If it’s Wednesday, it must be California


And it must also be time for the 106th edition of the Tangled Bank. Read it!

Check back at Pharyngula later — I’ve just arrived at the IEDG 2008 conference on Integrating Evolution, Development, and Genomics, and I’ll be filling you all in on the latest juicy cool evo-devo stuff.


  1. says

    Silly me. I can’t even read my own posts straight. The “humanity will go extinct” story is here. The link in the previous comment points to my post on the demographic patterns in California and the new poll saying a majority of people in this state support same-sex marriages. Yeah, a majority.

  2. Alexander says

    Welcome to the Bay Area, PZ. I hope you enjoy your stay here. If you see an Infiniti with a Darwin fish on the back – wave!

  3. says

    Just thought you should know the weather is like this far more often than it has any right to be. Welcome to the home of San Francisco gas values. I just tanked up at $3.99.98 a gallon, and put my Obama sticker on my car, so that when people walk past it on the sidewalk they can see who I hope to vote for in November. I’m North of Berkeley by only 22 miles, so am up for helping coordinate any potential pharynguloid beer/dining f2f events, apart from the conference, that we locals hope can occur. I’m at residualechoATyahoo etc.

  4. says

    I wonder if PZ feels like a celebrity with frothing fans dying to see him if he comes to their area.
    That being said, I also live in the Bay Area–if anyone scheduling a get-together email me. KristinHugo(at)Gmail.com
    (Although I don’t think I’d be allowed in a bar…I’m not 21. Pubs are fine though!)

  5. snoozebar says

    Aw, too bad I’ll be in San Francisco that day, otherwise I’d try to crash your closing remarks.

    Enjoy your time in Berkeley! Make sure you get some great food while you’re there.

  6. tony (not a vegan) says

    Phoenix Woman @ 10: That is so cool — what a great experiment, and he shows a very strong methodology (My bio chem at college was never that good — I only ever got dead cultures…)

    One thing I didn’t pick up — what are the metabolic residues? Anything particularly useful?

  7. sarah says

    I live in sf and would also like to share a beer with PZ. Count me in if anything social is happening.

  8. says

    Tentatively, something may be happening Friday night, after my talk. Say, nineish. I’ll be speaking at the Art Museum on the Berkeley campus.

  9. Ichthyic says

    OT, but interesting news:

    Francis Collins is leaving NIH:


    I predict a better than 50% chance he will decide to embark on expanding his more ridiculous notions from “Language of God” in yet another book.

    after all, there’s a big market for religious woo in this country.

    I would hope that he would dump those efforts in favor of doing lecture circuits to talk about genomics and evolution, but frankly, if you look at his previous lecture circuits, that does not appear to be his largest audience.

    Time will tell, I suppose.

  10. says

    If it’s Wednesday, it must be California

    Yes, the Californias are well-known reocurring points in time. But why Wednesdays for SF? That’s such a boring day…

  11. says

    blf, #18

    Because after the first couple of times San Franciscan cleverness gets to be a bit trite and tedious. Unlike San Diego, where we skip the clever and go straight to trite and tedious.

  12. says

    Alan@19, I used to live in Santa Cruz (sometimes called the other Bezerkly). Petite, wacky(? looney?), and invaded by hordes of Silicon Valley barbarians, is perhaps its description.

  13. Samantha Vimes says

    blf– I just moved to Santa Cruz! The bumper sticker of choice here reads “Keep Santa Cruz weird.” –it’s a fun place!

  14. Shaggy Maniac says

    Wow, it looks like it will be a cool symposium/meeting. I even counted four speakers whose topics have to do with plants; woohoo!

  15. JJ says

    Welcome to California! Welcome to $4.15 a Gallon of Gas!
    “Alan@19, I used to live in Santa Cruz (sometimes called the other Bezerkly). Petite, wacky(? looney?), and invaded by hordes of Silicon Valley barbarians, is perhaps its description.”

    I live in Santa Cruz currently, and looney only begins to describe this town…

    Directions To Santa Cruz:
    “Go to Berkeley and take a left”

  16. Pierce R. Butler says

    Is this “the latest juicy cool evo-devo stuff” from the IEDG 2008 conference on Integrating Evolution, Development promised in the last post?

    Damn, I shoulda gone into a scientific career after all!

  17. Patricia C. says

    That Francis Collins bit is interesting. Every time I read about him I think of that old movie ‘Blade Runner’…especially the scene where the name of the maker is stamped even in the smallest bits of the robots.

  18. says

    Well, it’s clear we should start the special Pharyngulaiod Santa Cruzians commune, with a banana slug for knowing where Squid Alley is, and extra extra banana slugs for knowing its origins.

  19. Ichthyic says

    Every time I read about him I think of that old movie ‘Blade Runner’…especially the scene where the name of the maker is stamped even in the smallest bits of the robots.

    of course, according to Francis, robots could never be programmed to have morals because the only reason morals exist is because of Gawd.

    so, if robots ever were found to have some sort of moral code, it would have to be because they were manufactured by god.


    I’ve been following the Collins saga for a while now, and am sorely disappointed at the number of people claiming to support good science, who, instead of inviting him to speak about the human genome project, would rather hear him talk about his “Moral Law” ideology.

    It’s quite pathetic, and those raising Collins on their shoulders as some sort of “Hero for NOMA” are going to be regretting it in soon enough.

    Patricia, did you happen to read the second half of Collins’ book?

    If you haven’t, don’t bother.

    read the review instead:


    scroll down to the section on “The Irreducibly Complex Moral Law” and weep for the future of science if this kind of “theistic evolution” takes root.

  20. Ichthyic says

    blf was right about the invasion from Silicon Valley to Santa Cruz, though.

    I was there when it happened.


    used to be a nice, friendly, sleepy little beach town.

    in 1993, when I first started looking, I could buy a decent 2-3 bedroom house 2 blocks from the beach for around 200K.

    same house in 2000? 750-800K

    of course, typically the San Jose invader would tear down the small house to build a mansion in its place.

    I loved SC. In fact, I liked living there more than just about any other place I ever lived (and yes, I lived in Berkeley for 3 years too).

    It just got way too expensive.

  21. Samantha Vimes says

    Real estate bust time might be a good time to go house-hunting. And if you’re good at DIY, foreclosures tend to be excellent deals.

  22. Patricia C. says

    #28 – No I didn’t read it through. It was like plowing in a desert. Thanks for the warning. Blade Runner had a lot of quirky moral twists. Collins might profit from watching it. I’d be willing to bet your prediction comes true.