The Cold Spring Harbor Perspective in Biology journal has a collection of articles on the Origins of Life, including some nice essays on the origins of ribonucleotides, the bioenergetics of early life, the origins of cells, and so forth. Some big names, like Szostak, Hazen and Brenner. All open access.

Christopher Donohue at Ether Wave Propaganda discusses Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges, a 19th century sociologist and historian, who wisely wrote of the use of cross cultural comparative inference, “If you wish to employ the comparative method,” Coulanges noted, “it would first be needful to study each nation in itself, to study it throughout its history, and above all, in its law”, and that the comparative method “does not consist in discovering amongst fifteen different nations fifteen different facts, which if interpreted in a certain manner, unite in the construction of a system.” It consisted “in studying a number of nations in regard to their law, their ideas, all of the circumstances of their social life…”. In other words, it’s too easy to find general analogies; you have to attend to the particulars.

The Standard Model in physics is under review following the likely discover of the oscillation of neutrinos.

Civility on the internet? Nah.

And here’s a paper I will be discussing in detail later: a challenge to the use of molecular data in preference to morphology in systematics. It has reportedly raised a storm of discussion…

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