November 2004 Archives

Number one word of the year

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Merriam-Webster has released the top 10 words of the year. (Reuters)

Springfield, Massachusetts-based Merriam-Webster compiles the list each year by taking the most researched words on its Web sites and then excluding perennials such as affect/effect and profanity.

The company said most online dictionary queries were for uncommon terms, but people also turned to its Web sites for words in news headlines.

And the number one word is … “blog.”

Blog noun [short for Weblog] (1999) : a Web site that contains an online personal journal with reflections, comments, and often hyperlinks provided by the writer

Cicada was number 6.

Whoa. (New Cassini photo)

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So far, most of the results from the Cassini mission have been scientifically interesting, but, well, not much to look at. Most of the photos have been black-and-white. However, today JPL put up a color composite that deserves some kind of award for science photograph of the year.

Whoa. And again I say, whoa. This definitely belongs in the “amazing things simple physics can do” category. For the higher resolution version and the caption, see the main body of the post.

Debating with Evolution Deniers

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Deborah Lipstadt, the distinguished expert on the Holocaust, refuses to debate with Holocaust deniers. If I remember a radio interview correctly, Prof. Lipstadt said, in so many words, “I do not debate with liars.” In her view, a respected historian’s debating Holocaust deniers would give them and their views stature and credibility they do not deserve. Indeed, the very fact of a debate will imply that there is something to debate, that Holocaust denial is a legitimate intellectual endeavor.

Evolution deniers such as intelligent-design creationists may not be consciously fabricating anything, but their intellectual output is as devoid of content as Holocaust denial. Debating or collaborating with them, it seems to me, will imply that there is something to debate, that evolution denial is a legitimate intellectual endeavor.

Tangled Bank deadline is coming up…

The Tangled Bank

Gather up your links to interesting science posts and send one to Leah Penn Boris (lapenn (at) gmail (dot) com), who wil be hosting the next Tangled Bank at her website, Penn, this Wednesday. Or you can send them to host@tangledbank.net, or to PZ Myers—they'll all get to the right place.

As always, I'm looking for new people to host future Tangled Banks. It's not hard, it gets you some attention, and it helps promote science on the web. If you're interested, send email to me, and I'll put you on our list.

Opening Shot

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Thanks to everyone for your welcoming comments. I want to start by giving an overview of my own positions and the topics on which I believe I can make a profitable contribution here.

I’m called a theistic evolutionist. I have significant problems with that designation, though I find it necessary to use it at times. First, I accept the biological theory of evolution. It’s not a doctrine, it’s not a philosophy, it’s not my religion; I accept it as a valuable and overwhelmingly well-documented and supported scientific theory. Second, I am a theist, in that I believe in a personal God. The second does not impact the first. There would be no difference in my formulation of any scientific statement about evolution and that of an atheist. There is no such thing as a theory of “theistic evolution,” there is only the theory of evolution. But because there are those who assume that the debate over creation and evolution is one between theism and atheism, it is necessary to make that designation.

So what am I doing here?

A New Contributor

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I am happy to announce that The Panda’s Thumb has a new contributor, one that I think will bring quite a different perspective to the evolution/creationism debate. Up until now, all of our contributors have been scientists, academics or interested amateurs like myself. Now we have our first contributor from the theological side of things.

Henry Neufeld is a writer and Bible teacher with his BA in Biblical Languages from Walla Walla College, College Place, WA, and his MA in Religion, concentrating in Biblical and Cognate languages from Andrews University, Berrien Springs, MI. His MA project focused on developing a consistent model for understanding imagery shared between ancient near eastern cultures, particularly in creation myths. He is president of Pacesetters Bible School, a non-profit religious educational organization dedicated to taking Biblical scholarship to the people in the pews. He is co-author of When 3 to 8 Gather and I Want to Pray (both under revision for a second edition) and author of What’s in a Version? He recently founded Energion Publications, a small publishing company whose mission is to publish challenging material on religious topics, and also maintains the web site Energion.com which publishes articles on the same topics. Henry is married with two step-children, and lives in Pensacola, Florida where he is a member of a United Methodist congregation.

Henry has been a friend of mine for something going on 11 years now. He is in fact one of the very first people I encountered when I began participating in online bulletin boards and such, in the Compuserve Religion Forum. I am thrilled that he will be bringing his perspective here as a Christian and a Hebrew scholar. I have long believed that the evolution/creationism debate is far too often framed as Christianity v. atheism, when that simply is not the case. Evolution is accepted by most of the mainline Christian denominations, and some of our most powerful and eloquent spokesmen on behalf of evolution and sound science education are Christians. Ken Miller, Glenn Morton, Howard Van Till, Keith Miller and our own Wesley Elsberry come to mind. I am glad that Henry Neufeld has accepted my offer to patronize our little establishment and lend us his always challenging and well-reasoned views on this important subject. Welcome, Henry.

Was Darwin Wrong?

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I had originally conceived of the idea to compare and contrast anti-evolutionist responses to National Geographic’s recent piece on evolution. The point was to hopefully demonstrate similarities between “young-earth” creationism and “intelligent-design” creationism. With limited time available to do this, I think I’ll just provide a collection of links and let the readers for now draw their own conclusions.

Now you, too, can add a disclaimer to your science textbook! Amaze your friends!

The long-awaited decision of the Dover Area School District in Pennsylvania regarding evolution and intelligent design has finally been released to the public (press release found here). It’s a policy that virtually guarantees legal action that the school district will lose. Let’s take a look at the statement. After noting that their biology classes will be using the Prentice-Hall textbook Biology as their primary textbook, they said:

The district also received as a donation 60 copies of Of Pandas and People and the book is now listed as a reference book in the curriculum. It is not a required text, but in an effort to present a balanced curriculum the book is made available to all students who wish to review the book.

The Biology curriculum was also updated to include the following statement:

“Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin’s Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to Intelligent Design. The Origins of Life is not taught.”

Continue reading Dover School District Wades Into Troubled Waters at Dispatches from the Culture Wars

Falsehoods on the Air

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The “Powerpoint” radio show from Atlanta, Georgia this evening was about evolution and “intelligent design”. The guests included Barbara Forrest, Casey Luskin, David Schwimmer, and John Calvert. It was an interesting discussion, to say the least.

I called in to make a comment, in response to an assertion by John Calvert that “intelligent design theory” was being used in science, referencing “design detection” methods in archeology and life sciences.

To solve the controversy over the alleged Bible code promoted by Doron Witztum, Eliyahu Rips and Yoav Rosenberg (WRR) and fiercely supported by scores of their followers and epigones of both Judaic and Christian varieties, several experiments have been suggested starting almost immediately after WRR’s paper was published in Statistical Science (in 1994). Perhaps the most significant effort in that direction was made when, in 1998, a committee was formed comprising both proponents and opponents of the Bible code, all distinguished scholars who could not be suspected of lack of impartiality in judging the experimentally revealed data.

Various authors have already shown why Dembski’s Design Inference is an ‘argument from ignorance’, also known as an ‘argument from incredulity’ or ‘God of the Gaps argument’. In addition, the Design Inference has been shown to be unreliable (Gedanken), susceptible to false positives, unsuitable for detecting new design (Del Ratzsch), unable to distinguish between apparent and actual design (Elsberry), without practical applications or using the words of Dembski ‘useless if it cannot avoid false positives (see footnote [10])’.

And yet ID proponents are still touting Dembski’s Design Inference as a reliable and practical tool for inferring design (and even designer(s)).Why do we see the concept of Complex Specified Information (CSI) described as a reliable indictor of design when Dembski himself argues that there is apparent and actual CSI and has presented no tools to differentiate between the two. If the Design Inference cannot reliably detect design,and all indications are that it can’t, ID has failed to address the central issue of the argument namely that the real question is not (appearance of) design in nature but rather the nature of the designer.

To resolve these issues, I will first show why the Design Inference is a classic ‘argument from ignorance’. Furthermore I will document the various arguments (often contradictory) used by ID proponents, specifically W.A. Dembski ,when arguing these issues and how the argument varies when preaching to different choirs. I will show why the Design Inference is unreliable, unsuitable to detect new design, prone to false positives (and thus ‘useless’ (see footnote [10])), unable to distinguish between apparent and actual design and unable to eliminate natural selection as the ‘designer’. Finally I will discuss the (hidden) costs of Intelligent Design rushing ahead of establishing a scientific foundation and ignoring or misrepresenting scientific knowledge. My concerns are particularly the potential cost of what Lamoureux described as the false dichotomy between science and religious faith.

In a series of events that surprised me almost as much as the people from my hometown, long-lost friends, and distant relatives, I appeared as a guest on NPR’s Talk of the Nation: Science Friday today. The show description is here, and the archived show can be heard online here. I have been a fan of Science Friday since high school. I’ve even sent in questions, which have never been read because they get so many questions. Even in the unlikely event that I ever became a famous scientist, I thought it unlikely I would ever be on Science Friday. I mean, people like Richard Dawkins get on Science Friday (he was in the second hour this week, as it turns out). Then, one day, I’m called up and asked to be on the show. It just so happened that I work at the National Center for Science Education, and it just so happened that I have been the guy monitoring the “Intelligent Design” situation in Dover, Pennsylvania, and it just so happened that the issue has exploded in the media over the last several weeks for several reasons, and it just so happens that almost everyone from Dover that might be interviewed is consulting lawyers and so isn’t talking to the media. So, on I go. There were six guests total, so each person got to say only a few things, but I think it ended up being a pretty good show.

Listen to the archived show and say what you think. NPR may be hosting an online discussion over here although I can’t find one for today’s show yet.

Whenver one does this kind of thing, afterwords you think of dozens of things you wish you’d said. So, to get them off my mind, I’ll list them in the rest of this post. Suggest your own!

A Quantum Leap in Bat Evolution

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Creationists and Intelligent Designists have long pointed to bats as problems for evolution, because of the general lack of transitional fossils.

Here’s a sample of such an argument from the dean of young-earth creationists, Duane Gish of the Institute for Creation Research:

Bats (of the order Chiroptera), the only flying mammal, are especially interesting. Evolutionists assume, of course, that bats must have evolved from a non-flying mammal. There is not one shred of evidence in the fossil record, however, to support such speculations, for, as Romer says, “Bats appear full fledged in both hemispheres in the Middle Eocene …”

And here’s an example from the dean of ID, Phillip Johnson:

It isn’t merely that grand-scale Darwinism can’t be confirmed. The evidence is positively against the theory. For example, if Darwinism is true then the bat, monkey, pig, seal, and whale all evolved in gradual adaptive stages from a primitive rodent-like predecessor. This hypothetical common ancestor must have been connected to its diverse descendants by long linking chains of transitional intermediates which in turn put out innumerable side branches. The intermediate links would have to be adaptively superior to their predecessors, and be in the process of developing the complex integrated organs required for aquatic life, flight, and so on. Fossil evidence that anything of the sort happened is thoroughly missing and in addition it is extremely difficult to imagine how the hypothetical intermediate steps could have been adaptive.

And here’s another from Johnson:

Perhaps one day scientists will be able to test some macroevolutionary mechanism, involving changes in the rate genes or whatever, that will explain how a four-footed mammal can become a whale or a bat without going through impossible intermediate steps. The difficulties should be honestly acknowledged, however.

I’m pleased to report that that “one day” has arrived.

Brent Rasmussen and DarkSyde (who never tells anyone his real name, I suspect because his first name is Orville or something like that) have begun a series of posts on the Unscrewing the Inscrutable weblog that introduces readers to the various voices within the Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC) movement. Part one of this series features perhaps the two leading thinkers of the movement, Michael Behe and William Dembski, famous for the concept of irreducible complexity and the explanatory filter, respectively. The introductions are pretty good as far as they go, and they accurately nail Behe for his continual goalpost moving and Dembski for his refusal to apply his filter to any objects in the real world. As they post new entries, I’ll continue to link to them. They should do a valuable service as a brief introduction to the terms of the debate.

More tangly, banky goodness!

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The Tangled Bank

Tangled Bank #16 is online at Rhosgobel!

If you don't know what the Tangled Bank is, you can read the explanation at Tangled Bank Central. It's a biweekly collection of science stories, hosted by webloggers. Go there to find lots of articles on all kinds of science. Submit your own stories. Volunteer to be a host. It's our attempt to propagate more attention to science in the blogosphere.

If you still don't get it, send email to me and ask questions. If you get it and think this is a wonderful idea, volunteer to help out. It takes people to build a pro-science network, and we're always looking for more enthusiasts.

Fossil Hominids is ten years old

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Guess what? The Fossil Hominids website has just reached the ripe old age of 10 years! The site’s goal is to present the evidence for human evolution, and to address creationist arguments about it. I started it in 1994 because the talk.origins archive had no material on human evolution, despite it being a hot topic in the creation/evolution debate. The first version of the site was not a web page, but a 53K text file available by ftp from the talk.origins archive, which at the time was an ftp site rather than a website. (ftp, or File Transfer Protocol, was a common way of getting files to and from other computers before the web took off). The original page was just a list of descriptions of species and fossils and a brief rebuttal of some creationist arguments. I converted it into a web page in November 95 and added the first illustrations. The page had grown to 151K by April 96, and in October 96, it was split into multiple web pages. The site has been steadily growing since 1994. At the moment, it consists of 170 web pages totalling about 1.8M in size, including a number by other contributors, along with about 230 image files. The home page gets about 400 hits per day. The site is now one of the top resources on human evolution on the web, and (I think) the best source of information about human evolution and creationism on or off the web. I’ve enjoyed building the site and plan to keep improving it. If you’ve never visited, please drop by!

Schrenko Rap

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Just about everybody knows that Georgia’s current Republican state school superintendent, Kath Cox, wanted to gut science education of anything that might upset bible thumpers. She not only eliminated the term “evolution,” she also took out references to the “long” age of the earth, and she removed about 70% of the material covering evolutionary biology.

The woman she replaced, Linda Schrenko, was even worse. Schrenko, the first woman elected to a state wide office, was once the darling of the Republican Party and the Christian Coalition. In 1996 Schrenko asked the state attorney general if creationism could be taught in public classrooms. Apparently Linda never heard of Edwards v Aguillard. Undeterred, she continued to insist that it was a local issue and encouraged teachers to decide for themselves how they were going to teach biology. (Wink, wink, nudge, nudge.)

The Tangled Bank

Hey, everyone: the next Tangled Bank is coming up this Wednesday, November 17th. Send those links to science-related writing to rhosgobel2@comcast.net or to PZ Myers or to host@tangledbank.net.

We also need more volunteers for hosts! It's not that much work, and it will get your weblog permanently enshrined in the Tangled Bank's Esteemed Blogroll of Honorable Hosts, as well as driving more traffic to your site. Sign up! (Contributing a link to any Tangled Bank will also earn you an entry in the Tangled Bank's Wondrous Blogroll of Creative Contributors See all the glory you can earn?)

McLean

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Incidentally, while writing the last post, I stumbled upon the McLean v. Arkansas Documentation Project, a pretty cool resource with lots of material on the case.

Dover creationism update

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You'll remember that the Dover, Pennsylvania School District has decided to include intelligent design in its curriculum. As this story notes, there's some pretty heated complaints in the neighborhood as a result. This story says the Pennsylvania ACLU is looking at the case, but hasn't yet decided what to do. (My own calls to them on the subject were not returned.)

Meanwhile, this editorial by Nancy Snyder seems to argue in defense of science, making the point that the schools should also teach the weakness of intelligent design.

There have long been attempts by evolutionary biologists and evolutionary psychologists to understand just what effect different mating systems have on evolution. Certainly, mating systems in which a male is able to sire many offspring with many different females will cause natural selection to favor different traits than one in which a male is limited to one female. Additionally, a mating system that causes some types of competition to become more extreme can greatly reduce other types of competition. Gorillas, for example, are polygamous, with one male controlling a harem of females to which he has exclusive access. In a situation such as this, there is extreme competition for gaining control of such a harem, but little competition for mating once dominance is established. As a result, there is selective pressure for gorilla males to beat back other males and become dominant, and the results are obvious: gorillas exhibit the greatest sexual dimorphism of any living primate, with males almost twice as large as females. Selection favors the big and brawny types who can successfully fight off their rivals. But there is another form of competition, one in which gorillas aren’t subjected much to – competition between sperm to be the first to reach the egg. There are any number of ways in which sperm from different males can compete, the most obvious of which is through simple quantity. But since male gorillas can be pretty well assured that the females in their harem will mate only with themselves, their sperm has no competition, and it shows when it comes to quantity: male gorillas have the smallest testes to body weight ratio of the great apes. That’s right, the burly boys of the ape world aren’t really packing that much down below, but I still wouldn’t poke fun at them.

You can see how mating systems affect evolution throughout the primate world of which we are a part. Chimpanzees, whose females are very promiscuous, tend to have little sexual dimorphism but a very large testes to body weight ratio. For them, the selective pressure is more heavily focused on post-copulatory sperm competition rather than simple fighting ability. Gibbons, on the other hand, are strictly monogamous. They have little sexual dimorphism and a small testes to body weight ratio. For them, there isn’t much competition to fight off rival males or to thwart rival sperm. We humans seem to be somewhat in the middle, with a moderate amount of sexual dimorphism and a moderate testes to body weight ratio, indicating that during our evolutionary past, we weren’t nearly as monogamous as we’d like to think. But at least we weren’t as slutty as the chimpanzees. (Our lack of total monogamy is corroborated by additional evidence from our genome, some of which Carl Zimmer talks about here.)

Now a new piece of the puzzle has been tossed into the mix, thanks to some new research appearing in Nature Genetics by Steve Dorus and coworkers. The new study, titled “Rate of molecular evolution of the seminal protein gene SEMG2 correlates with levels of female promiscuity” (subscription required), focuses on another facet of sperm competition other than simple quantity. In this case, post-copulatory semen coagulation.

The suit against Cobb County (GA) school district to remove anti-evolution disclaimers from biology textbooks is going well. I was able to attend part of the trial today and saw most of the testimony of CCSD’s lone witness, Dr. George Stickle, who oversees science education for the county. The Discovery Institute is apparently unhappy with the way things are going (Why Isn’t Cobb Co. School District’s Attorney Mounting More Vigorous Defense? and Can Cobb Co. Attorney Overcome Trial Mistakes in Time to Save School District?).

Read the rest at De Rerum Natura.

The discovery of Homo floresiensis, the dwarf human species from Flores in Indonesia, has received such massive media attention that creationists have naturally responded to it. Carl Weiland of Answers in Genesis has written an article on Homo floresiensis, and Agape Press has also written an article interviewing AIG's founder, Ken Ham.

AIG basically agrees with the researchers who found the bones (nicknamed 'the Hobbit') that they are a dwarf variety of Homo erectus. However AIG (unlike almost all modern scientists) considers that H. erectus really belongs to H. sapiens, and that the Flores bones should therefore be assigned to H. sapiens too. The human kind, says Wieland, "had a greater range of variation than exhibited today".

That's putting it mildly. If creationists can claim that Homo sapiens and Homo floresiensis belong to the same "kind", on what grounds can they say that australopithecines and H. floresiensis can't also be the same kind, since in its overall body shape floresiensis looks more like an australopithecine than a modern human? In fact, for a while Peter Brown and his team seriously considered placing floresiensis in the genus Australopithecus.

Rhabdomeric and ciliary eyes

platynereis

We are all familiar with the idea that there are strikingly different kinds of eyes in animals: insects have compound eyes with multiple facets, while we vertebrates have simple lens eyes. It seems like a simple evolutionary distinction, with arthropods exhibiting one pattern and vertebrates another, but the story isn't as clean and simple as all that. Protostomes exhibit a variety of different kinds of eyes, leading to the suggestion that eyes have evolved independently many times; in addition, eyes differ in more than just their apparent organization, and there are some significant differences at the molecular level between our photoreceptors and arthropod photoreceptors. It's all very confusing.

There has been some recent press (see also this press release from the EMBL) about research on a particular animal model, the polychaete marine worm, Platynereis dumerilii, that is resolving the confusion. The short answer is that there are fundamentally two different kinds of eyes based on the biology of the cell types, and our common bilaterian ancestor had both—and the diversity arose in elaborations on those two types.

Continue reading "Rhabdomeric and ciliary eyes" (on Pharyngula)

Cobb County News

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A couple of news articles about the upcomming trial of the anti-evolution messages in Cobb County (GA) textbooks:

AJC: Court to weigh in on evolution feud

MDJ: Debate over Cobb school district decision taken to courtroom

Use BugMeNot.com if you don’t want to register.

Update

A couple of Discovery Institute links

Background Information on Cobb Country Georgia Court Case

Georgia Scientists File Legal Brief in Evolution Lawsuit, Defend Open-Minded Approach to Teaching Evolution

(I’ve read the brief, and it is bad, very bad. Even cites Behe and Snoke (2004) as research questioning evolution.)

Not Wisconsin!

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It looks like Wisconsin is getting ready to bolt from the ranks of the reality-based community. One of their school districts is trying to push ignorance on their students.

School officials have revised the science curriculum to allow the teaching of creationism, prompting an outcry from more than 300 educators who urged that the decision be reversed.

Members of Grantsburg's school board believed that a state law governing the teaching of evolution was too restrictive. The science curriculum "should not be totally inclusive of just one scientific theory," said Joni Burgin, superintendent of the district of 1,000 students in northwest Wisconsin.

I fear we're going to see much more of this in the next few years.

How do evolutionary novelties arise? The conventional explanation is that the first step is the chance formation of a genetic mutation, which results in a new phenotype, which, if it is favored by selection, may be fixed in a population. No one sensible can seriously argue with this idea—it happens. I'm not going to argue with it at all.

However, there are also additional mechanisms for generating novelties, mechanisms that extend the power of evolutionary biology without contradicting our conventional understanding of it. A paper by A. Richard Palmer in Science describes the evidence for an alternative mode of evolution, genetic assimilation, that can be easily read as a radical, non-Darwinian, and even Lamarckian pattern of evolution (Sennoma at Malice Aforethought has expressed concern about this), but it is nothing of the kind; there is no hocus-pocus, no violation of the Weissmann barrier, no sudden, unexplained leaps of cause-and-effect. Comprehending it only requires a proper appreciation of the importance of environmental influences on development and an understanding that the genome does not constitute a descriptive program of the organism.

Continue reading "Symmetry breaking and genetic assimilation" (on Pharyngula)

Hot from the press!! Various contributors of the Panda’s Thumb have contributed to this book. This very positive review was published in e-Skeptic on October 29, 2004 (Formatting added).

Patience and Absurdity: How to Deal with Intelligent Design Creationism

A review of Why Intelligent Design Fails: A Scientific Critique of the New Creationism Mark Young and Taner Edis (Editors)

By Paul R. Gross

Physicists Matt Young and Taner Edis are the editors of a new volume whose contributors are working scholars in the sciences touched by the newest expression of “creation science”: Intelligent Design (ID) Theory. Why Intelligent Design Fails is a patient assessment of all the scientific claims made in connection with ID. The half dozen science-enabled spokesmen for ID are the indispensable core group of an international neo-creationist big tent. Goals of the American movement are sweeping: they begin with a highly visible, well-funded, nationwide effort to demean evolutionary science in American school (K-12) curricula. ID is offered as a better alternative. The hoped-for result is the addition of ID to, or even its substitution for, the teaching of evolution. Which would mean substituting early 19 th-century nature study for modern biology. The admitted ultimate goal of the ID movement is to topple natural science (they berate it as “materialism”) from its pedestal in Western culture and to replace it with “theistic science.”

The Tangled Bank

A new Tangled Bank is up, the 15th edition at The Sixth International. Thank you, Mrs Tilton!

The next edition, two weeks from today, will be hosted at Rhosgobel. Send your entries in to me, host@tangledbank.net, or direct to Radagast.

Reader KeithB pointed out this excellent statement on the current state of the law regarding religion in the schools. It should be required reading for every teacher and school administrator in every government school. There are two minor things that should probably be clarified.

Check out the Creationism and Intelligent Design webpage of the American Society for Cell Biology with some interesting links to letters sent to the Governor of Ohio and petitions.

Open Submission Policy

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We at the Panda’s Thumb would like to develop an open submission policy to encourage guest contributions to our blog. We are currently looking at a two stage process. First abstracts are submitted and if accepted a full length post will follow. We are also looking into having a way for readers to alert us to news stories that we may have missed.

Now, the purpose of this post is to get feedback on this idea from the community. If you have any suggestions on how to structure the open submission policy, we’d like to hear from you in the comments.

The Tangled Bank

Hey, people! Did you realize this is a Tangled Bank week? It almost slipped my mind, so if you forgot, I can't blame you. Fortunately, it's not too late—I just sent my submission off to mrs_tilton chez yahoo co yew kay, over at the Sixth International, so it's not too late for you to do the same. Or you can send it to me, and I'll forward it on to the appropriate party.

If you've written anything relevant to science, just send us a link and we'll publicize it and your web page. Everyone wins: you get more attention, we get more science on the web, readers get to learn.

While you're submitting those links to your science writing, also let me know if you are willing to volunteer to be a host! It's an even better deal to act as host for a day, since we all work to send lots of traffic your way.

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