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Showing posts from April, 2016

ICC8: July 29 - Aug 1, 2018

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I just got the ICC's latest call for "proposals" for the 2018 International Conference on Creationism, which you can find at the ICC website.  The proposal deadline is January 31, 2017.

A couple thoughts:

John Whitmore from Cedarville University is going to be handling the General Editor's duties this time.  God bless you, John.  That's a lot of work.They're asking for "proposals" this time, which are a bit more elaborate than the abstracts they used to ask for.  This time, they want the keywords, author's bio, suggested reviewer, and references along with the 300-800 word abstract.The most surprising development is the "submission fee:" A non-refundable submission fee of $25 (per proposal) will be charged whether your proposal is accepted or not. The money will be used to help offset clerical expenses for editing the proceedings. Wow.
A typical journal will finance publication of articles by a mix of page charges and subscription costs…

AAPA2016: Parting thoughts

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I had some interesting feedback from my comments on the AAPA conference I attended in Atlanta.  Before that, let's admire my cool new key chain that I picked up at the exhibitor booth for the Kenya National Museum.  Yes, the very same Kenya National Museum that put the KNM in KNM-ER 1470!  They had full-sized casts available too, but I was on a budget.  Even though it's tiny, my new skull is pretty neat.

My keychain actually has relevance to one of the more curious comments I got.  One reader enjoyed reading my comments because I didn't sound like an average creationist.  I admit that stung a little (I should sound like a creationist, right?), but it was meant as a compliment.  I wasn't prattling on about evolutionary indoctrination or constantly reassuring my readers that evolution was false or something like that.  In fact, I was probably just as excited to be there as anyone else (hence, the keychain story).

Still, it seems like a creationist ought to have somethin…

Origins 2016 abstracts DUE Friday!

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Don't forget that abstracts for Origins 2016 are DUE this Friday!  If you're planning to go, make sure you have your abstract in by the deadline.  I'm working on mine (cooking up a little something with Homo floresiensis), and I hope to see you there.  For more information, click below!

Origins 2016 Call for Abstracts

Feedback? Email me at toddcharleswood [at] gmail [dot] com. If you enjoyed this article, please consider a contribution to Core Academy of Science. Thank you.

AAPA2016: Saturday

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Saturday was Homo naledi day.  I began my day with the symposium on Homo naledi, with thirteen talks mostly by the research associates.  They went over just about every aspect of naledi you can imagine.  A few highlights:

They are working on a date and think maybe they'll have something to announce in 3-4 months.  This was brought up multiple times.  They're trying to get multiple methods to converge on the same date, and they seemed pretty optimistic about that happening soon.It's a unique species.  In the talks, everybody emphasized how different naledi is from everything else we know about.  During the Q&A, the possibility that naledi is just Homo erectus was brought up, and there was emphatic disagreement from multiple folks.  It's not Homo erectus.That was about as heated as it got, which is to say not really heated at all.  Judging by the sensationalism of the press reports, you might expect a fight to break our or something, but that didn't even come clo…

AAPA2016: Friday

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This was my first day of hardcore physical anthropology... sort of.  I actually started the day in a toolmaking symposium watching videos of monkeys cracking nuts with rocks.  Lots of videos of monkeys with rocks.  It was actually kind of cute.  There was this one young monkey who wasn't very good at it, but he kept wacking away.  Never did get the nut open.  Aw....  Check it out:


I also learned that 92% of gorilla nests have fresh fecal matter in them.  Maybe they keep it handy in case they need to fling it at somebody?  That was in a talk by Crickette Sanz.  I understand she was interested in that little factlet because gorilla nests are places where new plants grow, and she's interest in the extended synthesis, which is all about how organisms modify their own niches and thereby alter their own selection and evolution.  I just kept thinking, "Gorillas sleep in their own poop!"  That's pretty heavy for 8:45 am.  She also gave a really interesting update on her…

AAPA2016: Thursday

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What a day!  This was my first day at an anthropology conference, and I spent the entire morning in a session called "Hybridization in human evolution: What can other organisms tell us?"  The emphasis was definitely on other organisms.  I heard the Grants talking about the finches, which was quite similar to the talk I heard them give back in Ottawa at Evolution 2012.  Deja vu all over again.

Beyond that, it was incredibly refreshing to hear the talks in this symposium.  Hybridization has been a passing interest of mine for a long time (thanks to Frank Marsh), and long ago, I came to the conclusion that hybridization was not remotely rare (like I had been taught) and that the biological species concept didn't really explain what we were seeing in the real world of hybridizing species.  Sure enough, Rebecca Ackermann of the University of Cape Town said that the Biological Species Concept is basically dead.  That was in the first talk of the day.  In the second, Mike Arno…

AAPA 2016: Hello, Atlanta

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Longtime readers might remember that I used to go to Evolution conferences every year.  The last one I attended was in Ottawa in 2012.  In 2013, I helped to start Core Academy, and we didn't have money for me to jetset around to conferences any more.  Then last fall I happened to hear that the American Association of Physical Anthropologists was having their annual conference in Atlanta, which is just about my back yard.  So I put money in the 2016 budget to attend, and here I am.

I admit I'm not much of a physical anthropologist, but this should be a lot of fun anyway.  Peter and Rosemary Grant will be speaking tomorrow morning, and Lee Berger (discoverer of Australopithecus sediba and Homo naledi) is the luncheon speaker on Saturday.  So I'm looking forward to it, and I'm looking forward to getting into some science again.  It's been too long since I've been at a conference like this.

As usual, I'll be taking notes and updating my blog throughout the wee…

2016 Creation Retreat Recap

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Core Academy's 2016 Smoky Mountain Creation Retreat was another great success.  Once again, we gathered with our friends at the Beech Mountain Lodge in Beech Mountain, NC.  Our theme this year was human origins.  We spent a lot of time looking at fossil replicas and talking about Homo naledi.  We spent even more time just chatting.  The point of the event is not to be a conference with presentations but to be a casual gathering where we can relax and talk and brainstorm.  I understand there was a conversation about trilobites that went to 6 am the first night.

I'd love to tell you about all the brainstorming, but some of it will just have to be a surprise.  (After all, what happens in Beech Mountain stays in Beech Mountain.)  My conversations ranged from human disease to San Andreas (the movie) to textbooks to hominins to technical articles to pterodactyls to prayer requests to seminary professors to people we wished were there.

The best part is that it's good for the sou…