The Catechism Versus the Data (Part 4): The Origin of the Tetrapods

This is the fourth in a blog series responding to John Timmer’s online review of the supplementary biology textbook Explore Evolution. The first part is here, the second here, and the third here. 4. Well, the Tetrapods are Monophyletic: Only “Ph.D.” Malcolm Gordon Disagrees, Right? Timmer accuses EE of what he calls the “find a […]

A Footnote to a Footnote to a Footnote: More on Schwabe and relaxin

Two scientists who read the second reply to John Timmer complained (one publicly, the other in an email) that I had neglected to inform readers about the refutation of one of Christian Schwabe’s claims about the protein relaxin. Their complaints, while in my view misdirected, raise some interesting questions that I’ll discuss in my next […]

The Catechism Versus the Data (Part 3): The “Fact” of Evolution

This is the third in a blog series responding to John Timmer’s online review of the supplementary biology textbook Explore Evolution. The first part is here, and the second here. 3. Open Your Catechism to Page One: The Fact of Evolution So what is the “fact” of evolution? Timmer argues that “aspects of the theory […]

No, We Didn’t Make Up The Controversies — A Reply to John Timmer

Does the biology textbook Explore Evolution manufacture false controversies about evolution, while ignoring real ones? That’s what biologist and science writer John Timmer claimed in a post earlier this week at Ars Technica. Timmer attended a two-day symposium on evolution at Rockefeller University and noted the many debates brewing there. “Evolution clearly has no shortage […]

Design and Common Ancestry

Most people — including most professional biologists — think that one either accepts the neo-Darwinian theory of the universal common ancestry of life via undirected natural causes, or else one is a “creationist,” meaning someone who advocates multiple independent starting points for life, all of them specially created.