09 January 2009

SICB 2009, Part 3

Last year at SICB, I got to see two of the witnesses in the Kitzmiller v. Dover trial, Barbara Forest and Kevin Padian. This year, I got to hear Ken Miller. Having seen several of these witnesses give live talks now, I am very thankful. They are great, articulate speakers, and you couldn't wish for much better advocates for biological science in a courtroom.

My favourite moment from Miller's talk was his discussion of the fossil Ambulocetus, an early ancestor of whales. He showed creationist literature -- recent, still on regularly updated websites -- claiming the fossil was only small and partial, and that most of the reconstruction was pure fantasy by scientists. What is neglected to mention is that while the original description was based on partial fossils... more have been found since then.

Another description of this story is here.


Here's some discussion of the Year of Science, and here's some personal notes from the meeting. (Note to students: See? Other people get nervous, too!)

And we weren't the only ones trying to do some science outside the conference.

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