Stranger Fruit

Archives for March, 2009

More Dawkins in Oklahoma

The Dawkins @ Oklahoma debacle continues. As Greg Lukianoff correctly notes: Think about it: If every time a student or faculty member invited, say, Rick Warren to speak on campus, they knew they would be subjected to a thorough and time-consuming investigation by state officials, you can all but guarantee that schools across the country…

Darren Naish brings an interesting paper to our attention: a claim that over 400 new mammal species have been discovered since 1993. While 60% of these were formerly classified within another species (i.e. were cryptic species), the remainder are apparently brand-spanking-new. Wander on over to Darren’s post for further details and discussion. The paper in…

Nicholas Hughes

Nicholas Hughes was an evolutionary ecologist specializing in salmonids at the University of Alaska (Fairbanks). He was also the son of poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. He killed himself by hanging yesterday after a bout with depression. He was 47. Times of London obit is here. (HT to TR Hummer)

Unchallengable Orthodoxies

I spent last Thursday and Friday at the Unchallengeable Orthodoxies conference hosted by the ASU Sandra Day O’Connor Law School in conjunction with the University of Cambridge. Lots of interesting discussion on academic freedom, scientific practice and suchlike. I presented a 20 minute case study on why I felt that evolution was not an unchallengeable…

Two weeks on …

I’ve been using my Macbook for two week now and am very comfortable with it. While I’d never become a rabid Apple fanboi, this comment by Microsoft’s Steve Ballmer strikes me a simply assinine: “Apple gained about one point, but now I think the tide has really turned back the other direction. The economy is…

The DI-inspired “Academic Freedom/Strengths & Weaknesses” bill that was in committee in New Mexico has failed to get a hearing before close of session and has thus expired. Dave Thomas has more over at PT. The state of play for 2009 must be depressing for the DI Mississippi – dead in committee Oklahoma – dead…

Friday Felid #12

Colocolo, Leopardus colocolo Molina 1782 The next felid up should have been L. braccatus Cope 1889. Unfortunately I have was unable to find a good picture of the species. In any case, until recently, it was held to be a subspecies of the colocolo. The Colocolo is a small cat, only weighing 3 to 7…

More McCain Asshattery

As some here know, I have a daughter. If some idiot (like, for example, Laura Ingraham) made a comment about her, I’d stand up for her. That’s what fathers do – especially if that comment had something to do about your daughter’s body. Apparently this is not the case with John McCain. Quoting ThinkProgress: Today,…

John Wilkins has informed me that Marjorie Grene, the noted historian and philosopher of biology, died of cancer yesterday. I was just using her wonderful The Philosophy of Biology: An Episodic History yesterday while preparing a class.

High Resolution Map of Science

See here for methodology and larger version.