Pharyngula

Archives for February, 2012

This is a plant germinated from 32,000 year old tissue recovered from permafrost. I’ll take their word for it, but I’d like to see some ID. (via NatGeo) (Also on FtB)

Apparently, someone decided 27 February-4 March is Acupuncture Awareness Week. I’m happy to help out. You should be aware that acupuncture is total bollocks. There. Is that enough? No, it is not. We must also crash a stupid online poll. Devastate it, please. It’s on a site run by dishonest quacks, so I think we…

(via NatGeo) (Also on FtB)

Friday Cephalopod: Squid in flight

It had to by flying squid today, because of this story in Nature about squid locomotor energetics. Scientists measured the velocities of flying squid in air, and noted that they can move five times faster in a less dense/viscous medium (as we say in our technical discussions of this issue…no duh.) So they are proposing…

Both Phil Plait and Sean Carroll are tentatively reporting that they may have an explanation for the recent anomalous report of neutrinos traveling faster than light: it may have been a case of a faulty connection in a timing circuit. If that bears out, it may be a bit embarrassing. But it does suggest an…

I was going to talk about a cool recent paper that described the evolution of novelties by way of modifying modular gene networks, but I started scribbling it up and realized that I was constantly backtracking to explain some fundamental concepts, so I stopped. I was concerned because one of the most common sources of…

An anti-science cartoonist

AAAAAAAAAARGH! Someone is wrong on the internet, and I don’t know whether to scream or to facepalm! (I tried doing both at once, but then it just comes out as a muffled gargle.) Please go look at this creationist comic called “How Darwin Got It Wrong”. It’s typical creationist garbage, and practically every panel is…

Botanical Wednesday: a disquieting visage

(Also on FtB)

Not as much fun as it sounds

This is Hazel Jones. She has two vaginas. She has a condition called Uterus Didelphys. Variations of this condition aren’t uncommon, occurring once in a few thousand births. The reproductive tract develops from paired tubes that fuse prenatally, and sometimes the fusion is incomplete, producing a range of arrangements illustrated below. Would you believe a…

The problem with evo devo

Last week, I gave a talk at UNLV titled “A counter-revolutionary history of evo devo”, and I’m afraid I was a little bit heretical. I criticized my favorite discipline. I felt guilty the whole time, but I think it’s a good idea to occasionally step back and think about where we’re going and where we…