Apex predator was vegetarian: AIG

Carcharodontosaurus reconstruction. Credit: Fred Wierum. Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.

Guest post by Dan Phelps, to whom we are indebted for unearthing this whopper from Answers in Genesis:

Once again, creationists are misrepresenting a recent dinosaur discovery. This time it is a large carcharodontosaur from Uzbekistan that was recently described in a paper, A new carcharodontosaurian theropod dinosaur occupies apex predator niche in the early Late Cretaceous of Uzbekistan, by Kohei Tanaka and colleagues from the universities of Tsukuba, Hokkaido, and Calgary.

On today’s “Answers News,” an online news video by Answers in Genesis, their employees (including Ken Ham’s son-in-law, Bodie Hodge) discuss this dinosaur. The discussion can be found from about 9 minutes, 30 seconds to about 14 minutes in this YouTube video. As is par for the course, they ignore the actual publication and rely instead on popular press discussions such as this one . They also add their bizarre creationist interpretations and claim the fossil was buried in Noah’s Flood.

Even more ridiculously, they suggest the theropod dinosaur – the apex predator! – may have been a vegetarian. This would be amusing except that AIG is misinforming children and adults via such broadcasts as above, the Creation “Museum,” and their Kentucky-taxpayer–subsidized “Ark Encounter.”

Will the name of Huxley College be changed on a pretext?

Viking mascot
Western Washington University mascot. You may see their Viking ship here, toward the bottom. Credit: Wikipedia. Fair Use.

The Board of Trustees of Huxley College met the day before yesterday, September 17, solely to discuss renaming the college . According to a source whom I prefer to leave anonymous,*

[T]he consensus seems to be to drop the Huxley name. They acknowledge that there was lots of information submitted both in support of and opposed to dropping the Huxley name. They acknowledge that Huxley did lots of great stuff both as a scientist and as a strong abolitionist and a defender of universal human rights, and in expanding educational opportunities for a diverse audience. However, they were troubled by some of the bigoted and sexist language that Huxley made at times. They also point out that Huxley had no real links to the Pacific Northwest or North America. Fair point. It sounds like they just don’t have the stomach to deal with the blowback of rejecting the Legacy Review Task Force. No decision but it seems clear where they want to go.

They then went on the discuss Mathes and Haggard [two dormitories]. They are not inclined to reject these two, in spite of the majority recommendation of the Task Force to do so, and made comments along the line that “you should judge people based on the standards and language used in their time, not by modern standards.” Interesting that they are not inclined to use the same standard for Huxley. They want to judge him based on modern standards.

It is curious that they only now discovered that Huxley had no direct connection to their area. If I wanted to be suspicious, I might suspect that they plan to change the name of the college on a pretext.

Another source thought it was

AIG creationists want auctioned triceratops donated to them


Guest post by Dan Phelps.

Triceratops fossil
Triceratops on display at the Royal Tyrrell Museum, Alberta, Canada. (Not the triceratops referred to in the text.) Credit: User:Etemenanki3 and User:PawełMM, Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International License.

The creationists at Answers in Genesis do a twice weekly “news” show called, unsurprisingly, “Answers News.” Besides their usual nonsense, this week, approximately 15 minutes in, they state that they want one of their followers to buy a triceratops that is up for auction in France and donate the fossil to the Creation “Museum.” They estimate that the triceratops will bring in $1.8 million at auction. The triceratops was unearthed in South Dakota, so they argue that it should be repatriated to the US. If anything ever illustrates why the commercialization of fossils, especially vertebrates, is not a good thing, this is it.

Speyeria atlantis


Atlantis fritillary, by Steve Watson.

Photography Contest, Honorable Mention.

Speyeria atlantis – Atlantis fritillary on goldenrod (Solidago sp.?), Neys Provincial Park, Ontario.

Evaluating Alan Kleinman's arguments


Alan Kleinman has been commenting on various threads here at PT, in ways that repeatedly argue that he has done the first correct probabilistic analysis of “DNA evolutionary adaptation” and “competition”, and that call for evolutionary biologists to provide an analysis of the Lenski and Kishony experiments in bacterial evolution. He also argues that we have not provided a correct analysis of bacterial antibiotic resistence or of the evolution of drug resistance in cancer. This thread is intended to allow discussion of these assertions, without disrupting discussions of other topics at PT.

Let me explain.