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Showing posts from October, 2013

Others figure out what creationists have known for years

Creationists get a lot of flak for just about everything we do.  That comes with the territory.  One such thing I've gotten flak about is not enabling comments on my blog.  Supposedly, I'm scared of criticism or some such rubbish.  Likewise just about every other creationist site out there.  We're all apparently shaking in our boots that someone might call us a naughty name or ask a question we can't answer.

The reality is that people ask me questions I can't answer ALL THE TIME, and internet insults aren't something that keep me up at night.  The real reason I've disabled comments is that I don't have time to deal with the responsibility that comes with having comments on a blog.  Being a creationist also means I'm a lightning rod for criticism, and that means I'm a troll magnet.  I still remember my favorite blog response: a one line email that said "you are the stupidest person ever," which I vigorously deny since I know several peo…

Yeti = bear?

I still strongly disapprove of publication via press release, but this interview with Brian Sykes is quite interesting.

Yeti mystery solved? Geneticist links Abominable Snowman hairs to bears

Given the generally non-sensational tone of the article, I'm cautiously optimistic about Sykes's paper.  I'll be interested to see it when it comes out.

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.

Remarkable variation seen in Skull 5 from Dmanisi

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The tiny village of Dmanisi in the former Soviet republic of Georgia has been the site of some amazing fossil discoveries in the past decade or so.  The fossils are conventionally dated to about 1.8 million years ago.  Some have placed them in a separate species (Homo georgicus), while others contend that they're part of the Homo erectus complex.  This week's Science reports on another skull from the same locality.

What makes them interesting, though, is not the labels pasted on them, but the wide variation all from the same locality.  Some of the skulls, like Skull 4, resemble Neandertals or even modern Homo sapiens, while Skulls 2 & 3 were more like the classic Homo erectus.  Skull 5, though, is quite different, more like the so-called "early Homo" like H. habilis.  Skull 5 has a projecting muzzle and a much lower forehead than the other Dmanisi skulls.

What makes these skulls really interesting is the occurrence of all of them from one locality and (roughly) …

I'm off to California

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Joe Francis and I are doing a seminar in California on Saturday.  Check it out if you're in the area.



Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com.

I'm still here and talking about academic publishing!

I can hardly believe it's been so long since I checked in on my blog, but things have been crazy, and time flies.

Anyway, I was motivated to comment by a paper published in Science last week.  They've marked it as a "News" article, but frankly, it reads more like a research report.  And it's ingenious!

The article's author, John Bohannon, wanted to better understand the recent proliferation of online journals.  Are these legitimate scientific publications, or are they just scams designed to take your publication money?  So he wrote a bogus paper with really obvious flaws and then submitted it to 304 online journals.  Of the journals that actually responded, a staggering 157 accepted the paper.  Only 98 rejected it.  Here's the really interesting part:  Most of the journals didn't really do any peer review.  According to Bohannon, "Of the 106 journals that discernibly performed any review, 70% ultimately accepted the paper."  So peer review w…