Debunked by the Institute for Creation Research

Folks, it’s been fun. I feel like I had a pretty good run as a scientist. I met some amazing people, went to beautiful places, and learned things I never would have imagined (Hodgkinia, WTF?!). With all my frustrations and failures, I’ve never once regretted going back to school and becoming a biologist. But now I need to close the door on all of that and find a new way to make a living.

See, the main project I’ve been working on for the last six years, the one that was supported by a NASA postdoctoral fellowship, and that just came out in Scientific Reports, has been debunked:

ICR screenshot [Read more…]

Another ecosystem, another parasite

It seems to be a universal rule: every ecosystem has its parasites. Wherever there is money being spent or media being consumed, people will find a way to exploit it. Thus we have Craigslist scammers, Amazon scammers, spammers on every platform, sellers of social media followers, predatory scientific journals, and sellers of dissertations, among many others. It seems there’s no ecosystem too small; even my academic website, which averages tens of views per week, gets a steady stream of spam comments:

Spam comments

So I shouldn’t have been surprised that there are people exploiting Wikipedia to make a buck:

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Ernst Mayr on the importance of definitions

The Growth of Biological Thought

Image from Goodreads.

One of my pet topics is the concept of biological individuality, which I’ve written about quite a lot here. One question that comes up often, in fact what I initially asked Dr. Pepper when he used to carry on about it, is why does it matter?

So much ink has been spilled trying to define what an individual is, in the peer-reviewed literature of philosophy and of biology, as well as several books dedicated to the topic. What is the point of all this, to justify so much intellectual effort and so many dead trees?

[Read more…]