Pharyngula

Archives for December, 2010

The 12th day of beer

A slightly late Christmas present arrived on my doorstep this afternoon: Søren from Denmark had a case of 12 interesting beers sent to me. Thank you! Now, of course, I must drink them all. Immediately. No, wait, that would be unwise. I shall drink one a night until they are gone. Tonight, I am sipping…

How to afford a big sloppy genome

My direct experience with prokaryotes is sadly limited — while our entire lives and environment are profoundly shaped by the activity of bacteria, we rarely actually see the little guys. The closest I’ve come was some years ago, when I was doing work on grasshopper embryos, and sterile technique was a pressing concern. The work…

Apparitions and distractions

Lawrence Murphy was an evil man. He was a Wisconsin priest who molested over 200 boys, and just to make the story particularly deplorable, they were deaf children. Preying on the weakest and most vulnerable was apparently his life’s mission. Furthermore, this was the scandalous case that was reported directly to then Cardinal Ratzinger in…

Why, that poll is almost virginal!

Atheist Ireland is looking to determine the most fervent believer of the year with an online poll (frivolous topic, frivolous poll), and I was astounded to discover it had hardly been touched. It was an almost virginal poll. The really, truly True Believer™ of the YEAR 2010 And the winner of 2010 is… Islamic breast…

BBC gives child rape apologist air time

The Pope had a Christmas message for the world this year: we should forgive Catholic priests for raping children because everyone else was doing it. He invented a peculiar history that bears no resemblance to the late 20th century I lived in. “In the 1970s, paedophilia was theorised as something fully in conformity with man…

Have you still got your Christmas tree up?

Then it’s not too late to get this fabulous ornament for it: Even if you don’t have a Christmas tree ever or any more, you can still help out with the James Randi Educational Foundation’s fundraising campaign. The JREF has been awarding grants to teachers and students to promote critical thinking, provides lesson plans and…

The Prophet has changed in the past few centuries. Don’t be confused, Pharynguthreadlians, omnipotent beings have their whims. (Current totals: 11,578 entries with 1,226,199 comments.)

I get email

Joe wrote me a letter because he doesn’t think my arguments against creationism are very good. Unfortunately, his arguments are…well, pretty much the standard inconsistent and incoherent tripe I always get from creationists. But at least Joe has an excuse: he’s only 12. By the way, his email actually was in Comic Sans. Part of…

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Bees!

Mary listened to Science Friday on Christmas Eve, and now she’s all about the bees.

When last we left this subject, I had pointed out that the phenomenon of embryonic similarity within a phylum was real, and that the creationists were in a state of dishonest denial, arguing with archaic interpretations while trying to pretend the observations were false. I also explained that constraints on morphology during development were complex,…