Pharyngula

Archives for June, 2012

The curse of the gingers

Red hair. Freckles. Pale skin. Soulless. What good are they? Seriously — I have a red-haired son and brother and cousins, and you’ve got to wonder why evolution has spawned all these strange color variants — there’s no known advantage to ginger-ness, and plenty of disadvantages. The biochemical cause of these differences are known. Pigmentation…

Unbelievable

That creationist rascal Kenwal Hamza is up to his tricks again: he’s convinced the state of Kentucky to invest millions of dollars in his planned theme park, Koran Kountry. The controversial park is the creation of Answers in Koran, LLC, who seek to bring visitors to the “family-friendly attraction that celebrates the truth of the…

Science: It’s a Girl Thing!

The European Commission is trying to get more women involved in science, which is good, except…look at their Science: It’s a Girl Thing campaign. Jesus wept. Serious man sits at microscope. Fashionable, slender girls slink in on ridiculous high heels and vogue to shots of bubbling flasks, splashes of makeup, twirling skirts, and giggling hot…

I may have to steal this talk

I’ve been working up a science talk for the fall — I am going to do a basic review of many the mechanisms other than selection that contribute to evolution for lay audiences. And then I discover that T. Ryan Gregory has already done some of the work for me. Maybe I should just plagiarize…

Given the catastrophic flooding in Minnesota right now, I thought everyone would appreciate a summary of good flowers for the Minnesota floodplain, and a nice picture of a columbine.

Oh, boy — Bobby Jindal’s new program to open up state funds to support all kinds of random nonsense in schools is going to have some interesting (that is, horrifying) effects. They are going to be throwing money at A Beka Books and Bob Jones University texts, and Accelerated Christian Education. What kinds of things…

An unsurprising case of plagiarism

I’ve noticed this before, and I’m sure many of you have, too: you can often take creationist comments, especially when they’re lengthy, run them through a google search, and discover that the were lifted wholly from some other source. If you read the creationist literature for any length of time, it really begins to sound…

Pinker explains Group Selection

I found this very satisfying: Steven Pinker summarizes all the problems with group selection. It’s a substantial essay, but if you just want the gist of it, here’s the conclusion. The idea of Group Selection has a superficial appeal because humans are indisputably adapted to group living and because some groups are indisputably larger, longer-lived,…

Weird pairing

All I want to know is…who instigated this unholy coupling? Was it the dolphin getting kinky? Was it the octopus feeling amorous? Or was it possibly a mutually agreed-upon exploration of new sexual frontiers?