It’s been a while, but I’ve spent two weeks in the United States and had various family matters and work commitments to attend to. While I catch up, here are a few things that came to my attention recently:
Steve Newton of the NCSE had an article in New Scientist on what he describes as creationist “infiltration” of scientific meetings. Newton has written on this subject before, and once again cautions his peers against overreacting by excluding creationists from participation in such meetings.
Speaking of NCSE, their latest Reports has an article critiquing creationist ice age theories. Authors Lorence and Barbara Collins point to stratigraphically stacked palaeosols of differing maturity, loess deposits overlying exposed glacial tills and carbon-14 dating of organic remains associated with glacial tills as evidence of multiple ice ages.
You may recall that Archaeopteryx was reclassified as a deinonychosaur back in July by the discoverers of the new feathered theropod Xiaotingia zhengi. However, Archaeopteryx should regain its status as a bird according to a new phylogenetic analysis published in Biology Letters. Somehow I think this one will run and run.
A paper in the open-access journal Mobile DNA suggests that the morphological and behavioural differences between humans and chimpanzees are mainly due to differences in gene regulation (caused by the activity of retrotransposons) rather than differences in the sequence of the genes themselves. One for Todd Wood to comment on, perhaps?
Finally, over at Scientific American, philosopher Janet Stemwedel blogs on the career of creationist Marcus Ross and asks whether being a good scientist is “a matter of what you do or of what you feel in your heart”. You can read Marcus’ comments on the blog post here.