Call for suggestions:

August 4, 2022 • 12:30 pm

I’m rethinking this website (no, I’m not at the point where I’ll give it up, although all the cool kids are doing podcasts—which I simply can’t do), and am asking readers what they’d like to see more of. Please don’t tell me what you want to see less of, or what you don’t like, as I’m sensitive today. Science posts don’t seem to be very popular, and, given that they’re the hardest posts to write, I’d like to know if people want more of those.

And of course there are other kinds of posts I could write about, but I’ve pretty much covered the gamut: wine, my life, music, and so on. I’m not trying to cater to readers’ whims to get clicks, but, truth be told, the usual run of posts has gotten a bit boring, and I’m looking for new directions.

Feel free to comment below, but don’t say stuff like, “I could do with fewer Caturday posts”!

Thanks.

173 thoughts on “Call for suggestions:

    1. I agree with EC and would appreciate seeing more science posts, particularly on the subject of evolution via NS.

    2. I very much enjoy the science posts, too. I’ve been reading your website for years, but rarely click on the actual posts/just read them on the page. Not much of a commenter, but I’ll make an effort to do so more often. The recent HGT post was fascinating.

      Truly – you write prolifically and on such a broad range of topics. Favorites for me are the science, Hili dialogues, duck posts, posts about past mentors (e.g. Lewontin), travel, any number of posts calling out shoddy lines of reasoning, etc… always interested to read whatever you put up.

  1. I for one love the science posts, especially the takedowns of breathless “Darwin is dead” pieces in the popular press. And when it’s science involving cats, that’s even better – as the co-owner of 7 or 8 (depending upon how you count), I am an avid consumer of all things feline.

    1. Autobiographical stories, especially those relating to university life and scientific work, stories about other scientists you’ve known and worked with, and science posts in general.

      1. Let me second that. Science memoirs seem to have fallen out of favor, and reflections on your experience in the scientific community (Dobzhansky’s academic grandson, for Chrisake) would be fascinating for many of use

        1. The trouble is frankness writing about those still alive. I want to read warts & all, but people would be offended. That is why for me Richard Dawkins’s memoirs were comparatively dull.

  2. To be honest, one of the main reasons why I am drawn to this website is because you offer an expert’s opinion on the science news of the day. I really like your critiques of papers/pieces that suggest evolution is not random or that we need a new theory of evolution, for example. But I also enjoy lighter content such as your wine suggestions or posts about political and social topics. So there is not much that I would change!

  3. I like the science posts. I usually do read them. I don’t usually comment, because I usually don’t have anything to add. But if you’re judging the popularity by the number of comments, I wonder if you’re arriving at the right conclusion. I would enjoy more posts explaining nuts-bolts stuff, such as “When you push flies, what do you do exactly?” I know the answer, but I wonder how many of your readers do.

    1. I agree with Joe, I read and enjoy the science articles, but rarely have particular comments or questions.

      1. Ditto.

        Also, my science is quite basic, especially in certain areas. I’m lucky enough to be able to contact Jerry directly if I have a question, but I bet there are a few of us who are ignorant in certain areas and could do with his ability to explain complex things clearly.

        There’s a show on TV in NZ right now called ‘The Secret of Bones’ fronted by an evolutionary biologist. It’s fascinating. I’m loving it. There was one a couple of weeks ago about some of the animals unique to the Galapagos Islands. That was excellent too. (Both on BBC Earth.) Jerry’s upcoming trip to the Galapagos Islands would give him heaps of material (if he wanted to write about it).

  4. I personally like the science posts, and the posts pointing out the scientific illiteracy that gets in the way of how journalists often report on scientific findings.

  5. More: straight bio, esp with regard to genetics and heredity and race as scientific, not social, constructs; more science vs. insane woke-ism; more medical topics; controversies in bio between two esteemed biologists, say; and the like. Cosmology (even though not your area, but quoting major scientists). Cancer issues. And the like.

  6. I like the science posts, though I’m guilty of reading more of the other stuff. The important thing about having part of the core purpose be serious science is that it provides credibility when you extend your reasoning and wisdom into other areas.

    1. Yes, that’s the issue. They get few comments, and they also get fewer views than other posts, even though they are by far the hardest posts to write. Surely readers would have something to say if they actually rea them!

      1. Fewer people have the expertise to comment sensibly on a serious science post, so fewer will. (And if there are fewer comments that can register as fewer “views”, since people will re-click a page to read new comments.)

        1. I agree with @Coel. Like a lot of the comments before me, I really like the critical science pieces. I have valued your attention to all the NZ science debates. The critical science writing is why I started to subscribe to WEIT (though I now often use the Hili Dialogues and the cartoons to relax; I also love the photos of birds and critters). Please don’t interpret number of comments as a measure of “popularity”. Not all of us are Gen-Z and used to publically saying thumbs-up to everything we find satisfying.

      2. I enjoy the science posts but do not comment because I am not a scientist. I took biology for non-majors as an undergrad. Some of them are less challenging for non-scientists than others, if they focus on woke issues interfering with education or research.

        1. Design/marketing background here.And, as mentioned before, comments such as “Wow!” or “I had no idea” are not particularly useful or add to a conversation.

      3. Some reports on this topic previously have suggested there is an issue with people getting the post by “a subscription type thing” (it’s not a technique I use, so I don’t understand or remember the various details), and reading it there, which doesn’t register “properly” as a page view.
        You might be able to mitigate this – or at least exclude it as an explanation for the low hit-count on “science” posts – by encouraging people to post a “sub” comment, largely to … interrogate the behaviour of the “view counter” and see if that does explain the paucity of views.
        The science posts – and Caturday – are the site’s USPs (Unique Selling Points). If I want to hear about American politics or food and wine, there are a million and seven other places I can go to, to get that. It’s actually really hard to avoid – I can only think of one regular visiting spot where it isn’t a major problem.
        BTW, you have mail about a Jewish incident in Spain.

        1. Agree completely about “a subscription type of thing”. I discover almost all of my news using RSS and the pages I see this way don’t register as HTTP “views”. In the case of WEIT pages, I always click through from my RSS reader to open them in the browser; that way I get counted. Like almost everyone above I love the science articles but don’t have the expertise to comment.

      4. I think the number of views may be understated if there are others out there like me who just leave WEIT open on their browser and don’t “click” on individual articles when the notifications pop up.

  7. Your science posts are first class and worth saving for future reference. Please don’t stop them. You may consider a weekly short review of books written about science topics, with your recommendations for or against reading them.

  8. I enjoy all your posts – the science and atheist posts – plus Hili, of course. thanks for all your hard work. Whatever you do will be interesting.

  9. More cats, more ducks. I especially like posts on animal behavior, but the genetics fascinate me, too.

    More open threads. The conversation about readers’ best and worst experiences was incredible.

    I would also like to see some guest posts. The readership here has some amazing expertise over a variety of subjects, and it might take the onus off you once in a while when you’re away, not feeling well, or just tired.

    More science posts, which I read but don’t comment on because I’m pretty much out of my depth there and don’t feel like I have anything intelligent to add.

    More discussion of possible solutions to societal problems. The “wokeness”, and the avalanche of hideous behavior from the right could use some positive counterweight.

    L

  10. I like to read your views on fiction and the arts in general. Your biographical details too. I think you have a very readable autobiography in you but perhaps you are too young for that.

      1. Same here. I’d love to hear more about Jerry’s parents and his upbringing.

        I love the wine segment and learned a great deal from Jerry, so I know roughly the good stuff to buy as gifts. Some are not available where I live though (Ontario).

  11. I love the science and philosophy posts; that was the primary reason I started coming here. Of course, I love anything to do with wildcats.

  12. More of the same! Perhaps not helpful? I particularly like posts that combine issues of the day (often controversial ones) with your expertise in biology (sex/gender) and science (Maori ways of knowing). I suspect one of the appealing aspects of your work here is the diversity of the topics you cover. So I wouldn’t try to be too narrow.

  13. There are never too many cats, or ducks. I especially enjoy your science posts and I have saved a number of them for further reference. Your most recent ones on social contagion, hormone blockers, and lactase persistence were outstanding and have helped me to better understand the issues involved. I always read the science posts, but haven’t commented as I have nothing to add.

  14. Maybe instead of a daily rundown of This Day in History (which is great, but no doubt time-consuming), you can expand on one This Day event and offer more cultural or scientific context.

  15. I particularly value posts on science history—like those on evolution, on Dick Lewontin (now part of history), and the guest post by Cobb on “what if Franklin and Wilkins had been able to get along”.

  16. I particularly enjoy, and read, the science posts, although some (luckily very few) are somewhat above my pay grade.
    Science post are most difficult to write, they are also most difficult to make a contributive comment upon.

  17. I went to Nature Ecology & Evolution and browsed their current articles. Here is one that fascinated me with terms that would baffle most readers but which you likely know, such as the following:

    1. purifying selection
    2. inbreeding depression

    I think it would be presumptuous to ask you to post an essay digesting this or any random article, but I often read something and wonder what PCC(e) thinks or how PCC(e) might talk about some biological concept in plain language on WEIT.

    Genomic evidence that a sexually selected trait captures genome-wide variation and facilitates the purging of genetic load

    Abstract
    The evolution of costly traits such as deer antlers and peacock trains, which drove the formation of Darwinian sexual selection theory, has been suggested to both reflect and affect patterns of genetic variance across the genome, but direct tests are missing. Here, we used an evolve and resequence approach to reveal patterns of genome-wide diversity associated with the expression of a sexually selected weapon that is dimorphic among males of the bulb mite, Rhizoglyphus robini. Populations selected for the weapon showed reduced genome-wide diversity compared to populations selected against the weapon, particularly in terms of the number of segregating non-synonymous positions, indicating enhanced purifying selection. This increased purifying selection reduced inbreeding depression, but outbred female fitness did not improve, possibly because any benefits were offset by increased sexual antagonism. Most single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) that consistently diverged in response to selection were initially rare and overrepresented in exons, and enriched in regions under balancing or relaxed selection, suggesting they are probably moderately deleterious variants. These diverged SNPs were scattered across the genome, further demonstrating that selection for or against the weapon and the associated changes to the mating system can both capture and influence genome-wide variation.

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-022-01816-w

  18. To paraphrase the title of an essay by novelist Philip Roth about literature: science posts got you into this mess, and science posts are going to have to get you out of it.

    Keep those science posts comin’.

  19. PCCE, yours is the first website I read after the KW Citizen (news from my former home). And like Jim in post #15, I am drawn to your site because there is no other site on the web with the diversity I find in your site. Cats, politics, food, travel–and more: science! Please keep at it.

  20. Don’t change a thing, Jerry! True, I don’t read about cats, but so what? The range of your interests is amazing.

    Fred

  21. I have been reading your website from almost the beginning. I have only one suggestion; don’t feel obliged to follow too set a routine. Just post what interests you that day. Don’t feel you have to post on certain subjects every day or every week just because that is what you have done in the past.
    I follow several other sites and very few post as often as you do.

  22. I really learn from the science posts. I’m afraid I don’t know enough to comment on them, but I read every detail through and try to understand as best I can. I find the whole website so enriching, I can only praise and treasure every post I receive. I reread many of them at a later time when I can. I also end up reading various books resulting from reading some of the science posts.

    The comments are enlightening also.

  23. I agree with Jim in that I love the diversity of the website. Sometimes I read the science posts (especially about evolution, astronomy, animal behavior), but have no science background, so I cannot offer any intelligent comments.

    I would also like to see more posts about atheism, culture wars, travel, plants, and transgender issues (through science you have changed my mind about the fairness of having transgender women compete on women’s sports teams). And there can never be enough cat coverage–Hili, Caturday, etc.

    Also welcome: book reviews, cartoons, comments from G*d, and miscellaneous tweets about all manner of issues. I used to love the miscellaneous posts from Grania–maybe something like that from another of your atheist friends? I very much appreciate occasional longer posts from readers with photos of animals, birds, plants, etc. from all over the world (the ones from South Africa were great, as is the Sunday collection of birds).

  24. I think it would be fascinating to have a feature based on a format similar to the Beyond Belief conversations hosted by TSN. Could be written, video or a combination of both. I realize this would be a huge undertaking, but wishes never hurt. It would be fascinating to hear of new findings and changes in points of view from the many notables that participated. Especially given how much more polarized politics has become and how that polarization has permeated nearly all aspects of society.

    1. … though it would be good to avoid writing about squid or spiders. That way madness lies.

      Ducks, cats and fruitflies are fine.

  25. The science is what first brought me here. Other topics are interesting as well but please keep the science coming!

  26. One of the first emails I read every day is the link to your website. Please keep doing what you’re doing.

  27. I enjoy the posts about music, literature, and movies, since (unlike science) these are topics I can speak to (not with any authority, mind you, but with enthusiasm and interest).

  28. I come for the science. Some of your science posts are too technical for me to understand (like Roz’s comment above). I am curious about the natural world, but I have taken only two intro science classes in college and that was 55 years ago.

    I would like more about determinism which I can accept but hardly understand.

    And cats, food, wine, travel, art, books, politics, photos, humor. Your site is favorite of mine. I was going through “withdrawal” when you were posting from Antarctica!

    1. … I have taken only two intro science classes in college and that was 55 years ago.

      That’s plenty to mansplain science to someone. 🙂

      Though true expertise comes with reading two book reviews, one magazine article, and watching a YouTube video.

  29. You are a morning read for me most every day. I’ll join the chorus and say that your science posts, as well as your recent ‘woke vs. science’ posts get the most time from me, right after scanning the fabulous insect and bird pictures you post. You make difficult science topics approachable for this economist-by-schooling guy. And the writer who submitted material on the subject of honeybees was did a fascinating job of telling their story. The only topic I follow closely that is not on your site (much) is national politics. If you cared to dive even deeper into that, I think your pragmatic, fact-based, non-religious skepticism could be valuable.

  30. While I respect the science posts, what interests me more is the science-minded skepticism directed towards pseudoscience, postmodernism, fad theories, Creationism, Spirituality, social engineering, and other modern foibles. I’m more likely to read and/or comment on a post critiquing Indigenous Ways of Knowing being introduced into New Zealand science classes or males who believe they are women being allowed into spaces reserved for women/females than an interesting case of evolutionary descent.

    The Candle-In-the-Dark skeptic issues are all topical hot-button topics too many liberals either endorse or refrain from introducing — sometimes because they really can’t afford to. Diverging views on CRT or the role of Faith in Science bring out passionate, often angry advocates and detractors & sometimes form some interesting areas of agreement. As the old phrase puts it, they’re “where the action is.”

    You do it well; I’d personally like you to keep it up.

  31. You do a great job of covering your current travels, but how about past travels? You could encourage others who’ve been to those places to share their experiences in the comments.

  32. I really enjoy your posts and try to read your daily post daily, or at least catch up shortly thereafter. I greatly appreciate your posts on free will. Those sparked a profound personal change in me that has immensely improved my mental health, my behavior and attitudes towards others and generally improved my life. Thank You!
    I like your posts regarding history and science, your wittiness and mostly everything you post.
    When you’re feeling more robust, if you are interested, I can share the things I skip over.
    Otherwise, keep up the great work! I think you have a daily, beneficial impact on a lot of people.
    I rarely visit your website, BTW, rather I read your posts from NetNewsWire, a great RSS app.
    Thank you again & deeply for your writing. I wish you continued happiness & contentment!

  33. I like the rundown of what happened on this day in the past but would be able to live without it if it gives you more time to do science posts. Similarly, if you must cut back or change, you might be able to cut back on the general news of the day (e.g., Ukraine) and focus more on science news of the day. All that said, I do like the broad range of topics that we discuss here and don’t want the site to become too narrow or specialized.

    I also think that the best posts are those that have a political bent to them, particularly where science is misrepresented for political purposes. Discussing those topics helps me hone my own argumentation skills, which I then use whenever I have the chance—which is surprisingly often since science is so often in the news.

    Most important is that your site allows people to contribute and discuss. I’m sure that’s not unique, but it’s probably not all that common.

  34. The science posts, along with your often amusing anecdotes, are my favorites. As others have noted, lack of comments on science posts may just be due to the fact that most readers (including me) are not biologists, so rarely have anything to add/question.

    You mentioned that science posts also get fewer views…not sure how views are counted, but I almost never have to click on the title of the post to see the entire post, so I don’t know if scrolling through it gets counted by wordpress as a “view”.

  35. I enjoy (and of course sometimes disagree with) your science posts, As a scientist I find them thought-provoking and sometimes unique. I also read Hili dialogues frequently. I am amazed at your output. It must take tremendous effort. Mind your health. Thanks for what you do.

  36. First, please, please, please don’t do podcasts. I can’t stand the things. Without seeing a face, my mind wanders. And I much prefer reading. I know I”m an outsider here, but I fid the way everything on the Internet is going to podcasts and video to be very depressing.

    As for subjects, yes, more science. I for one would love to hear how you actually work with fruit flies. They are so tiny (My composter is full of them, if you need any…), I can’t imagine it.

    1. I enjoy listening to informative, enlightening podcasts that lay off the insipid, fatuous, distracting background music (more and more charactizing NPR’s offerings – I guess that’s what more and more of its audience requires) and abjure unctuous pronouncements laced with and suffucated by cloying, ingratiating tones. They nicely get me through accomplishing the chores of daily life. I can neither watch any visual presentations nor read while accomplishing such activities.

  37. I come to your site every working day for a daily dose of sanity, and so I agree with the above commenter who said that whatever you want to write that will keep you writing this website is what I want you to write. I love science in general, so I definitely like the science posts, but the broader news/politics writing is fun and of course the cat-related posts are great.

    I must say, I’m GLAD you don’t want to do a podcast. While podcasts can be interesting, they also tend to run one into the next, and also, for those of us with hearing and ear-related problems (not to severe, but present) the written word will always rule. As it should.

  38. I like your science posts a LOT! I hope you’ll continue them from time to time. Often, I admit, I relax with the cat or wildlife photos or the Hili dialogues.

    1. Clearly from a Russian (or Chinese) troll factory trying to destroy the West and all things good.

  39. While my husband Leslie is the one who regularly posts, I really enjoy all of your science posts. When I found your site, it compelled me to buy your books. Having become an atheist at age 10 after a few years of catholic brainwashing, Faith vs.Fact was an excellent reaffirmation and refresher. I also appreciate reading other’s comments and have picked up a few great books based on Readers’ recommendations. I also recommend reading Alice Dreger’s Galileo’s Middle Finger which discusses the importance of scholars getting at uncomfortable truths.
    More importantly, post what you want. Keep up the invaluable contributions. After I open the news, your web site is the next one I open before other web sites. Many thanks.

  40. I think the science posts have value as a resource that will live forever on the internet, even if the biology posts are way over my head (I didn’t take any biology beyond whatever grade 10 science covered).

    I think the biggest value you bring is a consistent evidence-based approach to hot button cultural issues from the left. There isn’t enough good faith critique of the left’s excesses. Where there is critique, so much of it is in bad faith because too many people of good faith are afraid of professional repercussions to speak out.

    As a previous commenter said, don’t feel pressured to produce so much content. I look at your daily output and it looks like a full-time job to me! Write about what interests you. One or two posts a day is easily enough to keep readers coming back and engaged while lessening your workload.

  41. I read your entire website every day, right after checking the weather forecast. I enjoy reading everything you write, including the science posts, but don’t have the expertise to add anything germane. The breadth of your interests, from cats to cowboy boots (and did I mention science?) is what makes the site so attractive. Another thing I really enjoy is reading the thoughtful comments, governed by Da Roolz. The open thread from a few days ago was incredible. I miss a few commenters from days gone by, like Ben Goren, but others arise to add to the mix. I’m pretty much a lurker myself, but am a devoted fan. Please keep it up as long as it gives you any pleasure.

  42. Could the site expand the meaning of “Cat” a tad…to include tigers? More pics and videos of tigers, please! And about their life, etc.

  43. I like the science posts. Personally I don’t care if they get fewer clicks because I don’t think that’s a good measure to use.

    1. (should have said “comments”, not “clicks”). I learn more from things I may not feel qualified to comment on.

  44. I really like all of your scientific post and pictures of Jews (and others) where killed by Hitler and his Nazi goons. I’m sure you know that Jesus was born a Jew, lived as a Jew and executed by Herod as a Jew I also love the pictures of cats and dogs they send to you. Keep up the good work

    1. Executed by Herod? Because you prefer some particular apocryphal text to the canonical gospel texts? Or some other reason? Maybe just a slip for intended Pontius Pilate?

    2. Herodian kings were in origin Edomite, descended from Jewish converts. The Romans did crucifixions & capital punishment so I believe rather than Jewish authorities. I am not clear which of that complicated dynasty you refer to…

  45. I love your science posts too — don’t let clicks overly affect your judgment — there are so many kinds of goodness that cannot be quantified! I’m also so glad you don’t want to do a podcast — I do believe the ease of blabbing is cheapening the discourse and encouraging some of our best thinkers to blab instead of thinking harder and formulating cogent sentences — so glad you won’t be one of them! And thank you for all your work — it is hugely appreciated. I suppose I’d suggest writing more about brains, any aspect, for what that’s worth — after all, they’re our (brains’) favorite organs….
    .

  46. I’m a relatively new subscriber, and I like your science posts. I shared your recent post – Animal pollination of a seaweed – with a friend.
    And I’ve recently been discussing free will with many of my friends.
    I sympathize with what may perhaps a bit of fatigue – perhaps you have already weighed in on the most interesting topics. That happened to me with a podcast series.
    As a newbie, I will continue to read with your posts daily.
    Thanks, Jerry, for doing this!

  47. I join the majority here, in that I look forward to your science posts, and enjoy them when they appear. I am almost never in a position to comment without making an idiot of myself, but that doesn’t mean I can’t read, learn and inwardly digest. Please keep them coming.

    I appreciate that it must take a lot of time and effort to produce an insightful and reasoned article on a complex scientific issue. Might it be worth considering sub-contracting some of them? Maybe by highlighting an interesting article, either one you’ve noticed yourself or one that a reader has drawn to your attention, and inviting some of the many scientists who follow this site to provide a critique?

    Apart from that, I applaud your indefatigable criticism of woke nonsense and anti-scientific woo. Please keep that coming as well.

    1. Pretty much this!

      As several others have commented, judging the science posts by the number of views and/or comments undervalues how much they are appreciated.

      And, of course, it’s your wide and varied interests that are a large part of the appeal of this site – so as Coel said above at #31, “whatever inspires you to write on the day!” (As it happens, I’m with Coel on spiders, too!)

  48. The first post I looked at was the one about the long time docents at The Art Institute of Chicago being fired for political reasons. The post was promoted by google, I was unaware of your site before that. I am interested in any and all visual design topics- urban design, architecture, fine and commercial art. Those don’t seem to be issues that interest you especially, but you asked for opinions so I’ll take you at your word.

    Agree with others you can continue with science topics- mixing demanding posts for your peers with some for-the-layperson posts for the rest of us.

  49. I’m a big fan of the Science posts but I also understand that they might be arduous. I’m here for the religious take-downs and the free will discussions. I’ve read both your books but it might be fun to post regular snippets from them to jog our memories. I am very grateful for your posts and I look forward to them and they have taught me a great deal. Thank you!

  50. What about posts on language, writing, writing style and such? Your posts on phrases you detest seem to be very popular. You’re such a good writer that any insights on how you approach writing and how you’ve cultivated this skill would be interesting. And your prolific output is astonishing. How do you manage it? Especially, how do you manage it considering that yours are always high-quality posts? Do you spend more time writing than reading?

    Topics on which you’ve changed your mind? What would make you change your mind on something—on affirmative action, for instance? What sort of evidence would make you reconsider free will? Can you conceive of any evidence that would make you accept the existence of a personal god? (For my part, I can’t quite imagine what could induce me to accept either.) What about other subjects you feel fairly certain about?

    What about more conjectural stuff, tentative notions that you are not at all sure about but would like to throw out there anyway, to stimulate thought and to start a discussion with your readers maybe? I know you’ve recently done that with affirmative action, and I believe that you regularly show interest in your readers’ take on topics that you may not have a firm opinion on. But perhaps you could expand the approach to a wider range of subjects?

    What about an occasional AMA (“ask me anything”) post? It wouldn’t have to be in real-time. It could be a post where you just ask readers for questions on anything, and then a few days later you’d post your replies to the questions you deemed more interesting.

  51. Might you serialize the children’s book you were planning (and writing?) a couple-three years back?

  52. Good morning Jerry. I like the science posts and read most of them. I seldom comment on science posts because I am not learned enough. I appreciate the work that you do and I know that writing takes time so I understand if you want to lessen your workload a bit. Thank you and keep up the good work.

  53. While I admit that some subjects seem over my head, such as the free will discussions, or those related to the inner workings of postgraduate education, I read them all, and generally learn something.
    The community discussion is valuable and sort of unique, in the current climate.

    I do imagine that the site is a lot of work, both in the pressure to produce daily content, and the work of moderating and excluding the worst of the mad ravings that I presume come regularly. I, at least, appreciate that effort.

    I was at Cooper’s BBQ the other day, and noticed that there were no signed photos of Evolutionary Biologists on the wall of celebrities. I guess you don’t think of yourself that way.

  54. How about, More Caturday type posts! More cats! Haha. No, seriously. I think it should stay the same, as much as you can. If you veer off into something more specialized, then yeh, get more science-y. No, I’m sure they are not as widely popular, but you do it well! Thanks for all you do, Jerry!

  55. I read the science, I don’t always completely understand the science and rarely feel qualified to comment. I like your comments on others science, always interesting to have an inside view. I like cats more than ducks and that will get me banned! The Holocaust information reminds me that we live in a difficult world and I feel that remembering the people you show in some small way adds to their humanity.

  56. Matthew Yglesias on Substack does this thing where he solicits “ask me anything” questions from readers early each week, then picks his favorite few questions and answers them on Friday. Maybe you could do something like this? I bet it would be interesting!

    Also, how about more book reviews (fiction and/or nonfiction)?

    As always, thank you for your wonderful website!

  57. I want to comment as I am pretty much a daily consumer of WEIT, eagerly awaiting 0730 ET to put aside my morning wapo and click to read Hili with breakfast. But It turns out that I will just reiterate much of what has been said by commenters above: as I also am not a Gen Z’er, i do not feel a need to comment on everything and normally do not comment unless i have something to say that i think adds value to a post or other comments; the science and philosophy including wokism (yes i know it is more of a religion) and philosophy of science posts have been very important to me and many of my friends in bringing a trusted viewpoint and lists of sources to help us understand contemporary questions and issues that are often just muddled by the various media and politicians. You have provided awareness of AFA, FIRE, the chicago Principles and Kalven Report, Substack,Rauch, Bari Weiss, Lukianoff, Haidt, Pinker, Matthew, to name a few and their very important original writings. All of this is important for those of us outside of metropolitan or university environments and their ongoing lecture series. Weit is an incredible public service and I am continually amazed by and appreciate your dedication to analysis of such a broad range of contemporary issues. When he was a visiting fellow at the IAS at Princeton, my brother once said of a colleague he met there: “this guy can create stuff faster than i can understand it!”. I have felt that way about your analyses more than once as i must actually study a number of posts to understand. Bottom line: my favorites are science, philosophy, and politics. Thank you again for this incredible public service.

    1. I forgot to mention: And posts on separation of church and state! And also the importance of a number of the subject matter expert commenters in so many areas. You get things started with a postand many of the commenters take us further with their unique knowledge.

  58. I would like to see any new findings in science, space and archaeology news if you have those connections. I really enjoy your website.

  59. I like the science posts and do read some of them, though I’m rarely well enough to comment now. Of course my favorite subjects are the cat topics; I also enjoy the ducks, wildlife, and anything about animals.

  60. WEIT is the second website I open every day. It used to be first….. but now there is WORDLE.

    To be honest, the hardest part of my day is the Holocaust Memorial tweets. I find myself calculating the ages of the victims, and start comparing my life at that age with the terrible reality of the victims.

    Everyday it breaks my heart. Please don’t stop sharing those. I’ve never watched Schindler’s List…. I honestly don’t think I’m emotionally strong enough to get through it. But these tweets are incredibly important, and I am incredibly grateful that you’ve made them part of the WEIT experience.

    1. Yes. I second paul’s comment on the holocaust section. In the 50’s when the war was still fresh in the minds of all Americans, we did not need to be reminded. But now the horrors need to be affirmatively remembered. And these pictures allow us to consider the lives of these individuals for a short but finite time each day.

  61. Although their number is decreasing, I believe that “polymaths” (our host is an example) play an important role in the development of science. And they may be very important when science might be derailing. I don’t know yet what to think about the articles by Glenn Borchardt in Medium (articles are free). He argues that the Big Bang theory is in fact a religious idea (remember: Georges Lemaitre was a Catholic priest).
    See: https://medium.com/@glennborchardt/why-the-big-bang-universe-can-never-be-older-than-13-8-billion-years-bbb48b4f5e19

  62. I come for the science, and for the watchdog service you perform respecting what Douglas Murray is calling the “War on the West,” and “The Madness of Crowds,” with particular attention to the erosion of liberal values within our crucial institutions—academia, the media, and corporate worlds.

  63. I am for all science posts and would not like to see them reduced. Especially interested in evolutionary biology, although I am a retired paleontologist. Gilbert Klapper

  64. I do like the woke/anti-woke stuff you include – particularly the NZ/Maori science drama. But I like the whole site and read it every day with much enjoyment. (more than I can say for the websites I actually WRITE for. heheheh)
    D.A.
    NYC

  65. Another vote for continuing the science posts, especially on topics related to evolution. I also very much appreciate the anti-wokism and cultural warrior posts. Thank you for what obviously takes a great deal of very time-consuming effort.
    -mgd

    1. Wouldn’t want you to change anything. The first thing I read in the morning is your Hili dialogue. What the hell, just bought some red wine from the Rhone yesterday based on your recommendation. Most likely not in your price range but will give it a go tonight.I hope my punctuation is to your standards. May have missed a comma or two.

  66. Whatever you prefer to write about is fine with me, Jerry. I enjoy the eclectic nature of your website and will continue reading as long as it exists. Many thanks.

  67. I enjoy your posts about the English language, literature, and pieces related to current events.

  68. I enjoy your posts about science vs. religion the most. I also enjoy your academic freedom posts, but too much gets tedious. Also, you could show more nudity.

    1. Perhaps you could specify the “too much” that gets tedious. If tedium rears its head, perhaps the solution is to skip a given post.

      As I recall, a couple of years ago PCC(E) did favor us with a photo of him climbing a small mound/dune. Or did you mean something else?

      1. It seems that sometimes I encounter several of the academic freedom posts in a single sitting. I’m interested to know about the state of academic freedom, but not every case. Time is a limited resource. I’d prefer that Dr. Coyne spend more of it on science vs. religion posts, and give an occasional update about cases where academic freedom is under threat.

        It’s the Internet. Cats and nudity. We get enough of cats. What’s the confusion?

  69. IMO, I like the variety of all things Jerry. Science? Yes. Felids? Sure. Grumpy opinions? Please. I think many readers share a similar mindset.

  70. Your post is my first read almost every morning including the comments. I seldom comment, but I do enjoy your science-based entries. In addition, I love the cats, ducks and other topics. Please keep it up. I’m sure that you are read around the world — certainly including here in the Land of Oz.

  71. I started visiting this website when it launched for the science posts. Though I also enjoy most everything else on the site, the science articles remain my favorite aspect. Thank you for years of interesting reading.

  72. Your “lounge” site will go down on record as a counter to the ascine, ridiculous excesses of today’s culture. History will know not all were dickheads and civil behaviour is not dead.
    For me, it’s the big picture that needs to be kept on the horizon. This is what you do at WEIT and I feel nothing needs “fixing” other than more of the same but not. As in, criticism, updated science and explainations do not sit still and revision and calling out is important in themselves. Some want to go numb and dumb and some don’t, they want to remain passionate till the end! This includes young and older of our species.
    All this stimulation with the thinking process and understanding via posts and comments
    (smarty pants) humour! is all good stuff personally and passionately communicated, what the hell else could we ask for.
    The usual, unusual, surprises, opinion, facts, truth, care, and above all, trust, is what I ask for.

  73. More posts on science policy would be nice. What are the main problems with U.S. science and how can it be improved?

  74. I enjoy most of your posts, especially science and social commentaries, and would appreciate more of the later two..

  75. Science, food, wine, music, philosophy, religion, da nooz, and persiflage (I learned that word —and a thousand more— reading WEIT). They’re always great.

  76. Science posts are good. Your take on ‘da nooz’ is always engaging including the idiocy on the far left.
    Mostly I’m a faithful reader. Thanks.

  77. Bringing up the rear here, I’ve been nodding my head in assent to most of the previous comments. That said, I would suggest that you return to and refresh your original reason for creating this site, namely, evolutionary biology, and going forward to interweave and develop the theme of WEIT with the theme of Faith vs. Fact. If you were to come out with updated editions of both of these books, what would you change? Really, this website could be a continuous updating of these two books.

  78. Jerry, you once said that the American Humanist Association was “lame”. I agree. WEIT is a far better “humanist” website because of your secular focus.
    For the first time in American history the wind is at our backs but the AHA is leaderless internally when it could be a leader in the secular humanist movement. They aren’t openly secular.
    WEIT comments on secular humanism might shake them out of their stupor.

  79. I concur with many previous posters as well. I enjoy your science posts; I am a retired chemist, not a biologist. I initially found your site from a science topic search. I also like your philosophy of science posts.

    I rarely comment on any posts unless I think I have something significant and different to say. Most of the time, another commenter beats me to it, lol.

    I also appreciate the anti-wokeness, free speech, academic freedom, anti gender-extremism, government/religion separation, and lefty criticism of the left’s excesses. I am almost embarrassed to call myself an old lefty since so much on the left today is simply batcrap crazy. In fact, you were the first to alert me to the emerging nuttiness from the left in academia. Critical theory proponents, especially queer theory, used to be the lunatic fringe. Alarmingly, that’s no longer the case. Seeing a rational, thoughtful, lefty perspective on current sociopolitical issues is extremely refreshing, and I have shared many of your posts with like-minded people who appreciate them as well.

    Most of the free will/determinism is over my head.

    ALWAYS MOAR KITTEHS!

    PCCE, I appreciate the enormous time and effort you commit to your blog/site. I admire your eclectic range of topics. Please don’t start a podcast! As a previous commenter wrote, the written word rules.

    Thank you for all that do for us, your readers.

  80. your posts are full of humanity, warmth, tolerance and kindness. whatever you write i read. i look forward to seeing your ducks, witnessing your compassion, reading about religion and science, about music and wine. Please continue. My mornings (life even) would be much emptier without you

  81. Dear PCC(E), hi Jerry,
    I just love WEIT exactly the way it is. It’s the first thing I read in the morning (over in Europe, that’s why I’m always a day late …). My favorites: Hili Dialogue, Cats, Science … The only improvement, which is impossible, I know: more d*gs. I’m grateful for everything you do. So keep on. Please.

  82. Hello Jerry,
    I just came to your blog in last few months or so. I love it esp. the science posts (am an active mol.biol. bench rat in UK). Not a big cat fan sorry. I’ll admit they are pretty, but the wildlife slaughter….:-(
    Everything else is great.
    Hope you are getting a lot of love for the blog, you deserve it. Please keep it up if you can.
    cheers,
    Andy Hamilton

  83. Don’t change a thing! Your website is a fascinating, entertaining, and informative expression of a perceptive, smart, and, yes, fascinating and entertaining mind and personality.

  84. I love your website as is, in particular when you offer your views or takes on all topics. I enjoy the variety you have here. I do not comment on the science posts as I feel my ignorant comments would be of no use. (I guess it is a self-confidence problem of mine.) I look forward to your website every day, and your efforts have enriched my life! I learn so much. I am so grateful, been a reader for over a decade

  85. You have created an amazing amount of high quality content here. Perhaps you could look back at older posts to discuss if and how your opinion has changed or whether predictions made have come to pass. Not a lazy “greatest hits” post but a sincere re-examination of what was important to you and your readers 5-10 years ago.

    On another note, I love the posts on books. I have gotten more great recommendations from this site than any other. You have cultivated the best online community I am aware of. Thanks for all you do.

  86. I enjoy your thoughts about free will as well as current social issues such as free speech, for instance.

  87. • More reader surveys: I feel like I “know” many of the regulars, and value their collective insight. Can’t say the same for most other surveys which don’t attempt to present the complexities of a problem before voting.
    • More about the technology and “Are we living in a computer simulation (and how would we know?”

    Which of course, are impractical and useless the host himself is interested in them.

  88. I have learned a lot from the Hili Dialogue associated “On This Day” tidbits. I never knew the Emmett Till story, or particulars of Nixon’s shenanigans, to name obvious ones. These writeups are also occasionally engrossing.

    In particular, these tidbits can begin to mark the year – for instance, Columbus’ voyage – Magellan – so their departure is noted one day, then a number of days later other events on that voyage.

    That sort of effect is fascinating. It comes up every year, which might sound repetitive, but it isn’t for that.

    More OTD writeups? Not sure.

    More problems and puzzles would be great too – Car Talk had one per show, with the answer given for the previous week’s show. For this website it could be mathematic, historic, folkloric, automotive – or even evolutionary! It is good for the mind.

    For the record : I abhor Twi773r and the other one, so I am under a rock, in a way, learning facts and history.

  89. I must say I also learn – or at least pause and rethink my life choices – when PCC(E) comes into the comments section to straighten things out, so to speak.

  90. Re: Science posts :

    Indeed, very high quality. Indeed, precisely what hooked me on The Selfish Gene – examination of primary literature in a rigorous but accessible way. Indeed, many times over my head.

    However, some facts are – expressed in a rough way :

    Science post metrics might be likened to emergency website metrics : perhaps small number of clicks (or what GBJames said) but that does not report on importance.

    Science posts are not, of have not yet matched a journal club style discourse.

    Science is not a religion.

    [breaking a rule ] Science posts might be fewer in number but still exceptional.

    After all that, I say give PCC(E) a break if he wants it – he’s earned it!

    1. Yes – & honestly would you prefer to lecture to 1,000 students who do not care very much, or 20 who are really interested?

  91. Don’t have much to add except to say that I love the threads where commenters talk about books they have read.

    WEIT is the first thing I read every morning, usually with a cup of tea, and the cat beside me. It’s comforting, interesting and thought provoking. It’s amazing how you have kept this up, as it is so much hard work. I appreciate it every day.

    The only comment I disagree with is the person who said “too many cats and ducks”. Say what?!?

  92. I really appreciate your website, Jerry, and I enjoy most things you post! I appreciate criticism of religion, and was sorry to see less in the national media as the New Atheism became less prominent. As a former Mormon, I am just very sensitive to the claptrap promulgated in an age in which we clearly know better. Your criticism of Pastor Trish is important.

  93. How about some writing with a more philosophical bent such as posts on naturalism, secularism, our place in the cosmos etc. I’m thinking of Carl Sagan here 🙂

    I recently came across Lucretius’ poem De Rerum Natura which promotes a materialist philosophy. I was fascinated that this perspective was around in 50 BC. There is a history of materialism and scientific thought that is not promoted enough (the collision with the prevailing religious and political authorities makes for interesting reading as well).

    Feynman lamented that this was not yet a scientific age. I guess I like posts and articles that promote and celebrate scientism (scary word); the buried and and forgotten history of a materialist perspective, the stories of the men and women who tried to usher in the scientific age, and a celebration of the knowledge we have gained through science.

      1. Thanks Chetiya, do you know of any history book that covers those natural philosophers and others as well ? A book specifically about the history of materialism? I never found one.

        1. I have not read a comprehensive work that covers the history of atomism from Leucippus and Democritus to modern times, but I looked around and found From Atomos to Atom: The History of the Concept Atom by Andrew G. van Melson. It looks promising.

          I’ve often found the SEP to be useful: [1] and [2]. It is also a good source of sources.

  94. I read your web site for the reasonable well thought out commentary on actions of the extreme left, particularly in academia. I am a professor in a STEM field at a four-year college and I am bewildered by how easily intelligent people have been brainwashed into cruel unethical behavior in the name of social justice. I am horrified at what is happening in my field. It affects hiring, promotion, pay raises, and even how we teach our classes. Your commentary is helpful in deciding what I agree with and what I believe is harmful.

  95. Your science posts, photos and cartoons keep me breathing. But since you post stuff showing other animals, why not include d-gs? Just a different species and their antics are loads of fun (check out the Border Collies!). Dont reduce science content! Would like more critiques of articles in journals and newspapers that are dumb and/or wrong. Like the New Yorker for example.

  96. I like the critiques of science in the news, philosophy related to the free will debate, and pseudoscience critiques. I like wildlife photos. Podcasting, whatever. Audio is inherently less useful for understanding complex subjects than writing. Video has its place, but worthwhile video is extrordinarly expensive & time consuming to produce.

  97. Oh oh – I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again :

    You’ve heard of “____con”, e.g. ComicCon.

    Thus :

    “WEIT-con”, or the Why Evolution Is True Convention.

  98. I doubt you will get to this posting….Anyhow, I have deeply appreciated your support of the debate in New Zealand regarding Matauranga Maori incursions into all things science. You have kept up to speed with the issue with uncanny insight, and this has been of enormous assistance to those fighting the battle in NZ.

    What I read of your daily output depends on whether I have time to read them in full. Suffice to say they are all examined each morning. You are a treasure to those of us interested in science but who are well beyond the studying the wider literature, and for this reason your ‘science posts’ are invaluable.

    I have on my shelves most of SJ Gould’s publications and it has occurred to me that a ‘best of’ J. Coyne anthology would keep you in finest wines for many years to come! While I have many of your posts on file in my computer, I along with many others of your ‘followers’ would enjoy being able to dip into a book of an evening before turning out the lights.

    Thankyou.

  99. Coming to this late. I have tried to cut back on internet as I never enjoy reading long pieces on a screen anyway. Since I was made redundant I no longer have the internet on all the time, & WEIT always matched my lunchtime in those days. You used to do maybe 3 posts a day, but are so much more prolific that I struggle to follow it all. I am therefore more likely to not read something that looks like it is US politics related, as it means much less to me.

    I came to WEIT because of Darwin & therefore always appreciate the science/natural history posts most. I appreciate they take more effort & perhaps fewer people read them. If you want lots of readers the culture wars in their broadest states are going to get read most I would guess, but there is only so much of those one can take.

    Do what makes YOU feel happiest. If that loses or wins you readers, so what? I shall maintain an interest even if I no longer read it all & comment frequently, as you (& your writing) are a part of my life.

    Be kind to yoyrself!

  100. I come to Twitter for your pix of dux and cats, but once I’ve clicked through to WEIT, I stay for the articles, Jesus and Mo, etc. It was actually Bret Weinstein and Heather who got me interested in evo.bio. and now I slightly regret my lifelong disdain for the squishy sciences over the hard sciences. It was your talks on atheism that originally led me to your corner of the web.
    Why do you say you can’t do podcasts? I watch/listen to quite a few podcasts myself, and I’ve lately gotten bored with Sam Harris’ podcast because the topics just seem less interesting of late. There’s a gap to be filled!

  101. I read every article but from the main page so there is no click on individual articles. I only click on them when I have a comment and even then I don’t comment if someone else has already said what I wanted to say.

    I do like the science posts and all the other kinds of posts, especially the Hili dialogues.

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