Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Tangled Bank #44

The Tangled Bank

Welcome to Tangled Bank # 44! When I volunteered to host this edition of the Tangled Bank I was expecting to read a lot of good science writing on a lot of interesting subjects. Even so, I fear I have underestimated how good and interesting science bloggers really are! Pat yourselfs on the back you are good!

I originally thought that I would do a clever layout involving the stratigraphy of the Hadar site (where Australopithecus afarensis was first discovered), but after reading all the posts I decided to let the science, scientists and science writers speak for themselves...

I did, however, find the perfect post (this will come as a surprise to the author - since it wasn't actually submitted) to start off. It contains all the that make The Tangled Bank what it is - science, mystery and Blue Smurf Pee, Rabbits and Buckthorn - a reason for visiting Bootstrap Analysis is that she is hosting Circus of the Spineless as well.

The always interesting Coturnix has an interesting post at Cirdiana on the effects of global warming on circadian systems. In line with that I have a discussion about how Zooarchaeology can be used to study climate change in Zooarchaeology, Pokemon Archaeology and Climate Change.

Zygote Games asks Why do Narwhals Have Horns and gives a surprising answer.

Aydin Orstan discusses Barnacles: Darwin’s old buddies in a piece he generously crossposted at Transitions as well as at Snail's Tails.

Which brings us to a section of posts on how science affects society and vice versa.

Political Calculations asks What Your Kids Know About Science... and comes up with some interesting - if scary - answers.

A Concerned Scientist wonders What Scientists Owe the Public - a fascinating piece that everyone should read!

Elia Diodati inThe Biggest Losers, South Korean Style discusses the plight of the grad students in Hwang's lab. Certainly gives a new perspective to the story (and one I had never thought of).

In a more upbeat piece, the Daily Transcript discusses The Best Things About Science.

Centrerion tells Time Magazine about the link between protion size and obesity - although afarensis thinks this is more common sense than science.

I will get back to the impact of science on society in minute. It's time for a visit to what I call Wilkinspalooza.

You see John Wilkins (also know as PZ's worst nightmare) has written a series of posts on speciation (anyone who has visited John's blog will not be surprised):

Modes of Speciation Organizing the Mess
Modes of Speciation 2 Flow verses Place
Relating Speciation
Speciation Genes
At this point Evolgen objected to the characterization of molecular biologists (to his credit Wilkin's took not of the objection)and responded with Why Study Speciation Genes (in keeping with upright decent and honest behavior among scientists and science bloggers Evolgen was the person who submitted all the posts in this section).
Wilkin's series concludes with Speciation Conclusion. Teach the Controversy says I!

Since we are on the subject of controversy.

Is the Cambrian explosion real? How can we tell one way or another?A signature of a radiation in metazoan evolution by PZ Myers gives us the latest on the subject - you should bookmark this one for future confrontations with creationists!

Chris Clarke takes on a creationist textbook in Crown clade of Creation

Tara at Aetiology has an interesting post that discusses Shelley's criticism of Paley's Natural Theology and points out thatThose who do not learn from history... also should be bookmarked!

The Daily Duck tackles ID, Sex Combs and Theodicy.

Archy debunks a creationist in Another Mammoth Story.

Darksyde follows up with a story about The One That Got Away (Note: If you have ever wondered why earth isn't ruled by lightening fast land octopi and intelligent squid you will find the answer here).

Grey Thumb submitted one post, but I found another equally worthy of inclusion. Testing Intelligent Design With Artificial Life and Incompetent Design and the No Free Lunch Theorems.

Dan Keane at Science Gate discusses why Dover Ain't Over... Very Interesting!

Adaptive Complexity talks about the difference between evolution and abiogenesis in Evolutionary Biology is not "Origins of Life" Research. Bookmark this one for furture use!

While at Science Notes there is a discussion about Flagellum Structure is Not so Irreducibly Complex.

Switching to a little anthropology...
Kambiz Kamrani at discusses The anthropology of race and the discovery of a skin color gene, SLC24A5 as does Sunil at Balancing Life in Happy hour: The color of our skin from a slightly different perspective.

Hedgwig the Owl at living the Scientific Life tells us about how tsunamis are formed in Tsunami: One Year Later, Part I,What We Know About The Event Itself.
While Hsien-Hsien Lei at Genetics and Health tells us how DNA is being used to identify tsunami victems in DNA Identification of Indian Ocean Tsunami Victims.

Mike at 10,000 Birds tells us about Another Avian Ailment but it's not what you think.

The Bad Astronomy Blog talks about being number four in We're Number Four.

Sophistpundit asks What Can We Hope To Leave Our Children? I'm not so sure I agree with his conclusion (like some of the commenters), but it is still interesting.

The Biotec Weblog dicusses Anthrax and Tobacco.

Orac at Respectful Insolence debunks some Alternative Medicine. I found this one interesting...

The Invasive Species Weblog discusses an interesting vector for invasive species in What the Hull.

Finally, science isn't just words on a page, it can also be art and music as the Hairy Museum of Natural History shows in The Devonian Blues.

Tangled Bank # 45 will be hosted at GreyThumb on Jan 18, 2006. So start getting those new ideas!