Archives for November, 2009

A week or so ago, someone broke into a server at the University of East Anglia and made off with a range of emails and other data from the university’s Climate Research Unit. This excited lots of climate change deniers, as they’ve long claimed that CRU had secret evidence that global warming wasn’t happening, or…

On false dichotomies

Not to delve into the accommodationism wars again, but this claim is just silly. Ophelia Benson comments on Michael Shermer commenting on Jerry Coyne commenting on Michael Shermer, and objects to Shermer’s claim that “the right way to respond to theists and/or theism… is simple: there is no one ‘right way’. There are multiple ways,…

Dear world

Just back from Egypt, and still not ready for craziness. So please no one steal a lot of emails from climate scientists and try to dishonestly present a few snippets from them as evidence of a global conspiracy, OK? Also, could everyone stop blogging for a day or two, just until I catch up? Thanks.

Thoughts from Kairo

Alexandria, actually, but still. I’m here at the British Council’s conference on Darwin’s Living Legacy. It’s really a remarkable event, bringing together brilliant biologists from around the world to talk about how the research program begun by Darwin continues today, as well as historians and philosophers giving us a nuanced view of Darwin himself and…

Thoughts from Kakistocracy

We truly are ruled by the worst in society. Proposition 13, the supermajority requirement for tax increases, and the state’s inane proposition system more generally, are destroying California. But what can you do about it?: Backers of an overhaul of California’s government, who hope to leverage disgust with Sacramento into support for changing how the…

Traveling and scholarship

Sorry for minimal blogging lately, which will continue for the next week or so, most likely. Last Friday I headed off to Kansas, where I helped celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of Kansas Citizens for Science. It was a great time, and a great thing to celebrate. Marvelous to see the gang again…

There can only be one

Francisco Ayala is dead, long live Francisco Ayala.

Todd Wood talks (some) sense

Todd Wood is a creationist. He is a professor at Bryan College, named for William Jennings Bryan, who prosecuted John Scopes in 1925. He is, in particular, a professor of baraminology, the creationist notion that his particular Christian God created the “kinds” in the first week, and that by careful measurement, he can identify those…

Claude Levi-Strauss, R.I.P.

Afarensis and John Hawks bid farewell to a giant.

On counting

Martin Cothran – fellow traveler with the Disco. ‘Tute, shill for James Dobson’s crew, and generally unpleasant person – thinks the dissent of 162 members of American Physical Society disproves a scientific consensus. Alas for Cothran, the APS has 47,189 members, so the dissent of 162 hardly undermines a claim of consensus. Bonus shorter Martin…