WEB LOGS: The Darwin Brigade

Science  25 Nov 2005:
Vol. 310, Issue 5752, pp. 1255
DOI: 10.1126/science.310.5752.1255e

Darwin's contemporaries Thomas Huxley and Joseph Hooker championed his theory in print and in lectures. If they were alive today and had a little attitude, they might craft something like The Panda's Thumb, a Web log in which a cadre of Darwin's modern-day defenders pummels antievolution pseudoscience such as “intelligent design” (ID). The site gets its name from a Stephen Jay Gould essay about the giant panda's adaptation for stripping bamboo leaves—it's a jury-rigged feature a clever designer wouldn't engineer. Panda's Thumb regulars—who range from Ph.D.s and grad students to a businessman and a lawyer—comb the news media for follies to expose and errors to correct. The site provided blanket coverage of the recent trial on the Dover, Pennsylvania, school board's decision to require teaching of ID (Science, 18 November, p. 1105). Panda's Thumb also highlights evolution-related research, such as a study showing that the antibiotics produced by our immune systems may not be a panacea for drug-resistant bacteria.


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