August 02, 2014

12:38 PM | 2 + 2 = 17, for certain values of 2
A while back, I responded to Behe/Luskin’s claim that his model proving the impossibility of evolution of chloroquinone resistance was vindicated. I pointed out (as did Ken Miller) that showing that a particular trait required multiple point mutations did not affect the probability in the naive way that Behe and Luskin calculated — in particular,…
11:37 AM | The most brilliant business plan ever
Take a look at the kind of profit you can make from various businesses. This is pretty good money. We all know Apple’s business model is to build cool gadgets with high end stuff inside that it then sells at a high markup for premium design and ease of use — they’re at least creating…
10:47 AM | Religion evolves! Baba Brinkman raps about Evolutionary Studies of Religion
Since I decided to enter the realms of science as a youth, I entertained a certain dream: That the field of science I wanted to contribute to shouldn't be confined to secluded specialists, but that it should be discussed in public magazines and at kitchen tables, maybe even edutained and enjoyed in movies and arts. Back then, this has been a rather heretic concept at German universities and I was explicitly warned as a young scholar in Religionswissenschaft (the scientific... Read more
9:00 AM | Blogpause und Sommerurlaub
So. Ich habe endlich Sommer-Urlaub (nachdem die meisten schon wieder zurück aus selbigem sind)! 2014 war, wie vorausgeahnt, bisher in der Tat ein anstrengendes Jahr und ich bin echt reif. Wo es hingeht? Tja… wenn ich das wüßte. Sehr zu meinem Bedauern und Zerknirschung hat sich aus akutem Anlass unser geplanter, gebuchter und vorbefreuter Trip…
5:55 AM | “Let’s quickly review some federal bankruptcy law”
James J. S. Johnson declares theistic evolution "bankrupt" - but it's not at all clear what he means by that.

August 01, 2014

12:56 PM | The fuddy-duddies still thrive
Kate Clancy comments on a ‘satire’ published in a serious journal. Genome Biology published a satirical piece by Neil Hall today, and since I’m American and he’s British I don’t find it funny. No wait, it’s that I’m female and he’s male. Or maybe that I’m junior and he’s senior. I’ve got it, it’s because…
11:11 AM | Friday Cephalopod: They’re forming tribes!
We’re doomed. The Pacific striped octopus is exhibiting complex social behaviors. Panamanian biologist Aradio Rodaniche first reported the Pacific striped octopus in 1991 off the coast of Nicaragua, noting its strange behavior—living in groups of possibly up to 40, laying multiple egg clutches, and mating face-to-face and sucker-to-sucker. Most other octopus species, for instance, come together…
9:26 AM | Defining Dinosauria
This group, which includes at least three well-established genera of Saurians, is characterized by a large sacrum composed of five anchylosed vertebrae of unusual construction, by the height and breadth and outward sculpturing of the neutral arch of the dorsal vertebrae, but the twofold articulation of the ribs to the vertebrae, viz. at the anterior […]
6:08 AM | El experimento de Facebook
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 30 de julio  de 2014Las redes sociales virtuales, como Facebook y Twitter, son herramientas que nunca antes habían existido en la historia humana. Resulta natural que apenas estemos descubriendo su verdadero poder y alcance, y aprendiendo a manejarlas sin que causen problemas.Como permiten la comunicación de manera instantánea […]
3:12 AM | July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
 Image Credit: Learn Blog Tips There are now over 300 blogs on the list, although I am weeding out those which are no longer active or have removed public access to sitemeters. (Let me know if I weed out yours by mistake, … Continue reading →

July 31, 2014

3:30 PM | Augentropfen als Vergewaltigungsdroge
Vergewaltigungsdrogen sind Substanzen, die die (Neben)Wirkung haben und auch zu diesem Zweck eingesetzt werden, ein Opfer, dem sie (heimlich) verabreicht werden, gefügig, widerstandslos und steuerbar zu machen, um sexuelle Übergriffe zu erleichtern und womöglich die Entstehung von Erinnerungen an die Tat einzuschränken. Leider häufen sich in letzter Zeit, auch in der forensischen Fachliteratur, die Berichte…
1:24 AM | Botanical Wednesday: Maybe I should visit this place
Next week, I think I will!

July 30, 2014

11:26 PM | Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
In my last post (Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh) I described how Declan Waugh (a self-professed “scientist and fluoride researcher”) badly misrepresented data from a Finnish study which had concluded the prevalence of ailments attributed to fluoridation were “likely connected … Continue reading →

July 29, 2014

2:00 AM | Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
Declan Waugh is a self-proclaimed “scientist and fluoride researcher” who seems to spend all his time misrepresenting and distorting  scientific literature and health data to promote his anti-fluoride cause. Waugh has an avid following, among fellow anti-fluoride activists and propagandists. The … Continue reading →
12:51 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Cartilage!
No summary available for this post.

July 27, 2014

11:00 PM | Zum 264. Todestag
Heute vor 263 Jahren starb Johann Sebastian Bach und warum er unsterblich ist, kann man an der gestrigen Sonntagsklassik erlauschen. Ein Ständchen soll es, wie könnte es passender sein, Präludium und Fuge auf der Orgel, für ihn geben, komponiert von Liszt:

July 26, 2014

11:35 PM | I am still waiting for my cheque
I have often said I wonder how some of the anti-science propagandists sleep straight in their beds at night. Lately this refers to various members of the local anti-fluoridation movement and their claims. Pity I am not the litigious sort – there … Continue reading →
11:00 PM | Sonntagsklassik
Einen schönen Sonntag allen LeserInnen. Morgen wird an Bach zu denken sein und gehört haben wir ihn auch schon ein Weilchen nicht mehr, dem ich nun rasch abhelfen möchte, indem ich Bach sich selbst gegenüberstelle: zwei seiner bekanntesten Orgelwerke, die brausen und dröhnen und mit dem hallenden Echo einer Kirche Ehrfurcht und wohligen Schauder erzeugen…

July 25, 2014

4:35 PM | I like this hypothesis
But we have to be clear that it is only a hypothesis at this point. I was reading about domestication syndrome (DS) — selecting animals for domestication has a whole collection of secondary traits that come along for the ride, in addition to tameness. We are selecting for animals that tolerate the presence of humans,…
11:58 AM | Friday Cephalopod: Not a bird with a curved beak, or a curvy flower
But still curvy.

July 24, 2014

4:00 PM | Neuroparasiten – sind sie schon in Dir?
Wer erinnert sich noch an den Kleinen Leberegel (Dicrocoelium dendriticum) aus dem Bio-Unterricht? An diese fast unglaubliche, gruselige Geschichte von einem kleinen Wurm, der über zwei Zwischenwirte, Schnecke und Ameise, von Endwirt zu Endwirt (z.B. Kühe oder Schafe) reist, unter anderem, indem er in das „Hirn“ der Ameise eindringt und deren Verhalten kontrolliert, so daß…
2:12 AM | An answer to the anti-fluoride critics – in one image
Click image to enlarge.  The chemical website Compound Interest, is producing a series of infograms to communicate some chemistry.  Here is an excellent one they produced on fluoride. I think it would make a great poster. It is accompanied by … Continue reading →

July 23, 2014

8:48 PM | Tres tragedias del VIH
Por Martín Bonfil OliveraDirección General de Divulgación de la Ciencia, UNAMPublicado en Milenio Diario, 23 de julio  de 2014Hay días en que ser optimista es muy difícil. Tres desalentadoras noticias nos llegan sobre la pandemia de VIH/sida.La más sonada es la más reciente: el pasado jueves 17 de julio, como es bien sabido, un avión de Malaysia Airlines fue derribado al este de Ucrania, al parecer por un misil lanzado […]
4:41 PM | They don’t understand allometry!
I think the engineers are just trying to wind me up, again. Joe Felsenstein tackles a paper published in an applied physics journal that redefines evolution and tries to claim that changes in aircraft design are a good model for evolution. It’s a terrible premise, but also, the execution is awful. But permit me a…

July 22, 2014

12:37 PM | Biology is a hard problem
New genetic disorders pop up all the time — each one represents a child who may face incredible challenges, or even be doomed to death. A child named Bertrand exhibited some serious symptoms — profound developmental disabilities — shortly after he was born, and no one could figure out what was wrong with him. So…
1:11 AM | Mary’s Monday Metazoan: Cruel flower
This flower, over many generations, has warped the poor buff-tail sicklebilled hummingbird’s beak into that bizarre curve.
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