Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

Adam Rutherford calls the Jack the Ripper identification “a joke”

This morning I reported on a genetic analysis of the identity of Jack the Ripper, arrived at by analyzing DNA from sperm and bloodstains on a shawl found at one of the murder sites. I didn’t think much of the paper, but Adam Rutherford, a respected geneticist and author, thinks even less. In fact, he […]

Templeton Prize awarded to physicist for blending science and woo

Well, once again the canny John Templeton Foundation has awarded its million-pound Templeton Prize to someone who’s not a religious figure but a scientist who enables religion and criticizes materialism and atheism. This time the Big Dosh went to Marcelo Gleiser, a professor of Physics and Astronomy at Dartmouth College. He’s a theoretical physicist and […]

Jack the Ripper identified?

UPDATE: Go here to see a post from later on this day, detailing Adam Rutherford’s objection to this paper, which he calls a “joke” because of the possibility of contamination, the lack of provenance of the shawl, the sloppy calculations, and the weak genetic evidence. _____________   The paper below is getting a lot of […]

Court rules that flipping someone off is free speech

If you had asked me before this story broke whether giving someone the finger counts as protected free speech, I would have said, “Yes.” After all, it’s an expression that doesn’t hurt anyone physically and is simply a gesture that expresses one’s feelings. If burning an American flag is considered free speech, as it is, […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Nilou visited the Kaena Point Natural Area Reserve to see the breeding Laysan Albatross (Phoebastria immutabilis), which I also saw when I was in Oahu. Here are three pictures of these gorgeous beasts in situ. A downy chick inspected by adults: Reader Kevin Elskin sent some photos from Arkansas; his notes are indented: First, […]

Tuesday: Hili dialogue

It’s Tuesday, March 19, with only two days left until the advent of Spring. It’s National Oatmeal Cookie Day, honoring the worst of all possible cookies (many times I’ve been fooled into biting into one, thinking that the raisins were chocolate chips). And it’s “Return of the Swallow” Day, when the swallows are supposed to […]

Is the Pope Catholic?

Here’s a video from the British comedy game show QI (“Quite Interesting”) about the official title of the Pope Francis. It turns out that it’s not “Pope”. Further, you’ll learn that THE POPE IS NOT A CATHOLIC! In fact, the man who is officially the Pope is also NOT a Catholic. Listen and learn. h/t: […]

An Underground map of science

I may have put this up before, but can’t be arsed to look it up. This map, first published in 2010, is worth seeing again, and of course we have a new generation of readers. Crispian Jago’s “Modern Science Map” first appeared on his website The Reason Stick, and can be seen in larger and clickable […]

New York Times changes headline to make Israel seem more culpable

On March 14, two rockets were fired at Tel Aviv, Israel, from Gaza. Fortunately, although the missiles weren’t intercepted by the Iron Dome, nobody was hurt. It was the first rocket attack on Tel Aviv since 2014, and Israel retaliated with air attacks on terrorist military sites. Hamas denied responsibility, but it’s clear that some […]

Monday: Hili dialogue (and Leon monologue)

Yep, it’s Monday, March 18, 2019, and in one week I’ll be waking up in Amsterdam. Look for travel photos but not as much posting for about 12 days. It’s National Sloppy Joe Day, and if you don’t know what those are, go to the Wikipedia article, which describes this regionally variable sandwich of loose, […]