On the road again!

I’ll be travelling tonight, spending four days in New Orleans for the Advanced Technical Communication and Project Management conference, and then travelling again Tuesday night. So posting might be sporadic.

New Orleans is on the south side of the large Lake Pontchartrain. The Mississippi River winds through the city, and downstream the river spreads into an elaborate delta.

I’m planning to spend Saturday working at a Habitat for Humanity. I found a relevant blog: Rebuild New Orleans.

I’ll get back to my client just in time to see the results of the IT department’s pumpkin-carving contest. I’m always amazed at people’s ingenuity, and I’ve volunteered to take photographs.


Scientist withdraws 1955 paper

Homer Jacobson, 84, has withdrawn a scientific paper that was published in 1955 about the possible origins of life.

The retraction came about when, on a whim, Dr. Jacobson ran a search for his name on Google…. He found many entries relating to his work on compounds called polymers; on information theory, a branch of mathematics involving statistics and probability; and other subjects. But others were for creationist sites that have taken up his 1955 paper as scientific support for their views.

He states that amino acids would not form from chemicals just sitting around. He failed to point out, it seems, that that’s what one might expect and that it would be different if there were a source of energy such as lightning or even sunlight. Creationists have gleefully pounced on this incomplete statement to invoke the need for supernatural intervention. Noting his errors, Dr. Jacobson has withdrawn the paper so that it can not properly be cited. That’s the honest, and scientific, thing to do.

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