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The Panda's Thumb is the virtual pub of the University of Ediacara. The patrons gather to discuss evolutionary theory, critique the claims of the antievolution movement, defend the integrity of both science and science education, and share good conversation. Movable Type Pro 4.381
Updated: 1 day 10 hours ago

Kent Hovind in trouble again

Thu, 2014-10-30 02:07
I haven’t got time to investigate further, but Hovind watchers might be interested that Mr, Hovind (Dr. Dino) has been charged with filing a lien on property that had already been forfeited. Or something. A Forbes columnist, Peter Reilly, suggests that the government is piling on, and I suspect he is right; you may read about it here. Acknowledgement. Link provided by the truly indefatigable Dan Phelps.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

The Family Tree of Life

Wed, 2014-10-29 02:20
In the next few weeks, we’ll be posting a series of articles for the general public focused on understanding how species are related and how genomic data is used in research. We start with a background on phylogenetic trees. Imagine you could go back in time and meet your great grandmother or even your great-great-great-great-great grandmother, when they were your age. Would they look like you? Or would they look more like your siblings or... Emily Thompson
Categories: Pro-Science News

Creationist conference at Michigan State University

Mon, 2014-10-27 23:23
According to an article in Science today, a creationist group has booked a room for a conference at Michigan State University. Science is more discreet than I have to be, but it appears that they duped a student group into booking a room for them, and they are scheming to hold another conference at the University of Texas at Arlington. Science writes that the conference, scheduled for November 1 and called the Origins Summit, is... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Natural pinhole-camera images of solar eclipse

Fri, 2014-10-24 07:45
Pinhole-camera images of solar eclipse formed by spaces between leaves in canopy. According to Jon Grepstad, this phenomenon was explained by Aristotle. The eclipse is just ending; the picture was as close to total as it got here (Boulder, Colorado).... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Aeshna cyanea

Wed, 2014-10-22 01:37
Photograph by Marilyn Susek. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Aeshna cyanea – southern hawker. Beginning this week, we will run photographs every other Monday, so no picture next week; we no longer have enough honorable mentions and other miscellaneous photographs to continue posting a photograph every week. But polish your lenses (very carefully) and keep an eye out for the contest in the summer.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Case Western steps up, rejects House Bill 597

Thu, 2014-10-16 05:49
As I noted a few weeks ago (see here and here), Ohio House Bill 579 cuts the guts out of science education in the public schools by emphasizing “scientific knowledge” and eliminating the teaching of “science processes”. As I argued, the process of science is central to how one justifies claims about the world in science, and eliminating reference to those processes eviscerates science education. The Faculty Senate of Case Western Reserve University agrees. It... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Cupido comyntas

Thu, 2014-10-16 05:49
Photograph by Robin Lee-Thorp. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Cupido comyntas – eastern tailed-blue butterfly.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

State notices Ark Park's hiring practices

Thu, 2014-10-16 05:49
According to reports by Linda B. Blackford in the Lexington Herald-Leader and Tom Loftus in the Louisville Courier-Journal, here and here, Kentucky authorities have noticed the apparently deceptive hiring practices of AIG and Ark Encounter, and sent a letter informing the proprietors of the Ark Park, Therefore we are not prepared to move forward with consideration of the application for final approval [of a tax incentive] without the assurance of Ark Encounter LLC that it... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Larus delawarensis

Thu, 2014-10-16 05:49
Larus delawarensis – ring-billed gull, Boulder, Colorado. There is right now a fairly large flock at Walden Ponds east of Boulder. They are too far away to get a picture, unless you like snapshots of an array of gray-and-white ellipses. But this one very kindly landed in a parking lot and posed long enough to enable this portrait.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Freshwater: It is finished

Mon, 2014-10-06 16:11
The Supreme Court of the U.S. today denied John Freshwater’s request (PDF) for a writ of certiorari. In other words, the Court declined to hear his case. After a legal saga that spanned more than six years and involved a two year long administrative hearing, a Court of Common Pleas review, an appeal to the state Court of Appeals, and an appeal to the Ohio Supreme Court, we are finally done. After an administrative hearing... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Dembski's argument in Chicago -- New? Persuasive?

Sat, 2014-10-04 19:22
On August 14, William Dembski spoke at the Computations in Science Seminar at the University of Chicago. Was this a sign that Dembski’s arguments for intelligent design were being taken seriously by computational scientists? Did he present new evidence? There was no new evidence, and the invitation seems to have come from Dembski’s Ph.D. advisor Leo Kadanoff. I wasn’t present, and you probably weren’t either, but fortunately we can all view the seminar, as a... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Categories: Pro-Science News

AIG's ambivalent relation to the tax code

Wed, 2014-10-01 03:05
Schrödinger’s cat is, famously, both dead and alive, simultaneously. There has been doubt as to whether macroscopic objects could be prepared in cat states, but Answers in Genesis has done it! As Ed Hensley of the Kentucky Secular Society observes below, AIG is both a nonprofit and a for-profit entity, simultaneously (a condition that we noted earlier on PT). Following up on material that Dan Phelps acquired under the Freedom of Information Act, Mr. Hensley... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Freshwater: Tick, tock, tick, tock ...

Wed, 2014-10-01 03:05
John Freshwater’s application to the Supreme Court of the U.S. for a writ of certiorari was placed on the Court’s docket for Sept 29, 2014, yesterday. According to the Court’s web site Scheduled order lists are posted on this Website on the day of their issuance, while miscellaneous orders are posted on the day of issuance or the next day. It’s now Sept 30, but no order list for the 29th has yet been posted.... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Apis mellifera

Wed, 2014-10-01 03:05
Apis mellifera – western or European honeybee, dining along with others on a milkweed flower. Apparently a melanic form, because Bugguide assures me that it is “just a dark one.”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Noctilucent clouds

Tue, 2014-09-23 18:21
Photograph by Kari Tikkanen. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Noctilucent clouds. Mr Tikkanen writes that these “are bluish clouds located in the mesosphere at altitudes of around 80 kilometers. Relative recent appearance and their gradual increase may be linked to climate change.”... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Brachystola magna

Tue, 2014-09-16 07:36
Photograph by Ralph Arvesen. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Brachystola magna – plains lubber, or western lubber..... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Science is not about certainty

Tue, 2014-09-16 07:36
That is the title of an interesting article in The New Republic by the theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli. I read it mostly because it had been quote-mined by Elizabeth Mitchell here. Professor Rovelli’s article was perhaps a bit windy, and I could take issue with some of his discussion, but it was not all that hard to understand. One of his main points is that science has been extremely successful and any new theory will... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Happy Jason Lisle Day!

Tue, 2014-09-16 07:36
Note: This is a guest-post by DiogenesLamp. He has cross-posted it at WordPress and Blogger versions of his blog. I have BLEEPed a few things as PT is supposed to be in part an educational resource. – Nick Matzke Happy Jason Lisle Day! Today is the second anniversary of the day when Jason Lisle, director of what passes for research at ICR (Institute for Creation Research), promised he would explain why his alleged solution to... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

No, the human Y chromosome does not look like a "Y"

Tue, 2014-09-16 07:36
A friend brought this 2012 news article about the evolution of the rhesus monkey Y chromosome to my attention. The primary work itself is about characterizing the gene content of the rhesus Y chromosome (a laborious, and necessary task). This particular write-up, however, is slightly frustrating for some of the (wrong) assumptions it makes, but most noticable is the image: The picture of the “X and Y” chromosomes where the X chromosome, presumably, looks like an X, and... M. Wilson Sayres http://mathbionerd.blogspot.com
Categories: Pro-Science News

Alluvial fan

Tue, 2014-09-16 07:36
Alluvial fan created by the torrential rainfall 1 year ago, as seen from the Visitor Center, Trail Ridge Road, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, September, 2014. The meander at the bottom of the screen passes through the bed of Fan Lake, which was formed in 1982 when the Lawn Lake Dam burst and inundated the City of Estes Park.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News