I keep watching this video about cancer research. The speaker is Keith Baggerly, a statistician who (with a team) analyzed data from a series of scientific papers for reproducibility.
Specifically, they were looking at findings from research that determines whether or not a cell line is resistant to a drug – like a cancer fighting drug.
I came across this photo set of science tattoos today (via The Loom science blog). The fibonacci sequence implemented in scheme was bizarre, and there was a poignant one about being a celiac. They reminded me of these rsa key tattoos (search for ‘tattoo’). And some guy that puts web ads on his body. He ended up on Conan, CNN, NBC and got interviewed by USA Today in 2005. He added three more tattoos this year.
I have this design idea rattling around in my head – that there’s partially an advertising design root-cause in of a generation of people compulsively tattooing themselves with weird shit. Like we’re seeing the results of extreme brand-consciousness, and the feeling that we all just need to be a little bit more unique than the next person, or that our ideas and interests need to be quickly externalized and etched into our skin.
There’s beauty in the photos of the web-banner tattoos – the saturated colors, the raised/bruised skin, the skin itself. Its hard not to feel a bit of the being-tattooed adrenaline rush when looking at the finished products, just moments after the needle stops. But, they’re still ugly.
This paper was added to the Nature Precedings site today.
The title grabbed my attention – “The saltational model for the dawn of H. sapiens, chin, adolescence phase, complex language and modern behavior”. Ok, I’ll admit that it was those Jean Auel books (in 9th grade) that sparked my interest in non-fiction about the origins of our species.
So, first I had to look up saltation – it basically means “a sudden change”. Kind of tipped me off for what was to come.
And then page 3:
I already gave away the punchline in the title, but I’ll be painfully clear: the paper was a poorly written intelligent design argument, thinly disguised as a research paper on ancient skeletal remains.
I’ve seen Journey of Man, so I was interested in how the paper might get around the genetic evidence.. and well, the paper was unintelligible. There was a bunch of handwaving about different pieces of different ancient bones, and comparing them. Maybe dwTheory can tell me what grains of truth might have been mixed in with all the crap.
After wading through all the junk, I decided to find out who one of the co-authors, Omer Faruk Noyan, is. A google search turned up this petition questioning the validity of Darwinism.
I did learn from google that ‘saltational’ is a word often used by creationists. Maybe because is sounds scientifical? Rather than saying “hey, I think God did it!”, it is much better to use a word most people won’t know. Because that’s what science is about – using big words to construct nonsense arguments.