Author Archives: ethologist

About ethologist

Professor in the Zoology Department at Michigan State University

More on climate

I just read the first opinion piece published in the New York Times by Bret Stephens, who previously worked for the Wall Street Journal, where he won the Pulitzer Prize for Commentary. Where to start…how about with the use of … Continue reading

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Eating meat

A reaction to: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2015/08/16/when-vegans-wont-compromise/?ref=opinion You say, “Strict veganism, of course, would be better on all counts.” But exactly why? To avoid the suffering of an animal killed as a byproduct of our feeding ourselves? But what about the millions of … Continue reading

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Climate Reality/Climate Denial/Climate Reality

In current events, two studies suggest that the collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet (predicted back in the 1970s to occur as a consequence of unchecked global warming), has already begun. This will lead during the next century to … Continue reading

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The Queen of the Sciences solves the mystery of the dinosaurs’ demise

Medieval academics called theology (or alternatively philosophy) the “Queen of the Sciences” because they saw it as the capstone of all higher learning. Carl Friedrich Gauss used this term to describe Mathematics. I would reserve this term for Paleontology for … Continue reading

Posted in Animals, Environment, Evolution, General, Nature of science | Leave a comment

Daydream Believer

Today’s NY Times describes research (funded by Eli Lilly of course) that identifies a condition called Sluggish Cognitive Tempo.  SCT is supposedly characterized by “lethargy, daydreaming, and slow mental processing.” The research suggests (no surprise) that drugs might be useful … Continue reading

Posted in Cognitive Science, Education, Evidence they think we're stupid, General, Medicine, Mental health, Science and public discourse | Leave a comment

Carving Nature

For a project on the use of images as a source of data in biology, I found myself thinking about the phrase “carving nature at the joints.”  To a biologist the implication of this phrase is clear enough, because it … Continue reading

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Grammatical lyrics

This isn’t about science, but it deals with two of my favorite topics:  grammar and music. A song that came up on my playlist is this one from Snow Patrol:  “Chasing Cars.”http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GemKqzILV4w The following lines from the chorus have always … Continue reading

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