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Business as usual – PPP keeps on publishing Coexistence Approach pseudo-results

In 2016 we published two papers demonstrating that the so-called Coexistence Approach (CA) to reconstruct past climates is fundamentally flawed, theoretically and in practise. As consequence there was a drop-down in CA papers disseminated, exclusively, by members of NECLIME, a Germany-centred scientific consortium promoting this pseudo-statistic (and pseudo-scientific) method. But one journal remains faithful. And has nothing to fear thanks to peer review confidentiality.

20/01/2017 – the day we lost a great word: "great"

Things happened one year ago that not a few still can't fathom (personally, I was not overly surprised; but I am a realist). And I'm sure there will be an endless number of articles summarising the year. But for me, the election of a TV clown and orange-billionaire (not to be confused with orange-utans) as 45th president of the U.S., meant a personal loss. I lost a word, I liked to use: the English word "great".

My first landmark as not-a-scientist: 365 (busy) days out-of-business!

I just noticed (thanks to the counter on my personal homepage) that it has been 365 days, one year, since my last contract as a paid scientist run out (a 2-year mobility grant by the Austrian Science Fund FWF). Time for a resumé.

European Not-A-Union: getting my forth social security number

For purely chauvinistic reasons (you don’t want the crappy new EU members benefitting from the high standard in the old EU countries), you need a new social security number when moving from one EU state to another (unless within Scandinavia, even including non-EU member Norway). In some states like Sweden it comes automatically when you register as a citizen. In others like Austria, it comes inevitably (when you’re from other EU countries), but France is of course special. La Grande Nation, it must be a privilege to live here for anyone.

What is an angiosperm? Part 2. A(nother) case for Haeckelian phylogenetic (“evolutionary”) classification.

The “age of angiosperms” is still a matter of debate. But little discussion revolves around a more fundamental question. What is an angiosperm? The answer is trivial, from a modern-day perspective. A flowering plant. In Part 1, I introduced the basic classification options to define angiosperms: branch-based (possible) or node-based (many issues) cladistic and Hennigian or Haeckelian phylogenetic classifications. In the second part, I will show that the trivial definition – a flowering plant – is also the only useful definition when going back into Earth’s past. And as consequence, we need the one or other paraphyletic taxon.

What is an angiosperm? Part 1: The difference between cladistic and phylogenetic classification

The “age of angiosperms” is still a matter of debate. But little discussion revolves around a more fundamental question. What is an angiosperm? The answer is trivial, from a modern-day perspective. A flowering plant. But when it comes to dated trees and phylogenetics, we clash with semantics and non-congruent philosophical frameworks. Because then it's not necessarily about producing a flower, but pure concepts.