Pharyngula

Archives for April, 2013

No more Dan Markingsons

A few weeks ago I gave a talk in Seattle in which I pointed out that science is not sufficient to define moral behavior. A substantial part of that talk was a catalog of atrocities, such as the Tuskegee syphilis experiment. I said that in purely scientific terms, that was a good experiment; if the…

Botanical Wednesday: Spring is coming!

At least, that’s what I keep telling myself as yet another snowstorm bears down on us. (source)

The Ice Age in the Bible

Every time I despair at the dreadful nonsense from the Discovery Institute, I can reliably turn to Answers in Genesis and despair harder. They’ve just announced that “after two centuries of research”, they’ve finally determined the dates of the Ice Age. They’ve even announced that they’re going to have a chat on their facebook page…

It’s a frog tadpole with an eye surgically grafted to its trunk! Wait, this is an old story — similar experiments were done at least 20 years ago. You can transplant developing eyes to the tadpole, but the cool thing is that the donor optic nerves will grow into the sensory tracts of the dorsal…

(from the TONMO page on Cephalopod Ethics)

Sorry, I was looking at this Akebia flower, and for some reason I felt a compulsion to count the number of carpels, and I did it out loud in the voice of Sesame Street’s Count. It’s been a long day of proofreading and I’m home all alone, and I think I’m getting punchy. I should…

Learn a little developmental biology

This is a cool video from a textbook publisher (Molecular Biology of the Cell, a very good text) illustrating how Spemann/Mangold’s famous organizer experiment was done. Also cool: those are apparently Edward De Robertis’ hands doing the experiment.

The New York Times has an article on the rise of predatory, fake science journals — these are journals put out by commercial interests with titles that sound vaguely like the real thing, but are not legitimate in any sense of the word. They exist only for the resource that open access publishing also uses,…

This is a very special bird from Arkansas that will become much more common with more oil pipelines running through the middle of the country. Won’t it be great to be able to readily make an entry in your birding book, soon enough?

The ark builders

Apoplexy is such an antique disease. I’d hate to die of it, just because is so unfashionable, but every time I read one of these stories about Answers In Genesis, I feel an attack coming on. Yeah, they’re working on building a replica of Noah’s Ark. It’s all part of their plan for defrauding the…