Pharyngula

Archives for December, 2010

The 9th day of beer

All alone on New Year’s Eve while the wife is away…so somehow my hand was drawn to the hot babe on the label of Acme Pale Ale.

What is it with these loons? They’ve got nothing, but they’re continually telling us what they could accomplish, if only they…what? I don’t know. The latest trend in kook blogs is to tell us all the things that would happen if we only accepted their weird premises. Here, for example, is Terry Hurlbut, explaining what…

The Most Influential Female Atheist of 2010

Jen McCreight is running an online poll to determine the most influential female atheist of the year. Uh-oh. You’d think she’d learn. But given that the results will be utterly meaningless, it’s still useful — there’s quite a long list of good XX godless folk, and commenters keep mentioning more that were left out. Go…

Happy Anniversary to Gary Farber

He has kept his blog Amygdala going for 9 years now. I have to keep Pharyngula up and running for two more years to catch up with him! (Oh, wait, then he’ll have been going for 11 years…dang.)

Why there are no missing links

This topic came up earlier this week: creationists are always yammering about the “missing link” and how it’s missing and therefore evolution is unsupported by the evidence. It’s total nonsense, since evolution doesn’t predict a “missing link”, but it seemed worthwhile to explain why, since there was a recent publication of some exciting data that…

Sorry, gang, I know you were all counting on coming out to cheer me up in my lonely isolation — my wife is away, visiting relatives — but there was that nasty wet storm yesterday, and I just spent a couple of hours digging out the driveway and sidewalks from that (-20°C! A four foot…

(via X-Ray Mag)

The 10th day of beer

The weather is abominable. We started out the day with thick, slushy, wet clumps of snow coming down with rain, and now we’ve got fierce winds and an icy fog of blowing blizzardy stuff everywhere. So I fixed myself a dinner of baked salmon and washed it down with Fire Rock Pale Ale. If I…

Optogenetics!

The journal Nature has selected optogenetics as its “Method of the Year”, and it certainly is cool. But what really impressed me is this video, which explains the technique. It doesn’t talk down to the viewer, it doesn’t overhype, it doesn’t rely on telling you how it will cure cancer (it doesn’t), it just explains…

Science is not dead

People keep sending me this link to an article by Jonah Lehrer in the New Yorker: The Decline Effect and the Scientific Method, which has the subheadings of “The Truth Wears Off” and “Is there something wrong with the scientific method?” Some of my correspondents sound rather distraught, like they’re concerned that science is breaking…