Carnivalia, and an open thread

It's Friday! I have no classes today, so this is the day where I desperately struggle to catch up with the backlog; it also happens to be the day we're hosting a party at our house (you're invited: 5:30, my place, across the street from the university; everyone who is anyone will be there). If you can't make it, I expect you to make small talk and chat sociably in this open thread.

Here are a few ice-breakers to help you get started.

The Tangled Bank

The next edition of the Tangled Bank will be at the Behavioral Ecology blog — send those links in to me or host@tangledbank.net before Wednesday, 12 September.

More like this

Carnivals! Carnival of Education #156 A belated Carnival of the Liberals #57 Carnival of the Liberals #58 Grand Rounds Friday Ark #178 The Boneyard #13 Oekologie #14 A Tangled Bank announcement! The next Tangled Bank will be at Greg Laden's place, so send those links in to me or host…
Carnivals! We're hawking Carnivals! Carnival of Mathematics XI Friday Ark #145 I and the Bird #52 The next Tangled Bank will be held on Wednesday, the 4th of July, at Aardvarchaeology. Send those patriotic, all-American links in to the Swedish guy, to me, or to host@tangledbank.net. Beyond…
The next edition of the Tangled Bank will be at Fish Feet on Wednesday, 15 August. Send those links in to me or host@tangledbank.net. Until Wednesday, you'll need to make do with these other carnivals, or engage in undirected and unspecified web-based social intercourse in the comment thread below…
Here are a few carnival announcements, but otherwise talk about whatever comes to mind. I and the Bird #44 Friday Ark #129 Mendel's Garden #12 And remember, on Monday Encephalon will be posted here—so send me links to neuro-related articles. The Tangled Bank will be at Living the Scientific…

forget the snacks, where's the beer?

Damn, wish I could be there PZ! I'll have to imagine how crazy things are gonna get. In my mind, I see godless keg stands... bible contradictions shots (that's a lot of drinking) oh and let me guess... little embryo shaped jello shots, in the Pharyngula stage of course. I don't think there's a better theme for a party than common ancestry. Here's to you PZ! *raises glass*

By Want2PartywithPZ (not verified) on 07 Sep 2007 #permalink

Hi PZ, sorry I can't make it but I was just having a drink anyway - to those Chaser lads down in my home town, Sydney. Have a good one!

By John Scanlon, FCD (not verified) on 07 Sep 2007 #permalink

Right across the street from your place of employment!--sweet! So, PZ, what is your house door to office door walking commute time?

Ancient Human DNA Extracted From Yucca Leaves Spat Out

"Quids" -- small fibrous bundles of stripped yucca leaves -- are the spit-out remnants of a kind of ancient chewing gum. Cells from long-dried saliva yield usable DNA. And "aprons" were thong-like woven garments worn by women. They are stained with traces of apparent menstrual blood, a source of DNA.

I hope their experimental methods to minimize and detect contamination were exceptionally good.

By Reginald Selkirk (not verified) on 07 Sep 2007 #permalink

FYI, here in Florida we have a goof who thinks he has evidence for intelligent design ... evolution is just fiction ... teachers are robbed of freedom ... ya, know, the same old stuff. Feel free to rap his knuckles if ya have the time, he's invited readers to join the conversation.

If you'd give us more warning, I might be tempted to try a road trip, except that I swore I wouldn't try to enter your country until Homeland Security figured out that "terrists" and "tourists" were not the same thing. So, if you're ever going to be in Canada and can host a party, give us a week's notice and I'll try to be there.

Since this is an open thread, here's an interesting statement from one of the "open-minded ones" who wrote Ben Stein's travesty, "Expelled...".

When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis. According to Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, everything can be explained purely by natural forces--including the origin of information, consciousness, and life itself. If you want to bring God into the picture, that is a belief that you are adding to science. It is not required by the science itself, and many Neo-Darwinists believe it gets in the way of science. ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one's interpretation of science, God--or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer--is literally at the heart of nature itself, as expressed through information like the genetic code. Therefore, the search for potential signs of intelligence in nature becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise rather than a pseudo-scientific one. IDers are essentially asking the same question as the Darwinists: How did the information get there? What separates them from the Darwinists is that they are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause. This is not to deny the power of mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection. All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life. Once again, it is not just the IDers who are questioning this. There is huge debate amongst the Darwinists themselves as to which mechanisms are most important and at what level (group, individual, molecular) they operate.

http://ArtsAndFaith.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=16419&view=findpost&p=15…

Note the stupid conflation of 'there are controversies among scientists' (I'm not going to use his propagandistic term, "Darwinists") with 'there is a controversy between doing science and saying Goddidit'. Moron.

More interesting, of course, is that he's saying nothing other than that IDists first believe that God is fundamental to nature, and then it naturally follows that the "search for potential signs of intelligence in nature" (this is crucial: it's the search for a preconceived "intelligence", not the search for the best hypothesis or theory for explaining the evidence) becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise. That is backed up by the blatant lie that only IDists are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause--idiot Miller, we considered it and rejected it for lack of sufficient evidence (one ought to remember that ID initially had an unevidenced prejudice in favor of it, thus for no scientific reason at all it had to be considered and rejected--which task was not very difficult, really).

The beauty of this post by Miller is, of course, that it explicitly exposes what ID is doing, sort of today's Wedge Document. Sure, ID has always deliberately been "wink wink, nudge nudge, of course it's all about God," but even on Stein's blog we still get the BS that it's really all about science, and by that they don't mean Miller's redefinition of science as having God at its heart from the outset.

Anyhow, I thought it was interesting, and worth linking to on this forum. Scroll up from the link and you can read other posts by this writer for "Expelled".

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

Since this is an open thread, here's an interesting statement from one of the "open-minded ones" who wrote Ben Stein's travesty, "Expelled...".

When I say ID is friendly to belief in God in a way that classical Darwinism is not, what I mean is Darwinism literally has no need for the God hypothesis. According to Darwinists like Richard Dawkins, everything can be explained purely by natural forces--including the origin of information, consciousness, and life itself. If you want to bring God into the picture, that is a belief that you are adding to science. It is not required by the science itself, and many Neo-Darwinists believe it gets in the way of science. ID, on the other hand, suggests that rather than something tacked onto one's interpretation of science, God--or whoever you believe to be the Intelligent Designer--is literally at the heart of nature itself, as expressed through information like the genetic code. Therefore, the search for potential signs of intelligence in nature becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise rather than a pseudo-scientific one. IDers are essentially asking the same question as the Darwinists: How did the information get there? What separates them from the Darwinists is that they are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause. This is not to deny the power of mechanisms like random mutation and natural selection. All the IDers are saying is that such forces are simply inadequate to explain the origin and development of life. Once again, it is not just the IDers who are questioning this. There is huge debate amongst the Darwinists themselves as to which mechanisms are most important and at what level (group, individual, molecular) they operate.

ArtsAndFaith.com/index.php?s=&showtopic=16419&view=findpost&p=156729

Note the stupid conflation of 'there are controversies among scientists' (I'm not going to use his propagandistic term, "Darwinists") with 'there is a controversy between doing science and saying Goddidit'. Moron.

More interesting, of course, is that he's saying nothing other than that IDists first believe that God is fundamental to nature, and then it naturally follows that the "search for potential signs of intelligence in nature" (this is crucial: it's the search for a preconceived "intelligence", not the search for the best hypothesis or theory for explaining the evidence) becomes a legitimate scientific enterprise. That is backed up by the blatant lie that only IDists are willing to consider intelligence as one possible cause--idiot Miller, we considered it and rejected it for lack of sufficient evidence (one ought to remember that ID initially had an unevidenced prejudice in favor of it, thus for no scientific reason at all it had to be considered and rejected--which task was not very difficult, really).

The beauty of this post by Miller is, of course, that it explicitly exposes what ID is doing, sort of today's Wedge Document. Sure, ID has always deliberately been "wink wink, nudge nudge, of course it's all about God," but even on Stein's blog we still get the BS that it's really all about science, and by that they don't mean Miller's redefinition of science as having God at its heart from the outset.

Anyhow, I thought it was interesting, and worth linking to on this forum. Scroll up from where the address given takes you, and you can read other posts by this writer for "Expelled".

Glen D
http://tinyurl.com/2kxyc7

I'll be there. How long of a drive is it from Toronto to Morris?

King Aardvark, I smell a road trip.

Can you guys pick me up in Edmonton along the way? I'll make some BLTs so we don't have to stop at any greasy spoons unless we want to.

Brownian, you can get a ride with me in return for BLTs. I'll warn you through, I rarely pass a Tim Horton's, so bring a big thermos if that's a problem.

Dead cyclist identified with the help of iPod

By Maria Elena Baca and Joy Powell, Star Tribune
.
Medical investigators used an iPod serial number Friday to figure out the identity of a bicyclist killed when he collided with a school bus in Minneapolis on Thursday morning.
...

iPod ownership turns out to be useful. But then, if he had been paying attention to his surroundings rather than distracting himself with music, maybe he wouldn't have landed on that bus bumper.

By Reginald Selkirk (not verified) on 08 Sep 2007 #permalink

I couldn't spam here yesterday for some reason, so I'll try again now:

1) 'Framing', I guess: Intelligent Delivery -- The secular reproductionists are afraid of our storkist logic.

2) I dunno if yesterday's party was a costume party, but might I suggest that the young gentleman on the right is wearing PZ's Hallowe'en costume?

Sen Larry "wide stance" Craig got caught toe-tapping, and now there's a sudden surge of senior Republican senators announcing intentions to retire; the latest is Hagel. Coincidence?

By Reginald Selkirk (not verified) on 08 Sep 2007 #permalink