08 February 2008

Weekly sampler 5

Well, the Pats lost, and I was a little disappointed (I'm a huge fan of Tedy Bruschi, Arizona '95), although I've always loved upsets and underdogs. More importantly, I enjoyed seeing my hometown in the spotlight. (I grew up in west Phoenix, just a mile from Glendale, and 8.5 miles from the stadium.) That's all the football you'll get on this blog, though. Pitchers and catchers report in 6 days...now that's blogworthy.

1. David Sloan Wilson has a four-part series on the New Atheists on the Huffington Post, which I discovered while visiting Rationally Speaking, Massimo Pigliucci's blog. Pigliucci is a first-rate evolutionary biologist and a savvy commentator, and I recommend the blog highly. (His review of Michael Lynch's new book is a nice little introduction to the geneticists-vs.-the-world disputes in modern evolutionary science.) I read Pigliucci's critique, but I haven't read through the Wilson series. Anyone? I'll even provide the links: Part I Part II Part III Part IV.

2. I just finished reading Gordon Glover's Beyond the Firmament, and I'll have a review in print in the near future. But here's a freebie for all 156 of my blog readers. I'm frequently asked, "Can you recommend a good book on evolution that would cover all that stuff you were talking about?" And I've never had a good answer. "Well, you can read this, and that, and that, and this, and... well, just go the ASA web site." Or lately: "Try my blog." (Thinking, of course, that they'll follow links to good sites like Steve Martin's or Gordon's.) Well, now I have a great answer: "Get a hold of Beyond the Firmament by Gordon Glover." I'm going to buy a few copies and hand them out. That's how good it is.

3. I'll soon review Deborah and Loren Haarsma's new book here, and will give it similarly high marks. It's called Origins: A Reformed Look at Creation, Design, & Evolution, and it's aimed a little differently than Beyond the Firmament, but provides another very good answer to the question above.

4. At wonderful Park Street Church in Boston, which I've mentioned here before, senior minister Gordon Hugenberger is preaching a significant series on creation and science, and specifically on Psalm 19. The series (available streaming or as a podcast) started on November 25, includes three Sundays in December, and apparently resumed this last Sunday. I'm still working through them, but Gordon's sermons are always worth the trip. (I loathe "Christian radio," but most Sunday mornings in Massachusetts, I turned it on in order to listen to Gordon's preaching. Our family attended the evening service, where we had the privilege of hearing Daniel Harrell, in the flesh.) On the ASA listserv, David Opderbeck recommends some sermons at another fine church in Massachusetts, Grace Chapel. I believe the sermons in question are under "Tough Questions. Honest Answers."

5. An odd story this week: a peer-reviewed science journal, Proteomics, published (online) a paper with this title: "Mitochondria, the Missing Link Between Body and Soul: Proteomic Prospective Evidence." Wait..."body and soul"? The article reportedly includes "sections with language supporting the idea of creationism." PZ Myers is quoted in that Chronicle report, which also mentions plagiarism.

6. A teaser for an upcoming journal club, from a paper published about a year and a half ago:


For now, just enjoy the picture and think about bats. As in flying mammals, Manny. Image from an article in PNAS, 10 October 2006.

7. Larry Moran has started a series on "junk DNA" at Sandwalk. My series will get back underway this weekend, though maybe by then it'll just be a list of links to Larry and Ryan Gregory.

8. This weekend is Evolution Weekend. How am I celebrating? Saturday I'll be at the Grand Dialogue, mostly to hear Howard Van Till, but also hoping to bump into some fellow Michigan-based bloggers (and you know who you are). I'll blog it, live if there's wireless access for visitors. Saturday night it's Phil Keaggy in concert at Calvin. I'm not a Christian music fan but I have it on good authority that this one's not to be missed. Sunday a bunch of us are driving to Lansing so we can see U23D on the IMAX screen. "Now you get to see the lard-arse 40-foot tall." Can't wait! Now that's a weekend.

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