Casey Luskin Looks in Mirror, Fails to Recognize Self

Over at Evolution News & Views we have Luskin whining:

Today New York Times reporter Kirk Johnson totally misrepresented what I said in his article “Anti-Darwin Bill Fails in Utah.”

and later:

He put words in my mouth making it sound as if we were completely dismissive of the legislative and policy issues in Utah — on the contrary we followed this issue, even though we weren’t directly involved. He even admitted as much in an e-mail this morning asking for a correction.

and then there is this:

The sad thing here is that it seems that Johnson’s preconceived notions about reality affected journalism.

Yet Casey himself is not above doing the same thing when his “…preconceived notions about reality …” affected his (mis) interpretation of Erwin and Valentine’s paper.
Even Chimps can recognize themselves in the mirror says I.

MRSA and Amoebas

By now, most of us are familiar with MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The staph bacteria is pretty common on human skin but doesn’t become a problem until it finds an entry through the flesh [afarensis had an old scar from a car accident get infected with staph, fortunately not MRSA, and spent about four days in the hospital last summer] at which point it becomes a problem. MRSA is mainly found in hospitals, although there have always been a number of cases where the person had never visited a hospital. Recent research may have uncovered why. According to Science Daily MRSA use amoeba to evade measures designed to halt their spread:

Scientists from the University of Bath have shown that MRSA infects and replicates in a species of amoeba, called Acanthamoeba polyphaga, which is ubiquitous in the environment and can be found on inanimate objects such as vases, sinks and walls.
As amoeba produce cysts to help them spread, this could mean that MRSA maybe able to be ‘blown in the wind’ between different locations.

Continue reading

MRSA and Amoebas

By now, most of us are familiar with MRSA or methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The staph bacteria is pretty common on human skin but doesn’t become a problem until it finds an entry through the flesh [afarensis had an old scar from a car accident get infected with staph, fortunately not MRSA, and spent about four days in the hospital last summer] at which point it becomes a problem. MRSA is mainly found in hospitals, although there have always been a number of cases where the person had never visited a hospital. Recent research may have uncovered why. According to Science Daily MRSA use amoeba to evade measures designed to halt their spread:

Scientists from the University of Bath have shown that MRSA infects and replicates in a species of amoeba, called Acanthamoeba polyphaga, which is ubiquitous in the environment and can be found on inanimate objects such as vases, sinks and walls.
As amoeba produce cysts to help them spread, this could mean that MRSA maybe able to be ‘blown in the wind’ between different locations.

Continue reading

A. V. Kidder, Charles Lindbergh and Pictures from Space

In early October of 1929 an unlikely team of people set out from Belize to look for Mayan ruins. The team was lead by A. V. Kidder – one of the most dominant figures in Americanist archaeology. Joining the team was Charles Lindbergh – yes, that’s right “Lucky Lindy” world famous aviator from Missouri. Lindbergh had become interested in the role of aviation in archaeology when he discovered several sights from the air – during his numerous travels. So he spent five days flying across the Yucatan with A. V. Kidder and William Van Dusen (A rep from Pan American Airways). Along the way they discovered some interesting sights. Unfortunately, the Lindbergh-Carnegie flights were quite crude in terms of methodology so the whole thing fell far short of initial expectations You can consult Flights Into Yesterday for more info. I was reminded of the above story by this story of the discovery of a Mayan ruin via the use of satellite data.

Octopus Killing a Shark

Martin Brazeau at The Lancelet has the video. Apparently, the octopus was moved into a shark tank and developed a regular habit of killing 3-4 foot sharks…

An Interesting Inovation On DNA Extraction from Fossil Bones: One From the Archives

This is another from the archives.
According to New Scientist an new technique has been developed to extract DNA from bones. Before going further a little background information is in order.

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Antifreeze Proteins and Larval Fish

Sea water freezes at -1.9C which presents a problem for any creature that wants to live in Arctic or Antarctic seas. Some species of fish have antifreeze proteins (AFP’s) that allow them to live in such environments. Such proteins bind to ice crystals and inhibit their growth. Consequently the freezing point of blood and body fluids in such fish is about 2 degrees below the freezing temperature of seawater. The best studied species of fish with AFP’s are the notothenioids which live in the Antarctic. Several of which are pictured below.
antarcticfishes_clip_image002_0001.gificefish.jpg

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Antifreeze Proteins and Larval Fish

Sea water freezes at -1.9C which presents a problem for any creature that wants to live in Arctic or Antarctic seas. Some species of fish have antifreeze proteins (AFP’s) that allow them to live in such environments. Such proteins bind to ice crystals and inhibit their growth. Consequently the freezing point of blood and body fluids in such fish is about 2 degrees below the freezing temperature of seawater. The best studied species of fish with AFP’s are the notothenioids which live in the Antarctic. Several of which are pictured below.
antarcticfishes_clip_image002_0001.gificefish.jpg

Continue reading

Responses To The St. Louis Post Dispatch Editorial on Evolution

Since the AAAS meetings were held in St. Louis, the St. Louis Post Dispatch covered some of it. In particular they did this story on Intelligent Design. The story has provoked some letters here several are in support of evolution – but most are pro-ID and spew the both are theories and evolution is unprovable line:

Knowledge is human awareness gained by experience, facts or intelligence about something, the sum of what is known at the time. From what did dinosaurs evolve? We don’t know and probably never will. So why all the fuss over one theory?

or this:

Instead, let’s compare scientific facts and admit that evolution and creationism are theories. Both are unproven and (currently) unprovable.

or this rather confused letter:

Scientists have yet to find absolute links between man and animal and can’t explain miracles or give a source for the material or energy in the Big Bang.
Teaching evolution and intelligent creation can and should co-exist; they are not mutually exclusive except in the eyes of fanatics. We should not confuse evolution with the origin of a species or deny subsequent evolution.
We shouldn’t let atheists deny to us our right to believe in and teach about God.

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Journals and Papers

Long time readers of my blog have had to suffer quite a few pleas for links to science journals – specifically links to journals dealing with evolution. Consequently, I have accumulated quite a large number of them (linked to under “The Evil Darwinian Orthodoxy” in my side bar – note to ID proponents and other creationists this is called sarcasm and should not be construed as a true description). This is, in part, my own humble attempt to help promote knowledge of science. Recently, I discovered that some scientists make some, or all, of their papers available on their websites (in hindsight I’m not surprised) and have been adding links to those as well (they are waydown almost at the bottom of my sidebar) whenever I find them. To that end, if anybody out there knows of scientists who have made their science articles freely available leave me a comment. Examples of the kind of thing I am looking for can be found here and here.
Which brings me to my next point. Because I have accumulated such a large collection of links my sidebar is getting cluttered. At this point I am thinking of leaving 5-10 of each (and here I am reffering specifically to the science journals and individual web pages – not my blog roll) in my sidebar. The rest would be moved to an entry that would be linked to in the sidebar… I am open to suggestion…but bear in mind I’m not a technogeek so please keep it simple.

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