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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 13 hours ago

Postdoc Opening Available

Thu, 2016-05-26 08:16
A Postdoctoral Research Associate position is available at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU). This new Postdoctoral Research Associate will be part of the Cartwright lab (http://cartwrig.ht/) located in the Biodesign Center for Personalized Diagnostics. The lab is focused on evolutionary research related to mutation and population variation, as well as developing statistical software to process large, genomic datasets to identify and study somatic and germline mutation patterns. A successful candidate will participate... Reed A. Cartwright http://dererumnatura.us/
Categories: Pro-Science News

Hardground with borings

Thu, 2016-05-26 08:16
Photograph by Dan Phelps. Hardground with borings from the Grant Lake Limestone (Upper Ordovician, Maysvillian), Maysville, Kentucky. Mr. Phelps explains, “Hardgrounds are surfaces in the geologic record that lithified on the sea floor and then were bored into and encrusted by marine invertebrates, followed by the deposition of more sediments. They are common in Ordovician carbonates of Kentucky.” And adds, “The creationist explanations for hardgrounds can be hilarious. Especially look at the diagram with gas... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Ken Ham (and maybe Dan Phelps) to be featured on Australian TV

Sat, 2016-05-21 15:49
This link is a preview of an Australian television show about the “replica” of Noah’s Ark being built out of gopher steel and concrete in Kentucky. I think it will air next Sunday, and I hope that an online version will be available soon afterward. “Sunday Night” is apparently an Australian news magazine similar to 60 Minutes in the US. Ken (who you callin’ the a Messiah, bud?) Ham commented on the program here; he... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Youngstown, Ohio, teaches intelligent-design creationism as fact

Sat, 2016-05-21 15:49
A commenter on an earlier thread directed our attention to an article by Zack Kopplin in the Daily Beast, “School teaching creationism with video from Islamic sex cult.” The headline may be a bit over the top, but the gist of the article is that the school district is employing materials developed by Harun Yahya. To give due credit, here is what the commenter, “Charley Horse,” wrote on the earlier thread: A bit off topic... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Intelligent-design creationist gets tenure at Ball State University

Wed, 2016-05-11 12:17
An article in The Star Press datelined Muncie, Indiana, today proclaimed, ‘Intelligent design’ professor earns tenure at Ball State. The professor in question is Eric Hedin, a physics professor who, as we reported in 2013, is apparently an intelligent-design creationist and once taught a course called Boundaries of Science. The class has, however, been canceled, and Professor Hedin has presumably been enjoined to not teach creationism in his physics classes. (No, my very dear trolls,... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Recurvirostra americana

Wed, 2016-05-11 12:17
Recurvirostra americana – American avocet, Cottonwood Lake, Boulder, Colorado, 3 days ago.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

A devastating critique of population genetics? The Discovery Institute thinks so

Sun, 2016-05-08 04:16
A retired European geneticist, Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig, has made a point that he feels is devastating to population genetic arguments about the effectiveness of natural selection. In a post at the Discovery Institute’s blog Evolution News and Views. He pointed to an argument he made in 2001 in an encyclopedia article. The essence of his criticism is that many organisms produce very large numbers of gametes, or of newborn offspring. Most of those must die. Then... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Categories: Pro-Science News

Cognitive dissonance in Kentucky

Wed, 2016-05-04 16:00
Dan Phelps just sent us an editorial in the Lexington Herald-Leader. The editorial accuses Kentucky of seeking science jobs while at the same time denying science: not just evolution but also global warming, alternative energy sources, and conservation. The editorial notes that Kentucky is “perennially short of money,” in part because of tax breaks like that for the Ark Park, and concludes, Kentucky forgoes tax revenue to help deny science while telling students they need... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Celithemis eponina

Tue, 2016-04-26 21:01
Photograph by Robin Lee-Thorp. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Celithemis eponina – Halloween pennant.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Cope vs. Kansas State Board of Education loses on appeal

Sat, 2016-04-23 10:47
NCSE informs us that the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has rendered a decision in the appeal of Cope vs. Kansas, which we reported on here. Specifically, the Court of Appeals upheld the District Court’s earlier dismissal of the case, largely on the basis of standing. Additionally, NCSE notes, “Interestingly, though, the decision observes in a footnote that COPE’s suggestion for ‘teleological’ explanations to be added to the standards would be unconstitutional.” NCSE’s report on... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

The Ark Park is hiring

Thu, 2016-04-21 00:51
Answers in Genesis is advertising a whole slew of jobs, but you do not have to read very far between the lines to realize that the hirees will be “detailed” to the Ark Park, presumably because AIG, as a religious organization, is allowed to discriminate on the basis of religion. I do not know why they are bothering, because recently a Kentucky judge ruled, in effect, that it was legal for the Ark Park itself... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Attacus atlas

Tue, 2016-04-12 01:25
Photograph by Diogenes. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Attacus atlas – Atlas moth. This specimen is a captive male at the Museum of the Academy of Natural History of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

It's Paul Nelson Day, again

Sun, 2016-04-10 20:13
Solemn greetings, all. Today, as the more reverent among you know, is Paul Nelson Day. Today is the 12th annual feast day of St Nelson, patron saint of obtusity and procrastination, and we honor his contributions to science by...well, by not doing much of anything at all. You could make grandiose claims today and promise to make good on them tomorrow, a tomorrow that stretches out into a decade or more, I suppose, but that's... PZ Myers http://scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/
Categories: Pro-Science News

Metaconglomerate rock

Thu, 2016-03-31 13:12
Photograph by Dan Phelps. Metaconglomerate rock (commercially known as marinace; if anyone knows why, please comment below). Mr. Phelps writes: I originally became interested in this rock after reading this blog post. The material was hard to find in small quantities, but I found a company that sells interesting rock slabs to use as cutting boards. If you notice, my slab has handles, which I will probably remove. The rock is actually a metaconglomerate from... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

New Federal education law deserves a closer look from those interested in science education

Thu, 2016-03-31 13:12
By Gaythia Weis. I want to call attention to the newly enacted legislation, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which relinquishes Federal control over many aspects of the education of our nation’s children. In so doing, this law may enable religious activists to exert their influence to a greater extent than previously possible. I need not remind readers of The Panda’s Thumb of the manner in which creationists attempt to subvert the public education system... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Kentucky school takes class to Creation "Museum"

Thu, 2016-03-31 13:12
I do not know why it is coming to light only now, but a few years ago a Kentucky elementary school rewarded students with “perfect” attendance by taking them on a field trip to the Creation “Museum.” Americans United has reported the story here, and a few days ago we received a press release from Daniel Phelps, a persistent critic of the Ark Park and the Creation Museum. Mr. Phelps has sent his press release... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Vestigial organs as proof of evolution

Mon, 2016-03-21 06:31
Interesting video, Proof of evolution that you can find on your own body, deals with several vestigial organs in the human body. It is certainly hard to see why a god might have included such organs if she had created humans by any method other than evolution. The video is only 4 min long; watch it!... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Billboard campaign vs. the Ark Park

Mon, 2016-03-21 06:31
The Sensuous Curmudgeon informs us today that the Tri-State Freethinkers of Newport, Kentucky, will launch a billboard campaign that, as they put it, intends to “counter” the grand opening of the Ark Park in July. They have launched an IndieGoGo campaign with an intended goal of $2000; when I checked a moment ago, it looked as though they had raised nearly $3100 in a single day. The billboard will read Genocide and Incest Park Celebrating... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Grus canadensis

Tue, 2016-03-15 00:56
Photograph by Robert Dullien. Grus canadensis – sandhill crane.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Intelligent design makes it into Plos One

Thu, 2016-03-03 05:31
We have just received an e-mail from one of the Panda’s Thumb crew to the effect that a paper “demonstrating” the intelligent design of the human hand has been published in the refereed journal Plos One. The paragraphs that caught the crew member’s attention are these: The explicit functional link indicates that the biomechanical characteristic of tendinous connective architecture between muscles and articulations is the proper design by the Creator to perform a multitude of... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News