November 19, 2014

2:19 PM | Every university is broken
But the University of Hawaii at Mānoa looks to be more broken than others. Christie Wilcox writes about the budget cuts there: the place is being gouged to the bone — the College of Natural Sciences has a cohort of graduate students to whom they are failing to live up to their responsibilities (the university…

November 18, 2014

12:40 PM | A specular conundrum
Every year in my intro biology course, I try to do one discussion of bioethics. One lecture is not much, but this is a course where we try to introduce students to the history and philosophy of science, and I think it’s an important issue, so I try to squeeze in a little bit. So…
1:00 AM | Declan Waugh pushes another anti-fluoride myth
Declan Waugh seems a bit of a late developer. He has only just got around  to finding those papers that anti-fluoride propagandists like to cite as evidence that oral health does not decline when community water fluoridation is stopped. Of … Continue reading →

November 17, 2014

1:22 PM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Now that’s a pair of fangs
No summary available for this post.
2:26 AM | Una ensalada de fin de semana al natural… ¿natural?
Lo realmente curioso es analizar cómo eran los ancestros silvestres de todos nuestros alimentos. Solo comentarles que la zanahoria es naranja por cuestiones políticas

November 16, 2014

9:29 PM | When did insects evolve?
Just consult the chart. Be sure to click on the image to see it at a better resolution! This is from a paper that looked at the molecular phylogenies, and worked out estimated branch times. I like it. I want it on my wall. Insects are the most speciose group of animals, but the phylogenetic…

November 15, 2014

9:26 PM | Quackery in my back yard!
Oh, great. Orac just has to tell me that the University of Minnesota is going to host an anti-vaccine conference on 24 January. First, let me say this, though: they get to do that. Presumably they’ve rented out (or possibly obtained student or faculty sponsorship) Cowles Auditorium at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and…
8:00 PM | Severe dental fluorosis the real cause of IQ deficits?
A new study finds cognitive function defects, like IQ, in children are not significantly related to fluoride in drinking water. But they are associated with medium and severe dental fluorosis. This interests me for two reasons: The report is by Choi and Grandjean … Continue reading →
5:33 PM | ‘Denk aan de kinderen!’ – Wit nationalisme, de overheid en zwarte piet
We hebbeneen overheid die niet in staat is artikel 1 van de Grondwet af te dwingen, die er ook niet in slaagt de schijn van neutraliteit hoog te houden doordat men het gevaar vooral lokaliseert bij zwarte burgers (maar niet de zwart geschminkte burgers) en de steen des aantoots juist gebruikt om voor veiligheid van witte burgers te zorgen. En geen enkele politicus die daar ook maar één kritisch woord over uitbrengt.

November 14, 2014

1:02 PM | Friday Cephalopod: I think it’s flashing gang signs
No summary available for this post.

November 13, 2014

10:28 PM | Hard times, tough gods
Almost all cultures have some kind of supernatural beliefs. But it may surprise you to know that belief in moralising supernatural beings, who care about whether mortals do good or bad, are far from universal. That’s fascinating, and it begs the question: “why?”. Why do some cultures bother to believe spirits who watch over us [Read More...]
5:00 PM | WTF Forensik – Fäulnisflüssigkeit auf dem Turiner Grabtuch?
 Warnung: in dieser Reihe stelle ich schräge, drastische, extreme oder auf andere Weise merkwürdige Studien und Fallberichte vor, die die Forensischen Wissenschaften in ihrer ganzen Breite und Vielseitigkeit portraitieren sollen, die aber in ihrer Thematik und/oder den beigefügten Abbildungen nicht für alle LeserInnen geeignet sind und obgleich ich mich stets bemühen werde, nicht ins Sensationalistische…

November 12, 2014

10:14 PM | Catch 22 in Ukraine
MH17 recovery team finally start work at crash site. Credit:  RIA Novosti. Alexey Kudenko The Dutch team investigating the MH17 Malaysian Airline crash in eastern Ukraine report it has problems collecting debris from the crash site in eastern Ukraine. But aren’t … Continue reading →
1:40 PM | Interestelar: ¿mala o maravillosa?
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 11 de noviembre  de 2014La semana pasada hablé aquí sobre la película Interestelar, de Christopher Nolan, sin haberla visto. O más bien, de cómo la colaboración del físico Kip Thorne le permitió presentar la visualización de un hoyo negro más precisa hasta hoy.Ahora puedo decir que […]

November 11, 2014

4:12 AM | Let’s rely on anecdotes instead!
Image credit: Anecdotes, testimonials and urban legends This satirical piece from The Shovel highlights an unfortunate way many politicians (mainly US and Australian)  and internet propagandists approach scientific matters – relying on anecdotes and not evidence. It is also true … Continue reading →

November 10, 2014

9:39 PM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Can’t we all get along?
This is devious: Mexican free-tailed bats have jamming sonar to disrupt competitor bats’ food hunting. It’s like there aren’t enough insects for everyone to eat!

November 09, 2014

1:34 AM | Standing up to junk science in New Zealand
Last week we saw several local victories for science over pseudoscience. And the US mid-term elections also gave electoral victories supporting community water fluoridation in 5 out of 6 communities where it was voted on.* Peter Griffin from New Zealand’s Science … Continue reading →

November 07, 2014

9:50 PM | It hurts! Atheists and Christians don’t feel each others pain, but with a twist.
For many people, their religion is like a badge of social identity. You feel an affinity with people who share a religion – not surprising given that you will share many cultural and social touch points. But will you feel their pain? If shown a picture of a Christian grimacing, will you mentally flinch? What about [Read More...]
1:01 PM | Friday Cephalopod: Elegance & style
No summary available for this post.

November 06, 2014

7:07 PM | Best of Epiphenom 2007-2014
If you tune into Epiphenom via the rss feed, you may have missed this post that went up at the new home over at Patheos.If you did - then this links is specially for you!Best of Epiphenom 2007-2014Basically a short review of some of the most-read posts over this blogs long history.The rss feed should transfer automatically over the next few days. If it's still not working for you after that, well then you may have to sign onto the new feed. I'll put a final post up here when everything is […]
3:30 PM | Kurz notiert: Von der Schönheit des Nacktmulls
Schönheit, heißt es, sei relativ und liege im Auge des Betrachters. Dennoch dürfte es selbst für dehnbarste ästhetische Relativisten nicht allzu nahe liegen, die Schönheit jener fahlen, kahlen Ratten, genannt Nacktmulle, zu beschwärmen, die mit schiefen, falben Zähnen aufwarten, wo es ihnen an niedlichen Knopfaugen gebricht. Und doch: einige Forscher sahen tatsächlich hinter die wenig…
3:30 PM | Kurz notiert: Von der Schönheit des Blindmulls
Schönheit, heißt es, sei relativ und liege im Auge des Betrachters. Dennoch dürfte es selbst für dehnbarste ästhetische Relativisten nicht allzu nahe liegen, die Schönheit jener fahlen Ratten, genannt NacktBlindmulle, zu beschwärmen, die mit schiefen, falben Zähnen aufwarten, wo es ihnen an niedlichen Knopfaugen gebricht. Und doch: einige Forscher sahen tatsächlich hinter die wenig einladende…

Fang X, Nevo E, Han L, Levanon EY, Zhao J, Avivi A, Larkin D, Jiang X, Feranchuk S, Zhu Y & Fishman A (2014). Genome-wide adaptive complexes to underground stresses in blind mole rats Spalax., Nature communications, 5 3966. PMID:

1:46 PM | Moslims zijn geen marionetten
Arabist Kwarten maakt een fout die we zo vaak tegenkomen bij arabisten en islamologen die ongetwijfeld alles weten over de bronnen van de islam, maar totaal geen kaas hebben gegeten van de manier waarop moslims in hun dagelijks leven met die bronnen omgaan.
3:01 AM | Declan Waugh claims it’s “clear as day”
Declan Waugh is an anti-fluoride propagandist who specialises in naively distorting scientific and medical information to “prove” community water fluoridation (CWF) is dangerous. A common tactic of his is to select, really cherry-pick, medical data to show the mortality or disease … Continue reading →

November 05, 2014

4:55 PM | ¡Ciencia y ficción!
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 5 de noviembre  de 2014No he visto la película Interstellar, de Christopher Nolan. Obviamente, porque se estrena hasta el jueves y porque no gozo de privilegios de crítico de cine.Pero estoy emocionado por verla, pues será la ocasión de presenciar un raro fenómeno: el arte –en este caso la ciencia […]

November 04, 2014

10:33 AM | Epiphenom is moving to Patheos!
I'm excited to say that, after many lovely years here at Field of Science, Epiphenom is moving to a new home at Patheos: is a major site with many well-known religious and atheist blogs. Epiphenom should fit in nicely there, and hopefully bring a bit of scientific rigour to the discussions!Apparently all links and subscriptions should automatically be redirected, but you can always resubscribe at the new home if. I hope to see everyone there! I'd […]

November 03, 2014

10:23 PM | Unusual photo of Moon and Earth.
Here’s a photo of the earth you don’t often see. Nor is the view of the moon familiar. The Chinese test vehicle Change’5 took this photo as it swung around the moon before returning to earth.  So we see the unfamiliar far side … Continue reading →
9:41 PM | Best of Epiphenom 2007-2014
Welcome to Epiphenom at its new home on Patheos! This blog has been running for seven years now, and over that time we’ve taken a look at a huge amount of cutting edge research into the psychology and sociology of religion and non-belief. If you’re new to this blog, maybe you want to get a quick [Read More...]

November 02, 2014

2:39 PM | Ten Years after Van Gogh: Time to Rethink ‘Radicalization’?
Radicalization has become the go-to concept to explain involvement in (Islamist) terrorism. Now 10 years after the murder of Theo van Gogh Bart Schuurman states it is necessary to re-think the concept.
1:47 AM | Yay! Sexism in science is over!
The New York Times has declared that Academic Science Isn’t Sexist. What a relief! The authors are reporting the results of a broad study of many different parameters of the career pipeline, and are happy to report that there are no problems in academia. None at all, no sir. Our analysis reveals that the experiences…
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