Tricksy solicitation callers
11 hours ago in The Phytophactor
Muslim students, including trainee doctors on one of Britain's leading medical courses, are walking out of lectures on evolution claiming it conflicts with creationist ideas established in the Koran.Would you want to be treated by a physician who skipped classes that mentioned evolution? Microbes that make us sick evolve fast, leading to antibiotic resistance and virulence. Humans have many traits that are shaped by evolution, and the genetic differences among different ethnicities is likewise a subject of evolution. Should we not require that medical doctors know about these topics? Imagine if you weren't sure if your doctor knew enough about some disease because he had walked out on all lectures that mentioned Darwin or evolution. No thanks for me. [Evolutionary medicine.]
Selection is a subtle force, and you cannot escape it.
I lie flattened, like the weight of his words has literally crushed me. I need to do something, anything to lessen this ache. The thought crosses my mind to self medicate, but I quickly decide against that. Mild analgesics like ibuprofen would be useless, as they act peripherally, targeting the pain nerves which send signals to the brain. In this case, it is my brain that is causing the pain. I would have to take something different, like an opioid, which depresses the central nervous system and thus inhibits the brain’s ability to feel. Tempting as that might be, painkillers are an easy – and dangerous – way out. No, I need to deal with this some other way.
Q. Is there a tendency in our society to mix up religion and evolution?If evolution was first an enemy and then a best friend, then how does the negation of a literal reading of the parts of the Bible that speak on biology (and other sciences) not call all of it into question?
A. I am afraid largely so. I think it is wonderful to teach the Bible, but not to pretend the Bible is an introductory textbook for biology or astronomy.
We succeed in keeping these kinds of things out of the schools, but then the impact on the public at large is not as good as you would expect to have. In the last few weeks, two or three of the Republican presidential candidates have expressed skepticism about evolution. And yet, evolution is confirmed as much as any scientific theory, and better than most. Evolution is confirmed as well as (the idea that) the Earth goes around the sun, or that matter consists of atoms.
It's a matter of scientific ignorance. It's a matter of religious ignorance; as you surely know, most religious authorities, most
churches, are in favor of evolution. As, famously, an Anglican minister -- a theologian -- said, (evolution) appeared first as an enemy, and has turned out to be our best friend, because evolution can now explain all of these sorts of cruelties or mistakes that exist in the world of life.
Let's start with a simple example. The human jaw is not large enough for all the teeth. So we have to pull wisdom teeth -- sometimes one, sometimes two, sometimes three, sometimes all four. An engineer who designed the human jaw would be fired. And yet here we are, saying that would have been designed by God.
Much more extreme and much more serious is the human reproductive system. The human reproductive system is a mess. Twenty percent of pregnancies end in spontaneous abortion, or miscarriages, in the first two months, because the human reproductive system is so badly designed. They blame God for 20 million abortions per year; there are about 100 million births in the world a year. [Emphasis added.]
Many people in China are hesitant to help people who appear to be in distress for fear that they will be blamed. High-profile law suits have ended with good Samaritans ordered to pay hefty fines to individuals they sought to help.
Evolution could not have produced a single mother and father of all future humans, so there was no Adam and no Eve. No Adam and Eve: no fall. No fall: no need for redemption. No need for redemption: no need for a redeemer. No need for a redeemer: no need for the crucifixion or the resurrection, and no need to believe in that redeemer in order to gain eternal life. And not the slightest reason to believe in eternal life in the first place.It's a great thing to read in such a prominent newspaper.
In everyday English, 'theory' can mean something vague, a hunch, a guess. In scientific English, it is almost as far from that meaning as it's possible to get: in science, a theory is the best explanation for a set of facts. It carries real weight: in science, nothing can be called a 'theory' until it is very well established indeed. Science has its own term for what, in a non-scientific context, the rest of us might call a 'theory': the scientific term for a suggestion, a best guess, something that seems plausible but has not yet been shown to be reliably true, is 'hypothesis'. You will never, ever hear a scientist talk about 'the hypothesis of evolution', for the simple reason that evolution is long past that stage. Evolution is a theory in the scientific sense of the word - tested, researched, explored and supported by masses and masses of evidence. There may still be specific details that are not entirely agreed upon; but the fact of evolution itself is not disputed by any reputable scientist.It's a common misunderstanding that those two words convey degrees of certainty in science. They do not. A theory need not be "very well established", and a hypothesis is not necessarily something that has "not yet been shown to be true".
Ruse on the left, Charlesworth on the right.
We demonstrate a significant positive relationship between absolute latitude and human orbital volume, an index of eyeball size. Owing to tight scaling between visual system components, this will translate into enlarged visual cortices at higher latitudes.Bigger brains, and by usual (though not in this case) inference, higher intelligence ranks at least as high on the list of taboos as race does. Telling someone they are less intelligent is one of the worst things one can say about another. As a consequence, research into intelligence is under more scrutiny than most other disciplines, and freely voicing hypotheticals can get researchers fired.
Plant Biology - Brigham Young UniversityAre they allowed to not include religion in the list of things they don't discriminate against? Are they allowed to give preferential treatment to Mormons?
The Department of Biology seeks to fill a full time, continuing status position in plant biology. Qualified applicants with a PhD, postdoctoral experience, and expertise in evolutionary or organismal biology (including, but not limited to, modern applications such as molecular ecology, systematics, genomics, evolutionary development, and so forth) are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate is expected to maintain an externally funded research program involving both undergraduate and graduate students. Excellence in teaching is required; teaching responsibilities will include general biology, plant diversity, and a graduate course in the candidate's area of expertise. The department offers competitive start-up packages and reduced teaching loads for new faculty. Interested persons should complete a BYU faculty application form at https://yjobs.byu.edu and attach a current CV and statements of teaching and research interests. Questions can be directed to: Dr. Clint Whipple, Plant Biology Search Committee Chair, 401 WIDB, Department of Biology, BYU, Provo, UT 84602.
The review process will begin September 15th, 2011 for this position and continue until the position is filled. Additional department and college information is available at website: http://biology.byu.edu/home. Brigham Young University, an equal opportunity employer, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, age, national origin, veteran status, or against qualified individuals with disabilities. All faculty are required to abide by the university's honor code and dress and grooming standards. Preference is given to qualified candidates who are members in good standing of the affiliated church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Successful candidates are expected to support and contribute to the academic and religious missions of the university within the context of the principles and doctrine of the affiliated church.
Dress and Grooming StandardsClones, in other words.
A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, revealing, or form fitting. Shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extreme styles or colors, and trimmed above the collar, leaving the ear uncovered. Sideburns should not extend below the earlobe or onto the cheek. If worn, moustaches should be neatly trimmed and may not extend beyond or below the corners of the mouth. Men are expected to be clean-shaven; beards are not acceptable. Earrings and other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.
A clean and well-cared-for appearance should be maintained. Clothing is inappropriate when it is sleeveless, strapless, backless, or revealing; has slits above the knee; or is form fitting. Dresses, skirts, and shorts must be knee-length or longer. Hairstyles should be clean and neat, avoiding extremes in styles or colors. Excessive ear piercing (more than one per ear) and all other body piercing are not acceptable. Shoes should be worn in all public campus areas.
We know what Bruce Wayne picked as a “creature of the night”: a bat.
But why are bats so strongly nocturnal? Why don’t we see bats out flying around in the daytime (besides a few out on remote islands)? After all, most people can quickly think of one line of birds that is largely nocturnal.
If a bird had flown through Bruce Wayne’s window, we might have had a very different character in stately Wayne Manor.