Mid-Week Free Fire Zone

The likely reason there’s so little news out there today is that creationists’ ideas of science were frozen in the time of the Babylonian Empire, so other than their endless complaining about the work that scientists do, it’s not surprising that we experience periods when they aren’t generating any news for us.

However, we’ve found a couple of items at PhysOrg that may stimulate you. They’re certain to stimulate the creationists. We’ll give you a few excerpts from each, with a bit of bold font added by us for emphasis.

The first is Scientists out for dinosaur blood, which says:

Scientists said Tuesday they have discovered what appear to be red blood cells and collagen fibres in dinosaur bones, a find that may boost prospects of prising organic remains from a much wider range of fossils. Using molecular microscopy, a British team analysed eight bone fragments from dinosaurs that lived some 75 million years ago, in the Cretaceous period.

You know this will excite the creationists. It’s happened before, which prompted us to write Dinosaur Fossils Found with Hot Red Meat? Here’s another excerpt from the PhysOrg article:

“What we found are structures that could be original red blood cells from the dinosaur specimens and also other structures that could be the original collagen fibres,” Bertazzo said by email. [That’s Sergio Bertazzo from Imperial College London.] … “Therefore we indicate that the likelihood of finding organic material in fossils is much higher than previously thought, at least at the microscopic scale,” said Bertazzo.

Does the discovery of such traces in dinosaur fossils really “prove” the Earth is young, as creationists claim? No, of course not, but we expect creationists to be jumping all over this anyway.

Here’s the second article we found. It’s even more likely to stimulate some discussion: Nobel laureate stirs storm with comments on ‘girls’ in labs. It says:

A Nobel Prize-winning British scientist apologized Wednesday for saying the “trouble with girls” working in laboratories is that it leads to romantic entanglements and harms science. But Tim Hunt stood by his assertion that mixed-gender labs are “disruptive.”

Oh dear, how insensitive! Who is that barbarian? Wikipedia has a write up on him — see Tim Hunt. Oh wait — it gets worse:

Connie St Louis of London’s City University tweeted that Hunt said when women work alongside men in labs, “you fall in love with them, they fall in love with you, and when you criticize them, they cry.”

Gasp! One more excerpt:

Hunt is a fellow of the Royal Society, one of Britain’s most eminent science bodies, and was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2006. The Royal Society said it did not share Hunt’s views.

Your Curmudgeon is speechless! Therefore, we are declaring this to be an Intellectual Free Fire Zone. Talk about whatever you think is interesting — science, politics, philosophy, etc. Banter, babble, bicker, bluster, blubber, blather, blab, blurt, burble, boast — say what you will. But beware of the profanity filters.

We now throw open the comments to you, dear reader. Have at it!

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7 responses to “Mid-Week Free Fire Zone

  1. Worth reading is Paul Braterman’s recent blog posting about the pronouncements made by various US politicians on evolution, climate change and “teaching the controversy.”

  2. michaelfugate

    Tim Hunt claimed he was trying to make a joke and failed – badly. Science is a human activity and it will be inefficient because – well – we are humans. He should consider robots in the future. I had a friend who was worried about how distracting sexual desire could be, but realized that if one were emasculated so one didn’t care about it – one probably wouldn’t care about science either.

  3. “A Nobel Prize-winning British scientist apologized Wednesday for saying the “trouble with girls” working in laboratories is that it leads to romantic entanglements and harms science.”

    So, is he also going to recommend gays be banned from labs as well? Or perhaps he wants gender-segregated labs — women in one lab; men in another; what he would do with transsexual scientists remains to be seen.

    Give me a f[edited out]’ break…

  4. Guess I put a close bold instead of close italics in there… please help, oh Great Hand!

    [*Voice from above*] All is well, my son.

  5. Dave Luckett

    The scientist who demonstrated the existence of collagen and observed what appeared to be nucleated cells within dinosaur bones was Mary Schweitzer. I am not at all sure that it is even permitted to observe that Dr Schweitzer would give Dr Tatiana a serious run for her money in the pulchritude stakes. Oops, I seem to have observed that anyway.

  6. Or perhaps he wants gender-segregated labs — women in one lab; men in another;

    Clearly, Jewish synagogues worked out the solution long ago. You divide the lab in two and put women on the one side and men on the other.

    (Whoever said that religious studies doesn’t have practical implications? Yeah, I know. Lots of people.)

  7. realthog: “Worth reading is Paul Braterman’s recent blog…”

    Braterman quotes Santorum on climate change:

    … a beautifully concocted scheme because they know that the earth is gonna cool and warm… just an excuse for more government control of your life.

    Unfortunately Santorum will get away with the bait-and-switch because nearly all of the negative reaction will be of the type of “you conservatives are all alike.” And not the one that’s really needed to put him in his place, which is to expose that sleazy bait-and-switch. Santorum knows that scientists have healthy disagreements on what govt. and the private sector ought to do about climate change, so when he implies a “conspiracy” he is flat-out lying. As he is when he pretends that the 97% scientists who conclude anthropogenic climate change from the evidence are all on the same page on “what to do about it.”

    When you add how he has misrepresented evolution for 15 years, Santorum may well be the lowest form of snake oil salesman ever to run for national public office.