Category Archives: skepticism and science

September 2020 COVID-19 comparisons: confirmed deaths for the USA, China, and South Korea


Here in the USA, every week presents us with a new normal in our ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Many in this country seem to think that this is just how it has to be or, at the very least, they are … Continue reading

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Re-imaging the meaning of national defense


Writing for Resilience, Rob Brooks re-imagines a national defense grounded in Wendell Berry’s observation that “Earth is what we all have in common.” “We need to pay as much attention to conserving and restoring the connectivity of the natural infrastructure … Continue reading

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Coronavirus in Oklahoma: some data from the first week of April


As we have now left March 2020 in the rear-view mirror, I thought it might be a good idea to adjust my semi-weekly interpretation of national comparisons on #COVID-19 deaths and drill drown into some data from US states. Apropos … Continue reading

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Yes, we know that “the climate has always changed”…


… but that’s not the point. Here’s what that point really is. The concentration of global, atmospheric CO2 today exceeds 400 ppm. The last time that happened on Earth was something like 2–5 million years ago, in the Pliocene Epoch … Continue reading

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The state of global biodiversity — it’s worse than you probably think — ConservationBytes.com


Sobering synopsis here by CJA Bradshaw. For those of us who study natural history, such information confronts us every day. It can be easy to forget that we are a tiny minority of the billions of humans on this planet … Continue reading

Posted in bat conservation, birds/nature, deforestation, editorial, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, history, IUCN, nature deficit disorder, No Child Left Inside, overpopulation, paleontology, population estimates, population monitoring, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Your life is profoundly meaningful


It’s quite simple, really. The matter in our universe is comprised of the same elements throughout. Proportions differ and it might be mixed together differently here and there, but it’s the same stuff. Some of those mixes develop self-replication under … Continue reading

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How much can you miss?


I’m always puzzled by students who habitually miss class. I don’t mean the students who are facing serious challenges of one type or another, I mean the ones who wake up and decide, “Nah.” The student – or someone – … Continue reading

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Undergraduate research in my lab? Sure! Here’s how it works.


I spend a lot of time bragging about the 15 graduate students who’ve worked in my lab but this post is inspired by the 28 undergraduates I’ve had the good fortune to mentor in research. Within this group are veterinarians, … Continue reading

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Kerri J. Smith – beaked whales


via Research I found another bright young scientist to amplify today. This is Kerri J. Smith, who is studying Sowerby’s beaked whale. No, I’d never heard of this species either. #TIL  

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The Wild Side for April 2019


Check out the latest newsletter of the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation’s Wildlife Diversity Program. Note: Only do this if you want to learn cool stuff about wildlife in the Sooner State and how to support them through your education … Continue reading

Posted in animal behavior, bat conservation, bird banding, birding, birds/nature, Endangered Species Act, environment, evolution, IUCN, life, Links, migrants, monarch butterfly, National Audubon Society, No Child Left Inside, Partners in Flight, population estimates, population monitoring, professional development, skepticism and science, wildlife | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The nightjars are returning! — A Feathered Reptile


The world needs to better appreciate the unique style of of Gretchen Newberry and her use of art in her #SciComm! This just in! The last of the migrants are on their way back, as evidenced by this announcement by … Continue reading

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The concept of a “chemical-free lifestyle” is absurd — The Logic of Science


Chemophobia is alive and well. It is difficult to get on the internet without celebrities, friends, and family members bombarding you with concerns about chemicals in your food, hygiene products, vaccines, etc. Indeed, being anti-chemical seems to be extremely fashionable … Continue reading

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Dear Americans, stop using China and India as climate change scapegoats — The Logic of Science


Reblogged from The Logic of Science.   I spend a lot of time on this blog debunking bad arguments, and I have previously devoted a lot of effort to debunking bad arguments against man-made climate change. There is, however, one … Continue reading

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Do my social media milestones matter?


Well, no. Of course not. Still . . . My wife and I started this blog (formerly Eat More Cookies) way back in July 2006. We were about to complete our third year in Oklahoma, with family back home in … Continue reading

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Handbook of the Birds of the World newsletter #50


The August newsletter of HBW Birds Alive– a milestone as the 50th in this series – has just been released. I’ve already lost track of how many new things I just learned in a few minutes’ browsing. Highlights:    

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Beach-nesting birds: assault from all sides


Their fortunes tied to the tides, many species of coastal birds nest directly on the beach. Here Nature seems to conspire against them in these places we so often associate with idyllic relaxation. On North America’s temperate Atlantic Coast, beaches … Continue reading

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You know these answers


I’ll begin with a brief quiz. You don’t need to study for this; I think you’ll do quite well. Read the prompt and pay attention to the first thing that pops into your head: powerhouse of the cell king of … Continue reading

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A conversation about grad school


I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had this conversation. I plan to keep having it, too. But if this example can help answer some questions pre-emptively, I reckon this will have been a good use of my time. … Continue reading

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Acknowledgments first! Stop stealing your own thunder.


via Why do people blow the punchline in scientific talks? The destructive effect of acknowledgements slides I’ve been trying to get my students to do this for quite some time now. Josh Schimel explains better than I why this is … Continue reading

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