evolution

The Scientific Activist

Category archives for evolution

What else is new? Via Greg Laden comes news that creationists are once again mucking about with Texas’ education standards. The National Center for Science Education (NCSE) explains just what’s at stake: A number of amendments to the science TEKS were passed at the January 2009 meeting. Here is a brief analysis of these amendments,…

Recently, I wrote about how raising the specter of “Darwinism” as a reason for people’s lack of acceptance of evolution is totally irrelevant. But, Faith in Honest Doubt now has a much more entertaining (and quantitative) metaphorical smack down of the idea. Check it out.

Evolution is an established scientific idea, the unifying theme of biology, and an important field of study. “Darwinism”, on the other hand, is a term used misleadingly by creationists to attack ideas they can’t counter on fact alone and misguidedly by journalists unwittingly assisting this process. With that in mind, the recent essay by Carl…

E. coli, We Hardly Knew You

Microcosm: E. Coli and the New Science of Life by Carl Zimmer Pantheon: 2008, 256 pages. Buy now! (Amazon) I come face-to-face with Escherichia coli every day. In a sense, we all do–as billions of E. coli inhabit every individual’s intestines. But for me, E. coli is a protein factory. I’m a structural biologist, and…

I guess this just goes to show how out of touch I am with things going on in Texas after being gone for almost three years. I didn’t know until I saw it on a ScienceBlogs homepage buzz that Chris Comer–who was forced out of her job as the Texas Education Agency’s director of science…

Dear Texas, Let me first of all say that despite our differences, I still consider you my home, even if I only get to visit a couple of times a year these days. Friends, family, football: you have it all for me. And, as I watched it get dark here in Oxford around 4 pm…

If we learned anything from the Atlas of Creation, it’s that we can refute any evidence, regardless of how scientifically sound it is, just by putting a red X across it and writing “FALSE”. Jeremiah McNichols reflects on this at his blog Think In Pictures… and then he takes it one step further. McNichols is…

Yesterday, I mentioned the Atlas of Creation a book by Islamic creationist Adnan Oktar (a.k.a. Harun Yahya) sent unsolicited to scientists around the world. My boss also received a copy a few months ago, and yesterday he dug up the enormous volume for me. My first impression was that it was even larger and more…

A few months ago, my boss (a professor of structural biology at the University of Oxford) received a strange package in the mail, unsolicited. It contained a rather large and colorful book that was quite stunning in appearance. Inside, though, spread across hundreds of color-illustrated pages, was one man’s case for creationism: an absurd, unconvincing,…

Living successfully with other people demands sacrifice. From going out of your way to pick your little brother up from school to paying taxes toward government health care programs, there is an expectation in any society that its members will sacrifice some personal gain for the greater good. This cooperation, in turn, contributes to a…