Pharyngula

Archives for June, 2007

Peggy has an excellent discusion of the peculiar attitudes towards biology held by physicists and engineers, which includes this wonderful complaint by Jack Cohen: In summer 2002, I was at the Cheltenham Festival of Science. Lots of biologists presenting, for sure. But… one very popular event was a presentation by three famous astronomers: ‘Is There…

PZ is in Seattle

Yes, I am away for this week — I’m off wearing flannel, listening to grunge, and drinking coffee as I chop down trees in the rain (did I miss any stereotypes?). Updates to Pharyngula will still happen, though, so don’t abandon me completely. They will be more sporadic, but when they do happen, they will…

I get email

I have to go catch a plane to Seattle, so I’ll leave you all with a little exercise. This random bit of creationist email just sailed in over the transom—it’s simple and to the point, and isn’t even afflicted with the usual random font stylings I get. It’s still just as kooky in its substance,…

What properties should we expect from an evolved system rather than a designed one? Complexity is one, another is surprises. We should see features that baffle us and that don’t make sense from a simply functional and logical standpoint. That’s also exactly what we see in systems designed by processes of artificial evolution. Adrian Thompson…

Carnivalia and an open thread

Carnivals! We’re hawking Carnivals! Carnival of Mathematics XI Friday Ark #145 I and the Bird #52 The next Tangled Bank will be held on Wednesday, the 4th of July, at Aardvarchaeology. Send those patriotic, all-American links in to the Swedish guy, to me, or to host@tangledbank.net. Beyond that, this is an open thread. Say something…

A rather unsavory character, Dr Johannes Lerle, was jailed in Germany for violating their laws against neo-Nazism and Holocaust denial. I discussed this earlier this week, and as Gerard Harbison and Andrew Brown have recently pointed out, he was not a very nice man at all…a bit of a kook, really.

Yecke update

You may recall that I’d mentioned how Cheri Yecke was hiring a company called “reputationdefender” to expunge unflattering references from the net. One of her targets was Wesley Elsberry, who had reported that she was in favor of allowing local school districts to elect to teach creationism (this is not permissible in Minnesota). She claims…

I must protest!

The ScienceBlogs buzz today is on Atheism and Civil Rights, and the opening blurb gets it wrong. Richard Dawkins and other contemporary atheists have argued recently that America’s faithless are subject to discrimination akin to that faced by women, racial minorities, and homosexuals. But is atheism better understood as a civil rights issue, or a…

I guess y’all are having a drought, and your farmers are worried. I sympathize, and I do hope you get some good healthy summer storms soon. But, well, your governor is a dufus. With the state’s weather forecasters not delivering much-needed rain, Gov. Bob Riley on Thursday turned to a higher power. The governor issued…

The Nevada System of Higher Education wants to arm their faculty. That’s insane. We have rare instances of students going on a shooting spree; I don’t see how turning the classroom into a firefight is going to stop that, and I also have a suspicion that any homicidal maniacs will henceforth simply put “shoot the…