Blogs Resurgent

By Carl Zimmer | January 10, 2009 12:19 am

Don’t these people know I have work to do? The delectable distractions continue to pile up:

1. After suffering blog burnout, writer David Dobbs has experienced a blog rebirth. Check out his revival, Neuron Culture, for observations on the twenty-first century mind.

2. John Whitfield, another writer worth reading, is blogging his reading of The Origin of Species over the next few days at Blogging the Origin.

3. Tom Levenson, author and MIT professor, is going to oversee a longer project on Darwin starting on February 12, the D-man’s birthday. Tom’s gallery of co-bloggers for the project include Janet Browne, biographer of Darwin, and biologist Sean Carroll. I’ll be helping out too. Here are more details.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Evolution, Writing Elsewhere

Comments (11)

  1. MartinV

    I´ve noticed that many of those blogs are at scienceblog. My question is if there are any critical blogs at scienceblog, or the only thruth allowed there is that of neodarwinism. Aren´t many scientists afraid present their opinions openly? Wouldn´t be it their scientifical suicide? I am afraid the pressure on the scientfic comunity from neodarwinian establishment is great. Anyway there are Universities – at least in Europe – where the approach towards neodarwinism is more relaxed. We have survived marxists Universities´ establishments, we would survive neodarwinians´ ones as well. The only right theory almost hasn´t changed. “Class strugle” has morphed into “struggle for live” or “natural selection”. Both naturalists concepts (marxism, neodarwinism) root with their enlightenment
    “mission” deep in 19. century. Why has darwinism survived is a mystery. But maybe you would be surprised how many neodarwinists were in fact oportunists if the situation changed.

  2. dog


  3. gruebait

    MartinV, thanks for sharing.

  4. Alan Fox

    Aren´t many scientists afraid present their opinions openly?

    Scientists tend to test hypotheses by experiment and draw conclusions depending on results. They then publish their work so others can repeat their experiments. Opinions and beliefs are left out of scientific papers.

    But maybe you would be surprised how many neodarwinists were in fact oportunists if the situation changed.

    How does our brave Bratislvan bank clerk (once referred to by PZ Myers as “Davison’s talking hemorrhoid”) come to know of the thinking of neodarwinists?

  5. John A. Davison

    It is sad to see Carl tolerating the kind of gutter comments being referenced by Alan Fox. As for P.Z. Myers’ revealing abuse of Martin and myself, let me say that Martin has been a loyal friend and a valuable source for the continental literature. He has been without question my strongest supporter.

    As for support by a single person, let me quote Samuel Johnson –

    “The applause of a single human being is of great consequence.”

    If Carl thinks it is prudent to let trash like Alan Fox hold forth here without restraint, he is making a serious mistake. I had assumed the Loom would be a cut above atheist inspired “hatetanks” like After The Bar Closes and Pharyngula. Apparently I was wrong. Myers, like Dawkins, has abandoned any semblance of science to attack any interpretation of phylogeny that recognizes what has always been evident to many serious students of the natural world. Organic evolution, like the development of the individual, involved a goal directed mechanism which unfolded much as the adult organism unfolds from the egg. Myers and Dawkins both realize that the Darwinian model is a dismal failure but are unable, probably for congenital reasons, to abandon their atheist predispositions. Myers, with his supreme arrogance, has now moved his Dungeon button to his opening page. I frequently visit that site to remind myself of the pathetic state of the Darwinian myth and the desperate means that some of its champions have been forced to employ. I recommend others do the same.

    I will let my sources speak for me as they have served me well in reaching my own conclusions concerning the great mystery of organic evolution.

    Referring to ontogeny and phylogeny, the greatest Russian biologist of his day put it this way –

    “Neither in the one nor in the other is there room for chance.”
    Leo Berg, Nomogenesis, page 134.

    His French counterpart, Pierre Grasse, added –

    “To insist, even with Olympian assurance, that life appeared quite by chance and evolved in this fashion, is an unfounded supposition which I believe to be wrong and not in accordance with the facts.”
    Evolution of Living Organisms, page 107.

  6. This charming exchange is the sort of thing I was talking about in my comment policy post. Can it.

  7. MartinV

    Thank you John.

    Regarding absurd accustion presented here by AtBC regular Fox I must say this :

    The first question doctor P.Z.Myers asked me was if I had read “Selfish gene”. Of course I read it. I asked him if he had read Adolf Portman(btw. does Myers speak German?). The following day I was banned. The pretext was delivered from another AtBC regular – I should have been John’s sockpuppet.

    This is very funny. The same pretext had been used for my first banishment on AtBC forum. Both Elsberry and P.Z.Myers boast themselves that they worked with computers, programmed and even coded genetical algorithms! But the gentlemen are obviouusly unable to check IP adresses of participants on their venues. Would you believe it? The other possibility is they thought that domain .sk – Slovakia – means Vermont.

  8. John A. Davison


    I take it is fine for Alan Fox, quoting P.Z. Myers, to refer to Martin as “Davison’s talking hemorrhoid,” but it is not acceptable for Davison to offer a perfectly civilized critique of neo-Darwinism from two of the finest minds of the post Darwinian era. Is that what you mean by “can it?” Is “Davison’s talking hemorrhoid” not considered obscene?

    It is becoming apparent that Martin and I do not exist here just as we no longer exist at Pharyngula and Panda’s Thumb, both of which are listed on your blogroll. I am disappointed in the Loom as a venue for rational exchange concerning the greatest mystery in all of biological science – the mechanism of organic evolution, a phenomenon, in my opinion, no longer in progress.

    “A past evolution is undeniable, a present evolution undemonstrable.”

  9. I was referring to the exchange between both sides. I am also tired of comments that essentially turn this blog into an extension of other people’s blogs, repeating the same statements over and over again, no matter what the content of my original post. You’ve been warned.

  10. SkasasParadigm

    So, in other words if he challenges your Darwinian model you get scared. perfect! Another Darwian boot liker.


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The Loom

A blog about life, past and future. Written by DISCOVER contributing editor and columnist Carl Zimmer.

About Carl Zimmer

Carl Zimmer writes about science regularly for The New York Times and magazines such as DISCOVER, which also hosts his blog, The LoomHe is the author of 12 books, the most recent of which is Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed.


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