Missouri ‘Right to Pray’ Law Could Limit Teaching Evolution

Posted in Teaching on August 14th, 2012 by steve

“Last week, Missouri voters gave themselves the right to pray without state interference. But some science educators are worried that the seemingly innocuous referendum on the 7 August ballot, which passed overwhelmingly, could also undermine the teaching of evolution in public schools …” (more)

[Krystnell A Storr, ScienceInsider, 14 August]

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The age of the urban ape

Posted in Life on May 4th, 2012 by steve

“The scientific discovery, announced this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, that humans are still evolving, is about as surprising as saying that scientists have proved that water is wet …” (more)

[Desmond Morris, Daily Telegraph, 4 May]


Is Evolution a Lousy Story?

Posted in Governance and administration on May 3rd, 2012 by steve

“… Dan McAdams offers one possible, rarely discussed reason: Maybe evolution is a lousy story. Actually, McAdams, a professor of psychology at Northwestern University, doesn’t think evolution is a story at all. There is no protagonist, no motivation, no purpose—all crucial elements in a narrative, whether it’s Frog and Toad Are Friends or Fifty Shades of Grey …” (more)

[Tom Bartlett, Chronicle of Higher Education, 2 May]

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Study Shows That Left-handers Are Not the Product of Witchcraft After All

Posted in Research on May 2nd, 2012 by steve

“A new study at Northwestern University shows that left-handedness is the product of cooperation and competition in evolution …” (more)

[Brandon G Withrow, Huffington Post, 2 May]

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On the origins of the arts

Posted in Life on April 21st, 2012 by steve

“Rich and seemingly boundless as the creative arts seem to be, each is filtered through the narrow biological channels of human cognition. Our sensory world, what we can learn unaided about reality external to our bodies, is pitifully small …” (more)

[EO Wilson, Harvard Magazine, 21 April]

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Gaia theory: is it science yet?

Posted in Research on February 12th, 2012 by steve

“James Lovelock’s ‘Gaia hypothesis’ has challenged conventional thinking about the nature of the earth as an integrated system. Gaia proposes that the earth acts like a living organism — that life is part of a self-regulating system, manipulating the physical and chemical environment to maintain the planet as a suitable home for life itself …” (more)

[Ian Enting, The Conversation, 12 February]

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The Minister and evolution

Posted in Research on September 16th, 2010 by steve

“Madam, – As the main organisers of the 2012 world conference of the Society for Molecular Biology and Evolution, we would like formally to invite Minister of State for Science, Technology, Innovation and Natural Resources Conor Lenihan, or his successor, to come to the opening of the conference in June of that year …” (more)

[James McInerney and others, Irish Times, 16 September]

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The Necessity of the Public Understanding of Science

Posted in Research on September 15th, 2010 by steve

“Today should have seen Conor Lenihan, Minister for Science, launching one Irish crank’s book on how the theory of evolution is ‘a hoax’. Mercifully he has withdrawn following condemnation from bloggers, internet forums and journalists, though he refuses to admit there was anything wrong with the original decision. In one way, I find this story encouraging …” (more)

[Gen Shanahan, Cork Student News, 15 September]

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Evolution of a book launch

Posted in Research on September 15th, 2010 by steve

“In just over a month from now, on October 23, it will be 6,014 years exactly since the earth was created. How do we know that? Well, that’s the date arrived at by James Ussher, who Archbishop of Armagh in the mid-17th century …” (more)

[Ferdinand von Prondzynski, University Blog, 15 September]

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The Minister and evolution

Posted in Research on September 15th, 2010 by steve

“Madam, – Not having heard much from Conor Lenihan on the much-vaunted smart economy, I was heartened to hear he had accepted an invitation to launch a book decrying the theory of evolution …” (more)

[Fergus McCann, Irish Times, 15 September]

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Evolution and Minister Lenihan

Posted in Research on September 14th, 2010 by steve

“There’ s been lots of comment about the welcome decision of Minister Lenihan’s to recuse himself (or be recused?) of further involvement in a book launch of a book by a constituent of his that purports in some grandiose terms to disconfirm the theory of evolution (Darwin’s one – not some of the other ones!). The story has spread widely …” (more)

[Shane O’Mara, Irishscience, 14 September]

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Book launch debacle a blow to Ireland’s scientific reputation

Posted in Governance and administration on September 14th, 2010 by steve

“Ireland’s science minister Conor Lenihan has been in the wars over the past few days, all over a simple book launch planned for Wednesday 15 September. But while the launch was straightforward enough the book wasn’t, a tome declaring that evolution is nothing more than a fantasy and a hoax …” (more)

[Exquisite Life, 14 September]

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Minister withdraws from launch of anti-evolution book

Posted in Research on September 14th, 2010 by steve

“Minister for Science Conor Lenihan will not now launch a book in Dublin which describes evolution as a fantasy and a hoax, after the author asked him to withdraw in the wake of controversy on the web. The Minister was to launch The Origin of Specious Nonsense by John May at Buswells hotel tomorrow, with actors playing the parts of Charles Darwin and King Kong …” (more)

[Patsy McGarry, Irish Times, 14 September]

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The origin of Conor Lenihan

Posted in Governance and administration on September 13th, 2010 by steve

“The news, broken by politics.ie that Minister of State with special responsibility for Science, technology, Innovation and Natural Resources is to launch a book proclaiming that evolution is a hoax casts the country in a terrible light and lets-down anybody waiting on the ‘knowledge-led recovery’ …” (more)

[Eoin Lettice, Communicate Science, 13 September]

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