You should be reading “Pharyngula.”

I’ve been meaning to write an entry about Pharyngula for, well, a couple of months now. I keep rediscovering it and each time I do I make a mental note to blogroll it and write something about it and then I end up forgetting to do so until the next time I come across it for some reason. It’s a science blog written by Paul Z. Myers who is an associate professor of biology at the University of Minnesota, Morris and he’s infinitely smarter about biology and evolution than I could ever hope to be. Each time I stumble across the site—this time it was because he left a comment here at SEB—I find myself reading through all the entries I missed since the last time I was there. Granted, I’m geek in general and a science geek in particular so it probably goes without saying that I’d love a blog written by an associate professor of biology. For example, the next time someone tries to use the “human eyes are irreducibly complex so Evolution must be false” fallacy on me I’ll have to remember to link to this entry on recent discoveries that show how eyes have evolved over time.

Which isn’t to say that all the entries are long and dry essays about biology. He trashes Creationists pretty well and he has a sense of humor about it. I particularly loved the background image of Monty Python’s Mr. Gumby he used for the quotes from Creationist Phil Skell. Plus he’s got a special Pirate Mode that you can set the blog to that gives it an old fashioned pirate feel. Any guy with a Pirate Mode for his blog is pretty cool in my book. The icing on the cake? He’s got SEB blogrolled. That’s how I came across his site in the first place—it started showing up in our referrer logs.

So go check it out and see what you think. Personally I’m hoping he’ll spare a moment or two to jump into the Evolution debates that crop up here from time to time, especially if one of us screws something up particularly badly. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make sure to add it to my blogroll.

Oops! Turns out I already had it on there. I’d forgotten that I hadn’t forgotten to add it.

6 thoughts on “You should be reading “Pharyngula.”

  1. You can’t argue with fanatics. What’s rather shocking is that Mr. Skell is a supposed chemist—not exactly the most subjective non-scientific field to begin with—and yet he seems to abandon established scientific parameters whenever it suits his need. Your friend would have a more fulfilling time selecting a nice bumby brick wall and then try smashing his head up against it repeatedly rather than trying to win over this dunderhead. Maybe another explaination exists though. Perhaps this is a ploy by Mr. Skell to score points for his side by enticing the prof. to overuse complex scientific jargon in order to explain his point (however scientifically correct) which goes right over the heads of most neophytes and thus providing Mr. Skell opportunities to score cheap simplistic points that would appeal to the real crowd he aiming for—the younger undecideds or people who are uncertain about the basic tenants of evolution. Perhaps the professor instead of trying to address each point made by this nimrod should take a page from his book and ignore the 100 point litanies Mr. Skell puts out and focus on explaining one or two in simple, clear,and realtivly jargon free terms so that his points could be understood by a wider audience.

  2. Seconding CS’s thanks.

    On complexity, I just ordered Dawkin’s book Climbing Mount Improbable, which covers how the eye might have evolved as well as some other examples of adaption.

  3. Yes, Pharyngula is great.
    And VernR, “Climbing Mount Improbable” is highly recommended. The great thing about Dawkins is the clarity with which he explains counterintuitive notions, for instance that the selective pressure of, say, a stick insect looking 1% more like a stick than its forbears, is meaningful, given the vast number if individuals being selected over vast amaounts of time.

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