Pharyngula

Archives for August, 2006

Generating right-left asymmetries

We’re only sorta bilaterally symmetric: superficially, our left and right halves are very similar, but dig down a little deeper, and all kinds of interesting differences appear. Our hearts are larger on the left than the right, our appendix is on the right side, even our brains have significant differences, with the speech centers typically…

Hunters should be allies of conservationists—in the best situations, hunting and wildlife groups have been great advocates of preserving habitat, which is the core issue, I think, in protecting biodiversity. If they’re doing it so they can go in and blow away a few big meaty game animals, well, OK…setting aside that acreage also means…

Talking about me behind my back, eh?

Not that I’m going to complain: I got classified with Fafblog. It sounds like it was a very interesting panel, and I wish I could have been there…even if I hadn’t been mentioned.

The PIG-fest continues

The ongoing dissection of Wells’ The Politically Incorrect Guide to Darwinism and Intelligent Design continues, with two new disembowelments on display. Andrea Bottaro rips up Chapter 9, “The Secret of Life”. In this one, Wells makes the tired old argument that only intelligent agents can create information, therefore informational macromolecules must have been created by…

How do evolutionary novelties arise? The conventional explanation is that the first step is the chance formation of a genetic mutation, which results in a new phenotype, which, if it is favored by selection, may be fixed in a population. No one sensible can seriously argue with this idea—it happens. I’m not going to argue…

If you get this, you’re a geek

It’s the second day of fall classes. I must be a little punch-drunk, what with all the obscure humor going up today, so forgive me.

A motto!

Now if only this were on a bumper sticker…

The apostate kidney

What a strange story: a woman donates one of her kidneys to another woman in need. Later, the recipient leaves the Christian faith. Now the donor wants her organ back. Smith was aghast when she heard of the conversion, and she quickly wrote a letter asking Felks to re-convert to Christianity or return the organ,…

Give Tom Toles a gold star

Chris has his latest, greatest cartoon. It’s correct: you’re either nuts, short-sightedly stupid, or venal to an extreme if you support the Republican party in any way anymore.

This Newsweek article on the latest innovation in stem cell research is infuriating. The author, Michael Gerson, is a Republican hack with no competence in biology, which seems to qualify him to be a serious judge of science to this administration. The issue of stem cells was the first test of the infant Bush administration,…