"You know you’re on Pharyngula when…"

Inkadu says,

You know you’re on Pharyngula when a paragraph in the comments starts with, “Put simply,” and ends with “epistemology.”

Put simply, we can distinguish between ‘harmful’ and ‘non-harmful’ religious beliefs based upon content. We cannot distinguish between them based upon epistemology.

Test-driving Mars rovers

NASA engineers are running tests on two different models of Mars rovers on barren and cold Devon Island in Canada’s Arctic (according to the Discovery Channel’s Daily Planet science program). The test runs have been going on for at least four years.

K10-red and K10-black are designed to operate more independently and travel longer distances than the models currently in use on Mars.

K10-black maps sub-surface layers of the soil; K10-red makes a three-dimensional map of the surface.

Devon Island is here:

(from a high Arctic hiking site, Bigbluesky.ca)

A microscope for Squidmas?

PZ Myers suggests the best models and minimum price for a good microscope for the kids.

Of wedge strategies and straw men

S.E.E. Quine has laid out very clearly the problem with the ID/science debate: she quotes the ID proponents describing their shifty and non-scientific tactics.

Planning your Squidmas tree

PZ Myers at Pharyngula has a link to a series of photos showing how to decorate a tree with interesting, non-traditional ornaments. David Farley decorated the tree, and he says that some of the ornaments are from December Diamonds. I amagine that keeping a sharp eye out in toy shops would help, too.

Biodefense Lab overlooked risks

I almost wish this had been in The Onion.NIH’s Biodefense Lab Review Overlooked Risks of Dangerous Disease Outbreak” It’s the same old story. Errors will occur. People are the weak link. They will fail to follow procedures. They will have accidents. And then there are car crashes and power failures and fires. You must plan for all your usual precautions failing. Putting a lab for dangerous microbes in the heart of a city might be convenient for commuting, but it’s dumb as dirt for disaster.

Science Creative Quarterly: The Truth

UBC’s Science Creative Quarterly has an article called, “The Truth.” It’s a bit of a Web experiment: Do you agree or don’t you?

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