Feedback on the site

I’m soliciting feedback on the content on this site, but, as a sensitive lad, I’m asking you to refrain from harshness or saying stuff like “I don’t like the Caturday felids” or such.  Rather, by telling me what you especially like, or want more of, I can get an idea of what doesn’t excite people. Note: I am not seeking affirmation that you like this site, but rather to know aspects of the site you like, and what you’d like to see more of.

Why am I asking? Well, as with many, the pandemic has taken some of the wind out of my sails, and so I was thinking of injecting some new stuff into the site. I have some ideas, but would like to hear more,, as there might be some good ideas out there. When I was fretful about not being able to travel, for example, Matthew suggested that I write about my past travels—something I hadn’t thought of.  And I enjoyed doing that.

Examples of regular posts that I make: Hili dialogue (this has been a fixture for years, and I’m loath to change it much), duck posts (ditto; they’re gonna stay!), readers’ wildlife, photos of readers, science posts, posts about the excesses of the Left, words and phrases I abhor, music posts, and so on. If you’re a regular, you’ll know the format.

Thanks!

 

180 Comments

  1. pinaulus
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:06 am | Permalink

    I can’t praise your site enough. I’ve made some fans of you among my friends.

  2. Ken Pidcock
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    The Hili dialogues have become an essential part of my daily routine, and I really appreciate the time that you put into the science posts. There are people who make a living explaining the latest science to the public, and few do it as well as you, aside from the fact that you usually get to it before they do.

    I wonder if you would get more traffic if the emails announcing new posts weren’t so through!

    • Ken Pidcock
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

      thorough.

  3. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:13 am | Permalink

    Jerry, things I like:
    – the Hili dialogues
    – your tales of travel in your youth
    – food/travel-related posts
    – wokeness-related posts
    – science posts
    – science vs. religion posts
    – music-related posts
    – words-you-don’t-like and other cranky posts

    I read the site everyday so I hope you keep on rockin’.

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

      Seconded! Honestly, JC, if it ain’t broke…I’d be heartbroken if there was less cat- and duck-stuff. Hili and Honey sustain me. And I love animals. Your reminiscences our terrific–fascinating to hear about your career, travels, etc. You write in a wry and winning way about yourself. Of course, keep the anti-woke stuff coming. Your takedowns–of publications, of NYT reviews, of G. Paltrow–are wonderful and refreshing. In sum, all I want is *more* of the same.

      • jezgrove
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

        Put better than I could – ditto!

    • uommibatto
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:02 pm | Permalink

      Totally agree! More of the same!

  4. Brian
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    I look forward to your articles every day and pass them on the many people in my circle. I especially like the evolution posts as well as animal science posts. I ignore reader photos and cat stuff.
    I also like the political posts and as a classic liberal think the woke are insane. I also read many of the books you recommend both political and evolutionary.

  5. P
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    It’s your site so should reflect your interests, not mine. I really enjoy some of your daily updates and the new knowledge they impart. Some of the stuff less so, but if you change it to suit me then it loses its unique character.

    I’m watching for your next cruise lecture series – maybe I can book it too!

    Ps haircut – just get some clippers and do a No 1. You get used to it quickly!

    Thanks, LW

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

      I’m not trying to solicit clickbait here, but seeking to either ratchet down the stuff that doesn’t interest anyone, or looking for new and fresh ideas. To be honest, I feel stale.

      • Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:54 am | Permalink

        Your don’t seem stale to us; but I can understand that feeling: You’ve been at this for a long time.

      • Anthony Kerr
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

        You are not “stale” Jerry, you are fresh, clever, and entertaining. WEIT is my favorite site: everyday you publish content that is a clear example of considerate consciousness, exposing, often, the excesses of woke stupidy and the dumb racism of the campaign against liberal free speech.
        Your site is superb, and, I believe, banned in the illiberal states which kill free expression.
        I love everything on here, though the speciesest assumptions of a Polish cat’s philosophy sometimes exceed my daily nonsense level.
        And, BTW, your cruise posts were my all-time favourite.
        We really really need you Jerry : carry on Coyne!

  6. GBJames
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    My 2¢: While the Hili part of the Hili dialog doesn’t particularly appeal to me, I do enjoy the wide ranging daily review and the dialog constitute my favorite regular feature. I enjoy seeing fellow readers in the “photos of readers” posts, although these don’t elicit as much “conversation” as I expected at first. I always like the science posts even though they are hard for you to generate and don’t elicit as much commentary as you would like. (This subject has been extensively discussed in the past.)

  7. Karst
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    I have been pleased with the website as it has evolved, and especially liked your historical travel stories. I check it every day, but rarely comment. I appreciate the quality of the posts and the comments. As a science person (M.S.,Geology, especially hydrogeology, caves and karst) who majored originally in German and Philosophy (B.A.), I have fairly broad interests. So widening the scope of your posts to other areas would interest me, but I really don’t have any concrete suggestions. I grew up with parents who were an evolutionary biologist (Dad) and a political scientist (Mom). Dad, who was a professor and herpotologist, took me to numerous ponds and streams to help collect frogs and toads as a high school student. I continued a biological interest in part through collecting invertebrates (new species, at times) for cave biologists in Mexico during the 1970s and later, so I still have an interest in your biology posts.

  8. Andrea Kenner
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I love the Hili dialogues with their humorous tweets. I love the duck posts, readers’ wildlife posts, photos of readers (and readers’ felids), science posts, posts about atheism, music posts, and the Caturday trifectas. I’m not a huge fan of the posts about the excesses of the left (sorry). The bottom line is, I like the posts that are uplifting and educational; those posts make me feel smarter and better. (I even like having to look up the obscure words you use sometimes!)

  9. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    Like a Buddhist monk, I come to this site with an empty bowl, facing up not down. Science and philosophy of science articles are my faves. After that, Hili and travelogues. Also enjoy the reader comments.

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      Also like readers’ wildlife photos.

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

      Another feature I like and maybe should be a regular feature is “What are you reading?” I have discovered several good books this way, and I’m looking for more. It is especially useful when readers go into detail about why what they are reading is worthwhile.

      • Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:33 am | Permalink

        Just got The Pandemic Century by Mark Honigsbaum… 🤓

      • codeandknit
        Posted August 18, 2020 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

        I have come away with so much great reading material from amongst the books you and your learned commentariat mention! I am currently reading Sapolsky’s Behave, just finished The Heart is a Lonely Hunter, and am halfway through Matthew Cobb’s The Idea of the Brain. More book discussions would be eagerly consumed.
        Other than that, I always read whatever you publish on the site, as I live in an intellectual desert and relish new ideas and discussions.

  10. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

    I have grown to like some general things. The basics are good, but in particular, all the hosts’ commentary, observations… even nuggets like leaving keys in the freezer – mentioned in a RWP?.., RWP definitely grew on me, a wonderful idea and regular feature.. the “picks” from the media out there… travelogues… book things … YouTube picks (I watch lots of YouTube channels)… words we hate / love, … there’s more I like but I have to get going here..

    The commentariat (?) is valuable – even though I use an old dumb pseudonym I enjoy that I can still get a productive exchange with some very intelligent citizens out there, on some difficult topics, or otherwise…

    I’m not sure what to “inject” – I suppose a cooking sub-channel would be something? Gardening or plant maintenance? I’m just shooting out ideas…. they found pretty lame but you never know…

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:52 am | Permalink

      Puzzles
      Quizzes

      Those would be really good I think… in some shape or form… I.e. incorporated into another posting, even.

      • Andrea Kenner
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        Also the “spot the” features, although I can never find the thing we’re supposed to be spotting!

        I miss the boot and Hawaiian shirt posts too, but I know time has marched on!

        • Jeannie Hess
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:06 pm | Permalink

          I loved the boot and Hawaiian shirt stories. I like sequential stories with lots of information about stuff I’ve never thought about before. Perhaps you could offer insights on wine, or the life of turtles in Botany Pond, or the Frank Lloyd Wright building in Chicago or some of the architecture there. And how about showing us the rest of the campus? Does any of that interest you?

  11. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:28 am | Permalink

    Of the regular types of posts, my favourites are: cultural commentary, Woke-bashing, religion-bashing, and the science posts.

    • Mike
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

      Me too — these four topics are essential daily reading for me.

  12. Paulo Augusto Franke
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:32 am | Permalink

    The WEIT website is huge fun as it is.

    One suggestion would be more ‘simple facts’, additional ‘fast food’ type of evidence of evolution.

  13. Frits M
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:33 am | Permalink

    I like many of your posts, but most of all those on evolutionary biology. Today’s longneck story was a treat, but posts on less spectacular organisms, including insects, are equally welcome. You get less feedback on those posts, perhaps because people are afraid to make a fool of themselves. (Everybody has opinions, but not everyone has the knowledge to contribute to scientific discussions or even ask the right questions.) I also liked your book Faith versus Fact; I would appreciate any posts along the lines of its subject.
    To be sure, I am not implying that I have anything against, cats, ducks etc.

  14. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Science vs. Religion
    Science posts
    Evolution posts (genetics/speciation)
    Philosophy (Determinism/Naturalism)
    Music Posts
    Ducks
    Cats
    Boots

  15. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I enjoy your stuff except the political comments which I am inundated with ad nauseum. It would make your site so much more enjoyable if you could refrain from the daily Trump bashing. Stick to science and topics related to free speech please!

    • Mark R.
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:21 pm | Permalink

      Daily Trump bashing? Hardly.

    • Trevor H
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:15 pm | Permalink

      The problem is that Daily he does something stupid, insane, malevolent, nasty or batshit crazy, it’s hard not to notice what he’s done and to comment on it

    • Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:26 am | Permalink

      As an outsider, I enjoy hearing about Trump’s stupidities, though I do feel for you poor USians (though nowadays we’re not much better with BoJo). However, I don’t know where you get “daily Trump bashing”, as Jerry clearly avoids doing this. Perhaps it’s the comments you’re thinking of.

    • Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

      PCC just reports the news, and it sounds like bashing.

  16. Curt
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink

    Daily reader. I Love the stimulation of Hili Dialogue in the morning.

    I try to guess the year for items in the “Stuff that Happened on” section. After doing this for a few years, I can say my awareness of historical timing relative order of events has clearly improved.

    One complaint..
    The format makes it difficult to hide and not accidentally expose the year while reading the items. If the year was indented out to the left it could be easily hidden behind a card or finger.

    CURRENT:
    * 1791 – Slaves from plantations in Saint-Domingue hold a Vodou ceremony led by houngan
    * 1888 – An audio recording of English composer Arthur Sullivan‘s “The Lost Chord“,

    SUGGESTED:
    1791 Slaves from plantations in Saint-
    xxxxxx xxxx a xxxxx xxxxxxx xxx x
    1888 An audio recording of English
    xxxxxx xxxxx xxxxxxx xxx xxxx

    • Curt
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

      The “suggested” didn’t format like I wrote it.
      The item description would be indented so only the year jutted out on the left (the year could be the item ‘bullet’).

  17. W.Benson
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

    Content just fine. If new general issues were to arise concerning evolutionary theory, I’d read that too.

  18. eric
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    I like all of it, though I don’t comment on all threads.

    This is not a suggestion based on my preferences but if I try to think about what I’d find to be drudgery as a writer, it would probably be the “daily updates”. Looking up what celebrations occur that day, who was born, who died, etc… As a hypothetical author, I would probably enjoy that less than posting topical science, philosophy, or nature pics and articles. You can’t give up Hili, of course, but if you truncated down those posts because spending the time on them felt more like work than fun, I would empathize and not complain. Now as a reader, I have to say opening up your page knowing there will be new content every day is a real joy. But as a writer, those articles look more to me like an assignment than an interest. You’re retired; enjoy not doing assignments any more (unless you want them).

    In terms of personal preferences, I’ll give a plus and a minus: Plus – where are the boot posts? An occasional one of those was always fun to view. On the minus – I’m not a huge fan of the ‘words I don’t like’ posts…I don’t need people influencing me to be more curmudgeonly than I already am lol. Even when I agree with you on what you say about modern vernacular Jerry, reading them makes me feel like I’m at a monthly meeting of the get off my lawn club. Now, pardon me while I go shake my fist at some squirrels outside my window. 🙂

  19. Marion
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    Are you kidding, your site is great. I like some things more than others, but I skip what I don’t find interesting (I’m sure there are many who enjoy what I don’t, so I wouldn’t change the mix). I’m amazed at how much you post every day, given everything else you’re involved with.

  20. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    I read this blog every day. I’ve recommended it to others, and many of them now follow it.

    I love caterday. After that, science posts and nature pictures. I very much enjoy food and travel posts.

    All that said, You should keep the themes you enjoy. it’s YOUR site and if you can’t take joy in it, it will die. I never really liked the boot posts, but I enjoyed that you enjoyed them.

    Keep up the good work! Stay well.

  21. daniaq
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:44 am | Permalink

    My favorite is definitely the Hili dialogue!
    Together with Szaron and kulka updates.
    I also like that you post Jesus and Mo.

  22. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I really enjoyed the lockdown tales of your previous travels and other stories. More of those would be great, I was disappointed there were so few. A semi regular regaling of your stories (travel related or otherwise) would definitely interest me- you seem to have done quite a lot! And it’s nice to have that ‘personal touch’ too; the site already makes people feel they ‘know’ you to an extent but more tales would add to that, I think.

    This is maybe a bit off piste for what this site is but I wonder…you clearly know a lot of interesting people so you could, I dunno, do short interviews with some of them? That would be quite different if, as you say, you feel a bit ‘stale’. But it would still be you conducting the interviews and back and forth between you and cool people would be interesting (though this is almost like a podcast- which is even more off piste but I’d definitely listen!).

  23. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    Well I do love your site, Jerry. Yours is almost the only one I visit every time I go online (nearly every day).

    I like the quirky features like: Cats, boots, Hawaiian shirts, and ducks. Hey, it’s your living room; it should reflect your interests!

    I really like the wildlife photos and readers’ photos of themselves. I like that you allow some broadening like landscapes some of time. Variety is good!

    I really appreciate your: Science posts, religion posts, political posts, posts pointing us to the other online sources that you appreciate (e.g. Andrew Sullivan, Russell Blackford, Sam Harris, etc.) These are what brought me to your site.

    Some of my very favorite posts have been your very interesting segments about your youthful travels and adventures. (I’m hoping for that autobiography some day!)

    And, I must emphasize how much I appreciate Da Roolz. Your maintenance of civility, while encouraging spirited debate and opposing views, are very rare online and very refreshing.

    I love your support for free speech. I appreciate your appreciation of art, good writing, etc.: The artistic side, which is very important to me.

    I love your food posts! They are great fun.

    I love your posts on music and movies! Very interesting. Your nephew’s take on movies is fun to hear.

    I love hearing from an expert biologist on questions of science, especially biology and medicine.

    And: I would subscribe in a heartbeat, if you decide to go that way some day.

    I guess this means I like the variety on your site. Thank you! 🙂

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

      Geez! I forgot about Hili, Szaron, Kulka, and Leon. And the news of the day. Love them as well.

      And Jesus and Mo of course.

  24. DrBrydon
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I love site, and have for years. I can’t really say there is one type of content I enjoy more than another. Like a lot of us, I suspect, the coverage of the world of woke seems particularly interesting to me at the moment.

  25. Mike ZIMAN
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I like much of the site (TDIH, wildlife, ducks, readers, etc.) and regardless it is your site to do with as you please. I also like exploratory discussions like “What is the evolutionary reason we think we have free agency?” and “How is climate change in the past impacted species including humans?” and “Science-huh, what is it good for? Absolutely everything!” It is curiosity and thought exploration that helps me keep my sanity these days more than ever.

  26. Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    I like the Hili dialogues, science posts, and science vs religion posts. The latter because I read your book “Faith versus Fact” and I am a recovering Mormon (I engineered my excommunication from that cultish corporation).

  27. eliz20108
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    I go to this site when I get up in the morning. every day I love everything.

    I like the comments to do what you like to do.

    Why has the site slowed during the pandemic? I should think it would grow.

  28. Greg Geisler
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    I’m grateful for your voice and amazed at how prolific you are in posting. I have shared your posts with friends and family. I originally came here for the Religion vs. Science content after reading both your books. I love when you eviscerate the Templton-funded crap. I enjoy all your posts on free will, science, culture (the woke Left), and philosophy. Wildlife photos are always enjoyable.

    I also like when you have exchanges with people and post their comments like you did recently with Steven Pinker. Maybe a new idea might be having more dialogue with other people. Perhaps that is better suited to a podcast.

    Regardless, I can relate to feeling “stale”! I look forward to future posts.

  29. Simon Hayward
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    I skim everything, I read Hili and have enjoyed its expansion from the original format. I also read the science posts and anything else that appeals. Not big on much of the duck stuff, although I enjoyed seeing the babies arrive (your site, post what you want, you asked for feedback). I like the cat posts.

    I tend not to comment on the science posts as they are not my field so I don’t normally have an informed opinion, I read those posts mostly to learn something (about Triassic reptiles today, for example). With politics and religion posts I often have more opinions and am less concerned about my ignorance.

    I particularly enjoy the travel and food posts. For obvious reasons those have been a bit thin on the ground lately, I’m sure you’d be happier putting some of those in the bank.

  30. Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I enjoy the science posts the most, and the Readers’ Wildlife Photos with their explanations. I also find the first post of each day very interesting and I have learned a lot from them. That’s the first thing I read every day.

  31. Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I enjoy your site immensely. However, more and more I find that I have to control my intake in order to get real work done. I don’t have much to say about the content but do have a couple of comments and questions.

    The “pictures of readers” section is interesting. I know you don’t have much of a backlog but why do you keep threatening to remove this feature? Is it a “send me pictures or I’ll shoot this dog” strategy? Presumably people sometimes take time to summon the energy to send you their pictures. I also assume you have new readers trickle (or flood) onto the site. Why should they be deprived of this feature?

    I would like you to request that the readers pictured also identify themselves as to their comment posting name. It would be nice to place a face to a comment. Additionally, knowing the part of the world in which they live would also be nice. Obviously they wouldn’t have to disclose these things if they prefer not to.

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

      I see it as humor. The dog reference is an old joke from National Lampoon.
      People should not identify themselves if they don’t want to.

      • Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:11 pm | Permalink

        Sorry you were confused by my comment. I was the one making reference to National Lampoon’s “shoot this dog” cover. I was questioning our host’s repeated claim that he was going to shut down the “readers pictures” feature forever if people didn’t start sending in content for it. I also suggested that readers would not have to identify their comment posting name if they didn’t want to. I guess you missed that.

  32. D. Edwards
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:12 am | Permalink

    I do enjoy the science posts. You do a great job of summarizing articles that I would not otherwise have time to read. Your stance on the importance of free speech, along with your thoughts and concerns about cancel culture are much appreciated.

    Here’s my attempt at a suggestion for the site: I often think that it would be great to sit down with you in person and hear more about your experiences and lessons for life. What about creating a semi-regular segment where you reflect on some of your life lessons. It could based on things you experiences as an academic, world traveler, etc. I guess this is my way of saying we would all enjoy hearing more about your personal experiences.

  33. Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    I know they take more effort to write, but I like the science posts best. However, I read and enjoy everything on the site.

  34. Steve Cameron
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:22 am | Permalink

    My favourite regular feature is definitely the Hili Dialogs, less for the eponymous felid (though she’s great) than for all the other trivia, tweets and links.

    I also really value all the political and socio-political posts, including the woke bashing, though I nearly always find many points to disagree with. Over the years I’ve been reading this site I’ve charted a drift toward conservatism (don’t worry, you’re — by American standards at least — very solidly on the “Left”, though that probably has much to do with where the Right is in the US these days). But I find the reasoning is clearly elucidated and the opinions are, while perhaps uncharitable, understandable.

  35. john avise
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:24 am | Permalink

    I love nearly everything on your site– the variety, the commentaries on Cancel Culture, religion, the photos of readers, the readers wildlife photos, your travel adventures–everything! I especially love the readers’ comments in the various threads that emerge. Overall, your site makes me feel good because your readers seem almost like family. There are so many brilliant minds evident on your site that it gives me a renewed (and much-needed) appreciation of humanity, especially during these difficult times.

  36. BJ
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    I’d say more posts about music and, if you’re so inclined, inviting discussion about the music you’re posting. Example of post and discussion: posting one of your favorite Clapton solos, but also explaining why you love it and what you think makes him special, and asking readers what they think.

    • BJ
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

      In that same spirit, maybe more non-politics reader discussion threads in general? Just pick a subject and have readers discuss. We can learn more about each others’ hobbies, favorite movies and books, etc. It would be nice for these to involve as little politics as possible, as some people have a penchant for connecting everything, no matter how tangential or silly, to Trump, or Wokeness, or whatever, despite a given not involving politics.

      • Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        I second that. Perhaps even a wider selection of guest posts. Our host posts on a wide range of topics but it is still nice to hear others.

        • BJ
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

          Another excellent idea. We seem to have a lot of people who have specialties in many different fields here. How many of them are worthy of guest posts I don’t know, but Jerry could take submissions to consider.

        • BJ
          Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          Hey, your my fellow Phish fan here, right? I hope I’m remembering correctly. Anyway, I remember us talking about great versions of the song Divided Sky. Phish has recently been doing something called “Dinner and a Movie,” where they broadcast a show from the archives live on Youtube and their LivePhish website every Tuesday. The Youtube link only stays up for a week or two, so get it while it’s hot! This is one of my favorite Divided jams, not to mention a fantastic show. The jam isn’t long, but the energy and peaks are insane, and some of the riffs he suddenly lands are…well, I’d mention their timestamps, but hot jelly damn, you’ll know exactly which ones I’m talking about when you hear them.

          This Divided Sky really demonstrates the speed, energy, precision, and cohesion of Phish’s best days, in contrast to much of what’s heard on the Sirius/XM channel. The jam is less than five minutes long — barely a jam at all, really! — so it’s well worth the time.

          This link will bring you to the beginning of the jam. If you want to start at the beginning of the song, go to 1:18:10.

          It’s an amazing show overall, but the first set might be of less interest to someone who isn’t as into Phish as I am. The entire first set is the last time they ever played the full story of “Gamehendge” in one show. Gamehendge is a collection of songs that grew out of Trey’s senior thesis for his degree from Goddard College. The songs are great, some of them brilliant pieces of progressive rock fused with jazz and classical tones, while a few others are straight up rockers, so definitely listen to them if you’re interested and just skip the narration between the songs (unless you’re really interested in broadening your Phishy horizons).

          Highlights I would recommend are the first song, Llama (7:14); Tela (27:30); AC/DC Bag (41:35); Colonel Forbin’s Ascent -> Fly Famous Mockingbird (49:25 – 1:02:45); and The Sloth (1:03:40).

          Note: the first set does not start with The Man Who Stepped Into Yesterday, which is technically the beginning of the original Gamehendge suite, but doesn’t have any lyrics. This is unfortunate, as it’s a beautiful and serene instrumental, in which they’ve almost always included a rock version of the Jewish song Yerushalayim Shel Zahav (“Jerusalem of Gold”) couched between the two parts. You can hear it here.

          • Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

            Yes, that was me. Ever since our earlier conversation I have been paying more attention to the dates of the concerts they play on the Sirius Phish channel. They do play quite a few from the 90s and I certainly notice the difference from the newer stuff though I like both.

            I will check out the link, especially the highlighted parts. I’m particularly interested in what they do with AC/DC material. I don’t think I’ve ever heard that. Thanks for all the info.

            • BJ
              Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

              Haha it’s a Phish tune called “AC/DC Bag,” though they have covered AC/DC’s Highway to Hell, You Shook Me All Night Long, and Big Balls.

              Here’s a good AC/DC Bag with a short but funky jam. This website is amazing. If you ever want to find the “best” versions of songs, type “best [x]” into Google, find a few, and go to this site to play them. Fantastic! And wonderful that Phish allows this website to remain up, but Phish’s popularity grew in large part based on people exchanging cassettes and, later, CDs across the country. Back in the very old days of the internet, when people were on Usenet boards and then later message boards, exchanging addresses and which shows they owned. You’d find someone who had a show you wanted, offer a show they wanted, and you’d mail each other the cassette/CD copies. It happened all across the world. I still have my many hundreds of CDs in my storage room, though they’re now obsolete as they’ve been transferred to multiple digital devices and hard drives.

              The shows were taped by people in the designated “tapers’ section,” which Phish cordoned off at each show for amateur fans who wanted to spread the word and brought their equipment along to record the shows. These recordings eventually fell out of favor once soundboard recordings started becoming available, though a dedicated few continued to record the shows live on their own equipment.

            • BJ
              Posted August 15, 2020 at 2:38 pm | Permalink

              Sorry, forgot the link to the song: https://relisten.net/phish/1997/06/25/ac-dc-bag?source=162537

  37. John S. Adair
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    In rough order of my own preference:
    – science posts
    – science vs. religion posts
    – free will posts
    – words-you-don’t-like and other cranky posts
    – music-related posts
    – food/travel-related posts
    – readers’ wildlife photos
    – photos of readers

    But I agree with the comments above that this is your website and your interests should drive the content. For example, I love how invested you are in the ducks, and how that shows through in the posts, even though the posts themselves don’t interest me as much.

    One thing I would really love to see is a post about free will written completely in the language of determinism. Even if I am not choosing to write this, and you are not choosing how you respond, I am hopeful that eventually I will read something that helps bridge the gap between my intellectual belief in determinism and my subjective feelings of choice and persuasion. 🙂

    • BJ
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

      I also like cranky posts! In fact, they seem to be some of the most appreciated posts, or at least the ones most commented upon. It’s another example of a post where users are invited to share their own views and preferences.

  38. Charles A Sawicki
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    I enjoy many of your posts, including the science posts, the occasional post on the woke, wildlife and your travel posts. If you have new ideas, you could publish a list and have people vote for their favorites.

  39. GBJames
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:32 am | Permalink

    I would offer a comment about the site that has nothing to do with content. I think you would benefit by confronting the evolving technology and upgrading the site to non-obsolete infrastructure. Of course, that’s easy for me to say. But it might offer you something different to work on for a while and maybe that would help counter pandemic ennui. ??

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:35 am | Permalink

      What makes you say it is an obsolete infrastructure? Certainly its graphical style is old-school but that seems appropriate somehow. Are there features you feel are lacking? Do you have a particular non-obsolete infrastructure in mind? Just curious.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:37 am | Permalink

        Things break and are unfixed because WordPress no longer supports the framework currently in use.

        • Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:45 am | Permalink

          My guess is that this is a problem on all such infrastructures, though it may be worse on WordPress. They are all amalgams of technologies and plugins. When one bit of technology gets upgraded, it sometimes breaks other bits and forces those to be upgraded. If you choose not to upgrade, then your site is open to security vulnerabilities. I suspect this kind of upheaval comes with the territory and is hard to avoid.

      • GBJames
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

        Example: What happens now when you respond do comments.

        A newer framework might also improve how comment editing works. One might be able to fix errors. Maybe one could have more levels of sub-commenting. Maybe the “summary page” wouldn’t show the entire posts and one would need to “drill in” to get the full content…. possibly this would mean folk could come to the site for the content and not just read the email versions (thus improving readership statistics). Stuff like that.

        • Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

          Yes, the commenting mechanism does seem to be a bit unstable, though it works fine for me now as Chrome’s autofill takes care of it. Some time ago I mentioned using a sophisticated commenting plugin like Disqus but I guess that’s not an option with the site’s current WordPress plan.

        • Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

          Many’s the time I have clicked Post Comment, only then to see a typo that I can’t call back.
          But sometimes typos are ironically fun.

  40. Austin Johnson
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    My favorite posts are the science posts. I enjoy when you bring attention to new and interesting research. I also like the posts on contemporary debates on topics such as science & religion, as well as some of the philosophical debates such as the posts critiquing panpsychism. This site helps me to keep up to date on what’s going on the intellectual community, as I’m already busy as it is.

  41. John Laughlin
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I always enjoy your site and I love cats too…but also dogs!!

  42. Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    When it starts with “for crying our loud” I know it is going to be fun! I love your site. Hili is a morning ritual, though you could pare down all the stuff that has been added there if you want time and energy for something else. I really enjoy the science posts.

    • Posted August 15, 2020 at 10:55 am | Permalink

      Maybe you should make some features weekly- then your supply ofthings like “photos of readers” (which I really like!) would not constantly be low.

  43. Robie
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

    Like many who have answered so far, I check the site nearly every day and read most of it. In particular, I read anything to do with animals, science, nature, and religion/creationism. (I first started reading this site a long time ago because I am interested in creationism.)

    If anything, I appreciate the regular features even more since the start of the pandemic, since they provide a sense of a normal schedule. For example, for years I have read the Hili dialogues at work while I eat lunch, and I continue to do so in my work-at-home routine. Similarly, I always set aside time on the weekend for the Caturday post.

    You know a lot of prominent scientists—maybe you could solicit some mini-bios. It might be interesting to find out how people got their start, how they view their own contributions to their field, etc. (You could start with yourself!)

  44. cicely berglund
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    I enjoy the clarity and straightforwardness of your writing. I basically seem to share your point of view from which to understand the world- with a few notable exceptions; which set me off into exploring why I hold my own views. So that is good. The customary civility of the comments is a pleasure and I think da roolz are set just about right.
    More science articles would be more than welcome-tho’ I appreciate that they constitute quite a bit of work for you.
    I have come to regard Hili and associates as part of the family. And the treasures to be found on Twitter are just great.
    The range of topics that come up is admirable.and often surprising.

    Live long and prosper.

  45. Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:48 am | Permalink

    Evolution, cats n’ ducks. Everything else is gravy.

  46. Debra Coplan
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I love the Hili posts, wildlife photos, photos of readers, science posts, Caterday posts and various posts on political and woke culture. I am still so excited about this website. I am having a very hard time with this pandemic and the website keeps me going.

  47. Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    I almost always read the morning Hili etc posts, and usually also remember to click from my Reader program to make sure you get this click at least.

    I don’t miss too many Caturday posts either.

    Other than that I click on posts that pique my interest, generally topical ones and sometimes science. I must say that I often breeze through your long quotes but try to get to gist of things from your personal remarks.

  48. Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:16 pm | Permalink

    I’m a very new follower of yours but I do like the randomness of your posts. However, I’m not sure what you are trying to focus on.

  49. phar84
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:27 pm | Permalink

    Love WEIT as it is!
    Feedback: Try a series of different topics and end them when stale.

  50. Terry Pedersen
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Pictures of readers, exotic insects,Hili, posts of your past travels and/or travails,
    Birth and death dates.

  51. Catherine
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Your website feels like an old friend to me. I have been reading for about 10 years I would estimate. I love the wildlife photos (I learn so much, and see beauty, what’s not to love?), and enjoy your massive duck efforts. I truly appreciate the work you put into the science posts. Your website helps keep me up to date on the latest science vs religion events as well as limitation of free speech. You sound weary and eroded, like I do, of all the isolation and especially lack of TRAVEL! But keep your chin up dear professor, we are all still here, perhaps less moved to write a comment, but still reading (much like you have less fuel available for writing). I feel like I should be so productive with all this home time on my hands but it is not normal for humans to be so isolated. So give yourself and your website some slack, my friend. You and your website are an early start to my day and I don’t see THAT changing either! PS is your hair long enough for a ponytail? That would be a great pic. Maybe hearken back to the old days? Thanks for all of it!

    • Andrea Kenner
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:39 pm | Permalink

      Maybe even a man bun??? Nah……

  52. Edward Hessler
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    The tease–considering some new stuff is too much for this curious cat. How about a sample or two?

    I would like to hear about colleagues with whom you’ve worked–their contributions to the field, to you and what it was like knowing and working with them. This could include current members of your department although this may not be possible but a kind of “what’s new in evolutionary studies,” assuming there are at UC.

    And I’ve wondered for a long time on whether you’ve observed personality differences in so-called “pure” lines of D. Are some noticeably more shy than others, etc. This assumes you had the time to notice given the requirements of an ambitious research program.

    I’d like to know more about how you decided to use D. as a research model. What undergraduate influences and so on.

    I like the variation you provide, the topics–I mean we get to pick and choose as well as treated to a deep exploration of an idea or two or three.

    I welcome the posts from both Matthew and Greg–the history of science is important to me…a real treat.

    Do I read everything? No, of course not but I scan it and read those that are more immediate to my interests and sometimes to the news of the day.

    I like the polls, too.

    ‘Tis a fine website and time again to thank you for the effort.

  53. Jom
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I especially enjoy the hill dialogue and the various facts and ironies. I also like the anti-woke stuff and discovering other interesting blogs and writers that you refer to.

  54. MacSlernz
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Hi Gerry

    I enjoy your blog and read it everyday. I always read the email but don’t always go to the site. I like the science posts, woke postings, your ideas on art and music… the whole site is interesting.

    I live in Christchurch, New Zealand so a lot of it is not relevant to me but I am still an avid reader.

    In my humble opinion, your blog is one of the best out there. Everyday, I learn something new from reading your postings. That has to be a good thing.

    Keep up the good work mate.

  55. Mark R.
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    As you mentioned in the Hili dialogue this morning, Readers’ tattoos would be of interest. I don’t have any, but I enjoy a good tat.

    I like how the Readers’ photos have revealed a lot of hobbyists and such. Maybe you could invite longer bios of those readers who engage in interesting hobbies. This could also include interesting/unique vocations.

    Maybe elicit Readers’ favorite cookbooks or favorite family recipes like those from “grandma”. I know there are a lot of foodies here, including me.

    Readers’ pets?

    As you can see by my examples, my suggestions are more Reader-content-oriented, just to make your load easier. I don’t think you’re stale in the slightest, but I understand how you might feel that way. I couldn’t imagine coming up with all the topics you write about. There’s no topic that you frequent that I’m bored with. The science posts are a highlight, and I’m actually glad they are not too frequent because they usually take time to absorb and I try and say something semi-intelligent; at times, this takes close reading and re-reading. About the only posts I don’t always read through are about the Woke shenanigans…I think because “I get it” and don’t have much to add.

    I greatly miss your travel posts with their mixture of architecture, random people, friends, food/drink, sights, museums, and the rare science + travel posts as in your Antarctic adventure. Hopefully, this time next year you’ll be traveling the world and this will again be a part of WEIT’s richness.

    • ursula goodenough
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

      Until we can all travel again, travel postings from the past, including those from long-ago trips that you posted recently, are fodder for re-experiencing what travel is like.

    • Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:08 am | Permalink

      I, like many others of your readers, read WEIT faithfully every day. As a non-scientist and non-mathematician, I very much appreciate the detail and clarity of what you write on these subjects. But, I love the ducks, the travel, the boots, your history, foods and wines, music, philosophy and religion, books, language liked and disliked, etc. I also very much appreciate the comments and interactions of your readers. They are so intelligent and knowledgable. I feel as though I’ve learned a lot from many of them. I like the idea of your sharing more of your personal history. As a lifelong collector of recipes and cookbooks, I, like Mark, would like to see some great recipes and references to wonderful restaurants such as the ones you’ve mentioned. If I ever get to leave the house to travel again, I hope to check out some of these restaurants if they have survived. May all here stay healthy.

  56. John Dentinger
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Ex-HS English teacher here. I got interested because of the science posts–and I like cats, too, which is why I cherish my years in Key West working at the Hemingway Home. I like pretty much everything I read here, but I will reluctantly admit that I don’t care much about the food I eat–it’s like sleep to me–something I gotta have, and that’s it.
    I do read the food posts, but I don’t drool.

  57. Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    It has been a while since we had a JOKE posting. You know, where people post jokes in the comments. Those are so much fun, and I’ve got a bunch locked and loaded.

    A Readers’ cartoons posting. This is where different readers send you a lot of cartoons and you post a bunch of them. There should be rules for attribution, of course. This one I think would get overwhelming on your end.

    Extremely serious matters, I know…

  58. Jon Gallant
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    I find this website a superior substitute for the former subscriptions to the NYer and the NYRB which I have allowed to lapse. [I am personally fonder of cats than of ducks in real life, although I do value duck on the plate.] The voyage to Antarctica, on which you took us all along, was enthralling. I wouldn’t change a thing. A thousand thanks.

  59. Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

    Re-runs of ancient posts from many years ago. One might worry that that would seem lazy, but really you put a lot of work into those. They are still really great, and most readers here would experience them as new.

    • Glenda Palmer
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

      Good idea.

  60. Diana MacPherson
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    I like best some of the interactive posts like discussing books, words (the words we like was especially entertaining), opinions on things….I know this is vague but just saying what is the most fun.

  61. Alicia
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    The magic of Internet means I can have a glimpse at your life and thoughts, Jerry, even with an ocean separating our worlds (Chicago – Madrid). Your cat posts made me want to have a cat (on the verge of adopting one my daughter vetoed it), I’ve learned lots about biology, and both your travels and food posts find me drooling. Thanks to your summaries on US politics, I am extremely well informed. The posts on words and expressions, even if I have to look them up in the dictionary, are very nice (I still remember the first word I looked up -and couldn’t find in the dictionary- “noms”) The reader’s pictures, both wildlife and themselves, are pretty good, and Hili’s dialogue is my afternoon reading… and on and on it goes. The website is excellent, as are the readers’ comments (so much intelligence, thought-provoking, condensed on one site).
    Just a suggestion: any topic of Biology that you love to teach, at entry level (entry at the Uni).
    Rest assured, stale is not what you do. You should be proud of this.

  62. Terry
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    WEIT and a coffee start my every day.
    I like everything. Somebody mentioned perhaps including more interviews with interesting people (e.g., Pinker). That sounds good.
    Cheers

  63. EdwardM
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    WEIT is a daily must read. If possible, I think more science articles can only improve it. Maybe science posts from guests – you know a good deal of schmart sciencey types whose work you find interesting?

  64. Graham Martin-Royle
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    What I like about this site is the variety, if you can’t find something you like, wait for the next post and the likelihood is that it will be something you like.

    I do sometimes find the science posts a bit heavy going but that’s mainly cos I’m thick. I still enjoy them and feel that I’m learning something when reading them.

    I love the more light hearted stuff as well and I love the va4iety of facts you come up with.

    In short, I enjoy this site and look forward to whatever additions you come up with.

  65. GregZ
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:55 pm | Permalink

    I enjoy it all, it’s quite the buffet of topics, photos, and social and scientific commentary. I do notice a little less science content, but that might be due to COVID.

  66. Robert Bray
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Without repeating so many beloved features mentioned already, I will add that as education, particularly higher education, seems to be diseased these days, I’d hope you could keep the critical dialogue going on the issues: free speech, wokeness, administrative high-handedness, teaching and learning for citizenship in a democratic polity, and so on.

    You are a life-enhancer, PCCE!

  67. Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Love the duck posts! – (‘)>

  68. Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    WEIT is your creation Jerry and it’s at its best when it reflects your own take on things and your own interests. That it draws such a large following is a tribute to the range of your interests and the clarity of your arguments. So I would not change a thing, even your seriously incorrect position on the subject of free will.

  69. Trevor H
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

    I like all of what you do, some things interest me less on a particular day – often due to lack of time, so I don’t click the email link for all articles

    I like that you have a quirky obsession with ducks, I don’t share it as much, (I like ALL wildlife), but find it amusing that a smart professor has ‘eccentricities’ – an ‘English trait’ 😛

    I’d like to see more articles that advocate a POV with arguments for it

    Given the current Covid issue, I’d like to hear a biologists view on it and what we can learn from it

    Maybe less ‘response’ articles where you respond to someone else

    But hey-ho, I have the freedom to not read a particular thing should my mood not suit, I’m old enough to allow people not to match my own obsessions, but still find them ‘interesting’

  70. Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    I love your thoughts about general science topics, free will, social issues, and when you excoriate the excesses of woke culture – particularly at universities.

  71. anthonyherbert2014
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

    From the UK Jerry.
    Your website is great, one of the things that has kept me sane during the pandemic. I read it almost every day. I don’t think you should change a thing.
    Get your haircut it will make you feel better. I know there is a risk but choose an experienced older guy to cut it in a hairdressing outfit that are taking precautions. Remember they do not want to be infected either. have it cut short on the sides and back.
    My best regards and wishes.
    Anthony.

  72. Martin
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:25 pm | Permalink

    I particularly enjoy the eclectic nature of your site. I learn or think something new daily reading it. Of note, I enjoy the Hili Dialogues, science posts, free will discussions, free speech discussions, and music and literature posts. I also enjoyed the psychiatry-related discussions.

  73. Mike
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:30 pm | Permalink

    Regarding feeling “stale”, I don’t mean to offer interpretation of our host’s feelings, or deny the importance of that particular feeling. But I would say it may be a mistake to respond too strongly to that feeling by making big change to a website that readers obviously love to judge by these comments. I think the stale feeling is widespread among us, including most of us who don’t write online for a public readership every day, and it’s cause is probably not the website and more likely the pandemic. My understanding is that many people struggle with motivation and lack the ability to focus, and it would be easy to mistake those problems for a feeling of staleness. I don’t have suggestions for what to change (if any big changes should be made). I greatly value our host’s science posts, and I love the skewering of the Woke that happens here regularly. And I look forward to the tweets and memes every morning over coffee.

  74. Monika
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:31 pm | Permalink

    I really enjoy this site, I visit it daily.

    I like the science posts, they make me think and expand my knowledge.
    The Hili dialogues, those quirky finds from twitter and other sites, a pleasure to read. And of course, there never is something wrong with cat content.

  75. Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

    Here I go, yet another reader shocked and terrified at the idea you might gulp stop posting. I just posted a similar lament yesterday so I’m intrigued by the range (and passion) of preferences. I bounce happily into your splendid blog and only when I land on a political post do I bounce straight out again. No harm done, but hey, I’m in New zealand and — enough already. Others love it. So how to overcome that stale feeling? Your call. I am starting a couple of new projects.

    • Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

      Oops. I like everything except what I don’t. I like it when you are excited or silly.

  76. prinzler
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s fine with me to include all that you do because I’ll just pass over that which I’m not interested in, and because the stuff I am interested in is way more than enough to make you a necessary daily routine.

    I skip over some of the more technical scientific posts (not a pro, just a lay person), and I skim pretty quickly the pics of wildlife, although occasionally something will catch my eye. Everything else is great! Particularly:

    Keep on coming up with as many euphemisms for “dead” as you can in the list of notables who died, that’s always amusing.

    Keep on using the “Jake, it’s XXXXXX” cliche, that’s always amusing.

    Keep on with the music that strikes your ear, I’ve enjoyed several of those greatly.

    Keep it up!

    • grasshopper
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:11 pm | Permalink

      Speaking of euphemisms for “dead”, I stumbled across this one yesterday – “joined the great majority”. It made me think of WEIT’s dirt nap series. Thanks for the segue 🙂

      • Diana MacPherson
        Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:23 pm | Permalink

        I like “joined the fossil record”. A family friend emailed that to me when Stephen Jay Gould died.

    • Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      Speaking of euphemisms for the dead, my quirky brain just reminded me that one of the magazines I get (wish I could remember which one) has a current article on dead human beings being turned into mulch (a more climate friendly method)instead of cremation or the processes used to bury folk in coffins in cemeteries. It turns out that the state of Washington has legalized mulching within the last year or so, and there’s a business in Seattle, WA named Recompose that does it. If interested, you can read about it online.

  77. Ruthann Richards
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 2:52 pm | Permalink

    I check the site several times a day, rather than going through it all at once–several doses a day help keep me sane in this pandemic. Absolutely love Hili and pals (don’t forget Mietek!), Caturday, all cat posts, the weekly duck id, travel posts, astronomy, but nature in general, science vs. religion, music. It might be interesting to have more readers’ travel posts, but also yours from your youth (or more recently–which is relative, I realize). I would love to read more about the area in Poland where Hili and friends live, as well as photos from that area and info about her staff.

  78. Mark
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been reading this site since it’s very inception.
    I valued it back then as a resource for evidence of evolution against its deniers.
    I now value it as a resource of critique against the woke totalitarianism that is descending upon us.
    You are needed on this front. You have the ability to speak freely and cogently against this powerful and illiberal movement.
    Please continue to do so!

  79. notsecurelyanchored
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    My granddaughter and I love the Caturday cats and all animal pictures and jokes.
    The readers’ photos help create a sense of community on WEIT, especially for one with a limited scientific background, and you have a most interesting group here, and that includes the ducks. I’m afraid that during the quarantine I’m relying more and more on the internet for friends.
    Love the travel stories — we missed each other not by long on Crete — and miss the food, especially the French food. I’d be curious about your cooking, and you seem to know about wines; perhaps you could tell us more about that. Swap recipes, as one of your other readers suggested?
    And love the book recommendations.

  80. C.
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:20 pm | Permalink

    There isn’t a regular post I don’t at least skim through but my favorites are Duck O’ the Week, Reader photos (like today’s) Wildlife photos, Science posts (like today’s, with a link to a proper paper, not just the pop culture version) and the political stuff. The religion vs science posts…well, the goddies never come up with any new (or logical) arguments so those are almost like déjà vu, but I appreciate your tenacity all the same.

  81. Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:22 pm | Permalink

    I have always loved your travel food pictures. I haven’t been able to travel a lot in my life. Restaurants in Europe, even here in the US. Also I do read your science posts. I don’t comment much because I have nothing of value to add, but I always learn something. I’ve been following your website for, gee, maybe 7 or 8 years. Ever since I read WEIT. It’s the only site I follow regularly.

  82. Grant Palmer
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:38 pm | Permalink

    I like the biology related posts. The main reason for this is cease I have not studied biology related subjects since I was about 15 and they are great for me as a laypersons learning resource.

    • Grant Palmer
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

      I do read nearly every post though more so as a way of getting perspective on life in the US as a wannabe authoritarian theocracy being challenged by protest against all the cries for an equitable society. The fact that the richest most powerful country cannot live up to the spirit of its constitution and what that does is a real life lesson in democracy, totalitarianism, racism, horseshoe theory and tolerance.

      I would love to see more reader posts like the reader photos, Maybe as a way of expanding this so the tank is nearly always empty is to expand it slightly. I write prose poetry and creative non fiction. Other readers are into the visual arts. Maybe allow readers to submit some of their work.

      And I particularly like the enforcement of Da Roolz

  83. amyt
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    I like it all. I sometimes wonder if you get any sleep with the large number of daily posts. Having said that might I suggest that you post only things that bring you joy. Don’t let this become drudgery. I would like more of your your travel blogs. Some new items I would like to see:
    Combined with Hilli dialogues more stories about your friends in Dobrynz (Andrej (sp?) Et al and your travels/visits there.
    Someone has already mentioned this. One on one interviews. I think this could be accomplished via Zoom and can be recorded with the Zoom link posted at a later time on WEIT. Or deleted.
    Stories from the various labs you have worked in as well as your own. I’m was in a research lab for 30+ years and I think many would profit from them. Many folks may think “Oh, another scientific finding. Big deal.” Not realizing the failures and vast amounts of time it takes to get there. Who collects those time points every 6 hours 24/7 anyway?Stories from the humorous to the serious.
    Most important thing is to take care of yourself and keep the hair!!!

  84. JoanL
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:07 pm | Permalink

    Suggestions:
    1. A discussion of good ideas / how to fix problems. Examples:
    –Racism: reconciliation? restitution? rubbing shoulders? paid community service in a diversified workforce? / Privilege-see youtube.com/watch?v=2KlmvmuxzYE for a nice demonstration.
    –Politics: A friend jokingly suggested that, here in the USA, once you finish your tax return, you should be able to apportion how your taxes will be spent. / Could polarization be decreased with a better understanding of core values … I think I’m liberal, but less government has appeal – would delving into this be beneficial?

    2. Science: I remember one post where readers were asked what they’d like to see investigated. I’d enjoy more of this.

    3. Paul Topping’s suggestion that posters could choose to include their location.

    Likes:
    –The comments from readers
    –Hili Dialogue
    –Book/Music/YouTube/Website recommendations
    –Science posts, even though they can be over my head.
    –Travel and food and their photos
    –Nature/Wildlife Photography
    –Political and social commentary

  85. Steve Pollard
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:25 pm | Permalink

    Cor, little chance of my tuppence-worth being noticed after all the great comments above.

    Still:

    a. I have on occasion suggested subjects for JC, one or two of which have been picked up, and many of which haven’t. This is just fine; but maybe JC could indicate the sort of things he is interested in posting and commenting on, and what he isn’t.

    b. Further to D Edwards at 32 above, it would be interesting to read an extended dialogue, longer than is practicable in the comments section of a post, between JC and someone with a different view on a current issue.

  86. GEORGE SEPSO
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 4:49 pm | Permalink

    Just a great blog.Informative and entertaining. Exactly what a lot us need to “diversify the hours” in these tedious times. Well, beer helps, too.

  87. Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

    I like the science, social/free will/atheistic discussions and humorous (quirky) bits the most, Jerry. Oh, and the critter/travel photos are also good. I guess that means just about all the content.

    thanks

    Rz

  88. Glenn McDonald
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    I like your political comments

  89. Gary Fletcher
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:31 pm | Permalink

    My favorites are the articles on excesses of the Left and other political comments, reader’s photos, good book reads, comments and reviews of entertainment and entertainers, cultural and social observations. Non-technical science. I love cats. Jesus and Mo.

  90. Wayne Y Hoskisson
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    I read WEIT everyday with rare exceptions so I am a satisfied reader with current topics. Sometimes when the science posts decrease a little I am concerned. Since some of my recent reading choices have come from this site (such as books from Matthew Cobb, David Reich, and Robert Sapolsky) you might do a weekly or twice monthly post about books. I would be interested in even short mentions of books you have been reading. As reader of WEIT it is obvious you are an avid reader if not a voracious one. I started college as an English major in 1964 so I am not just interested in science books. For example Thomas Wolfe will go into my stack because you enjoy his works. When you reach my age it is frightening how many books need reading.

  91. Glenda Palmer
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Why Evolution is True is a favourite website of mine. Over the past five years (I subscribed August 7, 2015) I have skimmed almost every post, did a good read of most plus shared some with others. Your choice of topics, the combination of regular features and the occasional surprises we get, pleases me.

    Favourites are science and evolution, science vs religion, atheism. I also really enjoy your approach to current affairs and civics – for example, as a Canadian these help me understand more clearly some American attitudes and values as well as free speech and wokeness. I love the cats and ducks – look forward to daily Hili dialogue and now the other kitties. Other topics I always read are more about your personal tastes – anything from boots to books to food and your travels. Regarding participants comments – because you monitor these this is the only site where I read most of them.

    Honestly, I don’t know where you find the time to do all this plus have a life. You are concerned about readership dropping. Could it be some people simply moving on – a natural culling? So many people are at home and online perhaps they are now looking for something new to them. These reasons plus the cultivated approach here as opposed to rude remarks and screeching now popular makes it an unlikely website for many. Probably there is nothing here you have not thought of yourself – but know how deeply you are appreciated by so many.

    I would be happy with more of the same, happy to check out anything you might like to experiment with. What might not work for me – well, I have a delete key, don’t I….

  92. drosophilist
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    Dear PCCE,

    I love your website! I especially enjoy the posts on politics (although I don’t know if “enjoy” is the right word to refer to the misdeeds of Agent Orange), philosophy, and the follies of the Ultra-Woke.

    I really love the tone of this website – courteous, thoughtful, rational, with a wonderful commentariat that stands in stark contrast with the cesspool found at some other websites [cough Ph*r*ng*l* cough].

    What I would like to see more of: maybe a regular book review feature? Maybe once a week or once a month (depending on how quickly you read) you could post a review of a book that you love, fiction or nonfiction. You have already posted many great book reviews, but it could become a regular feature of this website, like Caturday Felids. “PCCE’s Favorite Book of the [unit of time]”!

    Also, in addition to Caturday, maybe have an Honorary Felid of the Week post? You could put up pictures of owls, aka my favorite animals, aka Cats With Wings! I’m sure readers can suggest other Honorary Felids.

  93. Mark Joseph
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 7:39 pm | Permalink

    I’m with those who say, post what you want, it’s your site. We all have delete buttons for stuff that doesn’t interest us. But since you asked…

    Like best: science, science vs. religion, anti-woke and anti-right wing stuff (another classic liberal here), readers’ wildlife photos, book discussions.

    My only “complaint” is that there’s so much good stuff that I really don’t have time to read it all; especially the free will discussions. But, on the other hand, retirement in only eight months, 15 days, 21 hours, 21 minutes, 42 seconds (but who’s counting?), so that problem should take care of itself.

  94. Posted August 14, 2020 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

    This is one of the few sites I check daily. I like your balance of science, politics, art, culture and your own particular interests. I skim most everything, though I usually scroll past the food photos and have only stopped to read one or two Jesus and Mo’s. They’re good and I’m glad you post them, but I’m a little odd with cartoons–if the visual aspect doesn’t grab me I usually won’t read the text. The things I almost always read are the science posts, the Reader’s Wildlife Photos and your social, religion and political posts, particularly those regarding the Regressive Left. What I truly appreciate about those is that you consistently emphasize that you are critiquing from a liberal point of view. I’d imagine it could get tiresome to have to preface your criticisms so often, but it’s valuable because it makes it crystal clear that not all criticism of wokeism comes from the right. I also appreciate that you keep your comments section civil. On rare occasions it appears that you take offense when none is intended, but a few false positives are understandable when you’re being vigilant.

    One thing I would really like to see is a series of posts about your work in speciation. It’s such an important part of evolutionary theory and you are in a perfect position to lay out the basics for the lay person and fill in details by explaining your own research. I know you wrote a book on speciation years ago, but maybe doing a series of posts on the subject would eventually provide inspiration and material for another book? It would sure be enlightening for us folks in the peanut gallery!!!

    Content aside, I’d love to see WEIT have a layout that looked something like a magazine. You could have the most current post at the top and have space for the various categories of posts in smaller boxes on the page, with the most recent post in each category visible and the archive of such posts searchable by clicking on the box. It wouldn’t have to be that exact formula, but it would be nice if it was easier to find past articles, both recent and old.

    Lastly, thank you for the work you put into this! There would be a hole in my world if WEIT was to go away, but maybe you just need a break. No crime in that! If you don’t want the site to go dark, perhaps you could have a series of pre-written posts and ask Matthew Cobb if he could do some sort of daily greeting, and perhaps have a series of guest posts for a while. It doesn’t hurt to shake up your routine now and then and I’ll bet you’d come back refreshed and with a second wind. Heck, you could use the time to take Sam Harris up on his suggestion to try meditation! (I kid, unless it’s something you’d want to do.) We’d all miss you if you went away for a while, but I think people would understand.

  95. Jeff Chamberlain
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    I like all of it. I especially like the music posts.

  96. Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

    I’d like to see more of ‘where evolution is heading’ of all life on earth. For example my nephew has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. I read a few articles such as:
    https://hms.harvard.edu/news/autism-evolution
    But I’m interested in hearing about mutations both with humans and other life forms and what that mutation could mean in an evolutionary sense.

  97. FB
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

    I like a lot the “News of the day” bit. More, please.

  98. Torbjörn Larsson
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Likes:

    “Hili dialogue, science posts, words and phrases I abhor, music posts, and so on.”

    • Torbjörn Larsson
      Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:37 pm | Permalink

      Don’t forget cats/Caturdays!

  99. David Greenlees
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 9:53 pm | Permalink

    To be honest, the main reason I subscribed was for your science posts. I also like your take on religion (we chatted briefly after your talk in Edinburgh University, some years ago now) and have also enjoyed your travel and food posts.

  100. openidname
    Posted August 14, 2020 at 11:41 pm | Permalink

    I was going to name my top two or three features, but then I read your list of the regular ones, and I said, “Oh, I like that! And I like that. I forgot about that, I like that, too!” So I pretty much like them all.

    I’d like to hear your take on the rioting in Chicago, though. It seems odd that you haven’t commented on that. Unless I missed it?

  101. Roo
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:00 am | Permalink

    Definitely enjoy philosophy related posts and “the Left behaving badly” posts are sort of a guilty pleasure, as a part of me feels I should be less judgmental but a part of me likes the validation of going “See! See! It’s not just me who’s had these issues!”.

    If you’re looking for thoughts on new directions, I find evo psych super interesting but: a) Am not sure what you think about its legitimacy and b) Know it can be a charged topic (I feel like you have one side saying the idea itself is anti blank slate ergo evil, and the other saying “Evolution programmed women to be happiest when they’re barefoot and pregnant!” or whatever nonsense they want to project onto hunter gatherers.) Even so, I think there are aspects of it that seem as if they make a lot of sense. I was reading recently, for example, about how children tend to become extremely picky eaters at around age 2, when, historically, they would have been walking around independently and could have eaten something poisonous if not very picky about sticking to familiar tastes. I find concepts like that quite interesting.

  102. Roy Black
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 12:49 am | Permalink

    Please continue covering cancel culture—very important.
    Also critiques of religion apologists.
    Also new developments in evolutionary biology, and thr never-ending but essential debate with evolution deniers

  103. Matthew Jenkins
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:08 am | Permalink

    I like solicitations from readers. A while back, there was a day when readers were asked what achievement they were particularly proud of. Could we have that regularly? Maybe once a year?
    Also, could we have a ‘reader’s theory’ day occasionally, where we can submit a ‘my theory, which is mine’? Given the nature of the site’s visitors, there could be some genuinely interesting suggestions.
    I really miss Professor CC’s travel and food reviews, but with Covid, that will just have to wait.

  104. DutchA
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:19 am | Permalink

    Loving:

    + Duck posts (especially with ducklings since they are disappearing quickly in The Netherlands)
    + Articles about The Woke and Leftist behaving badly (to see what is going to happen in a few years in my country, which is already self destructing)
    + Science (above my pay grade but fascinating)
    + Readers pictures of wild life (gorgeous stuff)
    + Comment section

    Meh:

    – Food, travel, Hili

  105. Posted August 15, 2020 at 1:59 am | Permalink

    I like it all, but tales of your hairy, hippy student days and travels generally are excellent.

    Oh! More shots of insects – can’t get enough close up bug pix in my book.
    I love the readers’ corner area and not just b/c I was there once myself! My fellow readers trend “educated” and have interesting lives.
    There are not many high points to my day lately, but getting up at 3am and reading WEIT is surely one of them.
    D.A., J.D., NYC

  106. grasshopper
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 3:07 am | Permalink

    Things I don’t like about disqus – It defaults to ‘sort by best’. I prefer to sort by oldest so I can follow the devolpment of the comments.
    Maybe its because I always delete cookies.

    And Disqus annoys me with its announcements of ‘new comment below’ or ‘new comment above’ like I don’t that comment pages can accrue further comment.

    I might even say it leaves me diqusted.

  107. Peter
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    I like
    – Hili
    – cats, caturdays
    – ducks
    – wildlife
    – science
    – -your long hair

  108. Jens Walter
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 3:42 am | Permalink

    Hi Jerry,
    I#m an avid reader for years although I usually do not comment because I read your posts the next day in the morning when I check my email (I#m living in germany). And I love all of it! Not that I don’t have posts that I like more than others, but it is especially the mix that I like. I want to read about the unexpected, about things I didn’t know I could be interested in. That’s the point of it for me. So please, just keep on doing what you do. If I don’t like a subject, I don’t read the post in its entirety. That’s it, what else? Complain? That would be ridiculous, I think. I am really grateful for what you do, over the years I have found so much interesting stuff through your site. I can’t and I don’t expect everything to be equally interesting to me, that would be a miracle and we don’t deal in miracles, right? Beste Grüße aus Deutschland

  109. Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:30 am | Permalink

    I do not have any particularly strong views (on most things really!)… I really like the natural history & scientific posts. I think the posts on free speech etc are important, but where things are exclusively with a US slant I have less interest as I am not American.

    Now I am retired I in theory have more time but I no longer have normal internet on a PC, & I used to look at WEIT at lunchtimes at work. I have to say, there are loads more posts these days- it can be overwhelming especially longer posts, & reading on an iPhone does me head in after a while!

    I have been visiting WEIT for a decade or so now – I hope that will be so for many more years! 🤗

    • Dom
      Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:53 am | Permalink

      PS I recall you & maybe Greg saying that there were hundreds of posts that remained on draft form – perhaps you should have a sort through & put some up & delete the ones that will never make it?

      How about a colour change from red?! 👍

  110. Posted August 15, 2020 at 5:46 am | Permalink

    I’ve been coming hear almost from the start, and read it every morning the way many read a newspaper. I find US politics particularly interesting just now, and would welcome more discussion on that. However, I realise from reading the comments above that others would like less politics. Otherwise, I read just about everything, and come back from time to time during the day to see what others have to say.

    Just keep posting whatever you fancy (or I’ll shoot the Bengal – just kidding).

  111. Dave
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    I read this site every day. What I like most is the variety. Humor, science both hard and soft with integrity, philosophy, putting religion in its place, and editorials on current events and trends.

    It reminds me of my college days, the variety of different brown bag lunch lectures, and working in the lab with a wall full of far side cartoons, exchanging ideas with like minded students doing research work for professors that challenged me.

  112. Posted August 15, 2020 at 9:39 am | Permalink

    I found this site after reading Why Evolution is True, several years ago. I read the blog weekly but now retired read it daily. This site is often a springboard for other interests and enlightenment I purse. I share the cat cartoons with a dear friend as they give us good laughs. Love cats and all the cat pictures and stories. I like the intelligent political commentary, but like that it isn’t a main theme. I love science and nature so enjoy the articles that broaden my knowledge as well. I also enjoy the intellect of many of your readers and their well thought out comments and opinions. Your book helped me on my road to understanding. Your site carries that on.

  113. Caldwell Titcomb IV
    Posted August 15, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    I enjoy everything except the political stuff.

  114. Paul Woodcraft
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 4:58 am | Permalink

    Not so much a comment but a wondering. I have recently come across what appear to be interesting Evolutionary Psychology Articles to be published in reputable Psychology Journals. In your position, I appreciate that you wouldn’t want to be inundated with rubbish but some form of drop box so that you could glance & see if there is anything that sparks your interest to look at or mention in your blog might be helpful.

  115. Posted August 16, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    Thanks to everyone for their comments. Because there is such a diversity of opinions about what people like, I guess my best way forward, as many have suggested, is to keep doing what I’m doing. It’s a bit harder during the pandemic because the general malaise that’s striking everyone makes it harder to write.

    Thanks again!

    • Andrea Kenner
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:01 am | Permalink

      Like!

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 7:21 am | Permalink

      “… makes it harder to write“

      Time for Why Evolution Is True – the YouTube channel? The Podcast?

    • Julian Cattaneo
      Posted August 16, 2020 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

      Sorry I’m late — just want to say I agree with Jerry’s conclusion.

      (BTW, the e-mailed announcements of new postings frequently have all the info in the posting itself — so one may not go to the site and thus those eyeballs aren’t counted)

  116. Joe Baldassano
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    As with many of your followers, I thoroughly enjoy, and look forward to, the regular posts of your site. Some examples are, photos of readers, readers’ wildlife photos, Caturday felids, music posts, duck posts, hated words and phrases, science posts, cartoons, and my favorite, the Hili dialogue (please don’t do away with that). What I really like to see more of are science posts! “A real longneck: a 20-foot aquatic reptile of the Triassic with a none-foot neck” is a perfect example.

  117. Leon Carson
    Posted August 16, 2020 at 9:47 pm | Permalink

    I most appreciate your principled stance in defense of free speech
    Thank you

  118. David Fuqua
    Posted August 17, 2020 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Dr. Coyne,

    WEIT is a very important resource for me and I read it daily. I appreciate the progressive philosophy and emphasis on facts and reason, not on the amplification of popular views. And there is plenty of fun and entertaining stuff, too – photographs of nature and of other readers, music, art, and humor.

    More dogs would be nice, but then I’m a dog person.

  119. Andrew
    Posted August 17, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I would welcome more about the conflict between Religion and Science. Religionists want to co-opt science to further their religious ends. I would welcome more about how they should be addressed etc.

  120. Posted August 19, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I love your daily or your things that happened on this day post to your hilly dialogue I do you call it because it prompts me to research further if I don’t know what’s going on mostly in like the people that are born or events of the day. I do like your national holidays is well some of them are completely random but it’s also a nice break from the constant bad news that’s coming out of the United States

  121. Keith
    Posted August 19, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    This is easily my favorite website, and I cant think of much to recommend except for more of the same.
    But Jerry recently referred to Andrew Sullivan’s new blog and mentioned that Andrew’s popular “View from your window” segment will be returning. I always enjoyed reading the guesses from his readers and of course trying to figure out the location myself. I wonder if there would be anything wrong with “borrowing” that idea from Andrew and having something like it on this site?

    • Posted August 19, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

      I wouldn’t want to steal Andrew’s idea, as it is quite novel and he and his staff put a lot of work into it. Those who want to do that kind of identifying should really subscribe to his site.


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