My desktop background images change from time to time as I come across new amazing science-related images. For a while, there was a lull so my cat Simba (from the Simba-file on the mindcast) got to stare back at me in her recent ultra-cute glamour shot in front of the fireplace.
Well move over, kitty, it’s time for the Z-machine. Continue reading Z machines and Z DNA
Many churches take a stand on the issue of evolution. Fundamentalists chuck their scriptures at science, and more progressive denominations think of their stories of creation as metaphorical descriptions of the process of evolution. But what are we to make of the fact that the Mormon church, that the Latter Day Saints have a position of no position on evolution? Continue reading One Greater Family
Last Saturday I was treated to a bit of news. While waiting for a burger to be grilled, I spied the front page article of the Sacramento Bee newspaper. See: Levee emergency declared. What the..? Why this and why now? Continue reading Arnold and the AAAS
It slices, it dices, itâ€™s found in quinces. Well actually, it has been found ubiquitously in eukaryotes – from plants to animals, fungi, and protists. Dicer is an enzyme that cleaves double-stranded RNA, which may sounds boring to you, but it is my favorite enzyme in the world. Why? It defends against viruses, particpates in a gene regulation system, and it is the basis for a process called RNAi, a promising tool for genetic research and crop biotechnology. But that’s not quite enough to qualify as a truly awesome macromolecule in my book, Continue reading DICER: More than just an enzyme.
Science Fiction author David Brin comments on the Intelligent Design situation, offering up a moving conclusion. He suggests that if we focus on the aspects of ID that differ from classic Creation Science, then we could highlight just how effective science has been at forcing the opposition to evolve. Continue reading Have you stopped beating up science?
This week I saw the new Jim Carrey comedy, mildly funny. But while waiting to see it I saw a new coke advertisement with polar bears and penguins hanging out together, drinking coca-cola. Wait a second, Polar bears live on the North pole, and punguins on the South.
Chris Mooney lamented about what this means about, and does to the public understanding of science, in this case biogeography. Continue reading No scriptwriters left behind
Phil Plait, the Bad Astronomer, weighs in on the difference between how politicians use information and how scientists use information. And there’s that pesky word “truth” coming up again.
“I donâ€™t care if youâ€™re Republican or Democrat, whatâ€™s happening in the U.S. is a wholesale dismantling of one of our most precious resources: the scientific ability to sort truth from fiction. This ability is what my website (and blog) are all about, so I intend to be more active in this field in the future.”
Continue reading All about the Information!!
Here is an excellent article by Nicholas Wade at the NYT about the differences between textbook science and frontier science, while discussing the issue of Dr. Hwang. I particularly like the concluding paragraph:
“Tightening up the reviewing system may remove some faults but will not erase the inescapable gap between textbook science and frontier science. Continue reading Claims not Truths
So Iâ€™ve decided to start a weblog. The weblog, or blog for short, has had a shaky beginning. This is largely because of the stereotype that blog authors are just bored and lonely technophiles who have nothing to say but are telling people they have never met what they had for breakfast, featuring a live mood-indicator. Or perhaps youâ€™ve thought of them as places where angry people vent their grammatically poor, factually atrocious, and ethically mal-adjusted personal views hoping that someone will subscribe to their drivel. Finally, perhaps you heard warnings about blogs through the print, radio, or television media during political campaigns as having posted dubious information and so-called anonymous â€˜expert analysesâ€™ about candidates or political issues. Yes, they can be used for that, just like the print media has its tabloids, television has its trash, and even radio has its idiotic ideologues.
But blogs as a delivery system for information have far more potential than people may yet realize. Continue reading The Mindlog Part II, Entering the Blogosphere.