Posts of the Month for 2005
- January: How to Listen to An Atheist
- John Wilkins offers some gentle suggestions on how to dialogue with a member of a group whose voice is all too often overlooked in popular culture and the mass media.
- February: The Jigsaw
- Ron Okimoto analogizes the process of science to assembling a jigsaw puzzle, drawing some apt parallels about the way we classify phenomena, formulate and test hypotheses, and sometimes make assumptions without even realizing it.
- February Runner-Up: How Proteins Evolve
- Talk.origins contributor sweetnes_n_light explains how evolution can produce large, complex proteins with novel functions, and offers some thoughts on what we might infer about the creator of such a system.
- March: The Impossibility of Evolution
- Last month's runner-up, t.o. poster sweetnes_n_light, chides those who claim evolution is "obviously" impossible despite having little or no knowledge of the theory itself and the underlying science supporting it.
- April: Human and Ape Common Ancestry
- John Harshman presents evidence showing that the genetic similarities between humans and other species of apes are best explained by an evolutionary theory of common descent.
- May: Body Fluid Salinity
- R. Norman discourses on the salt concentration of body fluids such as blood plasma in a variety of living things, and shows how this seemingly obscure subject provides powerful and unexpected evidence for evolution.
- May Runner-Up: Faith and Truth
- Louann Miller muses on the different reference frames of scientists and creationists, as exemplified in their differing conceptions of what it means for something to be true.
- June: Reply to a Creationist
- In response to a badly misinformed op-ed column editorializing against evolution, Steven J. offers some helpful corrections.
- July: The Evolution of Homeothermy
- R. Norman discusses the selective advantages of homeothermy (warm-bloodedness) in birds and mammals and how such an adaptation might have evolved.
- July Runner-Up: Running the Scientific Gauntlet
- Advising a creationist not to take criticism personally, Robert Grumbine explains the rigorous process of testing which all new scientific ideas must survive.
- July Honorable Mention: Speciation and Chromosome Number
- Steven J. takes us back to the split between humans and chimpanzees to show how a species' chromosome number can change in the course of evolution.
- August: An Exercise in Similarity
- B. Richardson and another poster, John Harshman, show how a reliable evolutionary tree can be built encompassing humans and other primates from gene sequences alone.
- September: Who Chooses the Winner?
- Howard Hershey patiently explains how natural selection "knows" which variants to select.
- October: From Hypothesis to Theory
- Jim Guillory uses the analogy of continental drift to explain the process by which a scientific idea moves from the status of hypothesis to well-confirmed theory.
- October Runner-Up: The Inverted Human Retina
- R. Norman addresses creationist claims that the well-known "backwards" wiring of the human retina is necessary for the functioning of the eye.
- November: Handling Challenges to Evolution
- Andrew relates a story with an important moral about the best way for science teachers to respond to challenges to evolution raised in class by students.
- November Runner-Up: The God of Truth
- Michael Siemon states forthrightly that ID, being nothing but the latest iteration of God-of-the-Gaps apologetics that have repeatedly failed, should be rejected by all religious people who believe in a God of truth.
- December: Unanswered Questions
- Bookending the year, Raymond Griffith gently explains to a creationist which questions evolution has and has not yet answered, and why the things we do not yet know are no threat to its truth.
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