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Stranger Fruit

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On #amazonfail

Janet has some extensive thoughts about the shenanigans over at Amazon.com. Do wander over and have a read. Suffice it to say, I agree with her and will be withholding any business until all of this has been cleared up to my satisfaction.

This being the bicentenary of Darwin?s birth – and the 150th anniversary of the publication of his masterwork – many folks seem to have the goal of reading Origin for the first time. Generally speaking the first edition of 1859 (or the second of 1860) is taken as the best edition to begin with –…

Lying about reading

Apparently 65% of Britons have lied about reading certain books in an effort to impress others. The top ten books not read but claimed to have been read were: 1984 – George Orwell (42 percent) War and Peace – Leo Tolstoy (31) Ulysses – James Joyce (25) The Bible (24) Madame Bovary – Gustave Flaubert…

Brian Metscher has reviewed the ID ?supplementary textbook? Explore Evolution for the journal Evolution & Development. Metscher describes the work as 159 glossy pages of color-illustrated creationist nostalgia All the old favorites are here ? fossils saying no, all the Icons, flightless Ubx flies, irreducible flagella, even that irritating homology-is-circular thing. There are no…

[Book] Davenport’s Dream

It is always cute when the anti-evolutionists (in all their guises) try to do history; witness here, for example. Veteran observers are not surprised to find them trying to warp history (see here, here, here & here for that). Nowhere is this warping more evident than in how DI-hacks such as John West & Richard…

[Book] Dry Storeroom No. 1

I’ve had the pleasure of working behind the scenes in a number of natural history museums. While a grad student, I had an office in the Natural History Museum in Dublin, spent a good deal of time every year in the collections of the Royal Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, and a month at the…

John hasn’t read Origin. Not *this* John. And certainly not this one. It’s this one – and what he proposes to do is blog while he reads the first edition of that work. I have to say I approve of the use of the first edition – subsequent editions are a little murkier and lack…

The Great Pop-Sci book Project

Via Cocktail Party Physics, a list of popular science books. Rules are simple: Bold those you’ve read in full, asterisk those you intend to read, add any additional popular science books you think belong on the list (I’ll try and do that next weekend, class prep allowing), and link back to Jennifer (who has never…

(This review appeared in the American Journal of Physical Anthropology in 2005) As human beings, we like to tell stories–we are story-telling apes. As scientists, however, we tend not to see ourselves as telling stories for, we are led to believe, stories are mere fiction. Yet when faced with answering the question of why or…

(A review from Journal of the History of Biology 2004) In the years following the publication of Origin of Species, George Romanes developed his theory of physiological selection in which he posited that “physiological peculiarities” lead to hybrid sterility between individuals and thus isolation which would allow natural selection to “promote diversity of character, and…