Posted by: Dan | April 24, 2008

Recommended Reading for April

With writing grants, time is at a premium. I still find time to scan the other blogs when I need a break, and here are a number that stand out. Also, check out tomorrow where I’ll cover the molecular bio blogs at Bitesize Bio.

Contrary Imaginations

Here’s an article that you should read, given your dubious credulity of global warming denialism: VERY interesting, and insightful series of articles in Slate.The three part series was written by Daniel Engber and focus on how certain elements of our society (i.e. climate skeptics, the ID movement, and the tobacco industry) have cultivated this notion of super-skepticism in an attempt o discredit current scientific consensus.

The idea is that these elements attempt to cast a wee bit of doubt and then illogically deduce that the whole structure of scientific research is corrupt. As mentioned in yesterday’s Science Saturday, this pattern of thought resembles that of conspiracy theorists. A must read.

Still just a lizard (Evolution works, b*tches) – The title gets the principal objection of any creationist out of the way: yes, this population of Podarcis sicula is still made up of lizards, but they’re a different kind of lizard now. Evolution works.

Evolution and Ethics: Is Morality Natural? – This seminar addresses, in historical perspective, controversies about the cultural, philosophical, and scientific implications of evolutionary biology. Discussions focus upon questions about gods, free will, foundations for ethics, meaning in life, and life after death.

Shorebird staging-sites in short supply… – “Our grandchildren will not be able to share in the excitement of marvelling at the migratory feats of shorebirds if the current decline continues” —Dr Graeme Hamilton, CEO Birds Australia

Lab of O helps protect endangered right whales with warning buoys in shipping lanesEndangered North Atlantic right whales are safer along Massachusetts Bay’s busy shipping lanes this spring, thanks to a new system of smart buoys. The buoys recognize whales’ distinctive calls and route the information to a public Web site and a marine warning system, giving ships the chance to avoid deadly collisions.

There is no pro-science political party – With the news that in addition to John McCain both Clinton and Obama have now pandered to anti-vaccine denialism I think it’s time to reiterate there isn’t a political party in this country that has a truly sound grasp on sound science. And in this instance it is clear that both sides are more than happy to pander to the denialists.



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