This Blog Has Moved

Laelaps is back up and running at my author website, http://brianswitek.com. Go there for new posts and updates on where this blog will ultimately settle. - Brian

Update (09/14/10): After a few months of blogging on my own, I'm proud to say that Laelaps has made the jump over to the new WIRED Science blogging network. Click here to check it out.

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Today, as part of our ongoing ScienceBlogger interview series, we bring you a conversation with Brian Switek (aka Future Transitional Fossil) of Laelaps. What's your name? Brian Switek What do you do when you're not blogging? I work for a university-run agriculture project and I'm currently a…
In my second big piece of news for the day, I'm pleased to announce that Genetic Future will shortly be moving to a  the brand new Wired Science Blogs network. While the network was announced today there will be a brief hiatus before I get started in my new home, due to the time constraints…
You may already have seen this at Absinthe or Zuska's -- if so, consider this post a friendly nudge to move beyond your good intentions toward action. Kay Weber, who is pursuing a lawsuit against Fermilab for (the details of which sound pretty horrific), has come to a point where the expense of…

Driving home from work this evening, listening to Material World on BBC Radio 4, and whooaaa, I hear one of the interviewees on the subject of Darwinius and the hype is a Mr Brian Switek. Excellent going to get interviewed as a subject matter expert. And your blog got a quick mention too.

I found the trailer they aired of David Attenborough's TV program on the find rather frustrating. The documentary isn't showing until next Tuesday - so I guess I should wait until I have seen it, but the trailer was all melodramatic and going on about its great significance for every person alive. How disappointing - that this ridiculously over the top claim should be associated with Sir David, as many watchers will assume that if he said it it must be true. I expected better.

I must though reiterate, that while I do agree that this paper claims a signicance for this fossil in terms of human ancestry that are just not justified by the evidence, this is not a failure of peer review. I absolutely disagree with David M's comments on peer review. A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through. At least the latter becomes obvious, the former gets sunk without trace.

On the phylogenetic analysis matter, while clearly not required in a publication of new taxon, this paper does make some rather sweeping claims about phylogeny, which one would expect to be supported by a phylogenetic analysis. It's not a requirement, but is a not unreasonable expectation.

I did think Brian's choice of words (eg "shoddy scolarship") was a little harsh, but to be honest probably justified. I guess being brutally honest while also being tactful is not easy.

Driving home from work this evening, listening to Material World on BBC Radio 4, and whooaaa, I hear one of the interviewees on the subject of Darwinius and the hype is a Mr Brian Switek. Excellent going to get interviewed as a subject matter expert. And your blog got a quick mention too.

I found the trailer they aired of David Attenborough's TV program on the find rather frustrating. The documentary isn't showing until next Tuesday - so I guess I should wait until I have seen it, but the trailer was all melodramatic and going on about its great significance for every person alive. How disappointing - that this ridiculously over the top claim should be associated with Sir David, as many watchers will assume that if he said it it must be true. I expected better.

I must though reiterate, that while I do agree that this paper claims a signicance for this fossil in terms of human ancestry that are just not justified by the evidence, this is not a failure of peer review. I absolutely disagree with David M's comments on peer review. A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through. At least the latter becomes obvious, the former gets sunk without trace.

On the phylogenetic analysis matter, while clearly not required in a publication of new taxon, this paper does make some rather sweeping claims about phylogeny, which one would expect to be supported by a phylogenetic analysis. It's not a requirement, but is a not unreasonable expectation.

I did think Brian's choice of words (eg "shoddy scolarship") was a little harsh, but to be honest probably justified. I guess being brutally honest while also being tactful is to gastirizon

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A fatal flaw was that they failed to have any representative posts ready to go up when the blog went live.

A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through.

Driving home from work this evening, listening to Material World on BBC Radio 4, and whooaaa, I hear one of the interviewees on the subject of Darwinius and the hype is a Mr Brian Switek. Excellent going to get interviewed as a subject matter expert. And your blog got a quick mention too.

I found the trailer they aired of David Attenborough's TV program on the find rather frustrating. The documentary isn't showing until next Tuesday - so I guess I should wait until I have seen it, but the trailer was all melodramatic and going on about its great significance for every person alive. How disappointing - that this ridiculously over the top claim should be associated with Sir David, as many watchers will assume that if he said it it must be true. I expected better.

I found the trailer they aired of David Attenborough's TV program on the find rather frustrating. The documentary isn't showing until next Tuesday - so I guess I should wait until I have seen it, but the trailer was all melodramatic and going on about its great significance for every person alive. How disappointing - that this ridiculously over the top claim should be associated with Sir David, as many watchers will assume that if he said it it must be true. I expected better.

I'm no scientist, but I know of the ugly history of 'missing links' - or call them what you will. Ida will rank up there along side all the fakes promulgated by ideology and greed (but once she's on the textbook covers she'll be there as a goddess for 100 years). There's a 'science sucker' born ever minute, blindly believing the 'facts' of science. How can you when homo sapiens are so inextricably involved in the process? I'd like to see the scientific community grow a backbone like Ida and rise up to shut down this hype driven farce of a lemur fossil.

Driving home from work this evening, listening to Material World on BBC Radio 4, and whooaaa, I hear one of the interviewees on the subject of Darwinius and the hype is a Mr Brian Switek. Excellent going to get interviewed as a subject matter expert. And your blog got a quick mention too.

I did think Brian's choice of words (eg "shoddy scolarship") was a little harsh, but to be honest probably justified. I guess being brutally honest while also being tactful is not easy.

I must though reiterate, that while I do agree that this paper claims a signicance for this fossil in terms of human ancestry that are just not justified by the evidence, this is not a failure of peer review. I absolutely disagree with David M's comments on peer review. A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through. At least the latter becomes obvious, the former gets sunk without trace.

A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through.

I must though reiterate, that while I do agree that this paper claims a signicance for this fossil in terms of human ancestry that are just not justified by the evidence, this is not a failure of peer review. I absolutely disagree with David M's comments on peer review. A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through. At least the latter becomes obvious, the former gets sunk without trace.

A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through.

I did think Brian's choice of words (eg "shoddy scolarship") was a little harsh, but to be honest probably justified. I guess being brutally honest while also being tactful is not easy.

I'm no scientist, but I know of the ugly history of 'missing links' - or call them what you will. Ida will rank up there along side all the fakes promulgated by ideology and greed (but once she's on the textbook covers she'll be there as a goddess for 100 years). There's a 'science sucker' born ever minute, blindly believing the 'facts' of science. How can you when homo sapiens are so inextricably involved in the process? I'd like to see the scientific community grow a backbone like Ida and rise up to shut down this hype driven farce of a lemur fossil.

I must though reiterate, that while I do agree that this paper claims a signicance for this fossil in terms of human ancestry that are just not justified by the evidence, this is not a failure of peer review. I absolutely disagree with David M's comments on peer review. A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through. At least the latter becomes obvious, the former gets sunk without trace.

pposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic a

I'm no scientist, but I know of the ugly history of 'missing links' - or call them what you will. Ida will rank up there along side all the fakes promulgated by ideology and greed (but once she's on the textbook covers she'll be there as a goddess for 100 years). There's a 'science sucker' born ever minute, blindly believing the 'facts' of science. How can you when homo sapiens are so inextricably involved in the process? I'd like to see the scientific community grow a backbone like Ida and rise up to shut down this hype driven farce of a lemur fossil.

I must though reiterate, that while I do agree that this paper claims a signicance for this fossil in terms of human ancestry that are just not justified by the evidence, this is not a failure of peer review. I absolutely disagree with David M's comments on peer review. A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through. At least the latter becomes obvious, the former gets sunk without trace.

A peer review process that blocks opposing views or prevents challenges to prevailing paradigms is at least as bad as, and in my view more insidiously dangerous than, a peer review process that allows sloppy logic and poor methodology through.

This paper does make some rather sweeping claims about phylogeny, which one would expect to be supported by a phylogenetic analysis. It's not a requirement, but is a not unreasonable expectation.

I'm no scientist, but I know of the ugly history of 'missing links' - or call them what you will. Ida will rank up there along side all the fakes promulgated by ideology and greed (but once she's on the textbook covers she'll be there as a goddess for 100 years). There's a 'science sucker' born ever minute, blindly believing the 'facts' of science. How can you when homo sapiens are so inextricably involved in the process? I'd like to see the scientific community grow a backbone like Ida and rise up to shut down this hype driven farce of a lemur fossil.