Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Links: God and Dead Salmon

I'm really sad that I just don't get around to post anything at the moment, but I'm currently recieving my practical training for my teacher's degree and it's quite a handful. I really hope to be able to blog again soon, but right now I just don't find the time.

But you should all check out Greg Downey's online version of his Presentation "‘Sympathy for Creationists, and Other Thoughts from a Sceptical Anthropologist,’" over at It has load of really cool and funny images and a lot of links as well

Downey's main point is that, although it is totally clear that Creationist arguments don't have any merit at all, "many ‘believers’ in evolutionary theory share some of the intellectual errors evidenced by Creationists. "
Downey argues that one of the main problems with evolutionary theory in general are our difficulties of conceptualizing and really grasping evolutionary processes and concepts properly. (This point is of course not new but it is still an important one to make - one nice proposal I think is the 'soap opera' view of evolution)

Another really entertaining and interesting topic are the many posts all over the blogosphere (e.g here and here) on an ingenious study that found neural activation for "emotional perspective-taking" in a brainscan of - wait for it - a dead atlantic salmon (for the poster, see here, some interesting comments by one of the authors of the study can be found here and here). The authors nevertheless try to make a serious point, namely that it is extremely important to find relaible methods that can control for and correct random noises and misleading correlations. Go check it out

P.S. Oh And I totally forgot: Edmund Blair Bolles is live-blogging like crazy from the "Ways to Protolanguage" conference that totally went under my radar.

His posts so far are:

Protolanguage builds on mimicry
Memes co-evolve
Simulation Suggests Steps to Speaking of the Unseen
Does the Recapitulation Principle Apply?
Protolanguage Was Symbolic
Five Ways to Investigate Speech Origins