Tags: science


He's smarter than you, he's got a science degree - Day 23 - 30 Days of Me

Day 23 - A YouTube Video

This is my all-time favorite YouTube video. The song is catchy, and it's SO freaking hilarious, especially if you're familiar with arguments about evolution vs "intelligent design." (Haha, do the quotes make it clear where I stand on this issue)? This came out, IIRC, around the time of the kerfuffle about the film "Expelled," and honestly, I don't know if it's meant to lampoon ID creationists or Richard Dawkins and other atheist scientists (including P.Z. Myers and Eugenie Scott) - but it does a great job of poking fun at both sides. Best of all, hip hop Charles Darwin! As someone who identifies as a methodological materialist (but not a philosophical one), I adore this video. Geeky science humor doesn't get any better than this.


*Fangirls Robert Bakker*

Once again, paleontologist Robert Bakker shows just what an amazingly cool and insightful guy he is:

Q: [Switek] Finally, as someone who works with the "bones of contention" and the fossil record, what do you think about the current controversy surrounding evolution in the United States? How can we do a better job of communicating science to the public?

A: [Bakker] We dino-scientists have a great responsibility: our subject matter attracts kids better than any other, except rocket-science. What's the greatest enemy of science education in the U.S.?

Militant Creationism?

No way. It's the loud, strident, elitist anti-creationists. The likes of Richard Dawkins and his colleagues.

These shrill uber-Darwinists come across as insultingly dismissive of any and all religious traditions. If you're not an atheist, then you must be illiterate or stupid and, possibly, a danger to yourself and others.


There's a lot of discussion about this lately on Scienceblogs, and probably other places as well, specifically in relation to some drama happening around the release of Ben Stein's new bullshit . . . um, film, "Expelled." It's been quite interesting to follow, but also a bit disheartening as some of the pro-evolutionists can be quite strident, something which is one of my biggest pet peeves about the science community - at least those parts of it with which I'm familiar. Science and spiritual belief are NOT mutually exclusive, even though loads of people on both sides seem to believe that they are.

Bakker, btw, is my favorite paleontologist. IMO, he kicks Jack Horner's butt. :P I've heard them both speak and Horner's personality didn't engage me. (That's a nice way of saying I thought he came across as more than a bit self-involved). Bakker, on the other hand, is funny and articulate and really great with children. Plus, I tend to agree with his theories. He was one of the first to be vocal about the warm-bloodedness of dinosaurs, and I think he's also suggested that dinosaurs be included in the class Aves (although right now I can't find anything on the internet to confirm this; I'm pretty sure I read it somewhere a while back, though).

First Annual Blogger BioBlitz!

This past week, my son and I participated in the First Annual Blogger BioBlitz. The idea is to choose a small but convenient natural area, and survey all the organisms you can find there during a one-week period: April 21 through 29, in honor of National Wildlife Week. I decided that Connor and I would survey our back patio plus the open space beyond our yard in Contra Costa County, California. We weren't able to do a survey every single day, as we were out of town part of the week, but we were diligent for four or five of the days.

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I took pictures of some of the things I saw; many of these are not good quality, as I was mostly just trying to document, rather than capture nice photos. The Flickr Photoset is here.

This was a cool project, and I'll participate again next year. From a different place, in fact - most likely, somewhere in Puerto Rico!