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Marine Mammals: The Smithsonian Magazine Talks About NOC

W.R. Elsberry's The Austringer - Tue, 2014-06-24 13:22
Disclosure: I am a researcher who worked with NOC at the US Navy Marine Mammal Program. Smithsonian Magazine ran an article by Charles Siebert titled, “The Story of One Whale Who Tried to Bridge the Linguistic Divide Between Animals and Humans”. This was ostensibly about the work Dr. Sam Ridgway and others at the US […]
Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism, IV:An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
By David MacMillan. 4. Transitional fossils. One of the most common and most frustrating creationist objections to evolution is the claim that there are no “missing links” or “transitional fossils” required by evolution. This claim is made without qualification, particularly in presentations to lay or church audiences. As unthinkable as it might seem, creationists really do believe that transitional fossils simply do not exist. On this basis, they conclude that evolution must be false. They... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Collecting specimens and killing bears

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
A report this morning on NPR asks, “Is collecting animals for science a noble mission or a threat?” The question is left unanswered, but the reporter notes that collecting specimens from small, isolated, and endangered species can be counterproductive, at best. Ben Minteer, an author of the Science article that inspired the NPR report (not to mention a rebuttal by around 120 other scientists), recommends photographs and DNA samples in lieu of specimens, but other... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Discovery Institute Attack on Cosmos Provides a Teaching Moment of Its Own

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
I’ve a brief new article in the new Skeptical Inquirer (July/August 2014) regarding Casey Luskin’s botched attack on the second episode of Cosmos. Here it follows - your comments are welcomed. Fox TV’s Seth McFarlane has joined with astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and Ann Druyan, Carl Sagan’s widow and collaborator, to continue Sagan’s marvelous Cosmos series of decades ago. The new series is a splendid blend of homage to Sagan’s original one with dazzling... Dave Thomas http://www.nmsr.org
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Recurvirostra americana

Panda's Thumb - Sun, 2014-06-22 04:43
Recurvirostra americana – American avocet, Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Oklahoma science standards adopted

On June 19, 2014, Oklahoma's governor Mary Fallin approved the state's adoption of a new set of science standards, according to US News & World Report (June 20, 2014), despite the objections of state legislators to their inclusion of climate science.

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Good news for evolution in Britain

The British government recently clarified and extended its ban on teaching creationism in academies, according to a June 18, 2014, press release from the British Humanist Association, which congratulated the government "on its robust stand on this issue." 

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Wyoming churches endorse NGSS

The Wyoming Association of Churches endorsed the adoption of the Next Generation Science Standards, according to the Casper Star-Tribune (June 16, 2014).

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AGU award for NCSE's Scott

Eugenie C. Scott

Eugenie C. Scott, the former executive director of NCSE and the current chair of its Advisory Council, will receive a Presidential Citation for Science and Society from the American Geophysical Union at a reception in Washington DC on June 17, 2014.  

Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism, III: An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
By David MacMillan. 3. You don’t evolve, your species does. Creationists often conceptualize evolution as something which is purely vertical: successive changes from parent to child to grandchild to great-grandchild accumulating over time. They can hardly be faulted for this misconception, because this view seems to be shared by the general public and even reinforced by the sometimes-imprecise explanations and depictions of evolution by museums and science educators. Evolutionary adaptation, however, does not happen in... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Climate and creationism

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The economist Paul Krugman has come to the “somewhat surprising conclusion” that global warming denial is not mainly about vested economic interests but rather asks us to think about global warming from the point of view of someone who grew up taking Ayn Rand seriously, believing that the untrammeled pursuit of self-interest is always good and that government is always the problem, never the solution. Along come some scientists declaring that unrestricted pursuit of self-interest... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Anas cyanoptera

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
Anas cyanoptera – cinnamon teal, Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
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Freshwater: Board's Brief in Response filed with SCOTUS

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The Mt. Vernon, Ohio, Board of Education has filed its Brief in Opposition to Freshwater’s petition for a writ of certiori with the Supreme Court of the U.S. (SCOTUS). Recall that Freshwater asked SCOTUS to overturn his firing on the ground that it violated his First Amendment rights, and that prohibiting his teaching the “scientific strengths and weaknesse of biological evolution” also violates the First Amendment. I haven’t found an online version of the Brief... Richard B. Hoppe
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Meyer's Hopeless Monster, Part III

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The paperback edition of Stephen Meyer’s book Darwin’s Doubt: The Explosive Origin of Animal Life and the Case for Intelligent Design has just been published. It has a new chapter responding to critics of the book – Donald Prothero, Charles Marshall, and yours truly, the blogger the ID guys were dismissing for a year based on the fact that I wrote the review quickly. The largest section of the new chapter responds to me. The... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
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Understanding creationism, II: An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
By David MacMillan 2. Variation and adaptation The majority of modern creation science freely admits the existence of biological variation, adaptation, and speciation. Indeed, the recent-creation model – particularly the belief that all extant life descended from a small group of “kinds” present on Noah’s Ark which diversified into all families on Earth after a global flood – requires enormous adaptive variation and near-constant speciation. Creationists estimate that fewer than 10,000 pairs of land-dwelling, air-breathing... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Photography Contest, VI

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
Kodak Precision Enlarger, Model 1. Note added June 16 at approximately 1:10 CST: Submission period extended 1 week to June 23. Polish your lenses, oil your tripods, search your archives – the sixth Panda’s Thumb photography contest, begins – now! We will accept entries from 12:00 CST, June 2, through 12:00 CST, June 16 June 23. The theme of the contest is History of Evolution, by which we mean photographs of fruit flies, barnacles,... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Understanding creationism: An insider's guide by a former young-Earth creationist

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
In this short series, David MacMillan explains how misinformation and misconceptions allow creationists to maintain their beliefs even in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. A former creationist blogger and writer, Mr. MacMillan earned his BS degree in physics from the University of North Alabama and now works as a technical writer when he isn’™t frequenting the PT comment boards. Since leaving creationism, he has written several columns discussing the public dialogue between... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Geum aleppicum

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
Photograph by Andrew Freeman. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Geum aleppicum – yellow avens, Pearl Lake, Colorado.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

NCSE Webinar, science denial, Wednesday

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
The National Center for Science Education will host a webinar, “Debunking and confronting science denial,” Wednesday, May 28, 4 PM EDT/1 PM PDT. Josh Rosenau of NCSE will moderate a panel that includes Shauna Theel from the climate and energy project at Media Matters for America, John Cook of SkepticalScience.com and the University of Queensland’s Global Change Institute, and be moderated by NCSE’s Josh Rosenau. Shauna will discuss her work addressing media misstatements and how... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Dinosaur fossil donor affiliated with hate group

Panda's Thumb - Mon, 2014-06-16 00:36
Kentucky geologist Daniel Phelps yesterday sent us a press release noting that AIG’s Allosaurus fossil will go on display this weekend; see the AP release by Dylan Lovan here. Mr. Lovan quotes Mr. Phelps to this effect: Daniel Phelps, president of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, said in a release Thursday that the Creation Museum “has decided, without doing research, that the dinosaur fossil is evidence of Noah’s flood.” What Mr. Lovan left out is far... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News
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