A Kitzmas Karol

It has now been two years since the pseudoscience Intelligent Design got its rectum handed to it by Judge John E. Jones III in the Kitzmiller v Dover case. Each year, it has become a science blogging tradition to highlight the effect that this monumental test case has had on the public image and political strategies of ID. The scientific status of ID has remained unchanged since its inception, namely, empty. What the court case did was turn the tables on the politics of the Discovery Institute and its “Design Proponents,” revealing in a structured evidence-based format just how far from science they really were. Continue reading A Kitzmas Karol

A fun-filled Wednesday

On the recently passed Wednesday the 14th, I had a pretty busy, fun-filled day. I was so busy coming up to it that I forgot to blog about it being one year since I visited Madison before I had applied.

As you may know, besides my research on the Sugary Enhancer gene in maize, I’m working on some video projects. At first, the idea was to create a series of videos on pollination methods, mostly for college courses on plant breeding. Then, videos interviewing plant breeders were added in, and when I arrived in Madison in June we got ready to start filming for these two projects. And while we were out in the field, we thought, why don’t we film some grad students about the PBPG program and make a promo?

One, then two, then three projects – and they’re reproducing fast! I told my adviser Shawn that this is how it starts, and that it will never end. “Oh it’ll end for me,” he said. Uh oh. Continue reading A fun-filled Wednesday

Halo 3: Science of Play

Today, Halo 3 comes out across the country. I’m a big fan of the Halo series, and I can’t wait to get the third and final installment (need an Xbox 360 first, not to mention a TV), which looks like a video game of epic proportions. The only other game I could get excited about coming out soon is Starcraft 2. In reading and watching all about Halo 3, the making of the game, and the viral marketing they used (and didn’t need to use) to advertise the game, I came a across a really good feature article about Halo 3 that shows that Bungie is taking video game entertainment to the next level – treating it as a science!

Seriously, if you find video games interesting (or why people are so into them), you should read this article. Continue reading Halo 3: Science of Play

Helix of another coil

A couple weeks ago I blogged about the Double Helix Nebula, making an educated guess about whether or not it coils the same way as DNA, (like a bolt or screw) or the retrograde Z-DNA. I also predicted that the Intelligent Design crowd was going to latch onto this nebula as some sort of example of design akin to what they believe happened in the origin of life. Was I right? Well, the UCLA scientist who discovered the nebula stepped in on both counts… Continue reading Helix of another coil

No scriptwriters left behind

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