12 February 2009

Fish and Chimps

These sausages have evolved — and will continue evolving in your intellectual digestive tract. In dubious honor of Charles Darwin, we have an all-Darwin sausage link platter (some of them uncooked)!

  • Customize your vehicle with a Darwinfish (or, perhaps, a missing link).
  • The NYT has a couple of items on Darwin. He's still influential, if not a celebrity. He's also wrongly blamed for misinterpretations of his work, as in that article; I'm afraid that particular MacArthur fellow didn't do enough research on the history of "creationism," which extends back to the time of Paracelsus.
  • WaPo discusses discerning human evolution, in one of those recursive examples of the evolution of evolutionary theory... in response to facts, as we learn more about the facts.
  • Across the pond, The Times covers bad science, and probably fraudulent science, concerning vaccines (implicating viral change over time) and what constitutes "evidence." Even church officials get involved in praising Darwin, at least half-heartedly (which is better than one can expect over here). Darwin's house, with its exhibits, is reopening to the public.
  • The Economist joins the party with this internally inconsistent piece. I think it's supposed to be praise... but I'm afraid that The Economist has long had an inconsistent view of what constitutes science, particularly the kinds not dismal.
  • Speaking of misusing data, Professor Myers offers two examples: one inept, demonstrating that "scientist" does not mean "knows all of science" (and I'm referring to Kurzweil there), and one ironically appropriate (particularly considering the science cuts from the stimulus-package proposal amounting to less than 0.5%).
  • Last, and far from least, the Grauniad offers a full section on Darwin, including this interesting — more by implication than by depth of analysis, but the Grauniad is, after all, a general-circulation paper — selection of photographs and proof that there are "missing links" outside the Bible Belt. That last item seems particularly ironic, given that it comes from Northern Ireland... but then, understanding irony has never been a strength of any kind of fundamentalist, because it requires going beyond the literal meaning of a text.