Posts

August 28, 2014

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4:06 PM | Developmental plasticity is not Lamarckism
Sometimes, people email me with good questions. Here’s one. When I was a kid, my own visualization of evolution was Lamarckism. But I didn’t know it. In reading Dawkins and others, I know it doesn’t exist. But it seems this article is claiming it does to some extent. Can you comment? I’m curious as to…
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2:21 AM | Botanical Wednesday: Probably not the best place for a stroll
No summary available for this post.

August 27, 2014

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7:21 PM | Arte, ciencia y naturaleza
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 27 de agosto  de 2014Uno de los grandes prejuicios respecto a la ciencia es que se trata de una actividad puramente racional, cerebral, y por tanto para nerds, insensible, fría. Exactamente lo opuesto al arte, que es cálido, creativo y expresa emociones. Parecería que el arte es lo más humano, mientras que la ciencia es […]
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2:03 AM | Dirty politics on the Royal Society fluoride review
In Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research I related how local anti-fluoride propagandists were busy rubbishing the Royal Society of NZ  fluoride review – even before it was released. Now that it is released (see Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of … Continue reading →

August 26, 2014

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3:21 PM | Vox Day, Scientist
The anti-vaxxers are excited. A recent paper, Measles-mumps-rubella vaccination timing and autism among young african american boys: a reanalysis of CDC data, claims that there is evidence that vaccinations cause autism. Only one problem: it’s a crappy paper. Orac has covered it to an Oracian level of detail, so let me give the short summary:…
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4:00 AM | Was ist Krebs? – Ausweitung der Kampfzone: Invasion und Metastasierung
Wenn ein bösartiger Tumor für sich genommen nicht tödlich ist, z.B. indem er so groß wird, daß er das Gewebe oder Organ, aus dem er stammt, verdrängt und zerdrückt, so kann er dennoch zu einer tödlichen Gefahr werden. Nämlich dann, wenn er beginnt, sich auszubreiten, benachbartes Gewebe zu durchwuchern und zu infiltrieren (Invasion) und zuletzt…

August 25, 2014

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10:49 PM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: How can you not love an extravagant worm?
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1:06 PM | Crusaders against GMOs
The New Yorker has a fascinating article on Vandana Shiva, a crusader against GMO crops. I’d never heard of her before, but apparently she has charisma and cult-like followers who hang on her every word, and her word is a rather religious opposition to scientific agriculture. Weirdly, I can agree with some of it. At…
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11:22 AM | Symposium: Antropoloog zoekt maatschappelijke partner
Closer Blog: Symposium antropoloog zoekt partner 3 september 2014 in het Amsterdam Museum. Read more: Symposium: Antropoloog zoekt maatschappelijke partner

August 22, 2014

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11:46 AM | Friday Cephalopod: Dancing on the edge of the abyss
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August 21, 2014

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11:33 PM | Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
A press release from the Royal Society of NZ today. I think the “take home message is: “The panel concluded that the concerns raised by those opposed to fluoridation are not supported by the scientific evidence” A review of the … Continue reading →
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2:08 PM | Learning thresholds
Kim Goodsell was not a scientist, but she wanted to understand the baffling constellation of disease symptoms that were affecting her. The doctors delivered partial diagnoses, that accounted for some of her problems, but not all. So she plunged into the scientific literature herself. The point of the linked article is that there is a…
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1:46 PM | What would analog genetics look like?
How about another of those non-awkward Dawkins Twitter questions? Although this one actually is kind of awkward, in a non-offensive way. I don’t quite know what it means. Does evolution rely upon digital genetics? Could there be an analogue genetics? What features of life have to be true all over the universe? I don’t understand…
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2:27 AM | Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research
These activists have a really weird understanding of science and the nature of scientific research. How’s this for press releases from the NZ Fluoride Free Science and Legal Advisor, Mark Atkin: 1: Rubbishing a planned review of the published science around fluoridation … Continue reading →

August 20, 2014

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3:34 PM | Científicos: ¿villanos o héroes?
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 20 de agosto  de 2014La profesión de científico ha tenido siempre una mala percepción pública.El científico es percibido a través de dos estereotipos. Uno es ridículo: el viejito canoso, despeinado tipo Einstein, distraído, sabio y bonachón, que más que científico es un […]
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12:03 PM | Islamists have brain leeches!
Susan Blackmore always lectures entertainingly — really, if you get a chance to hear her, you should — so I can guess how surprised she was when students claimed offense and walked out on her talk. They were religiously indoctrinated, and simply shut down their brains when the word “evolution” came up, and when she…

August 19, 2014

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1:01 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Lobopods forever!
I think this is rather awesome: a detailed examination of the Cambrian fossil Hallucigenia, specifically an examination of the fine structure of its claws, has revealed clear affinities of the long extinct form to this adorable little guy, the velvet worm.

August 18, 2014

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12:38 PM | Why do cavefish lose their eyes?
It’s another Dawkins question! Why do cave-dwellers lose their eyes? They’re useless, but are they harmful? Costly to make? Or eroded by rain of uncorrected mutations? I thought I’d already addressed this in a blog post long ago, but I searched, and I didn’t — it was my inaugural column in sadly defunct Seed magazine,…
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