Melville on Science vs. Creation Myth

From Melville's under-appreciated Mardi: On a quest for his missing love Yillah, an AWOL sailor...

Non-coding DNA Function... Surprising?

The existence of functional, non-protein-coding DNA is all too frequently portrayed as a great...

Yep, This Should Get You Fired

An Ohio 8th-grade creationist science teacher with a habit of branding crosses on his students'...

No, There Are No Alien Bar Codes In Our Genomes

Even for a physicist, this is bad: Larry Moran, in preparation for the appropriate dose of ridicule...

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Michael WhiteRSS Feed of this column.

Welcome to Adaptive Complexity, where I write about genomics, systems biology, evolution, and the connection between science and literature, government, and society.

I'm a biochemist

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Another instance of a misleading passage in Complexity: A Guided Tour:

Another example where Evo-Devo is challenging long-held views about evolution concerns the notion of convergent evolution. In my high school biology class, we learned that the octopus eye - greatly different in morphology - were examples of convergent evolution: eyes in these two species evolved completely independently of one another as a consequence of natural selection acting in two different environments in which eyes were a useful adaptation.
A quote from an extremely mediocre book, Complexity: A Guided Tour. Like most people coming out of the 'complexity sciences', the author has a mediocre grasp of molecular biology, both current developments, and the history of the field. It's frustrating that these network people keep hyping supposedly new revolutionary discoveries made the past 10 years of the genome era - discoveries, that in fact have been known for decades. For people clearly new to biology, molecular biology before the year 2000 was a big black hole of ignorance.

There are several claims that make me angry in this book, but here's one claim that is like a zombie and refuses to die, no matter how many times it's been knocked down:
So I'm a couple of weeks late, but it's worth noting that NY Times science blogger John Tierney is quitting his blog:

After three years of experiments, TierneyLab is shutting down. I’ll still be testing ideas in my Findings columns and in other articles for The Times, and you can keep up with them by following me on Twitter. You can also keep trying the weekly math puzzle at its new home starting next Monday at The Times Wordplay blog.
This piece about crumbling faith in expertise is making the rounds on the web (see also Becky's comments):
I'm a big fan of arch-skeptic Bob Park, but his position on cell phones and cancer is just too simplistic:
Personalized genetics is hot in the news right now, but in fact we're generally terrible at using genotypes to predict who is going to get a disease. One villain here is the phenomenon known as epistasis, which essentially means that the physiological effect of one genetic variant depends on what other genetic variants (in other genes) are hanging around in the same genome.