Wesley R. Elsberry posted Entry 1920 on January 22, 2006 10:43 AM.
Trackback URL: http://www.pandasthumb.org/cgi-bin/mt/mt-tb.fcgi/1915

The Panda’s Thumb went live on March 23rd, 2004. Back on September 12th, 2005, Panda’s Thumb celebrated its one millionth user visit. Today, one of you tipped the counter to give PT its two millionth visit.

In between the first and second million mark, you have come to PT to get the latest on happenings in the “Waterloo In Dover”, the Kitzmiller v. DASD court case that now informs school board policies and has proven so useful in educating the media. The recently settled lawsuit in El Tejon, California demonstrated that nicely. Whether you have a preference for digestion or development, PT contributors have also helped keep you informed on recently published findings from the scientific literature. And, of course, our Professor Steve Steve keeps turning up with interesting news, like the finding of a pre-Cambrian chordate, and meeting fascinating people.

So we hope that you will keep coming back to visit, and we will keep working on providing timely news and commentary on evolutionary biology and the religiously-motivated antievolution efforts to deny or diminish its teaching in the public schools.

Commenters are responsible for the content of comments. The opinions expressed in articles, linked materials, and comments are not necessarily those of PandasThumb.org. See our full disclaimer.

Comment #74750

Posted by Bob O'H on January 22, 2006 11:01 AM (e)

Well done, folks! It’s down to the quality of the contributors: never mind the rest of the stuff, it’s a great way to keep up with evolutionary biology without having to trawl through the literature. And a damn sight more readable too.

Here’s to the next million!

Bob

Comment #74751

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 22, 2006 11:05 AM (e)

Any chance we will be told who poster 2 Million was?
Oh, the irony if it is Larry.

Comment #74766

Posted by Bayesian Bouffant, FCD on January 22, 2006 11:32 AM (e)

Today, one of you tipped the counter to give PT its two millionth visit.

I’m sure it must have been I.

Comment #74772

Posted by Michael Hopkins on January 22, 2006 11:41 AM (e)

The IP number would give away where the 2 millionth visitor came from. If the blog’s logs make it easy to access this person’s IP number, it can be shoved into http://www.ip2location.com/ which is one of the sites that translates IP number to rough geographical location (click the demo). I would, of course, not post the IP number.

Comment #74773

Posted by B. Spitzer on January 22, 2006 11:44 AM (e)

Tip of the hat to all involved. I don’t know where science education would be without a watchful science community like you folks.

(Actually, scratch that– I know exactly where it would be without you, and that’s why I’m grateful.)

Along those lines, I saw this in the New York Times today. It may not lead to anything– there’s a lot of resistance to letting the federal government dictate what makes a high school education “rigorous”– but we should be in there right at the start to point out to the Secretary of Education that a high school graduate who doesn’t understand the theory of evolution has not had a “rigorous” education.

It might be a good idea to contact the Department of Education directly and express your views. It might also be smart to contact national scientific organizations and encourage them to send official statements to the Department of Education– their statements will certainly carry more clout than those of individuals.

Comment #74776

Posted by k.e. on January 22, 2006 11:47 AM (e)

2 Mil….
Oh, the irony if it is LarryTheFreeloader or The ‘Count’ Demquixote, or Dave GerScottbels, or BlastParsifalfromthepast, or JumpingjackAD, or CarolTheRightious, or SpaceTelescopeHeddle,or GhostofPaley’sBride, or Seeker’sDevil, or Lenny’sLostQuestions, or Flint’sIntuition, or BobO’H’sKnife, or UnregisteredUsers’sHowlers, or ALLofTheSteves.Stephens, or SirToeJamsKicking, or Corkscrew’sPatience, or darwinfinch’sSyntax Error: mismatched tag ‘kwickxml’ (smirk),or Absotively!HenryJaswell, or PaulFlocken’sReason, or Russell’sensulato, or TheDeanofMorrison, or AlainRenard, or manyJims, orMRChistenfer, everyBillandEd, and of Thnakyou course the Hosts sorry ID( giggle) I missed anyone

Comment #74778

Posted by Stephen Elliott on January 22, 2006 11:52 AM (e)

but we should be in there right at the start to point out to the Secretary of Education that a high school graduate who doesn’t understand the theory of evolution has not had a “rigorous” education.

Upon leaving secondary education in the UK I had only a shallow idea about evolution. From about age 14 science was split into 3 separate subjects Biology, Chemistry and Physics. I had chosen the latter 2.

Comment #74793

Posted by BWE on January 22, 2006 12:28 PM (e)

Well done, folks! It’s down to the quality of the contributors: never mind the rest of the stuff, it’s a great way to keep up with evolutionary biology without having to trawl through the literature. And a damn sight more readable too.

Are you including me in this statement?

It is absolutely safe to say that, if you meet somebody who claims not to believe in evolution, that person is ignorant, stupid or insane (or wicked, but I’d rather not consider that).

Comment by DaveScot — January 22, 2006 @ 10:10 am (Uncommon Descent) -Quoting Richard Dawkins.

This really is a fun read. So many of you are thoughtful and articulate. And of course some of you are ignorant asses too (you know who you are :) . I started reading this post after one of my wife’s 8th grade science students started a petition in the school to have a prayer meeting in the morning before class. Long story but let’s just say she encouraged him to go through the process of discovering why it was going to be difficult to implement.

During the time he was learning about district politics, I was a guest speaker on careers in science. His mother was a class helper that day. A large part of my talk was on selective pressures on groundfish of human fishing activities and the poor kid was not allowed to sit through parts of 8th grade biology that discussed evolution after that. Within 2 months he transferred to a christian school. I liked the kid and felt sad that he was going to be brainwashed by a cult that valued fear over truth.

I’ve been reading the various posts of people who are basically wondering the same thing ever since. I often think that I should just shake my head and ignore Christians, Muslims and their ilk, assuming that there is a large segment of our world that is simply there to make sure knowledge doesn’t acquire too quickly in our databanks but that thought disturbs me (and apparently many of you too) enough that I have spent much time considering it. Thank you all for allowing me to explore that problem.

Comment #74833

Posted by Althea on January 22, 2006 2:03 PM (e)

I really must add my thanks for everyone’s efforts here. I stumbled across this site a few months back, and I’m sure that several thousands of the hits are mine, as I check this site several times a day. I have two kids, one of whom I home-school, one has chosen to stay in school. I follow the issues of science education closely because not only do I have to keep an eye on the local school board, I have to develop my own curriculum for my rather precocious son. This is on top of my own studies in a doctoral program. So, I very much appreciate the information posted here, the political, the humor and all the rest. We are currently learning about the scientific process and if anyone has advice for a non-sciencey parent for how to teach a youngin, I’d appreciate it. I’m taking a Philosophy of Science class at my University and am so far enjoying the spit out of it. I get to present in-class on science/pseudo-science next week. So for me, this site provides much and I wish to thank ya’ll.

Comment #74851

Posted by RBH on January 22, 2006 2:40 PM (e)

Althea asked

We are currently learning about the scientific process and if anyone has advice for a non-sciencey parent for how to teach a youngin, I’d appreciate it.

A good resource is the Berkeley Understanding Evolution site. Scroll down to click “Understanding Evolution for Teachers”, then click “Nature of Science”. There are a number of lesson plans there you can use.

RBH

Comment #74854

Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on January 22, 2006 2:42 PM (e)

Unfortunately, while we do have site logs to examine, we don’t have a good means of correlating the numbers that “SiteMeter” reports with specific entries in our logs. So I don’t think that we can say who filled in the 2,000,000th visit, or who took us that first step on the road to the next million.

Comment #74866

Posted by Julie Stahlhut on January 22, 2006 3:31 PM (e)

Happy two millionth! Sorry I wasn’t an active participant during the first year (I was actually one of the first University of Ediacara “faculty” members back in 1994, during my grad school years, but lost touch with the group for a while). I’m glad I found my way back! In celebration, I’m going to start using my full name again; I use it after the bar closes anyway!

This group has inspired me to work on developing an entomological blog. Can’t promise a tremendous amount of organization yet, but watch this space!

– Julie

Comment #74868

Posted by BWE on January 22, 2006 3:49 PM (e)

Althea asked

We are currently learning about the scientific process and if anyone has advice for a non-sciencey parent for how to teach a youngin, I’d appreciate it.

Subscribe to scientific magazines. Leave them out where they can be seen. Point out interesting articles to your kids. Instill a sense of wonder in the natural world.
Magazines would include scientific american, science news, national geographic, maybe Discover, Ranger Rick (depending on their ages), World. Don’t worry if it’s over their heads, it’s not.

Also, own a globe. Make it available to kids. Make periodic tables available as posters in classrooms. Or at least make them available to your kids. Here is the best one on the web that I have found: http://www.webelements.com/ It is very good and it explains a lot. Get field guides to the flora and fauna around where you live and ask your kids to identify things they find.

Wow, didn’t realize I said so much. I hope it’s useful. I would have said a little bit about using sensitive testing equipment but I’m not sure how realistic that is.

Comment #74872

Posted by Peter Henderson on January 22, 2006 4:02 PM (e)

Congrats. to everyone involved in this site. Along with the folks at talkorigins you provide an excellent alternative to the heavily funded anti-science YEC organisations like AIG etc.

Like Stephen Elliot I also had the same choice in science at secondary school here in NI. I picked the same subjects as he did, chemistry and physics along with geology, so my knowledge of biology is quite limited but at least I have the concept of “millions of years” and why flood geology is total nonsense.

Anyway, keep up the good work folks. There are always lots of interesting and stimulating articles which I enjoy reading. I think for me the highlights over the past year were Jason’s reports from the creation mega-conference last July and Kenneth Miller’s talk in Ohio. Both really excellent. Well done to all involved !

Comment #74890

Posted by Stoffel on January 22, 2006 5:06 PM (e)

ETIAE (even though i’m an engineer), I get a lot out of this blog & forum. Thanks, all.

Comment #74892

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 22, 2006 5:32 PM (e)

I’d like to extend a heartfelt thankyou to all the ‘trolls’ that make life around here more interesting. The post count wouldn’t be what it is without them. Golly they set themselves up for some flak - and you’ve got to admire the perseverance of a poster like Larry who just won’t lie down! Why they keep coming back for more punishment is a mystery to me - but I’m glad they do - the place would be less lively without them.

Actually the responses to the silliest of defences of ID or whatever are informative - and I’ve learned a lot about what makes a good argument.

There are some interesting diversions on the way - and real colourful characters like Lenny and his Pizza guy who provide passion as well as entertainment. At the same time we get some real science from the Tangled Bank, and blogs like Pharyngula and Aetiology for example.

The whole place is a real treat - for me it’s education and entertainment rolled into one.

I know the concerns here are mainly about the challenges to education in the US - but as you’ll have noticed you have supporters from the scientific community around the world. We can expect these challenges to be exported to the UK for example - so if we are ‘helping’ you - we are also helping ourselves by becoming better educated on the matter.

So well done and thank you to all the site’s hosts, contributors (especially those who come here to challenge), and supporters…

The ‘British chapter’ will be raising a glass to you all in London on ‘Darwin Day’ I’m sure…… now where did Larry go ??????…..

Comment #74894

Posted by Corkscrew on January 22, 2006 5:37 PM (e)

ETIAE (even though i’m an engineer), I get a lot out of this blog & forum. Thanks, all.

Hey, I’m a mathmo and I still find it massively interesting. Has done wonders for my rigour in debate.

Comment #74895

Posted by RLLewis on January 22, 2006 5:59 PM (e)

I’m interested in any comments about the following article. (I don’t know how to post it as a main topic, so I’m attempting to post in here for someone to do as they see fit with it).

“A new movement is starting to shake a scientific establishment built on the assumptions of Darwinian evolution. What is intelligent design, and why is it gaining so much ground?”
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/1562305/posts

Comment #74897

Posted by steve s on January 22, 2006 6:05 PM (e)

I just made a thread on After the Bar Closes for that:

http://www.antievolution.org/cgi-bin/ikonboard/ikonboard.cgi?act=ST&f=14&t=165

Comment #74901

Posted by Moses on January 22, 2006 6:33 PM (e)

Comment #74895

Posted by RLLewis on January 22, 2006 05:59 PM (e)

I’m interested in any comments about the following article. (I don’t know how to post it as a main topic, so I’m attempting to post in here for someone to do as they see fit with it).

“A new movement is starting to shake a scientific establishment built on the assumptions of Darwinian evolution. What is intelligent design, and why is it gaining so much ground?”
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-bloggers/156…

They’re freepers and represent some of the worst characters found on the Internet. As a group, they may be even less amenable to rational thought than fundamentalists. What passes for an argument with the average freeper is ad hominem attacks, grandiose views of their arguments and a delusional-to-their-competency group of individuals engaged group-think-affirmations of their incorrectly perceived competency.

Comment #74904

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 22, 2006 7:01 PM (e)

A new movement is starting to shake a scientific establishment

I’m not really sure how “getting one’s ass reamed out in court and having two of your supporters accused of lying under oath” translates to “starting to shake the scientific establishment” …. .

Comment #74929

Posted by Kurt on January 22, 2006 8:10 PM (e)

…with laughter?

Comment #74950

Posted by Dean Morrison on January 22, 2006 9:24 PM (e)

Lenny will be pleased to know that they can’t shut up there either:

To: darkocean

In the Bloggers & Personal forum, on a thread titled The Intelligent Design Revolution, darkocean wrote:
“I’ve got a question for some of the evolution crowd here:

If ID is supposed to be a religious doctrine, which religion does it support or is it associated with?”

….….….….….….….….….….…….

I would have thought there might be a clue in the ‘Topics’ listed at the top of this section:

“TOPICS:
KEYWORDS: CHRIST; DESIGN; EVOLUTION; GOD; INTELLIGENT; ORIGINS”

Comment #75057

Posted by BWE on January 23, 2006 11:19 AM (e)

Gaining ground? Shaking? Um… Do you really want comments?

Comment #75069

Posted by J-Dog on January 23, 2006 12:22 PM (e)

Yes! Thanks to all that take the time to comment here. It is good to know that I am not alone in my beliefs.

The counter arguments are also spectacularily effective and important to me. I wish I could use my real name, BUT being outed would be BAD - I work with / for a bunch of Fundies, so until we are REALLY living in a free country, we must continue to fight the religious right whenever we can. You all make it easier to do this.

I just hope it never comes to the “Revolt in 2100” scenario that Heinlein wrote about, where the US is in the midst of a theocracy, which tries to rule every aspect of the charaters’ lives.

In my opinion, as long as we have a Panda’s Thumb, we are okay. Thank you again.

Comment #75125

Posted by Steviepinhead on January 23, 2006 3:44 PM (e)

One of the nice little features here, in addition to all the great contributors, commenters, and–yeah!–even the occasional irascible troll, is the “Recent Comments” sidebar. You can wander off and visit the threads that interest you, as on any other blog, or you can zero in on the commentary (and commenters) who interest or entertain you.

If you see that Carol is back, like a bad penny, you can avoid her like the plague (obligatory OT reference) or drop right in. Likewise with LaLaLarry, or Blast, or Pale Guy or any of the others.

Likewise, as commenters become old acquaintances, you can check up on Lenny or Flint or Sir_Toejam or any of the other regulars without having to do any hunting around.

And, of course–although it’s not directly relevant to the “Recent Comments” feature–the coolest thing of all is the posts from the actual, cutting-edge biologists and other professional scientist/ID debunkers… And the way several of them actually monitor the posts and comment, respond to questions and criticisms, and generally act like regular folks–far from the “elitists” the IDers try to portray.

Congratulations, PT!

Comment #75164

Posted by Popper's ghost on January 23, 2006 5:58 PM (e)

I’m interested in any comments about the following article. (I don’t know how to post it as a main topic, so I’m attempting to post in here for someone to do as they see fit with it).

How’s the view from beneath the bridge?

Comment #75379

Posted by Christie Johnson on January 24, 2006 12:43 PM (e)

Finally, a thread I can post to without feeling hopelessly outclassed by the regulars! :)

Thanks to everyone for the great content. I’ve been lurking here for several months now, and PT has become my favorite daily read.

Congratulations on your 2 millionth hit. Keep fighting the good fight.

Comment #75870

Posted by Paul Flocken on January 26, 2006 7:01 AM (e)

Comment #74854 Posted by Wesley R. Elsberry on January 22, 2006 02:42 PM
Unfortunately, while we do have site logs to examine, we don’t have a good means of correlating the numbers that “SiteMeter” reports with specific entries in our logs. So I don’t think that we can say who filled in the 2,000,000th visit, or who took us that first step on the road to the next million.

Were those two million visits distinct people or only separate log-ons to the site? Two million different people would be quite impressive. But since I try to log on every day, before and after work, and try to do so every day, I hate to think that by being a regular visitor I artificially inflate the visit numbers. And that on top of the regulars who really live here.

Sincerely, Paul

Comment #75872

Posted by Paul Flocken on January 26, 2006 7:05 AM (e)

Oh, and nice touch flipping the “Post a Comment” thingy to the top of the page.

Comment #75879

Posted by Lou FCD on January 26, 2006 8:13 AM (e)

I’d just like to take a moment to echo Christie’s comment. As oft repeated by Lenny (my personal hero) much of what transpires here is for us lurkers. I wouldn’t presume to speak for all of us who don’t post regularly, but in my case (and I suspect I am not alone) there are a hundred things I’d like to say every day, but they are off topic and thus not contributory to the discussion at hand. I also frequently find myself wrestling with my own urge to simply post an ad hominim directed at the crackpots, attention seekers, and pandering book publishers who frequent the site. As personally gratifying as that might be, it’s not really constructive, so I restrain myself. It is vital to remember, however, that we are here, we just don’t necessarily feel as though we are in a position to comment on most topics because we are not experts. And just for the record, I am the Son of a Carpenter, I think wine is groovy, and my Mother swears she is a Virgin. I design all the things I build, and I’m reasonably intelligent. Therefore, I am the Intelligent Designer, and Mr. Behe and Mr. Dembski owe me royalties. Congratulations on the second million, PT.

Lou FCD

Comment #75971

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 26, 2006 7:18 PM (e)

It is vital to remember, however, that we are here, we just don’t necessarily feel as though we are in a position to comment on most topics because we are not experts.

One needn’t be any sort of “expert” to take on IDers. I have no college degree whatsoever (I dropped out in a beer-and-pot-induced fog). But I know a liar when I see one, and IDers are liars. Deliberate, deceptive, evasive, dishonest liars.

This fight isn’t about “science”. It’s about political power, who gets to have it, and what they get to do with it once they get it. And that fight involves ALL of us. Every single one of us. It’s OUR country, dammit – it belongs to ALL of us – and one needn’t be any sort of “expert” in anything to be able to speak up and tell everyone how you think it should be run.

We call that “democracy”. It’s something that fundies hate. Which is exactly why we ALL need to fight them.

Comment #76026

Posted by Lou FCD on January 27, 2006 11:45 AM (e)

Oh, I agree whole heartedly with your statement, Lenny. It’s not the issue of fundies that I can’t speak to. I know fundies, I WAS a fundy. Sometime around the middle of my first semester at BJU is when I began to UNDERSTAND fundies for what they were and what I didn’t want to be. (That’s right before I was asked to remove myself, incidentally enough.) But of those two million visits to PT, many are posts and discussions of subtle nuances of science. These are the things to which I was referring. I have only what knowledge of biology that I get here, at Aetiology, New Scientist, etc. I hardly consider myself qualified to render opinion on things like what Russell said here…

do the adh’s of those two drosophilae have similar enzymatic properties?

I’m not even sure that’s English, and it’ll take me a few days to figure out what the hell he even asked.

Detecting bullshit with my Flank 2000 Hypersonic Nuclear Powered B.S. Detector is easy. Careful analysis of the whole ID Creationism Hoax is easy. (Should take about 30 seconds to examine NOTHING) Folks like you and STJ and PZ do a fine job of exposing the cranks, crackpots, and pandering book publishers. Most of the time, my thoughtful contribution of “Right on, brother” would be superfluous and needlessly muck up a thread.

Anyway, to move back towards the topic at hand before I wind up a smudge on The Bathroom Wall, I would be interested not in who the two millionth visitor was, but rather what the ball park ratio might be of lurkers to regular posters.

(Just as an aside, in my late twenties my second go-round with college at a REAL University wound up similar to yours, due to a suspiciously similar fog. Perhaps we might swap notes After the Bar Closes)

Comment #76088

Posted by 'Rev Dr' Lenny Flank on January 27, 2006 7:46 PM (e)

I’m not even sure that’s English, and it’ll take me a few days to figure out what the hell he even asked.

I once had a t-shirt that had, on the front, Schroedinger’s wave equation, and on the back, the Tantric chant “Om mane padme hum” written in Sanskrit. Nobody knew what either of them meant. ;)

But don’t feel bad. Science today is so huge and so specialized that most scientists can’t even tell what the hell other scientists are talking about. I’m a herper, and I’ve met researchers who could tell me all about the genetic differences between rat snakes and king snakes, but couldn’t tell me which species were native to his area of the country. Whole-organism biologists and biochemists pretty much don’t speak to each other, and when they do, they’re often speaking different languages. (One reason, as an aside, why so many IDers seem to be biochemists who don’t know diddley doo about evolution or how it works.)

Darwin, Huxley and their contemporaries may have been the last generation of biologists in which an individual could have had a pretty complete working knowledge of most known areas of investigation into the life sciences. Today, it’s hard enough for specialists to keep up even just in their own specialized fields.