Evolution

Now I’m getting suspicious… Another case of COSMOS interruptus

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There was this story about a glitch in the Cosmos broadcast earlier this week. I figured, hey, mistakes happen. Never assume malice when incompetence is more likely. Well… do they happen with other programs? (Yes) The news media and forums are pointing out the Cosmos effect seems to be disproportionate and occurs in distinct cultural…

Evidence-based skepticism in the spotlight thanks to Bill Nye’s debate

Screen capture from the video where Bill Nye talks about evolution

It’s so very exciting to see the reverberation of the Creation-Evolution debate continuing. And I am very happy to see Skeptical Inquirer play a role in it. This current issue of SI has an exclusive piece written by Bill Nye, The Science Guy himself, discussing the behind-the-scenes goings on that took place before and during…

Hallmarks of a dwindling population

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The last of the mammoth population may have experienced high rates of birth defects due to the dwindling numbers and inbreeding, along with prenatal stress. Last Woolly Mammoths May Have Suffered Birth Defects | LiveScience. Fossils of mammoths found near the North Sea and dating to the late Pleistocene, about 12,000 years ago, frequently sported…

When your name turns up as author of an anti-evolution paper: RETRACTION!

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Never underestimate the audacity of anti-evolutionists. Entomologist surprised to find name on now-retracted paper alleging fossils oppose Darwin’s theory of evolution | Retraction Watch. The Journal of Biology and Life Science, published by the Macrothink Institute, has retracted a paper that claimed “fossil does not provides [sic] the convincing and direct evidences for evolution,” for…

Oh look Creationists, one of those pesky ‘plantimals’.

Venus flytrap anemone (Actinoscyphia aurelia) in the Gulf of Mexico.

The sea anemone (ah-nem-um-nee) is a weird thing. Its genome tells us so. Sea Anemone Genes Are Half-Plant, Half Animal | LiveScience. The sea anemone is an oddball: half-plant and half-animal, at least when it comes to its genetic code, new research suggests. The sea creature’s genes look more like those of animals, but the…

Indiana lawmakers pull the “academic freedom” trope

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What the hell are they doing? Ball State University president, Jo Ann Gora’s decision to scrap a science class,”Boundaries of Science” class taught by Eric Hedin, an assistant professor of physics, was her response to complaints that the class was promoting intelligent design, as opposed to evolution. Obviously, that is NOT a scientific take on nature.…

Bryan College requires professors and staff to affirm Genesis story

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What kind of learning institution is this? A dogmatic one. And the majority do not seem happy about it. Bryan College takes stand on creation that has professors worried for their jobs. Bryan College was founded on the back of the country’s most famous debate over creation and evolution. Some professors, staff and students didn’t…

In Missouri, Brattin proposes parental consent to learn biology

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I’m not joking when I ask, is he brain-dead? How would he think this would get him nothing but scorn and threats of lawsuits? Oh wait, he’s blinded by faith. Unprecedented Attack On Evolution ‘Indoctrination’ Mounted In Missouri. A Missouri lawmaker has proposed what ranks among the most anti-evolution legislation in recent years, which would…

South Carolina politician panders to Creationists, relents

Sen. Mike Fair objects to the evolution clause then relents. Why? Probably to put on a show. It’s perfectly clear that there are no alternatives to teaching evolution in biology and old time religion folks need to find a new gig. This is ridiculous. State Sen. Mike Fair Blocks Evolution From South Carolina Science Standards.…

Foerster, Pye and Ketchum collaborate: Paracas elongated skull exposed! (UPDATE)

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NEW (09-Feb-2014): Brien Foerster has contacted me saying that Melba Ketchum is not the geneticist behind the released results. See more details in the update below. On the south coast of Peru in 1928, Peruvian archaeologist, Julio Tello, discovered a collection of remains of individuals with unusually elongated skulls. Cranial deformation is a widely known practice…

The Great Debate: Science trumps Creationism

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Ham on Nye: Deny deny deny… In a sometimes frustrating, sometimes boring, but consistently civil discussion about the definition and importance of science, two speakers with opposing worldviews presented their evidence to a sellout crowd and hundreds of thousands of online viewers. Who Won Bill Nye’s Big Evolution Faceoff? – NBC News.com. Bill Nye the…

Texas Board of Education passes improved rules for textbook review

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A very positive step! Laredo Morning Times – Texas board approves textbook review rule changes. The Texas Board of Education imposed tighter rules Friday on the citizen review panels that scrutinize proposed textbooks, potentially softening fights over evolution, religion’s role in U.S. history and other ideological matters that have long seeped into what students learn…

Watch the Ham on Nye debate live

You can watch the Ham on Nye debate for free online. Bill Nye debate at Creation Museum to be live on Cincy.com | NKY.com | cincinnati.com. The much-anticipated debate on Tuesday night between Bill Nye “The Science Guy” and Ken Ham, founder of the Creation Museum, was sold out in minutes, but can still be…

Ham on Nye: Tickets sold out in minutes

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Does this make anyone else feel physically ill? Bill Nye, Ken Ham Creationism Debate Tickets Sell Out in Minutes; Streaming Info Released. Tickets for the upcoming debate on the viability of creationism between “The Science Guy” Bill Nye and Creation Museum CEO and President Ken Ham sold out within minutes, but information has been released…

Ken is mad at us mean ole atheists and bloggers

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In an update to the Ark Park Boondoggle, Ham finds a scapegoat, as usual.  Noah’s Ark Risks Collapse Without Bond Buyers by February – Bloomberg. A Kentucky theme park to be built around a full-scale replica of Noah’s Ark may sink unless investors purchase about $29 million in unrated municipal bonds by Feb. 6. The…

Bill Nye to debate Ken Ham February 4 at Creation Museum

Screen capture from the video where Bill Nye talks about evolution

Good idea or not? I say publicity stunt from Ham. Dangerous Minds | Get your popcorn ready: Bill Nye the science guy to debate idiot Creation Museum founder Ken Ham. Ken Ham, of the Creation Museum in Kentucky, challenged Bill Nye to a public debate and Nye accepted! It will take place February 4th at the…

God of the evolutionary gap in science understanding

While the overall percentage belief in evolution has stayed nearly the same since 2009, more people who characterize themselves as Republican reject evolution. Public’s Views on Human Evolution | Pew Research Center’s Religion & Public Life Project. According to a new Pew Research Center analysis, six-in-ten Americans (60%) say that “humans and other living things…

Creationist efforts fail at changing Texas textbooks!

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In an update to the battle between Texas school officials and textbook publishers regarding edits to the evolution portions of their books, recall that the publishers took a stand and things were going the way of reason. Finally, it looks like the fight is over. It’s a DarWIN! Breaking News: Texas Review Panel Rejects Creationist…

Texas politics still mired in teaching of Creationism

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This, folks, is an utter disgrace. Dear Texas, I feel for you. You are heading ever downwards. [Warning, commentary and name calling ahead. Is a weekend, indulge me.] GOP lieutenant governor hopefuls back creationism | Dallas Morning News. All four Republican lieutenant governor hopefuls have embraced the teaching of creationism in public schools. Lt. Gov.…

Starchild skull proponent Lloyd Pye has died

Pye with the Starchild skull

Lloyd Anthony Pye, an American author and paranormal researcher, has died after a bout with lymphoma cancer. He was best known for his promotion of the Starchild skull, a deformed specimen, which he claims is remains of an alien-human hybrid. DNA tests have shown it is human (and both parents were human) suffering probably from…

Oldest Human DNA Found! I love science.

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This is such an exciting time (albeit frustrating) to be a researcher into human evolution. At 400,000 Years, Oldest Human DNA Yet Found Raises New Mysteries – NYTimes.com. Scientists have found the oldest DNA evidence yet of humans’ biological history. But instead of neatly clarifying human evolution, the finding is adding new mysteries. In a…

Farking ark: Trying to float it on faith doesn’t bode well for investors

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In an update to this story about the sinking Ark Park, we have more on the means to fund this Creationist boondoggle. City seeks to jump-start stalled Ark Encounter park with $62 million ‘junk’ bond offering | Politics and Government | Kentucky.com. A planned amusement park in Grant County featuring a life-size Noah’s Ark is…

Arguments about Texas textbooks is really about another book – The Bible

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Last night was a public meeting on adopting biology and environmental sciences textbooks for Texas schools. The National Center for Science Education was there. Evolution debate again engulfs Texas board. The long-simmering battle over teaching evolution in Texas boiled over at a late-night meeting, as the Board of Education extended preliminary approval of new science…