Pharyngula

Archives for July, 2012

Looking for #2

I would have thought that it was a relief, a minor bit of unconcern, that Mitt Romney nominally supports evolution (he’s one of those waffly theistic evolutionists, so he doesn’t really…but at least he wouldn’t be brazenly contradicting all of the evidence). But there’s a potential problem looming: who will he pick for vice president?…

I do all my work at a desk — I’m not hauling mud! — and I don’t look this good. (via Entomolog)

Another conversion story

Richard Muller used to be a doubter — he didn’t think global warming was a concern, and he didn’t think people were responsible for it. Now he has changed his mind, and he explains why. Call me a converted skeptic. Three years ago I identified problems in previous climate studies that, in my mind, threw…

Friday Cephalopod: Squid of Color

(It’s from the California Seafood Council, but let’s not hold that against them)

What strange beast is this?

The Institute for Creation Research is going on and on again about Haeckel and gill slits. It gets tiresome; I’ve explained so many times that Haeckel’s theory was wrong and he skewed his drawings to fit his model, but that it really is true that human embryos have pharyngeal arches that are modified in a…

Alt Med does harm

I always hear this argument that, well, maybe those herbs and enemas don’t help that much, but they don’t hurt, and they make people feel better, so get off alternative medicine’s back. Right. Because distractions from real medicine don’t affect the legitimate work being done. You might want to read this criticism of the National…

Not just Sally Ride

I had never heard of the Women in Space Program before, but apparently, after the Soviets sent Valentina Tereshkova into space, there was actually an effort to train American women as astronauts. The participants of the Women in Space Program experienced tremendous success. “Nineteen women enrolled in WISP, undergoing the same grueling tests administered to…

A poll on kitty experimentation

There is an extremely common sort of experiment to understand plasticity of the developing brain. These are important experiments to understand an important phenomenon: the brain does not simply unfold ineluctably to produce a fully functional organ, but actually interacts constantly with its environment to build a functioning organ that is matched to the world…

The NY Times is touting a computer simulation of Mycoplasma genitalium, the proud possesor of the simplest known genome. It’s a rather weird article because of the combination of hype, peculiar emphases, and cluelessness about what a simulation entails, and it bugged me. It is not a complete simulation — I don’t even know what…

Creationist FUD refuted

If you’re looking for a meaty weekend read, look no further than Paul McBride’s thorough dismantling of Science and Human Origins, the new bad book from the Discovery Institute, by Gauger, Axe, and Luskin. It’s in 6 parts, taking on each chapter one by one: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, a prediction about what…