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Your Internal Motors Can Run Nanotech

In each cell in your body, and in that of every living thing, there exists a tiny motor named ATP synthase that Science News1 calls “the ultimate molecular machine.”  It converts electrical to chemical energy, writes Alexandra Goho, “with amazing efficiency.”  Now, Japanese have harnessed some of these motors (only 12 millionths of a millimeter […]

“Utmost Precision” Found in DNA Repair Enzyme

The cell has many helper enzymes that can repair DNA damage.  One such enzyme, named MutY, has been described in the Feb. 12 issue of Nature.1  Reviewer Tomas Lindahl sets the stage: “Damaged DNA must be removed with the utmost precision, as mistakes are costly.  The structure of a repair enzyme bound to its substrate […]

Mercury’s Magnetic Field: Another Attempt to Save Theory from Data

Nature Feb. 121 restates a puzzle about Mercury known since the Mariner 10 encounters (1974-5): …why, against expectations, does Mercury have a global magnetic field? The planet’s diminutive size means that it should have cooled quickly after it formed.  Any molten core would have become solid, or almost completely so.  A magnetic-field-generating dynamo in an […]

Oldest Fossil Insect Alleged

In a pattern that sounds familiar, an insect fossil has been found that (1) is the oldest ever discovered, and (2) shows that “winged flight may have emerged earlier than previously thought.”  Estimates put this fossil at about 400 million years old, among the first creatures to colonize the land.  Though wing impressions were not […]

Darwinians Excel at Games

Martin Nowak (Harvard) sure got good press for his evolutionary game theories last week.  In Nature,1 he retold the glorious story of how he and Karl Sigmund met in an Austrian mountain cottage and applied the “prisoner’s dilemma” game to a new theory for social evolution.  The same week, in Science,2 as part of a […]

Comets as Cosmic Storks

Chandra Wickramasinghe and colleagues at Cardiff University have raised the bar on tale-telling ability.  They believe that comets splatting on earth can carry away germs of life that gradually spread farther and farther out, eventually escaping the sun’s pull.  Over time, they might spread life to other worlds.  They estimate that since the origin of […]

Are Dark Matter and Dark Energy the New Epicycles?

An article in The Economist suggests that dark matter and dark energy may not be necessary to understand the structure of the universe.  It refers to two recent papers that explain the cosmic background radiation and galaxy clusters with ordinary matter, without a need for either of the other two unknown quantities.  Are dark matter […]

Was the Nobel Denied to a Creationist?

Rick Weiss, writing in Smithsonian Magazine (Dec. 2003), analyzes Raymond Damadian’s “prize fight” over the 2003 Nobel for Physiology and Medicine (see 11/10/2003 and 10/10/2003 entries).  He suggests the possibility that one of the main reasons was Damadian’s views on creation.  A Nobel spokesman denies it, but Weiss wonders: But it is difficult not to […]

Evolutionists Publish Racist Book

“Disturbing” is how Robert N. Proctor (Penn State) describes a new book by two prominent evolutionists in the Feb. 5 issue of Nature.1  The book is Race: The Reality of Human Differences by Vincent Sarich and Frank Miele (Westview, 2004), and Proctor has a lot of politically correct diatribe to heap on it, though reluctantly: […]

Darwinian Phylogenists Do the Funky Chicken

Fredrik Ronquist is active in phylogenetic systematics, the art of drawing evolutionary trees from DNA comparisons.  And he admires Joseph Felsenstein, an “icon in the field.”  But when he reviewed Felsenstein’s new book, Inferring Phylogenies (Sinauer, 2004) in the Feb. 5 issue of Science,1 he had mixed feelings about the author’s biases and his choice […]

Why Darwin Is Like Yoda, and Darwinism Like Marxism

Homage for the master is palpable in John Vandermeer’s review (Science, Jan. 23)1 of a thick new book entitled Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution by Odling-Smee, Laland and Feldman (Princeton, 2004).  Vandermeer seems almost worshipful in his opening lines: The nascent germ of many novel ideas in biology can be traced directly or […]

Legality Argument

The Discovery Institute has posted remarks by David DeWolf, a law professor, to the Darby, Montana School District.  He addresses concerns that have been raised about the legality and constitutionality of a proposed change to their science policy that would permit “teaching the controversy” about origins in the science classroom. Has it come to this, […]

E-I-E-I-O in Old McDarwin’s Animal Farm

One would think that if all animals are related according to Darwin’s theory of common descent, this should be clearly evident in the genes.  It would also seem that the more genomes we sequence, the clearer the evolutionary pattern should be.  At least that’s how Raible and Arendt lay their foundation in a paper in […]

Accretion: The Missing Link in Planetary Evolution

Every school child has seen artwork of planets evolving from a disk of dust and gas around a star like our sun, but there’s a missing link in the story. How did the dust particles stick together?

How Snakes Lost Their Limbs

Penn State scientists have a story for how snakes, which presumably evolved from lizards, lost their legs.  They had to burrow through tight places.     Part of their story involved disproving that snakes evolved from sea-going reptiles, like mosasaurs, explains the press release from Penn State’s Eberly College of Science.  They compared genes from […]
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