Pharyngula

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One or the other. I can’t make up my mind.

I’d wear it on my lapel, with the nice pocket watch on my vest and my jeweled monocle. I know. I’m a slob. But I could change! I’ve been reading fantasy regency novels, and could get into the style. Carriger has even posted suggestions for improving the stylishness of us uncaring nerds. Also, I’ve been…

The neuroplasticity bait-and-switch

As long as we’re talking about brains this morning, here’s another topic that irritates me: the abuse of the term neuroplasticity. Way, way back in the late 1970s, my first textbook in neuroscience was this one: Marcus Jacobson’s Developmental Neurobiology. (That link is to a more recent edition; the picture is of the blue-and-black cover…

Steven Novella makes an important point: memories are fluid. There’s no VCR in your head, and no tape recorder either, and memories are constructs. You remember the framework (sometimes very poorly) of a past event, and your brain builds a plausible set of details around it. When you picture Christmas at your grandmother’s house when…

A study of students in Israel by Victor Lavy and Edith Sand has discovered a surprising result…or maybe not so surprising to you, but I was rather shocked. Math teachers score girls’ performance lower when they know their identities. In math, the girls outscored the boys in the exam graded anonymously, but the boys outscored…

Friday Cephalopod: Yeeee-haaw!

Look closely at the eel in this picture. Look up around its head. Do you wonder what that odd little blob is? Now go see the animation. All will be clear.

Answers in Genesis has announced today that they are suing the state of Kentucky for withdrawing a tax rebate. To make their case, they have released a long video featuring Ken Ham getting all the answers he wants from a lawyer wearing a greasy muskrat on his head. The reason that Kentucky withdrew the tax…

It’s the same old story

Denialists claiming to be pro-science. Politicians insisting on a balanced treatment. A population ignorant of the science indignantly rejecting a clear and well-established, evidence-based conclusion. I’m not talking about creationism, although it’s exactly the same story. It’s the anti-vax position now. That dishonest weasel, Chris Christie, is now talking about respecting the choice of anti-vax…

Quran apologists are ridiculous

Yet again, another defender of Islam hangs the truth of his holy book on the scientific accuracy of the text. It’s amazing how defensive these fundies get over the possibility that the author was merely transmitting the guesswork of the time, and like any scientific hypothesis, stands a risk of being shown to be wrong…