08.31.2016

John Strong Newberry, via Wikimedia Commons

In chapter five of T. T. Martin’s Hell and the High Schools (1923), which abounds in quotations that supposedly show (in the words of the chapter’s title) “Evolution Repudiated by Great Scientists and Scholars,” there appears a paragraph reading, simply, “Prof. John S. Newberry: ‘It is doubtful if at any time in the world’s history there has been a theory that has gained so great a popularity with such an unsubstantial basis as that of Evolution of man from the lower orders.’” No identification of Newberry or of the publication is provided in the text. The context is not helpful, either—the paragraph is preceded by a quotation from Eduard von Hartmann and followed by a quotation from William Hanna Thomson (whose surname, for a wonder, Martin correctly spells without a p), neither of which is particularly relevant.

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New research from Neil Shubin's lab proves once again that when it comes to science, unexpected results are often far more exciting than expected ones.

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08.26.2016

A smorgasbord this week—interesting basic evolutionary biology news, two separate meditations on the monument to non-science known as the Ark Encounter, a couple of looks back at recent past climate change, and, finally, a philosophical question: why do we love the rare and exotic and revile the commonplace?

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ScienceDebate logoHere at NCSE, we tend to frown on formal staged debates, especially about science itself. But in this political season, there’s an exception to be made.

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