Women’s hands & ancient art

Look at your hands.  If you are a man, chances are that your ring finger is longer than your index finger.  If you are a woman, your ring finger and your index finger are probably about the same length or your index finger is slightly longer.  Right?  This very minor difference between the sexes was used to determine that the hand-paintings in the caves of Spain–among the earliest art ever discovered–were mostly the work of women.


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Has Bigfoot been verified?

Researchers are claiming that they have new photographic and physical evidence of the existence of the Sasquatch, a.k.a. Bigfoot.  Not only that, they have sequenced Bigfoot’s DNA, which reportedly shows that the creature is a hybrid human.

A consistent feature of Bigfoot sightings is that the observer smells an overpowering musky stench.  I am experiencing that right now, and it smells like a hoax.  Still, I get a big kick out of this sort of thing.  After the jump, I give you the website of these reports, a link to the scholarly article on the physical evidence and the DNA analysis, a news story, a photograph of Bigfoot, and a video.  Everything you will need for a Bigfoot extravaganza. [Read more…]

What time is it?

In a story about how the rotation of the earth has slowed 2/1000 of a second over the last century, science writer Ivan Amato explains how dependent our technology is on extremely accurate time-keeping.  For example, if the clocks in your GPS device and the satellite it connects to are out of synch by as little as 1/1000 of a second, your location would be thrown  off by hundreds of miles. [Read more…]

“A mind not a material process”

Intelligent Design scholar Stephen Meyer has a new book out, Darwin’s Doubt.  Emily Belz of World reports on a talk he gave in New York City in which he says that various scientists, from a purely secularist point of view, are challenging Darwinism and proposing alternative theories.  The issue, he says, is the growing evidence that the data in the universe points to “a mind not a material process.” [Read more…]

So how do contraceptives work?

Pro-lifers are told not to worry about the morning after pill, as mandated by Obamacare.  It doesn’t work by preventing the fertilized egg from being implanted in the womb, though that was how it used to be described.  It simply prevents ovulation, just like a regular birth control pill.  (Though how it prevents pregnancy the morning after ovulation has occurred is not clear.)  See the facts cited and the links given in our discussion of the Morning After pill on this blog here and here.

But when pro-lifers promote measures defining “personhood” as existing from the moment of conception, we are told that this would outlaw contraception, including the birth control pill, which–though we were always told it prevents ovulation–prevents the fertilized egg from being implanted in the womb.  (Example after the jump.)  If that’s true, many women would not want to take the things.  But that’s not what they have been told about how they work.

Is this dishonesty, rhetorical manipulation, or ignorance?  And what should we conclude about contraception from this controversy? [Read more…]

Birds as Bloggers

Researchers often tag birds and other animals so that their movements and activities can be traced and studied.  A website entitled Blogging Birds takes data about kites (a kind of hawk) in Scotland and applies language algorithms, translating it all into a narrative of the bird’s day. [Read more…]