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Discovery Institute: So much for Academic Freedom!

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
(Update: paper preprint and bonus material available free here) It appears that John West and the Discovery Institute skipped past reading the Science paper and went straight to accusing the author of misconduct. So much for “Academic Freedom”! I don’t even think they read the Supplemental Material, and I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t understand if if they did. It’s conceivable they aren’t up on the latest in phylogenetic methods and their applications. In any event,... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

University rescinds honorary degree awarded to Konrad Lorenz

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
The Israeli newspaper Haaretz reported yesterday that the University of Salzburg has posthumously rescinded an honorary doctorate it had awarded to the ethologist Konrad Lorenz because of what Haaretz called “his fervent embrace of Nazism.” Some people consider Lorenz, the man who famously got a gaggle of geese to imprint on him, to be the father of ethology. Haaretz says, Lorenz describes himself as “always a National Socialist.” He says his work “stands to serve... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

The evolution of antievolution policies after Kitzmiller v. Dover

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
(Update: paper preprint and bonus material available free here) It is 7 am in Australia, but this is finally out on Thursday afternoon in the U.S.…just in time for the tenth anniversary of Kitzmiller v. Dover! I will do a longer post a little later, but for now - be sure to check out the Supplemental Material! Matzke, Nicholas J. (2015). “The evolution of antievolution policies after Kitzmiller v. Dover. Science, Published online Dec. 17,... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

The War Before Kitzmas

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
Over at Elizabeth Liddle’s “The Skeptical Zone” (TSZ) blog, Salvador Cordova had something to say about being banned from the “Uncommon Descent” (UD) blog, now being managed (loosely speaking) by Barry K. Arrington. Arrington did something for Cordova that he doesn’t do for most people banned from UD, which was to send Sal an explanatory letter, which Sal included in his TSZ post. I’ll quote it below the fold.... Wesley R. Elsberry http://www.antievolution.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

Kitzmas is Coming!

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
The tenth anniversary of the Kitzmiller v. Dover decision, which came out on December 20, 2005, is right around the corner. There have already been some good retrospectives, including a series of pieces by the York Daily Record, another series in Reports of the National Center for Science Education, and a “What If Intelligent Design Had Won?” discussion by Eugenie Scott and Kenneth Miller in York College, Pennsylvania, in November. There will undoubtedly be more... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

Toxicodendron rydbergii

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
Toxicodendron rydbergii – western poison ivy, South Boulder Creek Trail, Boulder, Colorado, September, 2015. Poison ivy is red only in the fall.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Game over for antievolutionary No Free Lunch argument

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
This has been obvious from the start, but as far as I know it has taken 10 years for the ID guys to finally admit it. Winston Ewert writes at the Discovery Institute blog: However, Felsenstein and English note that a more realistic model of evolution wouldn’t have a random fitness landscape. Felsenstein, in particular, argues that “the ordinary laws of physics, with their weakness of long-range interactions, lead to fitness surfaces much smoother than... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

Climate change: Point of no return?

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
Eli Kintisch at Science magazine has put together a remarkable collage called After Paris: The rocky road ahead. Rocky indeed! The upper left graph shows steadily rising global emissions of carbon dioxide, with not even a glitch after the Kyoto meeting. The projections after the Paris meeting are not comforting either, unless we undertake a massive effort. But now look at the lower-right graph. Does anyone believe that we – that is, the world –... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Toxicodendron radicans rydbergii

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
Toxicodendron radicans rydbergii – western poison ivy, South Boulder Creek Trail, Boulder, Colorado, July, 2015. As I was taking the picture, a little voice approached me and asked, “Do you know —? Is that —? Could that be —? Poison ivy?” Yes, and it was one of the lushest fields of poison ivy I have seen this side of New Jersey, growing right along the trail. You can identify it because it has 3... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Dembski: "Moving On" from ID

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
From William Dembski’s new blog, for November 9th: In the last few years, my focus has switched from ID to education, specifically to advancing freedom through education via technology. All my old stuff on ID is on the present site (it was previously at DesignInference.com, which is no more), and can be accessed by clicking on “Design” in the main menu. I still have a few ID projects in the works, notably second editions... Dave Thomas http://www.nmsr.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

Evolution finally winning?

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
Good article in Slate, Evolution Is Finally Winning Out Over Creationism, by Rachel Gross. I have not checked the surveys myself, but Gross reports, The people responsible for this shift are the young. According to a recent Pew Research Center report, 73 percent of American adults younger than 30 expressed some sort of belief in evolution, a jump from 61 percent in 2009, the first year in which the question was asked. The number who... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

How Ark Park is taking everyone for a ride

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2015-12-20 23:57
Excellent article, What Ken Ham Isn’t Telling You About Ark Encounter Funding, by Tracey Moody, regarding the financing of the Ark Park. Much is already known to PT readers, but the iceberg is bigger than we thought. Besides for-profits masquerading as nonprofits, it appears that the Ark Park is eligible for tax-increment financing, whereby the Ark Park (or some incarnation thereof) receives a loan that is paid back (if at all) by property taxes. The... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Darwin Day resolution in the Senate

Richard Blumenthal

Senate Resolution 337, introduced in the United States Senate on December 17, 2015, would, if passed, express the Senate's support of designating February 12, 2016, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of "Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge."

Categories: Pro-Science News

Matzke's Kitzmas tree in the news

Nick Matzke outside the Rhea County, Tennessee, courthouse, where John T. Scopes was tried in 1925

Nick Matzke's "The Evolution of Antievolution Policies after Kitzmiller v. Dover" (PDF; subscription required), a new paper forthcoming in Science, is receiving plenty of press coverage. As NCSE previously reported, the paper shows that even though creationism is getting stealthier in the wake of legal defeats such as Kitzmiller v. Dover, techniques from modern evolutionary biology reveal how creationist legislation is evolving.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Matzke's Kitzmas tree!

In a new paper (PDF; subscription required) forthcoming in Science, Nick Matzke shows that even though creationism is getting stealthier in the wake of legal defeats such as Kitzmiller v. Dover, techniques from modern evolutionary biology reveal how creationist legislation is evolving. Using data collected by NCSE and state-of-the-art phylogenetic analysis, Matzke constructed a phylogenetic tree of seventy-five distinct antievolution bills and policies, reconstructing their genealogical relationships with a high degree of confidence.

Categories: Pro-Science News

The Discovery Institute Does More Myth-Making: Looking at #10

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Wed, 2015-12-16 15:11
Incredibly butt-hurt over Kitzmiller et al. v. Dover Area School District almost ten years after their reaming, the Discovery Institute has a series of advent devotionals that they are calling, I kid you not, “Ten Myths About Dover“. Yes, they make the pretense that they are deconstructing myths others have made, but when one reads… Read More »
Categories: Pro-Science News

Utah Physician Recommends Staying Away from Hospitals

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Sun, 2015-12-13 23:55
(This is a copy of my diary on Daily Kos.) Utah state legislator Mike Kennedy (R) weighed in on the argument concerning extending Medicaid coverage. I first saw this content of Kennedy’s statements via a meme on Facebook. Knowing that false memes are a dime a dozen there, I had a look to see if… Read More »
Categories: Pro-Science News

Programming is Presbyterian

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Sat, 2015-12-12 16:47
There’s a mind-expanding post at Coding Horror from 2006. Hey, can’t a guy have a nine-year backlog? The title: “Separating Programming Sheep from Non-Programming Goats”. The first link in that article does not work; use this link instead. This discusses work on incoming computer science students, finding that there is a bimodal distribution of performance… Read More »
Categories: Pro-Science News

A glimpse of On the Wing

NCSE is pleased to offer a free preview (PDF) of David E. Alexander's On the Wing: Insects, Pterosaurs, Birds, Bats and the Evolution of Animal Flight (Oxford University Press, 2015).

Categories: Pro-Science News

Darwin Day resolution in Congress

Jim Himes

House Resolution 548 (PDF), introduced in the United States House of Representatives on December 3, 2015, would, if passed, express the House's support of designating February 12, 2016, as Darwin Day, and its recognition of "Charles Darwin as a worthy symbol on which to celebrate the achievements of reason, science, and the advancement of human knowledge."

Categories: Pro-Science News
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