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Panda's Thumb

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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: 16 hours 27 min ago

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

Does AIG lie about Affirmative Action?

Sun, 2014-09-07 16:23
Acting on a tip, I checked out Careers at Answers in Genesis and the Creation Museum and investigated CAD Technician Designer, Ark Encounter. After clicking “Apply for This Position,” I came upon a pop-up that informed me, Answers in Genesis, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity/ Affirmative Action employer. We provide equal employment opportunities to all qualified employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, religion, sex, age, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, citizenship... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

House Bill 597 enshrines ignorance

Sun, 2014-09-07 16:23
The more I think about this the madder I get. In a Facebook comment on my previous post, Anne Jefferson made a trenchant point: We’re not going to teach about process, but we’re going to expect students to critically evaluate? Right. She’s exactly right. Here’s the relevant language from the Bill: (iii) The standards in science shall … focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than scientific processes; and encourage students to analyze, critique, and... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Revised Ohio Bill still guts science education, adds 'strengths and weaknesses' language

Sun, 2014-09-07 16:23
The authors of House Bill 597, which is aimed at derailing the Common Core standards in Ohio, have revised it (PDF). (Columbus Dispatch story here). Their revisions now embody the ‘strength and weaknesses’ trope of creationists. The Bill now says (iii) The standards in science shall be based in core existing disciplines of biology, chemistry, and physics; incorporate grade-level mathematics and be referenced to the mathematics standards; focus on academic and scientific knowledge rather than... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Canis lupus baileyi

Mon, 2014-09-01 19:40
Photograph by Dan Stodola. Photography contest, Honorable Mention. Canis lupus baileyi – Mexican wolf, Brookfield Zoo, Illinois.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Giant panda fakes pregnancy

Fri, 2014-08-29 18:48
The Xinhua news agency reported the other day that a giant panda, Ai Hin, had faked pregnancy, possibly in order to receive better treatment in the form of a private room, air conditioning, and luscious bamboo. This observant and inventive panda is, of course, a distant relative of Professor Steve Steve.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Another case of ... erm ... Darwinist censorship

Fri, 2014-08-29 18:48
[sarcasm] Jeff Shallit calls attention to an egregious case of Darwinian censorship. [/sarcasm]. I think the “atheistic leaning neo-Darwinist blog” is Panda’s Thumb. Recall Nick Matzke’s critique here.... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Tradescantia occidentalis

Thu, 2014-08-28 15:26
Photograph by Rob Dullien. Tradescantia occidentalis – prairie or western spiderwort, near Coyote Buttes, Arizona, May, 2014.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Panda cub is 1 year old

Thu, 2014-08-28 15:26
That cub is Bao Bao, the cub born at the National Zoo in Washington. See here for a short video or here for still photos. Bao Bao is the second panda to have been born at the zoo and survived to her first birthday. She is, of course, a distant cousin, once removed, of Professor Steve Steve.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Ohio: Here we go again

Thu, 2014-08-28 15:26
Ohio is in the process of considering the Common Core standards to guide public education in a range of disciplines from English language arts to math and science. Ohio’s State Board of Education adopted the Common Core in June of 2010, and local districts have been creating curriculum materials under the Common Core for implementation this year. Now two state legislators, Republican Andy Thompson of Medina and Republican Matt Huffman of Lima have filed a... Richard B. Hoppe
Categories: Pro-Science News

Lonicera X bella

Wed, 2014-08-20 00:12
Honeysuckle, by Richard Meiss. Photography contest, Finalist. Lonicera X bella – Asian bush honeysuckle. Mr. Meiss writes, “This photo shows the coexisting ripe berries and new flowers of the Asian bush honeysuckle, an invasive species in the American midwest. This ‘second flowering’ in mid-September was induced by the very hot and dry summer of 2012. The phenomenon, an adaptation to environmental stress, was also widely noted in the British Isles; its prevalence is likely related... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Dallas "researchers" out to scientifically prove biblical version of creation

Wed, 2014-08-20 00:12
The scare quotes are my gloss, but that is the headline of a credulous Dallas Morning News article on the “research” being conducted at the Institute for Creation “Research.” The article quotes Pat Robertson to the effect that it is silly – or, rather, looks silly – to deny the clear geologic record, but mostly the author appears to take the “research” seriously. Indeed, he makes the point that Charity Navigator gives ICR a 3-star... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Categories: Pro-Science News

Dam burst in British Columbia threatens spawning salmon

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

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

Eclipse

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

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