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Pro-Science News

Dam burst in British Columbia threatens spawning salmon

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-08-20 00:12
A dam at a toxic waste pond burst last week and spilled 10 Mm3 of water and about half as much presumably toxic sludge into a tributary of the Fraser River in British Columbia. If you want to see what 10 Mm3 of water looks like, watch the video posted by The Guardian. The Fraser River empties into the newly named Salish Sea at Vancouver, B. C. The Guardian article barely mentions salmon, but the Seattle Post-Intelligencer... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Programmer Position Available

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-08-20 00:12
The Cartwright Lab at Arizona State University is looking for a Software Application Associate to design, construct, test, document, and maintain software packages. We currently have software development projects involving phylogenomics, mutational genomics, and evolution. Essential Duties Work in a collaborative environment to design, construct, test, document, and maintain software packages. Typical projects involve implementing high-performance algorithms for the statistical analysis of large genomic datasets for studying questions related to evolution and population genetics. Ability... Reed A. Cartwright http://dererumnatura.us/
Categories: Pro-Science News

Antiscience legislation in Ohio

Ohio's House Bill 597, introduced in the House of Representatives on July 28, 2014, would, if enacted, require the state's science standards to "prohibit political or religious interpretation of scientific facts in favor of another" — and a sponsor of the bill told a newspaper that it would allow local school districts to teach creationism alongside evolution and global warming denial alongside climate science.

Categories: Pro-Science News

NCSE and NCA teaching resources

NCSE was involved in developing a series of guides for educators to use the National Climate Assessment to teach about the causes, effects, and risks of and possible responses to human-caused climate change.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Nutonian’s Eureqa and Concerns of Overfitting

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Wed, 2014-08-13 05:46
I’ve been using Nutonian’s Eureqa symbolic regression product extensively since early 2013. Back in late 2013, there was an article about Nutonian’s Eureqa that elicited comments. An “A.E. Bartholomew” weighed in with a comment that the title, “Nutonian raises $4M to extract ‘laws of physics’ from data”, was “hyperbolic and misleading”. That led me to […]
Categories: Pro-Science News

ASIH adds its voice for evolution

The American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, a society dedicated to the scientific study and conservation of fishes, amphibians, and reptiles, added its voice for evolution at its 2008 meeting by passing the following resolution.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Eclipse

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2014-08-12 12:04
Photograph by Keith Barkley. Photography contest, Finalist. Solar eclipse, May 20, 2012. Mr. Barkley writes, “I lucked out that the eclipse was still going on during local sunset. One of the few eclipse images you will see that was taken without a sun-viewing filter on the lens.”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Neil deGrasse Tyson is not afraid of genetically modified foods

Panda's Thumb - Tue, 2014-08-12 12:04
A blogger in the Daily Kos reports that Neil deGrasse Tyson thinks people should “chill out” regarding genetically modified food. Tyson argues, as I have for years, that all our food is genetically modified, but it took on the order of 10,000 years to get where we are now. The pseudonymous blogger, SkepticalRaptor, notes that GM foods are to many on the left as global warming is to many on the right: It is an... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Aeshna multicolor

Panda's Thumb - Wed, 2014-08-06 16:17
Photograph by David Cox. Photography contest, Finalist. Aeshna multicolor – blue-eyed darner.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Jack Friedman dies

Jack Friedman, a past president of NCSE's board of directors, died on July 31, 2014, at the age of 88, according to Newsday (August 2, 2014).

Categories: Pro-Science News

Happy 270th birthday, Jean-Baptiste!

Panda's Thumb - Fri, 2014-08-01 21:18
Jean-Baptiste Pierre Antoine de Monet was born on 1 August 1744 in Bazentin-le-Petit, Picardy, France. He was from a family of impoverished nobility, so he came to have the title Chevalier de Lamarck. He died at the age of 85 on 18 December 1829. He was probably the greatest invertebrate biologist, clarifying the classification of invertebrates greatly. For that matter he is the one who coined the terms “invertebrate” and “biology”. He also was the... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Categories: Pro-Science News

The Last Word on the Ark Park

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-07-31 08:37
The Kentucky Tourism Development Finance Authority, in a unanimous vote, gave preliminary approval to $18 million in tax incentives for the Ark Park. In what you might call an unusual piece of reverse evolution, Lawrence O’Donnell last night made a monkey of Ken Ham, Biblical literalists, and the Tourism Authority. The “tape” is 8 min long and worth every moment. Unfortunately, it will not be the last word on the Ark Park.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Phalacrocorax harrisi

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-07-31 08:37
Photograph by Dan Moore. Photography contest, Second Place. Phalacrocorax harrisi – flightless Galápagos cormorant. Mr. Moore writes, “Having made its way to a small set of islands we now call the Galápagos and given sufficient food and no predators, the cormorant had no need to fly, so over the years lost its full-feathered wings. Its bright-orange companion is Grapsus grapsus – the Sally Lightfoot crab.”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

NCSE webinar, Petitions and Organizing, Wednesday

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-07-31 08:37
What we got from NCSE: We’re gearing up for this month’s webinar, which will cover how to use online petitions as an organizing tactic, and how to make the most of them. We’ll demo some of the software people use, talk about how to write a great petition, and talk about how to use the resulting list of supporters to grow your groups and fight science denial. We’ll talk a bit about building and maintaining... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Walter Gehring dies

The eminent biologist Walter Gehring died on May 29, 2014, at the age of 75, according to the Biozentrum at the University of Basel.

Categories: Pro-Science News

End to the impasse in sight?

A panel approved a proposed revision to the section on evolution in South Carolina's new state science standards, according to The State (July 29, 2014). If the revision is approved by the state board of education and the Education Oversight Committee, it will end the impasse over South Carolina's state science standards that began with the EOC's refusal in December 2013 to accept a standard covering evolution.

Categories: Pro-Science News

NCSE's next webinar for activists

NCSE is pleased to announce the next of a new series of on-line workshops aimed at broadening and deepening the networks that make our work possible. The next workshop focuses on on-line petitions as a tool in science education advocacy, with advice about how to write, promote, and use such petitions.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Physicists and engineers decide how to analyze evolution

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-07-24 18:20
A big story in the press today. Scientists – mechanical engineers and physicists, one working for Boeing with his office only a few miles from my home – show that the evolution of airplanes works the same way as the evolution of organisms: The evolution of airplanes A. Bejan, J. D. Charles and S. Lorente J. Appl. Phys. 116, 044901 (2014); http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4886855 (fortunately this paper can be downloaded for free). They make allometric plots of... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Categories: Pro-Science News

Contrails

Panda's Thumb - Thu, 2014-07-24 18:20
Contrails, in the general direction of Denver International Airport, as seen from Boulder, Colorado, August, 2011. Jeff Mitton, Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado, in an article in the Boulder Daily Camera, reminds us that contrails reduce diurnal temperature fluctuations and may have a significant effect on climate.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News
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