Now those are some impressive echinoderms

They’re Macroptychaster sea stars and apparently they go along with a whole slew of possibly newly discovered species and large specimens of previously know ones found in Antarctic waters near New Zealand by a biological survey team.

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And the propoganda about the “Expelled Incident” goes on, and on…

Apparently the folks in the intelligent design creationism crowd are going to try and stick to the story that P. Z. Myers and Richard Dawkins were somehow doing something dishonest or unsavory when they tried to attend/did attend, respectively, a showing of Expelled last Thursday evening (3-20-08).

Bruce Chapman President of the Discovery Institute claimed yesterday (3-21-08) that Dawkins (and Myers) had stooped to “gate-crashing” the showing and that:

Dawkins apparently acknowledged that he had not been invited and did not have a ticket. A sophomoric side to his ideological campaign is thus revealed.

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“Primitive” and “Advanced” in evolutionary biology

A commenter made a good point regarding something I said in one of my follow-up comments in the thread after my rant on intermediate fossils that I thought I would move up here to respond to.

Oldfart: While you are at it, explain “primitive” and “advanced” traits. Since it is also often said that later is more advanced than earlier assuming some kind of “direction”.

You’re right I should clarify this.

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Popular science blogger P. Z. Myers expelled from Expelled

This is too, too funny.

P. Z. Myers of Pharyngula tried to attend a free showing of the intelligent design creationist film Expelled today (a film in which he appears btw) but was apparently recognized by the producers of the film who had security ask him to leave under threat of arrest! The irony of creationists expelling a scientist from a film that claims that ID creationists are treated unfairly by mainstream science is delicious enough but it is hardly the best part. I won’t spoil the punch line, go to Pharyngula and read all about it.

Update: P. Z. has some additional information about what happened in the Expulsion from Expelled incident.

Quality control in science and history television

As you might imagine I enjoy watching science programing on TV, Nova, Nature etc. on PBS, and the commercial channels like the Discovery Channel and the History Channel. But you really have to take this stuff with a rather sizable grain of salt, especially the commercial channels which seem to have absolutely no quality control at all. The following are a few of examples that managed to aggravate me to the point of blogging on the subject.

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Off to a slow start, unfortunately…

Well I’m off to a slower start at blogging than I had hoped due to my wife Kathy having some serious health problems which has, as you might well imagine, taken precedence.

Please check back in again later, hopefully if our luck improves I will be able to be a tad more active here (I have a few ideas rolling around in my head already).

Thanks