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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 week 5 days ago

Creationist classification of theropods

Sat, 2016-11-12 20:03
“Liaoning scene” by Emily Willoughby. Guest post by Jonathan Kane. Mr. Kane describes himself as an “armchair paleontologist” who worked as an intern at the New Jersey State Museum under natural-history curator David C. Parris from 2001 to 2005. He is the lead author of God’s Word or Human Reason? An Inside Perspective on Creationism, coauthored by Emily Willoughby and T. Michael Keesey, shortly to be published by Inkwater Press. A major focus of... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Triboniophorus graeffei

Sat, 2016-11-12 20:03
Photograph by Paul Blake. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Triboniophorus graeffei – red triangle slug, Mount Castle area, Great Dividing Range, southwest of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

False promise of genetically modified crops

Wed, 2016-11-02 22:43
The Times is more polite than I am; today it ran an article Doubts about the promised bounty of genetically modified crops, by Danny Hakim. Well, I read the article and looked more closely at the supporting material, Broken promises of genetically modified crops, by Karl Russell and Danny Hakim, and I frankly have no doubts. As Mr. Hakim writes, An analysis by The Times using United Nations data showed that the United States and... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Evolution topics coming to CSICON Las Vegas

Wed, 2016-11-02 22:43
If you don’t know about this year’s CSICON, check it out! There are several evolution-related talks, including Richard Dawkins (4:00 Friday Oct. 28th), Eugenie Scott (9:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 29th, “Sins of Evolution Education”) and Bertha Vazquez (9:30 AM Sat., “The Teacher Institute for Evolutionary Science (TIES)”). There is a paper session on Sunday, October 30th. At 9:45 AM I’ll be presenting “ War of the Weasels: An Update on Creationist Attacks on Genetic... Dave Thomas http://www.nmsr.org
Categories: Pro-Science News

Pelecanus erythrorhynchos

Thu, 2016-10-27 03:06
Pelecanus erythrorhynchos – American white pelican, Walden Ponds, Boulder, Colorado, July 16, 2016. Mea culpa: The birds were just beyond the limit of my equipment, but this was the first time I recall seeing pelicans so late in the season and certainly the first time I have seen a juvenile. It may be sampling error – I do not visit Walden Ponds every week – but I wonder whether they are changing their migration... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Sayonara, EvolutionBlog

Thu, 2016-10-27 03:06
Jason Rosenhouse is calling it a day. His EvolutionBlog is ceasing publication. Jason is one of the veterans in the evolution/creationism wars, dating back to his postdoc at Kansas State around 14 years ago, when he got involved with the Kansas Board of Education’s efforts to pollute the teaching of biology with creationism. While Jason blogged on other topics–chess, religion, math–for our purposes here let it be remarked that Jason is one of the most... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

More on Ark Park on opening day

Thu, 2016-10-27 03:06
Dan Phelps, who visited the Ark Park on opening day, has published a longer account, Kentucky Gets an Ark-Shaped Second Creation “Museum” on the website of the National Center for Science Education. The article has lots of detail and many more interesting pictures than we ran on PT. One section that especially amused me was the Ark Park’s attack on what you might call cutesy children’s books that tell the Noah story – which Mr.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Philosophers to debate evolution; scientists protest

Fri, 2016-10-21 17:39
Joel Velasco of Texas Tech University will debate Paul Nelson of the Discovery Institute on the topic, “Is Darwin’s theory flourishing or floundering?” according to an article by Victoria Cavazos in Hilltop Views, the student newspaper of St. Edward’s University of Austin, Texas. We will not discuss whether it is floundering or foundering; it is doing neither, and 11 science faculty expressed their opposition to the debate, which they called a “debate.” The signatories to... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Climate science and fetal-tissue research under attack

Mon, 2016-10-17 16:38
Interesting and important program, Science in the crosshairs, on Science Friday today. Host Ira Flatow interviewed Michael Mann of hockey-stick fame, virologist Carolyn Coyne, Lauren Kurtz of the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, and surgery resident Eugene Gu, who is also the founder of a startup called Ganogen. The impetus for the program, or at least one of the impetuses, was a blizzard of subpoenas issued by the House Committee on Energy and Commerce and... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Chrysoperla sp.

Mon, 2016-10-17 16:38
Photograph by Susan Gilman. Eggs of Chrysoperla sp. – green lacewing.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Plan to defend against war on science

Mon, 2016-10-17 16:38
I just received an e-mail (along with half a million of my best friends) from Shawn Otto, the founder of sciencedebate.org, touting his recent article, “A plan to defend against the war on science,” in Scientific American. I thought it was a good article, but a plan it is not; the “plan” shows up in the second-last paragraph and says only, There are solutions, however. Sciencedebates.org [sic] is certainly a start. Evidence shows the public... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Ark Park as obstacle to scientific understanding among religious public

Sun, 2016-10-09 06:59
Dan Phelps, President of the Kentucky Paleontological Society, invites us to watch a YouTube presentation of a paper he and his colleagues, Kent Ratajeski and Joel Duff, presented at the recent national meeting of the Geographical Society of America. Watch it and, as Professor Ratajeski says, you can save the $40 admission fee, plus the $10 parking fee. And you will also find certain creationist myths debunked by these scientists, two of whom, Professors... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Notophthalmus viridescens

Sat, 2016-10-01 17:02
Photograph by Barbara Gilman. Notophthalmus viridescens – red eft, Monroe, New York. The red eft is a juvenile stage of the eastern newt. We used to see many of them in that area, but now they have become uncommon. While we are on the subject of evolution, eft and newt, the words, share a common ancestor. The middle English word for newt was ewte, depending whose spelling you like, and I assume the double-u was... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Creationism reappears in Texas

Sat, 2016-10-01 17:02
Of course, it never really disappeared, as Michael Zimmerman notes in an article in the Huffington Post this past week. I will not go into detail, but according to Professor Zimmerman, a committee of the Texas State Board of Education had voted 6-2 to remove four standards that had been added in 2009, more or less at the last minute. Suffice it to say that the standards had been supported by Don McLeroy when he... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Cope vs. Kansas Board of Education is appealed to Supreme Court

Sat, 2016-10-01 17:02
NCSE informs us that Cope vs. Kansas State Board of Education, which we reported on here and here, has been appealed to the US Supreme Court. The Court of Appeals had upheld the District Court’s earlier dismissal of the case, largely on the basis of standing. Here, with permission, is NCSE’s report on the appeal: COPE et al. v. Kansas State Board of Education et al., the creationist lawsuit seeking to reverse Kansas’s 2013 decision... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Teaching about climate change can be injurious to your academic freedom

Tue, 2016-09-20 02:15
By Gaythia Weis. An uproar fanned by the right-wing media has left a University of Colorado at Colorado Springs professor and two instructors with quite a tightrope walk. The uproar involves an online humanities and environmental health class at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, entitled “Medical Humanities in the Digital Age.” The three faculty members (and others) may have to walk softly when teaching courses that may be a subject of public controversy.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

U.S. Presidential Candidates Answer ScienceDebate 2016 Questions

Mon, 2016-09-19 16:58
Science Debate questions and answers here. I have not read the responses yet. From a press release we received this morning from Science Debate: U.S. Presidential Candidates Answer ScienceDebate 2016 Questions WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2016 –Three of the four major candidates for United States president have responded to America’s Top 20 Presidential Science, Engineering, Technology, Health and Environmental Questions. The nonprofit advocacy group ScienceDebate.org has posted their responses online at http://sciencedebate.org/20answers. Hillary Clinton, Donald... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Selasphorus platycerus

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

Charadrius vociferus

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"

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