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Tangled Bank #103

The latest edition of the Tangled Bank is now online rENNISance woman.


More Expelled antics

Abbie reports on the latest developments related to Expelled

But I kept getting emails from people “I know Ive seen that other stuff before!” “Students who plagairize dont just use one source– I bet EXPELLED people used something other than ‘Inner Life’ too.” But I ignored those people. I was like “HAHAHAHAHA! DI Fellows are stupid mother fuckers, but they arent that stupid! No, Im sure they made those parts on their own!”

Turns out she was wrong – it appears that the bits that didn’t come from Harvard/XVIVO came from PBS!

PZ Myers reports that Premise Media (the producers of Expelled) are suing XVIVO.

Premise Media is ready to challenge the unfounded copyright infringement claims asserted recently by representatives of XVIVO, LLC…seeking declaratory judgment that there is no copyright or other infringement. Premise Media also seeks its attorney’s fees in responding to the XVIVO claims.

Wow.  But not only are they upset that XVIVO called them on their copyright infringement, they also chose to whine to the courts about “grass root efforts that are underway to try to influence the ranking of internet searches regarding Expelled” (oh, the horror…free speech and all that); that we are “attempting to interfere with [the movie’s] important message” and that “similar tactics are being used across the country against many of the researchers, scientists, and professors who want to engage in free debate within science but have inadequate resources to challenge the Establishment“.

Funny, isn’t it: that people who claim to be standing up for free expression are offended by the free expression of others.

Questions for Ben Stein

Ken Perrott was recently approached by Stacy Schlicht of Rogers & Cowan (who are handling publicity for Expelled) and offered a chance to interview Ben Stein. That offer then turned into a teleconference and journalists were invited to submit five questions. After Perrott submitted his questions the teleconference was postponed to April 18, the day the film opens. (Incompetence, or are the producers finally starting to realise that “all publicity is good publicity” may not be true when you are turning into the Britney Spears of the documentary film world?) Anyway, Perrott’s story and his five questions are posted on his blog Open Parachute.

H/T PvM at PT

Phylogenetic fallacies

T. Ryan Gregory has a pair of “must read” articles over at Genomicron

If you aren’t too sure about how to read phylogenetic trees, then these articles are for you. If you understand them, they’re still well worth reading.

And here’s a third that fits nicely with with the other two