Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A tooth, a myth—and creationist lies. By Donald Prothero

"People love to touch old objects and feel a connection to the past, whether it be the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem, ancient ruins in China or India or Egypt or Europe, pieces of fossil bone on display in a museum, or the oldest objects known, the 4.6 billion-year-old meteorites. Each time I travel to do research in historic old museum collections, it feels a bit like time travel."
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Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The Armor of God, or, The Top One Reason Religion Is Harmful | Greta Christina's Blog

"So what is it about religion — exactly — that’s so harmful?

I’ve argued many times that religion is not only mistaken, but does more harm than good. But why do I think that is?

Sure, I can make a list of specific harms religion has done, from here to Texas. I’ve done exactly that. But that’s not enough to make my case. I could make long lists of harms done by plenty of human institutions: medicine, education, democracy. That doesn’t make them inherently malevolent."
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Tuesday, November 8, 2011

How not to examine the evolution of proteins

"The Discovery Institute has me on a mailing list for their newsletter, Nota Bene. That's probably unwise: usually I just glance at it, see another ignorant bit of fluff from Luskin or Nelson or one of the other usual suspects, and I snigger and hit 'delete', but sometimes they brag about how they're really doing science, and I look a little closer. And then I might feel motivated to take a slap at them."
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Shared Genes With Neanderthal Relatives: Modern East Asians Share Genetic Material With Prehistoric Denisovans

"During human evolution our ancestors mated with Neanderthals, but also with other related hominids. In this week's online edition of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers from Uppsala University are publishing findings showing that people in East Asia share genetic material with Denisovans, who got the name from the cave in Siberia where they were first found."
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