About koquin

I am an evolutionary geneticist that also enjoys writing novels and petting cats.

Cleavage

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Writing a lecture on cleavage for next semester’s Developmental Biology class. I hope the students find it titillating.

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Democrats remove specific reference to ‘God’ from official platform but retain numerous references to “faith,” “religion,” and “church.”

CNN Political Ticker

(CNN) – Democrats omitted the word “God” from their 2012 platform, a change from the party’s 2008 document and a noticeable split from Republicans, who mention God ten times in their official party stance.

In 2008, Democrats wrote, “We need a government that stands up for the hopes, values, and interests of working people, and gives everyone willing to work hard the chance to make the most of their God-given potential.”

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Book Review: The Facts, by Philip Roth

The Facts is the autobiography of novelist Philip Roth.  If you’ve never read Roth, you should.  He’s famous for writing semi-autobiographical novels that are outrageously candid and extremely funny.  He has an ease and confidence about writing that allows him to create people and places that are simply aliveso alive, in fact,  that readers are often left wondering where fiction ends and reality begins. In The Facts, Roth attempts to lay out the real facts of his life as he seems them. But, as the book’s last chapter underscores, autobiography can never reveal the truth as candidly or interestingly as fiction can. Continue reading

Bill Nye the Awesome Guy

Sorry for the dearth of new posts — classes start this week and my wife and I have been too busy to write.  But in case you missed it, here’s a quick interview with Bill Nye (the Science Guy).  In it, Nye discusses his  love of evolutionary biology. He says, “When you’re in love, you want to tell the world.”  So Nye’s in love with evolution and I am, too.

I guess we can share.

From Franklin to . . . Bachmann. Sigh.

Earlier today I wrote about Benjamin Franklin and his practical view of religion and rejection of unreasonable dogma. Reading Franklin gives me hope that it’s possible to elect brave, reasonable people — after all, this is the man that seized lightening from heaven.  But then I open CNN and am reminded of what kind of people we elect instead.  At an event for the Florida Family Policy Council, Bachmann linked weather to religion (again):

“At this moment in time we’re quite literally looking at a hurricane here in Florida. We’re looking at a political hurricane in this country. We are looking at a spiritual hurricane in our land. And it is time for each one of us to show up and suit up and stand up and realize that in this time and in this day we pour it out for Him.”

Someone’s walking in a fog, but it’s certainly not Franklin. Sigh.

The Religion of Benjamin Franklin

Lost month I read Walter Isaacson’s amazing biography, Benjamin Franklin: An American Life.  I enjoyed that book so much that I went out and bought a copy Franklin’s own Autobiography, which is even better.  In addition to reading about Franklin’s life in his own words, the Autobiography provides fascinating insights into Franklin’s religion.  Today, many people would have you believe that the Founders were a group of super-powered politicians-slash-evangelical-Christians, but Franklin’s own words prove that false, like this statement: “My indiscrete disputations about religion began to make me pointed at with horror by good people as an infidel or atheist.”  Just imagine a modern politician saying that! Continue reading