Researchers criticize the Mukherjee piece on epigenetics: Part 2

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Required reading if you have ever been tempted by the epigenetics hype.

Why Evolution Is True

Trigger warning: Long science post!

Yesterday I provided a bunch of scientists’ reactions—and these were big names in the field of gene regulation—to Siddhartha Mukherjee’s ill-informed piece in The New Yorker, “Same but different” (subtitle: “How epigenetics can blur the line between nature and nurture”). Today, in part 2, I provide a sentence-by-sentence analysis and reaction by two renowned researchers in that area. We’ll start with a set of definitions (provided by the authors) that we need to understand the debate, and then proceed to the critique.

Let me add one thing to avoid confusion: everything below the line, including the definition (except for my one comment at the end) was written by Ptashne and Greally.


by Mark Ptashne and John Greally


Ptashne is The Ludwig Professor of Molecular Biology at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. He wrote A Genetic Switch, now in…

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Friday afternoon Felid Fail

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This just gets funnier the more you watch it.

Why Evolution Is True

Be sure to put the sound on so you can hear the pathetic meow at the end!

h/t: Barry

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How not to tell your parents you are about to skydive

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The wonders of modern technology!

Why Evolution Is True

by Matthew Cobb

A young Irishman called Roger Ryan is travelling the world, and is currently in Australia. He has been keeping his parents up to date with his progress via Skype, and in this recording he’s chatting to them from what they think is a bus. It was in fact a plane and he was about to jump out. Cue horror, hilarity and NSFW obscenities:

h/t The Guardian.

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Contra theologian Roger Trigg on the nature of science

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Coel Hellier on top form again! It’s been said before but rarely better…


scientism a senior theologian and philosopher. His new book, “Beyond Matter”, is soon to be published by the Templeton Press, part of the wealthy Templeton Foundation whose aim is to produce a religion-friendly version of science.

Roger Trigg

An excert from the book promotes a view of science that is common among philosophers. Those of us with a scientistic perspective see it as erroneous, and yet, since Trigg’s account of science is widely accepted, it is instructive to rebut it.

Trigg argues that science rests on metaphysical assumptions:

What then has to be the case for genuine science as such to be possible? This is a question from outside science and is, by definition, a philosophical — even a metaphysical — question. Those who say that science can answer all questions are themselves standing outside science to make that claim. That is why naturalism — the modern version of materialism, seeing reality as…

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Developments in high throughput sequencing – June 2015 edition

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Great job!

In between lines of code

This is the fourth edition of this visualisation, previous editions were in June 2014, October 2013 and December 2012.

As before, full run throughput in gigabases (billion bases) is plotted against single-end read length for the different sequencing platforms, both on a log scale. Yes, I know a certain new instrument seems to be missing, hang on, I’m coming back to that…

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Blog redirect

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