I’ve only ever used beams of light to illuminate objects, magnify images, stimulate molecules, uncage dyes and ions, ablate cells, stop bleeding, and push organelles around — but I’ve never built a Rube Goldberg machine with them.
Seth Andrews did a fine job of dismantling creationist Josh Feuerstein’s claims in a video I posted a while back. Now an apologist for Feuerstein has sent me (and Andrews) an email. This one is from Ed Neeland, a creationist chemistry professor at the University of British Columbia.
97% of climate scientists agree that anthropogenic climate change is occurring, and to highlight that fact, Skeptical Science has launched a media event in which they reveal a comment by a scientist every hour for 97 Hours. Check in to the website to see what’s new every hour, or follow the #97hours hashtag on twitter.
JBS Haldane is said to have responded to a question about how evolution could be disproved by saying, “A Precambrian rabbit”. What was meant by this, of course, is any substantial discovery that greatly disrupted the evidence for the chronological pattern of descent observed in Earth’s life. That pattern of descent is one of the central lines of evidence for evolution, so creationists would dearly love to find something that wrecked it — this is why they send expeditions to Africa to find a living dinosaur, Mok’ele-mbembe, or more conveniently, to Canada in search of a plesiosaur, Manipogo.
The Discovery Institute has it easy. They don’t mount expeditions, they just sit around, read scientific papers, and misinterpret them. Their latest abuse is to claim to have discovered the equivalent of a Precambrian rabbit.
I am reassured. My usual sleep pattern is to go to bed around 11 or 12, and then I wake up around 5 and rather sluggishly amble towards alertness. But lately, after having that pattern disrupted by travel, I’ve been going to bed earlier, then waking up around 3am and either struggling to get back to sleep or getting up and reading, and then getting a few more hours of sleep, waking up around 7.
I was getting a little worried that this was a sign of incipient insomnia, but I seem to be getting enough sleep…and then I read about human sleep patterns in the absence of artificial light. Well, cool. It turns out that if you don’t keep yourself awake late into the dark hours you naturally fall into a pattern of waking for a while in the early hours of the morning.
That’s actually encouraging. I’ve been lying abed, annoyed at waking and trying to sleep harder, as silly as that sounds, but now I’m going to take advantage of those 2:30am conscious periods to get up and get something done.
It’s a nice surprise anyway: Nature Education published my article explaining synteny with cards. I don’t even recall getting asked, but then no one complains when Nature uses your work.