08 March 2008

Weekly sampler 9

Sorry I'm late; busy week of grant-writing and deadline-beating, then sleep-compensating and dust-clearing. And I did get the Reasons To Believe posts done.

1. Allan Harvey is a chemical engineer (Ph.D.) who regularly posts to the ASA listserv, and he has prepared some highly recommended materials on "Science and Nature in Christian Perspective" that he has used in adult education in his church in Boulder, Colorado. For some reason, I can only open the Executive Summary, but if it's representative of the rest of the series, then the series is a very good, basic overview of the questions of the day. His description of the six meanings of the word 'evolution' is frequently cited on the ASA listserv, and it's very helpful.

2. Neurons are the coolest cells in the cosmos, for sure, but it never occurred to me that they might one day give Build-a-Bear some commercial competition. If you're still confused about the difference between axons and dendrites, or if you don't know what birthday gift to get for that Christian developmental neurobiology blogger in your life, then here's a big hint. (Via Retrospectacle, which has since morphed into Of Two Minds at ScienceBlogs.)

3. Nimravid is an interesting new evolution-centered blog.

4. Brain imaging is getting better; new data demonstrate how a brain scan can accomplish basic mind-reading. Worried about this? Check out this interview of Michael Gazzaniga by Carl Zimmer, delving into related questions. Bonus: you'll learn how to pronounce his name. (Via Neurophilosophy.)

5. Ever heard of The Digital Cuttlefish? It's the nom de plume of a poet and scientifically-inclined skeptic. The work is brilliant, not just because the, um, ink is often aimed at creationists. One delicious poem, "Much Ado About...The Brain?" was featured in Open Lab 2007. But one of my recent favorites is buried in the comments on a post at Pharyngula on Ken Ham's new book.

6. And finally, we all need to stop claiming that the ID movement doesn't do any research. Why, they have a whole institute devoted to scientific research. And that institute has a website. You'll think it's a hacker joke. And maybe it is... (Aw, darn, they removed the hilarious "Welcome to WordPress...start blogging now!" message from their main page.)

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