Dream a Little Dream of Me.

Good Astronomy From The Bad Astronomer

Bad AstronomyDr. Phil Plait, The BadAstronomerFour astronomical bits to crane your neck and boggle your mind.

First up, don’t forget there’s a total lunar eclipse tonight. Europe and the east coast of North America will be getting the best views on this one.

Tonight, just about sunset if you’re on the east coast of North America, head on out and check out the moon. It’ll be rising with the eclipse already in progress. In fact, Down East here, it’ll already be fully eclipsed at moonrise, and may even be hard to spot at first.

A lunar eclipse for those of you who may not already know, is when the moon passes directly behind Earth from the sun, and travels through Earth’s shadow. At first blush you might think this would occur every month at the full moon, but due to the geometry and the tilt of the moon’s orbit around the earth, that’s not the case. For more on that, you can check out Dr. BA’s very good explanation given here.

Pretty by proxy, below the fold.

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Filed under: Astronomy, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Education, Friends, More Formal Blogs, Photos, Science, Science Links, Video

Dr. PZ Educates, Elucidates, and Eradicates

Chick EmbryoI have a mounting (no pun intended) pile of things I want to blog about. I actually got up early this morning to check for Chapter Four of A Birthday Feast (my tortuous erotic story birthday gift from Molly and Andale), but when I found it as yet unposted, I thought I’d drop by AtBC to see what’s been going on.

On the bathroom wall I found a short note from Steve Story with a link to Pharyngula regarding an article wherein Dr. PZ destroys yet another strawman argument from Jonathan Wells of the Discovery Institute.

This is an amazing and fascinating article on embryology. It is well written and easy for even me to understand, and Dr. PZ does an unspeakably wonderful job of educating along the way to demolishing Wells’ nonsense. Thus, my other stuff was immediately relegated to the back burner in favor of this post.

If you don’t read another biology related article this month, read this one. It really is that good.

With apologies to Dr. PZ, I’m going to use his entire first section as a teaser, in the hopes that you will be absolutely compelled to go to Pharyngula to read the rest.

The story of Haeckel’s embryos is different in an important way from that of the other chapters in Jonathan Wells’ book. As the other authors show, Wells has distorted ideas that are fundamentally true in order to make his point: all his rhetoric to the contrary, Archaeopteryx is a transitional fossil, peppered moths and Darwin’s finches do tell us significant things about evolution, four-winged flies do tell us significant things about developmental pathways, and so forth. In those parts of the book, Wells has to try and cover up a truth by misconstruing and misrepresenting it.

In the case of Haeckel, though, I have to begin by admitting that Wells has got the core of the story right. Haeckel was wrong. His theory was invalid, some of his drawings were faked, and he willfully over-interpreted the data to prop up a false thesis. Furthermore, he was influential, both in the sciences and the popular press; his theory still gets echoed in the latter today. Wells is also correct in criticizing textbook authors for perpetuating Haeckel’s infamous diagram without commenting on its inaccuracies or the way it was misused to support a falsified theory.

Unfortunately, what Wells tries to do in this chapter is to take this invalid, discredited theory and tar modern (and even not so modern) evolutionary biology with it. The biogenetic law is not Darwinism or neo-Darwinism, however. It is not part of any modern evolutionary theory. Wells is carrying out a bait-and-switch here, marshalling the evidence and citations that properly demolish the Haeckelian dogma, and then claiming that this is part of “our best evidence for Darwin’s theory.”

A big ol’ peek above our garters to Dr. PZ for the article, and two for Steve Story for pointing us there.

Filed under: Biology, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Education, Fundies, More Formal Blogs, Religion, Science

I Am Honored By Rebecca

Ok, I didn’t win top prize, but I did receive this:

The award for the most obscure dig at Creationists goest to JanieBelle, who had this killer line:

I’m taking you home tonight.

NOTE: If you doubt this is possible, how is it there are PYGMIES + DWARFS??

(Enjoy this explanation from our spineless buddy.)

I’d like to thank the acadamy, my mom, Kate, all of you, and oh yes – Dr. PZ, without whom this award would not have been possible both because I had never seen that Chick tract before I saw it at his blog, and because without him I quite literally would not exist.

Lots of good pick-up lines there, go check out the winners.

Filed under: Biology, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Education, Fundies, Humor, More Formal Blogs, Religion, Science, Sex


Blogging on Pseudo-Scientific Douche-BagsYou have been warned.

Due to my sequestration, I’ve been a bit out of the loop since yesterday.

I’m currently under heavily supervised visitation of my computer, but Dr. BA brought me some simply lovely news on this day-after-my-eighteenth-birthday. (Actually, he delivered the news yesterday, I just didn’t receive it until this morning so he’s not late with his present or nuthin’.)

Oh, how I loves me my “talk to the hand” moment when it comes to creationists.

From Reuters:

The Kansas Board of Education on Tuesday threw out science standards deemed hostile to evolution, undoing the work of Christian conservatives in the ongoing battle over what to teach U.S. public school students about the origins of life.


Perhaps now the Kansas School Board will no longer be synonymous globally with “knuckle dragging goons who will lie and cheat to make sure they destroy the brains of a generation of children.”.

I’m all with the good Dr. BA and his dancing commenters…

Until Steve.

Steve Says: February 14th, 2007 at 10:06 am

I havne’t found anything that says what the board specifically did. This goes along with a news report I heard on the radio.

AP Wire | 02/13/2007 | Kansas science standards evolve again, becoming pro-Darwin

The board on Tuesday removed language suggesting that key evolutionary concepts – like a common origin for all life on Earth and change in species creating new ones – were controversial and being challenged by new research. Also approved was a new definition of science, specifically limiting it to the search for natural explanations of what’s observed in the universe.

They removed language that said that evolution was a controversial topic. Wow. That’s really showing them.

I’m tired of this argument that Kansan’s are a bunch of “”knuckle dragging goons.” Get real. The only place I ever see that is on Left oriented blogs. The average man on the street doesn’t care one way or the other.

As for teaching evolution, who cares, really? I make websites for a living, there’s not a whole lot of evolutionary theory that goes into that. What about the man who works on my car? Or the bank teller? I don’t remember any classes dealing with evolution when I was in high school (mid 80’s). I saw a lot of stuff on TV. This idea that people are going to “destroy the brains of a generation of children” is bunk. The fact is, the vast majority of people don’t dwell on it during the course of their daily lives. The ones who do care about it are those who are into evolutionary biology and all its related fields.

Both sides of this debate are guilty of treating it as something more than it is.

As for me, in the beginning, God, the rest is commentary.

As I said, duck. Now.

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Filed under: Astronomy, Biology, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, BPSDB, Education, Fundies, More Formal Blogs, Politics, Rants, Religion, Science,

I Was Done For Darwin Day, But Then Came Rebecca

So to speak…

Rebecca is having a contest (with a prize and everything) from now until the end of my birthday (sometimes referred to as Valentine’s Day).

Combine Darwin and Valentine and come up with your best pick up line.

Some really good ones in the comments, go add yours.

My fav strictly Darwin themed line comes from Blake Stacey:

Is that a finch in your pocket, or are you just happy to see me?

My overall fav so far comes from azinyk:

I don’t want to boast about my staying power, but by the time we’re finished, Kent Hovind will be out of jail.

My second fav so far comes from Blake Stacey:

Funny thing about clothes: they’re irreducibly complex. Take away just. . . this one part. . . and they don’t work at all.

Filed under: Biology, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Education, Humor, More Formal Blogs, Romance, Science, Sex

Sylvia Bluffs

Blogging on Pseudo-Scientific Douche-BagsStop Sylvia Browne!
This next peek above our garters goes to the currently virally infected Rebecca, our favorite Skepchick. (Lots of good reasons for flashing today… not that we really need much of a reason… okwedontreallyneedanyreasonatall…)

Sylvia Browne, queen of all fake psychics, had her attorneys send a BS C and D letter to StopSylviaBrowne.com.

In the highly comical letter sent to Robert by the Hodgson Law Group (a firm specializing in trademark law in the entertainment industry), Syl and her cronies demand the site be removed because it infringes on the vile harpy’s trademarked name, of all things.

Of course, Robert is quaking in his boots. As a psychic, Sylvia Browne already knows the outcome of the court case that is sure to follow. Oh, wait! Sylvia Browne is not a real psychic! Sylvia Browne cannot use paranormal abilities to predict the future! Sylvia Browne is a hideous ass-beast, inside and out! Sylvia Browne was unable to predict that the letter her lawyers sent has only served to give us all a hearty chuckle, confirming the fact that she is scared and desperate. I would enjoy seeing Sylvia take the stand in a court of law and attempt to disprove any of the above statements.

Even when she’s sick, Rebecca just cracks me up.

Oh yeah, I’m sure Robert is just terrrified.

or not.

Filed under: Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, BPSDB, Censorship, Education, Humor, More Formal Blogs, Science,

WordPress Has Now De-Listed Crowded Head

And there was NO objectionable content on his blog.

He stood up, and WordPress shut him up by censoring him, too!

Make this stop NOW!

Filed under: About, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Censorship, Corporal Kate, Education, Equality, Erotica, Friends, Literature, Literature and Literotica, More Formal Blogs, Photos, Rants, Romance, Sex, UDoJ's Other Sites, WordPress

I Ain’t Pluggin’ Him This Time

Majestic PeakSo Dr. BA is going to be at SpaceFest 2007. They write him a letter, and he’s all about it. He’s there. They got astronauts. They’re in Phoenix.

Well whoop de doo. KaylaFace gave him a banner, and the whole show to himself, but he just said it wasn’t a big enough venue. Kate already plugged him this morning, but I’m not going to do it.

Dr. BA is a 1″ tall people hater, that’s what it is. Dr. BA, stand up for the little people of the world!

Good thing we like him.


Filed under: Astronomy, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Corporal Kate, Education, Friends, Humor, More Formal Blogs, Science, Science Links, Space Travel

Dr. Tara’s Microbiology And Infectious Disease Primer

Some Yucky Thing Undoubtedly Found In A Cow’s Butt It’s been a while since we’ve spotlighted the World’s Hottest Epidemiologist. Her fault! She hasn’t been blogging as much lately.

We’ll forgive her two reasons:

  1. She has actual, important things to do, like research and mommy stuff and stuff like that.
  2. We’re good like that.

Today Dr. Tara takes us back to the basics, and starts our education in some simple (well, to scientists, anyway) concepts to help us understand what the hell she’s talking about sometimes.

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Filed under: A Rollcall of Science Chicks, Biology, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Education, More Formal Blogs, Science

2007 NC Science Blogging Conference

The North Carolina Science Blogging Conference, Saturday, January 20, 2007.
This is a free, open and public event for scientists, educators, students, journalists, bloggers and anyone interested in discussing science communication, education and literacy on the Web.

Among a list of great science bloggers, Seed Magazine’s Scienceblogs will be represented in force:

Coturnix will be there, will you?

Dr. Free-Ride of Adventures in Ethics and Science

Zuska of Thus Spake Zuska

Greta and Dave Munger of Cognitive Daily

James Hrynyshyn of The Island of Doubt

Abel Pharmboy of Terra Sigillata

Filed under: A Rollcall of Science Chicks, Astronomy, Biology, Blogs In Our MonkeySphere, Education, Environment, More Formal Blogs, Science, Science Links

Sex in the Public Square

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  • I am entirely fictional, and without sexual preference.
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    It's making me excited again."

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All original material on this blog excepting The Lilith Quotient is covered under the Creative Commons Attribution- NonCommercial- Share Alike 3.0 License.

Attribution should be made to JanieBelle McKnight, and contain a link to this blog.

The Lilith Quotient

Creative Commons License

The Lilith Quotient by JanieBelle McKnight is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution- Noncommercial- No Derivative Works 3.0 License.

Attribution should be made to JanieBelle McKnight, and contain a link to this blog.


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