October 06, 2014

1:50 AM | Ojos que no ven… celular que sí
Vamos a ver cómo podemos probar si funciona nuestro control remoto

October 05, 2014

12:47 AM | The science and politics of climate change
Michael Mann: The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars – TAM 2013. Have a look at this video for an excellent description of the history and science of climate change. It’s presented by one of the central figures. Michael Mann … Continue reading →

October 04, 2014

2:28 PM | Dang good paper
All right, Larry Moran, why did you post about this paper now? I finished the unit on the origins of life in my cell biology class over a week ago, and this summary of the metabolism first model of abiogenesis would have been very helpful. I first gave them a review of redox reactions in…
2:08 PM | Ethisch voedsel – Dierendag en Offerfeest
Het is Dierendag én Offerfeest! Die combinatie leefde al enkele weken of zelfs maanden voor de vierde oktober onder moslims met wie ik contact heb. Met een mengeling van humor en ow-wat-gaan-we-nu-weer-krijgen-verzuchtingen werd er...
1:34 PM | Dembski: Still wrong
William Dembski spoke at the University of Chicago in August, and a video of the talk is available. I tried to watch it, I really did, but I ended up skipping through most of it (one of the advantages of seeing it on youtube!). Here’s my rather stream-of-consciousness monolog as I was flicking like a…

October 03, 2014

12:48 PM | Friday Cephalopod: Goin’ fishing
Watch the fishing lure action right here — also pay attention to the closeups that reveal how transparent Grimalditeuthis is. It would be so cool to be able to see our own guts like that.

October 02, 2014

6:00 AM | Kurz notiert: Gamer sind die besseren RNA-Designer
So mancher schätzt den Beitrag, den Gamer, so nennt man Personen, die viel und leidenschaftlich zumeist Video-Spiele spielen, für die Gesellschaft leisten, als eher überschaubar ein und faßt stundenlanges Herumdrücken auf vage bananenförmigen Plastikgriffen und verbissenes Herumschubsen hochgezüchteter Computermäuse als geist- und niveaulose Zeitverschwendung auf. Kürzlich jedoch stellte sich heraus, daß Gamer besser als jeder…
1:14 AM | Science and belief
As long as it agrees with, or can be interpreted to agree with, one’s beliefs.  
12:35 AM | Botanical Wednesday: What’s with this peculiar craze?
Allspice, cloves, nutmeg, ginger, and cinnamon — they don’t actually look all that appetizing.

October 01, 2014

6:38 PM | Pensar el periodismo científico
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 1 de octubre  de 2014Inauguración del SeminarioPocas cosas influyen tanto en las sociedades contemporáneas como la ciencia y la tecnología. Carl Sagan, el famoso astrónomo y divulgador científico, escribió en su libro El mundo y sus demonios: “Hemos organizado una civilización global en la que […]
4:41 PM | Darwin, sexist asshat
That same bozo who sent me the Hitler quote sent me another image in reply: Fair enough. Darwin got a lot of things wrong. I’m actually going to be lecturing my intro biology students on where Darwin screwed up in a few weeks, focusing mainly on his bad genetics, but I’ll toss that quote into…
1:42 AM | September ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
PLEASE NOTE: Sitemeter is playing up again making it impossible to automatically get the stats for some blogs – those I list below. Maybe more bloggers will shift to StatCounter or other counter. No stats could be found for these blogs: Works … Continue reading →

September 29, 2014

12:14 PM | Not a racist or a sexist, no sir, certainly not!
I have been down the rabbit hole. I got sucked down into a prolonged web search on the matter of pre-WWII eugenics, which is more than a little squicky, but was fascinated to discover a thriving community of correspondents which reminded me precisely of the various flavors of blog commenters today — that is, opinionated,…
10:57 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Don’t tell the SyFy Channel!
It’s the Kinabalu Giant Red Leech of Borneo! This foot long beast isn’t satisfied with merely sucking blood, it swallows its prey whole.
4:13 AM | Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”
In  Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent” I promised to review the anti-fluoridationist “International Peer Review.” This is Anti-fluoride  critique of the recent review Health Effects of Water Fluoridation: a Review of the Scientific Evidence produced by the Royal Society of NZ together with the Office … Continue reading →

September 28, 2014

6:45 PM | The Twitter Creationist Time Machine!
It’s reassuring to know that it’s not just other atheists who hate me, but that I also still piss off the creationists. In addition to the mob of atheist dudebros howling at my door, there has been a recent resurgence of creationist loonietarianism in my email. It seems to have been triggered by a Seventh…
11:10 AM | ‘Stewards of Creation’ – Religion and the environment
The Prophet Muhammad's love for nature is extended by some Muslim activists to emphasize environmental stewardship as a particular role and responsibility bestowed upon humanity.
2:00 AM | The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms
First – have a look at this satirical programme from Germany. It has English captions but is worth watching a few times for the subtleties. I have commented before about the information war going on around the Ukrainian conflict. It … Continue reading →

September 27, 2014

4:57 PM | Myth: multicellular life arose in the Cambrian
Creationists are much vested in the idea of “suddenly” — they love the idea of inserting the fingersnap of God into every abrupt transition. This is why they are infatuated with the Big Bang and the Cambrian Explosion, and why they flirted with the idea of renaming “Intelligent Design” to “Sudden Origins” theory. If something…

September 26, 2014

8:58 AM | Friday Cephalopod: They are the shadow
8:00 AM | Suizid mit Koffein
Gegen 11 Uhr klingelte ihr Telefon. Sie schaute aufs Display und verdrehte genervt die Augen. Nicht der schon wieder! Ihr Ex hatte wieder einmal bei ihr übernachtet, weil sie es immer noch nicht über sich brachte, ihn rauszuschmeißen. Um 8 hatte sie ihn in ihrer Wohnung zurückgelassen und war zur Arbeit gegangen. Er hatte Probleme,…

Bonsignore A, Sblano S, Pozzi F, Ventura F, Dell'Erba A & Palmiere C (2014). A case of suicide by ingestion of caffeine., Forensic science, medicine, and pathology, 10 (3) 448-51. PMID:


September 25, 2014

8:26 PM | Hearing the Islamic Call to Prayer encourages Muslims to cheat less
People placed in religious environments tend to act more morally - but what, exactly, triggers this behavioural shift? There’s been a few recent studies which I think are really interesting, because they begin to reveal the importance of culture.In the first set of studies, Mark Aveyard at the (American University of Sharjah, United Arab Emirates) tested Muslim students on their cheating behaviour.The students were asked to undertake a computer-based maths quiz. Unfortunately, the […]
3:30 PM | Chapeau, Deutscher Ethikrat!
Der Deutsche Etikrat hat sich nun dafür ausgesprochen, Geschwisterinzest straffrei zu stellen. Dafür bekunde ich ihm meinen Respekt! Ich kann nur vermuten, daß alle Mitglieder meinen Artikel zum Thema gelesen haben ;-)  und nun und im Gegensatz zum Bundesverfassungsgericht und ironischerweise zum Europäischen Gerichtshof für Menschenrechte zu dieser einzig mit den Menschenrechten vereinbaren Haltung gelangt sind:…
11:29 AM | Chocolate brains
The ever-charming Sam Harris has smarmily connected me to Deepak Chopra, so now I’m getting a flood of both smug, superior cluelessness from the Vulcans of Planet Sam, and the spacey vacuous nonsense of the Chopralites. Thanks, Sam! Although, I must say, so far Chopra freaks are doing a better job of actually saying something.…
2:43 AM | MOM “a thousand times better than cricket”
This is how the Indian Prime Minister responded to the success of the Mars Orbiter Mission (MOM) yesterday: “History has been created by our scientists”, said PM Narendra Modi in his speech immediately after the scientists declared the mission a … Continue reading →
1:45 AM | Botanical Wednesday: Something to do with Doc Holliday
No, really, there’s a connection.

September 24, 2014

3:39 PM | Ciencia y no ciencia
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 24 de septiembre  de 2014Cuando se habla de ciencia, uno de los temas más polémicos es cómo distinguir al producto auténtico de sus versiones “pirata”, sus imitaciones fraudulentas.La búsqueda de este “criterio de demarcación” ha sido larga y, si no infructuosa, porque mucho se ha […]
7:25 AM | Activist’s anti-science adverts found misleading – again
The activist Fluoride Free NZ (FFNZ) organisation have had a bad year with the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). They have had half a dozen complaints against them for misleading advertising upheld. The latest complaint referred to FFNZ’s adverts for a meeting … Continue reading →

September 23, 2014

5:08 PM | VESTIGIAL: Learn what it means!
Vestigial organs are relics, reduced in function or even completely losing a function. Finding a novel function, or an expanded secondary function, does not make such organs non-vestigial. The appendix in humans, for instance, is a vestigial organ, despite all the insistence by creationists and less-informed scientists that finding expanded local elements of the immune…
11:05 AM | New Book: Methods for the Study of Religious Change – From Religious Studies to Worldview Studies
A new book edited by André Droogers and Anton van Harskamp 'Methods for the Study of Religious Change' argues that the study of religion should focus on people’s worldview-making capacities and should contribute to the critical analysis of global problems and the promotion of cultural and spiritual respect across religions.
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