Pharyngula

Archives for August, 2013

The bulk of an octopus’s nervous system is not in its brain, but its arms. So scientists have studied isolated octopus arms and found that they retain substantial responsiveness to the environment. It’s depressing. I love eating big molluscs, but I’ve had to cut them out of my diet because there is just too much…

Cloning brains with Science

While we’ve been waiting and waiting for the physicists to get their act together and deliver on Mr Fusion home energy sources and flying cars, the biologists have been making great progress on the kinds of things that turn biologists on. The latest development: growing tiny little human brains in a bucket. Only let’s not…

Friday Cephalopod: Newborn nautilus

There’s more! A whole series of photos of nautilus hatching from the Birch Aquarium at Scripps!

Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Predictable

OK, that’s enough. The proprietor of the Monday Metazoan keeps lurching over to big furries — where are my clackety arachnids? My slimy molluscs? My exotic weird phyla? It’s always these mammals, like just now this poor, tiny newsphoto of …AWWW, IT’S A BABY RHINO…

The name “Flamboyant Cuttlefish” is perfect, and if you watch the video you’ll see even better why they deserve to strut. Hmm, maybe I should retroactively get my kids’ names changed to “Flamboyant Myers”. Or at least their middle names. It’s got to have an effect.

Jaclyn Glenn is smarter than Ray Comfort

OK, that’s not saying much. Lots smarter. Here she takes apart his stupid video.

In science, there’s data, and there’s interpretation. It’s really easy to collect data (usually), but interpretation is the hard part — it requires an understanding of context and theory, and an appreciation of the real complexity of the problem. It’s tempting to simplify all your models — the spherical cow problem — but you also…

Friday Cephalopod: Octopus in a jar

Scientology’s views on evolution

I had a conversation with Tony Ortega about L. Ron Hubbard’s book, A History of Man: Antediluvian Technology. He is the author of a blog, Tony Ortega on Scientology, and he had cruelly sent me a copy Hubbard’s book specifically to inflame my already enlarged outrage gland. The post there emphasizes everything Hubbard got wrong…