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My lab:
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As usual, I'm way late to the party. PZ alerts us all to a fantastic e-mail conversation. Required reading for this week, if not this month! Best I've seen in a long time - here's the scoop:
  1. Richard Lenksi publishes PNAS paper on how E. coli evolved the ability to use citrate as energy source.
  2. Conservapædia's Andrew Schlafly, a lawyer with a bachelor's degree who teaches history and economics to homeschoolers, asks to see the raw data of the paper.
  3. Lenski offers to send anyone the bacteria, if s/he can make sure they're treated properly and promises not to scoop him!
Just to emphasize how funny this is: I have studied biology from 1991-1996 (major in neurobiology and genetics), worked on my PhD until 2000 and am currenty a full-time research scientist in neurobiology. Even with such a fairly advanced education in biology, I would not accept Lenski's paper for peer-review and instead refer the manuscript to more suited colleagues, if I ever had been asked. And there comes a lawyer and asks for the raw data! It just cracked me up! But it doesn't stop there: Schlafly then admitted he had never even read the paper! I almost fell from my chair! Not that I'd expect him to understand any of the paper anyway - which probably is the reason he only "skimmed" over it.

Anyway, go and read it for yourself! The language in the e-mails is just hilarious! Lenski so pwn3d Schlafly, I couldn't stop reading. That a guy like Schlafly would so willingly embarrass himself like that is beyond my understanding.

I think I have now finally understood what "irreducibly complex" really means: a statement, fact or event so simple it cannot be simplified any further, but still too complex to be grasped by a creationist.

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And no, it's not polite to make fun of Andy's name if you're German! scuba.png

Sigh - and I only got into this fun because I was procrastinating trying to track down every single one of my co-authors ever to be on a paper with me. I need a signature on the "authors' contribution" from every one of them for every one of my papers to add to my "habilitation"... sick.png
Posted on Wednesday 25 June 2008 - 15:53:04 comment: 0
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