Violence happens. People use guns to kill other people, and if not guns, then some other weapon. Murders are so common, in fact, that homicides claim roughly 1,000 victims everyday and images of guns and violence fill our TV screens. Although mass-killings like those in Columbine and Aurora continue to horrify us, they no longer surprise us. We understand that humans kill others and that violence is just one aspect of human social behavior that we sometimes accept — think war — but often reject — think bullying, fistfights, and Aurora.
But why? Why do will hurt, hit, and occasionally murder one another? Social scientists could shed light on the causes of gun violence and means of preventing it. But, unfortunately, politicians and lobbyist have stymied research into both the social sciences and gun violence. In a new op-ed for the Washington Post, Jay Dickey and Mark Rosenberg lament the dramatic cost of gun violence — over 30,000 deaths a year, more than those murdered on September 11th and almost as many that die each year from car-crashes — and their own failure to fund research into its causes. Continue reading →
Since darwinbookcats is in part a blog about evolution, I’ve recently posted about the scientific opinions of the GOP presidential candidates. One reason is because these candidates have decided to make their opinions on evolution known. But a second reason is because these opinions are important. In a new blog article for the Washington Post, biologist Richard Dawkins explains why. Continue reading →
The GOP presidential candidates have been in a race to announce either their acceptance or skepticism of scientific topics like evolution and global climate change. I’ve previously commented on both Michelle Bachmann’s and Rick Perry’s stance on evolution. Both Bachmann and Perry support teaching Intelligent Design Creationism in public schools, and so I’ve dumbed them IDiots. Well, now former Utah Governor and US Ambassador John Huntsman made his position known via Twitter — and you’re in for a surprise! Continue reading →
I’m a bad blogger — I’ve been too swamped collecting data and writing grants to post about the amazing science (microevolution vs. macroevolution) and books (Going After Cacciato, The Satanic Verses) I’ve been reading. What’s more, today I’m going to repost old stuff. I know, terrible. But at least there’s an interesting story behind this one: Continue reading →
If you’re like me, the first thing you read when you open Sunday’s newspaper is the comics. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned in twenty years of reading the comics, it’s that being featured in the funny pages is usually an ignoble privilege at best. Well, this Sunday, cartoonist Garry Trudeau lampooned Louisiana’s Science Education Act (LSEA) in his famous comic strip Doonsbury.