Maria Sibylla Merian turns 366 — Google celebrates by letting insects invade its logo
Maria Sibylla Merian changed the insect world with her illustrations — and she started when she was just 13.
Her youthful passion grew into a study of insects that would centuries later become the foundation for taxonomy.
Instead of studying lifeless preserved insects pressed in books, which was the common practice in the 1600s, Merian preferred watching a caterpillar evolve into a butterfly in its natural habitat. She began cataloguing the life cycles of plants and insects through her artwork — one of the first women to do so. (Wikimedia/Google)
‘What has gotten into Thomas Nagel?’: Leading atheist branded a ‘heretic’ for daring to question Darwinism
The philosopher Thomas Nagel is not taking phone calls. His secretary at New York University says there have been hundreds, all wanting to reach the modern “heretic,” as a current magazine cover labels him, but he is not taking the bait.
All he did was argue in a new book the evolutionary view of nature is “false,” and now grand forces have descended upon him. He does not want to talk about it.
The vicious reception handed Mind & Cosmos, which urges deep skepticism about evolution’s explanatory power, illustrates the perils of raising arguments against intellectual orthodoxy.
One critique said if there were a philosophical Vatican, Prof. Nagel’s work should be on the index of banned books for the comfort it will give creationists. Another headline proclaimed Prof. Nagel is “not crazy.”
The book has won a British booby prize for “Most Despised Science Book” and prompted sneering remarks the author is centuries behind the times, and somehow missed the Enlightenment. (Carl de Souza/AFP/Getty Images; Illustration Andrew Barr/National Post)
Amateur sleuth uses viral videos to trace the origins of Russian meteor
An investigation by an amateur sleuth using “Google Earth, YouTube and high-school math,” has led to a scientific study hunting down the origins of the meteor which hit Russia earlier this month.
Stefan Geens wrote on his blog Ogle Earth that he was inspired to look into the Russian meteor when he started seeing viral videos of it on the Internet.
“Might it be possible to use this viral footage with Google Earth to have an initial go at mapping the meteorite’s trajectory?” he pondered. (Ogle Earth Blog / Youtube; AFP PHOTO / URAL FEDERAL UNIVERSITY/ALEXANDER KHLOPOTOV)