses its thrusters to fling debris…

Call for science submissions

This coming week will be a great one for science carnivals. First up is the Circus of the Spineless which will appear on Pharyngula on Sunday—if you’ve written anything about invertebrates in the past month, send the link to pzmyers@pharyngula.org by Saturday evening. The second big event is the next edition of the Tangled Bank,…