Author Archives: whyevolutionistrue

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: […]

Readers’ wildlife photographs

A year ago, reader Benjamin Taylor went on a camping trip around southern Africa (Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, and Zambia) and took lots of photos. I’m continuing his series today, and his captions are indented. There are bonus kittens!  Tawny eagle (Aquila rapax).  A white-backed vulture (Gyps africanus) on its nest. Common impala (Aepyceros melampus), Chobe National Park, Botswana. […]

Saturday: Hili dialogue

It’s October 22, 2016, and National Nut Day, which I’ll following by having a peanut butter sandwich for lunch. It’s also International CAPS LOCK DAY. Finally, this is the day in 4004 BC on which, according to Archbishop James Ussher’s famous calculation, the world was created! On October 22, 1879, Thomas Edison tested the first long-lasting incandescent […]

National Reptile Awareness Day

by Greg Mayer It’s a bit late in the day, but I must announce that today is, at least in the USA, National Reptile Awareness Day. Happy Reptile Day to all! I must admit, as a herpetologist who joined all the major American herpetological societies while still in high school (1975), I had never heard […]

The laws of cartoon physics

To end the week, we have a lovely post that gives the cartoon laws of physics, whose author is, sadly, unknown. But they’re hilarious, and if you’re of a certain age you’ll recognize them all. Here they are; I’ve put my favorites in bold. Cartoon Law I Any body suspended in space will remain in […]

CUNY professor accused of violating Title IX without any mention of sex

I think we learned yesterday—or at least I did—that sexual harassment of women, including physical harassment like groping, is far more prevalent than assumed.  We clearly need to do something about the issue, which means that men themselves must also recognize its prevalence. So besides admiration for the brave women who reported what happened to them, […]


by Greg Mayer Jerry will be posting more CoyneFest pix, but in the meantime here’s a group picture of some of the CoyneFest-ers taken at the Log Castle which was the locus of dinner and festivities on the second day of the symposium. The CoyneFesters are: standing on the hearth (tallest): Jerry Coyne, P.C.C. (University […]

Readers’ wildlife photos

Today we continue (and conclude) Lou Jost’s photographs of orthopterans (grasshoppers, katydids, and crickets), all photographed at the Tambopata Research Center in Peru. His notes are indented: At the Tambopata Research Center we got up around 4:30 am most days, and evenings after dinner there were often talks, so we had little time to explore […]

Friday: Hili dialogue

Today is Friday, October 21, 2016, and the temperature in Chicago is beginning its inexorable slide into winter. In the UK, though, it’s Apple Day, so if you’re a Brit, eat one of the good apples available in your land. In the US, it’s an odious food day: National Pumpkin Cheesecake Day. I cannot recommend this […]