Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

PuffHo’s demonization of Trump: can it get any more extreme? (And Glenn Greenwald on the canonization of Clinton)

PuffHo’s frenetic demonization of Donald Trump (who’s already demonized himself out of contention for the Presidency) is growing—to the point of lunacy. Look, for instance, at the Entertainment section, where virtually every article is not about entertainment, but about how some entertainer has produced the “perfect” takedown of The Donald. Even “Weird News,” which used to have great nuggets […]

Glass gem corn

Speaking of hybridization, my friend Nicole sent me some ears she grew of what’s called “glass gem corn,” which are gorgeous. I had no idea this stuff existed, though of course I’d seen less variegated “Indian corn” that appears around Halloween. Here are 12 ears: all of them are small: up to about six inches […]

Hybrid speciation might be rare

Data show that the “normal” mode of speciation—the process in which one lineage divides into two or more species—involves the geographic isolation of populations of a single species. Over time, natural selection (and genetic drift) causes those populations to become more and more genetically different. When the genetic differentiation has gone to the extent that the separate populations […]

Photomicrography winners

Today we’ll dispense with readers’ wildlife photographs, as I want to save some until I return from Asia in about 3 weeks. Instead, reader John O’Neall called my attention to Nikon’s Small World Photomicrography Champions, and I’ll like to present a few of the winners. They give us an idea of the marvels of nature […]

Sunday: Hili dialogue

It’s Sunday, October 23, 2016, and this morning all of Chicago is in jubilation about the Cubs’s clinching of the National League championship last night, shutting out the Dodgers 5-0. On Tuesday they’ll meet the American League champions, the Cleveland Indians, for the first game of the World Series. Chicago hasn’t won a league championship since 1945, […]

An inordinate fondness for nematodes

by Matthew Cobb I have no idea if this true, or how you could be confident it was (or wasn’t) correct, but it could easily be right. Jack is Manager of the Grant Museum of Zoology at University College London. Four out of every five individual animals on Earth today is a nematode worm.There are a lot […]

Bob Dylan behaves immaturely about his Nobel Prize

Yes, we all know that Bob Dylan is weird and secretive, and we also know of people like Jean-Paul Sartre who declined a Nobel literature award. (One other person refused it—not a Literature prize—and several scientists were forced to refuse it by their totalitarian government. Can you name them?) We also know that Bob Dylan is laconic. […]

Fall photos

The leaves are beginning to turn here, and are falling from the trees into Botany Pond, right next to my building. They make the surface of the pond look like an Impressionist painting. The vegetation in this photo is nearly all reflections in the pond. Only the branch in the center, and a bit at […]

A mini-Sokal hoax: abstract of physics paper written by computer, and in complete gibberish, accepted for conference on physics

In the famous Alan Sokal hoax, now twenty years old, a physicist got a bogus, post-modern paper accepted by the pomo journal Social Text. Now the tables are turned—sort of. This time, as the Guardian reported yesterday, a non-physicist hoaxed a physics conference by submitting an abstract, immediately accepted, that was written almost completely by computer. It […]

Caturday felid trifecta: Maine Coon Cats, how to be a cat, and Sampson, a 28-pound monster cat who is not fat

One of the world’s most beautiful cat breeds is the Maine Coon. Over at Bored Panda, photographer Robert Sijka shows some magnificent shots of these beasts. (See more of his cat photographs here.) Sijka always saw cats as majestic, almost mystical beasts, and now he came up with a way to share that image with the rest of us: […]