11 May 2008

Weekly sampler 17

It'll be a breakout week after a slow month on the blog. To the Edge of Evolution – and beyond!

1. Ian Musgrave over at Panda's Thumb provides a nice summary of the evolution of clotting systems and some new genomic data that could be used, by ID proponents like Michael Behe, to bolster their claims regarding the "irreducible complexity" of the clotting system. I've been saying it since the beginning here at QoD: genomic data has already made it nearly impossible to respectably doubt common descent, and it gets much worse every day.

2. Massimo Pigliucci gibbers on the Problem of Evil and Francisco Ayala. Not that I'm buying Ayala's theodicy either...

3. Dale Purves is an eminent neuroscientist whose work I've followed for two decades. In the last several years, he's expanded from developmental neurobiology into cognitive neuroscience. His lab's web page is loaded with good stuff, which is probably why it was recently honored by The Scientist. The resources page includes a bunch of interesting illusions and the full text of two of his out-of-print books.

Ebola virus, electron micrograph. Image from PHIL, ID# 1835.

4. The CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention) has a free online image library called PHIL (Public Health Image Library). Now you know where to go to get your pictures of Ebola Virus for when you make your own Get Well Soon cards. Don't miss this little disclaimer:
WARNING: This library includes subject matter that might be unsuitable for children. Viewing discretion is advised.

5. Get to Gordon Glover's Beyond the Firmament blog for a superb series on "Science and Education" focused on questions surrounding natural science (mostly origins) and Christian education. He's covering folk science right now, in his excellent style. And you don't even have to pay.

6. Last week saw the unveiling of the platypus genome, and it included lots of interesting surprises. The media coverage has been typically spotty (with regard to accuracy); to get well-grounded, start with the brief piece at the New York Times then check out Ryan Gregory's thoughts (at his new blogging home) and perhaps the usual clarity dispensed by the cuddly PZ Myers.

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