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Selasphorus platycerus

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2016-09-19 16:58
Photograph by Vivian Dullien. Photography contest, finalist. Selasphorus platycerus – broad-tailed hummingbird, male.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Shenanigans in Texas

Members of the Texas state board of education launched a preemptive attack on a panel appointed to streamline the state science standards for biology during its September 14, 2016, meeting, according to the Texas Freedom Network's Kathy Miller, who criticized the attack in a September 16, 2016, letter to the board posted on the Texas Freedom Network's blog.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Congratulations to Bruce Alberts

NCSE is pleased to congratulate Bruce Alberts on receiving the 2016 Lasker-Koshland Award for Special Achievement in Medical Science.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Creationism in a lawsuit against charter schools

A new lawsuit challenges a chain of public charter schools in Arizona for their religious advocacy — which reportedly includes creationism. In a September 7, 2016, press release, Americans United for Separation of Church and State explained, "Heritage Academy, which has campuses in Mesa, Queen Creek[,] and Laveen, uses a textbook in its mandatory American government class for seniors that teaches students religious concepts such as creationism, divine judgment after death and the Ten Commandments. The public charter school also teaches religious principles through other class curricula."

Categories: Pro-Science News

The End of Journalism As We Knew It

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Thu, 2016-09-08 21:36
I grew up listening to Walter Cronkite giving the evening news. The feeling of trust that some version of what had happened in the country and the world had been delivered was definitely there. I’m stuck in O’Hare and listening to CNN now. Wolf Blitzer interviewed a pair of Trump supporters trying to bolster Trump’s… Read More »
Categories: Pro-Science News

Charadrius vociferus

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Photograph by Paul Burnett. Photography contest, finalist. Charadrius vociferus – killdeer standing her ground, protecting her eggs from a vicious photographer three feet away.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

How the Church "documents" "miracles"

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Advocates for canonizing Marguerite d’Youville hired a hematologist to decide why a woman had recovered from incurable leukemia after praying to the aforementioned d’Youville. The hematologist, Jacalyn Duffin, warned the investigators that she was an atheist. The investigators reasoned that if an atheist could not figure out why the woman had recovered, then obviously the recovery must have been a miracle. The hematologist went further and investigated hundreds of “miracles” in the archives of the... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Scudderia sp.

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Photograph by Richard Meiss. Photography contest, finalist. Scudderia sp. – Scudder’s bush katydid nymph, bedded down for the night in the flower of a lily (Lilium maculatum [?]). Not shown in this view are the several species of ants that have also found this refuge to be congenial. For (temporarily) flightless insects, such cover must have some survival value.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Macaca fuscata

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Photograph by Dan Moore. Photography contest, finalist. Macaca fuscata – snow monkey, or Japanese macaque, mountains of Nagano, Japan, due west of Tokyo, March, 2016. These monkeys have adapted to the cold more than any other subspecies, and they have adapted to almost totally ignoring humans (which is good for photography).... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

The cure for pseudoscience: alternative medicine

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
I just saw my colleague Paul Strode, with whom I wrote a book a few years ago. Knowing my interest in pseudoscience, Mr. Dr. Science Teacher (the name of his blog) directed me to his article Acupuncture Study as a Cure for Pseudoscientific Thinking. The article is, I think, really two articles. The first describes an experiment that his students perform, but he sets it up so that they generally overlook one important variable. The... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Chapman's Peak

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Photograph by Neil Taylor. Photography contest, finalist. A group of (shortly to be long distance running*) Homo sapiens enjoying the sunset at Chapman’s Peak, Capetown. Chapman’s Peak is an offshoot to Table Mountain and hence has the same geology. There is a famous and very beautiful road between Noordhoek and Hout Bay which has been cut right into the vertical cliff which makes up the southern side of the peak. The photo is at one... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Lyssomanes viridis

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Photograph by Al Denelsbeck. Photography contest, runner-up. Lyssomanes viridis – magnolia green jumping spider, juvenile female. All jumping spiders have excellent binocular vision for use in obtaining food, but since the cornea is a fixed part of the exoskeleton, the eyes must move internally. With the magnolia green jumpers, the exoskeleton is translucent enough to allow the internal movement of the eyes to be seen, and they can move independently. I had captured this one... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Creationists evolve "new" arguments to explain genetic diversity

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Guest post by David MacMillan. David MacMillan is an author, engineer, and researcher who formerly wrote for Answers in Genesis before obtaining his degree in physics. He now writes about science and culture for Panda’s Thumb, the Huffington Post, and several other blogs. In the buzz of excitement surrounding Opening Day at the Ark Encounter, the team of writers at Answers in Genesis continues their struggle to explain how all terrestrial life could have been... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Slot canyon in soft bentonite clay

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
2016 Contest Winner. Bentonite clay, by Alan Rice. Slot canyon in soft bentonite clay – Panaca formation, Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Happy 272nd birthday, Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Lamarck!

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
And the 1st of August is his birthday. I will list some of his real biological achievements below the fold, and dispell some myths. We've discussed this every year, so I will keep this short. Suffice it to say that the inscription on his statue in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris declares that he was the "Fondateur de la doctrine de l'évolution", and there is a good argument that he really was.... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Categories: Pro-Science News

Rob Asher on "Did Arabic Scholars Discover Evolution in the Ninth Century?"

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Rob Asher of the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology has an interesting post up at HuffPo on “Did Arabic Scholars Discover Evolution in the Ninth Century?” Here’s the beginning: One thousand years ago, when the United States of America did not exist and Oxford and Cambridge were backwaters of ignorance, the light of human reason shone brightly in places like Tunis, Cairo, and Baghdad. During the Abbasid caliphate for much of the 8th through... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

The problem with science is naturalism

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Curious article Is scientific research flawed? on the AIG website. The author, Callie Joubert, is identified only by name and has no bio. The article correctly enumerates some of the problems with science, particularly medicine, and blames conflict of interest, competition, and so on – the usual suspects. The author also notes two papers in physics, the Bicep2 experiment in Antarctica and the “superluminal neutrinos at the Swiss-Italian border.” Both papers apparently had drawn erroneous... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Photography Contest VIII: Finalists

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
Here are the finalists of the 2016 photography contest. We received 38 photographs from 14 photographers. We had considerable difficulty choosing a half-dozen finalists – most of the pictures were excellent, as you will no doubt see during the coming months. We finally enlisted our wife to help with the choices, which are displayed below the proverbial fold. Unfortunately, the submissions did not lend themselves to being divided into categories, so we present one general... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Evolution Misconceptions on the Fuzzy Logic Science Show (podcast link)

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2016-09-07 07:49
One thing I’ve loved about living in Australia this past year is how much more generally pro-science the culture seems to be (PT blogmeister Reed Cartwright was just in Canberra to visit collaborators, but sadly he forgot Prof. Steve Steve). We have the annual Australian National Science Week coming up next month – can you even imagine having a National Science Week in the United States? Another thing I’ve loved is how there seem to... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News
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