Why the GOP is Going Anti-Science

The Republican party has long had a problem with science, from its preference for creationism to its denial of the harms of pollution, but things have gotten far worse as the party has lurched to the right and become, for all practical purposes, the political wing of the oil and gas industry. Jill Lawrence explains why:
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Lenski’s Amazing E. Coli Experiment Continues

25 years ago, Dr. Richard Lenski of Michigan State University began an ingenious experiment on E. coli bacteria that is still going and giving us a much deeper understanding of how evolution operates. Ars Technica has an article on the latest published findings, but let me first explain how the experiment was set up.
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And the Nobel Prize for Being Precocious and Adorable Goes To…

The highlight of the Neil deGrasse Tyson’s talk in Michigan Wednesday night was the last question asked, by the world’s smartest and most adorable 9 year old kid named Jacob. He’s the son of one of our CFI Michigan members. When was the last time you heard a 9 year old use the phrase “non-Newtonian solid”? Like never? Watch this.
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The Absurdity of the ‘Rational Science’ Method

I’ve recently come across this group that refers to themselves as advocating “rational science.” There’s a Facebook group for it. They are followers of a first class looney tune named Bill Gaede, who is a 9/11 truther and apparently believes that all science after Faraday is wrong. You can find more information here.
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SCOTUS Denies Cert in Stem Cell Case

The Supreme Court this week denied cert (that is, refused to hear the appeal) in a case where two scientists are trying to prevent the use of federal funds for embryonic stem cell research (ESCR) even if it involves stem cell lines that already exist. The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against them, so the cert denial leaves the Obama administration’s policy of allowing such research on existing stem cell lines in place.
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Stem cells in the 2012 Presidential election

This is a guest post by Laurel Barchas, the Director of Academic Outreach for the Genetics Policy Institute and a friend and classmate of my old pal Nick Matzke at Berkley. It’s about an upcoming conference on stem cell research and the political implications for that research pending the outcome of the presidential election.
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The Unreality of Reality TV — Or Why NatGeo Should Be Ashamed

One of the more irritating things about the Discovery Channel and the National Geographic Channel, which purport to be pro-science and educational, is how often they put on shows that push egregious nonsense instead of critical thinking. And a new NatGeo show about UFOs is so bad that even the stars of the show are now slamming the network:
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Why Framing Matters, Climate Change Edition

I wrote recently about Jonathan Adler’s conservative and libertarian argument for taking climate change seriously and adopting policies to respond to it. Here’s a recent paper that supports the importance of framing an argument effectively in order to get people to respond positively to it. The bottom line is that evidence rarely actually changes anyone’s mind on a subject they feel strongly about; the thing that can change their mind is an argument that appeals to their values and preconceptions.
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Can We Please Ban the Evolution Article Template?

This article just pisses me off, as has almost every article in the media about evolution, especially human evolution, for as long as I can remember. I swear there must be a template in Microsoft Word for such articles, where the meaningless term “missing link” is already there, along with a title that announces how this changes everything we thought we knew about (fill in the blank).
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