Why Humans Must Eat Vitamin C

The Human Evolution Blog

Have you ever wondered why we humans need to have vitamin C in our diet, but dogs and cats don’t?

American schoolchildren often begin their study of U.S. history by learning about the 14th and 15th century European explorers. I distinctly remember a story we were told about how sailors eventually learned to carry potatoes or limes on their long voyages in order to prevent the disease called scurvy. We now know that scurvy is caused by a deficiency in ascorbic acid, also known as vitamin C.


Thus, vitamin C is considered an “essential” vitamin because we simply must have it in our diet. Without it, we cannot make collagen and our tissues lose integrity, bones become brittle, we bleed out of various orifices, and our bodies basically fall apart. That’s scurvy.

However, have you noticed that neither dog food nor cat food contains any citrus fruit? Both…

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John Paul Stevens: Repeal the Second Amendment

Why Evolution Is True

If you’re an American, you’ll know that John Paul Stevens was an Associate Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court, serving from 1975-2010. Although a registered Republican, his decisions put him on the liberal side of the Court.  He’s now 97 years old, but is still fired up (if that’s the right word) about the misconstrual of the Second Amendment to the Constitution.  Let us look at Amendment before we read Stevens’s new op-ed in the New York Times (click on screenshot below):

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Read it again. The first part gives the rationale for the second, so that the “right to keep and bear Arms” is justified by the need to have a “well regulated Militia”. Militias were quasi-military bodies that the government, in colonial…

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Newzz: Feminizing the great climate change debate

Gender politics and Climate Change studies by Meredith Sherock


Arguments for and against climate change action simply envelop us. Whether you’re flipping through the science pages of the paper, feeling big emotions over an environmental documentary, or engaging in political debates at the pub, you’ve likely witnessed many different stances on this hot topic (excuse the pun).

But have you ever considered the motivations behind this discourse? Why do certain politicians, scientists, businesspeople, and environmentalists adopt the rhetoric they use?

Media experts and science communicators have long studied these questions. But until recently, we never really considered how climate change discourse differs due to… gender.

A group of psychologists at Penn State, led by Dr. Janet K. Swim, finally delved into this issue. They argue that the framing of climate change debates exists within rigid, historic gender norms.

matter Photo: Meredith Sherock – Denver Science March, 2017.

It’s all in the framing

What exactly do researchers mean by “framing?” In…

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Insects are crustaceans!

Why Evolution Is True

The phylogeny of arthropods has always been messy.  One reason is that studies trying to discern their evolutionary relationships often use too few taxa (this is, after all, the most species-rich of all animal groups), and, especially, too few genes.  Conclusions have been based, for example, on only 18S and 28S rRNA and mtDNA (the latter is, of course, effectively one gene).  And this has led to conflicting conclusions, some of which contravene morphologically-based systematics.

For example, morphology seems to define a group called the “mandibulata”: all those arthropods that have mandibles.  But some molecular work has lumped the myriapods (centipedes and millipedes), which have mandibles, together with the chelicerates, which don’t have mandibles but a nonhomologous biting structure called chelicerae. (Chelicerates include spiders, horseshoe crabs, pycnogonids, and the like; see Fig. 1 below).

Now, a new paper in Nature by Regier et al. has come up with a near-definitive…

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The Matt Slick Fallacy


  1. 0. Introduction. Matt Slick; evangelical Calvinist, radio presenter, apologist. He has made something of a name for himself by promoting a version of the ‘transcendental argument for the existence of God’. His version is one of the easiest to refute that I have come across. However, in all the debates and online discussions I’ve seen Slick engage in, and to be sure he engages in a lot, I have never seen anyone offer what I consider to be the correct refutation. So I will present it here.

    His argument was given on his radio-show/podcast, on 17th December, 2015, in an episode entitled ‘A Proof of God’. In fact only the last 14 mins of the show are dedicated to this topic, when Slick is prompted by a caller – ‘Hollywood dude’. I will use that version as a foil. Here is the link it on his official ‘CARM’ podcast…

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The Death of a Soul

Graceful Atheist

On my last day as a Christian I was reading a couple of Greta Christina’s blog posts on why she does not believe in a soul [1] [2]. This proved to be the final presupposition to fall before I admitted to myself I no longer believed.

As I have mentioned before, the hardest part for a believer to overcome is their own subjective experience. There is nothing more subjective than what one experiences as I. Our consciousness screams in our heads “I Am.” The thought that this being called I could have an end is so psychologically frightening that all of our evolved self protection mechanisms come into play to protect us from realizing its inevitable inexorable truth: death comes to us all eventually.

To protect ourselves from the psychological blow that acknowledging one day I will die, we have come up with…

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