Thermodynamics Defeats Evolution in a Most Spectacular Way
December 30, 2005
The second law of thermodynamics (2TD), what Sir Arthur Eddington called the supreme law of nature, does not permit evolution, argued Granville Sewall in The American Spectator; in fact, evolution violates it “in a most spectacular way.” A mathematics professor at Texas A&M University, Sewall explained that 2TD applies to much more than heat flow; […]
Echoes of Historic Supernovae Observed
December 29, 2005
Astronomers using telescopes at the Cerro-Tololo observatory in Chile were able to detect the faint light echoes of supernovae (see EurekAlert, Space.com and original paper in Nature1). They found three light echoes for six of the smallest previously-catalogued supernova remnants (SNR) in the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), a small irregular galaxy visible from the southern […]
Undersea Christmas Lights Explained
December 19, 2005
There is a marine animal like a jellyfish that puts on one of the most dazzling light shows in nature. Some ctenophores, or comb jellies, can send multi-colored pulses of light that radiate down their sides in a rainbow of colors. If you’ve ever seen one of these on a TV nature show, you were […]
Choose You This Day: Multiverse or I.D.
December 18, 2005
If Leonard Susskind is right, cosmologists are escaping the conclusion of intelligent design (ID) by backing into a radically speculative idea: a near infinity of universes. Susskind, a theoretical physicist from Stanford, just published a book, Cosmic Landscape: String Theory and the Illusion of Intelligent Design (Little, Brown 2005), that explores current cosmological thinking about […]
Don’t PNA in our OOL
December 17, 2005
Theories for the origin of life (OOL) are in a crisis, unable to imagine how something as complex as a replicating cell could come into existence. Could PNA do it?
Butterflies Invented LEDs First
November 18, 2005
Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) were a prized invention of physicists, improved greatly in 2001, but now we find butterflies invented them first. We already knew that butterfly wings achieve their shimmering iridescence by means of photonic crystals (01/29/2003), as do some birds (10/13/2003), but now it appears that the butterflies have even more exotic tricks up […]
ICR Challenges Validity of Radiometric Dating
November 5, 2005
acked out the facilities of Shadow Mountain Community Church in El Cajon, California Saturday. Their frequent applause was not for contemporary musicians or a preacher, but for scientists. Ten miles from their headquarters, the Institute for Creation Research (ICR) had rented the large auditorium for the formal presentation of the results of its eight-year research […]
Cellular Black Box Reveals Precision Guidance and Control
October 27, 2005
Amazing discoveries about the cell are being made each week. It’s a shame more people don’t hear about them. They are usually written up in obscure journals with incomprehensible jargon, but when explained in plain English, the findings are truly astounding. Not long ago, the cell was a “black box,” a mechanism of unknown inner […]
Marvelous Puzzle: Enceladus South Pole Surface Less Than 1,000 Years Old
August 30, 2005
Enceladus, a moon of Saturn smaller than the British isles (comparison image), has a region at the south pole that is less than 1,000 years old, and maybe only 10 years old. This conclusion, announced at Cassini science briefings in London August 30, is based on multi-instrument observations taken July 14 during the closest flyby […]
Your Brain Has Perfect Pitch
August 23, 2005
Scientists have a knack for asking questions about things most of us take for granted. “The whole orchestra tunes up to an A note from the oboe – but how do our brains tell that all the different sounds are the same pitch?” asks Robert J. Zatorre in Nature.1 This is a puzzling question to […]
Can Atheism Breathe in an Anthropic Universe?
August 16, 2005
Astronomers Martin Rees and Mario Livio considered “Anthropic Reasoning” in a Science perspectives article.1 The question bears not only on SETI, and whether intelligent life exists elsewhere, but why it exists here. They state the issue: We can imagine universes where the constants of physics and cosmology have different values. Many such “counterfactual” universes would […]
Origin of Life: Can A Liability Be Turned Into an Asset?
August 5, 2005
Most of us know the Second Law of Thermodynamics (2TD) as the law of decay and disorder, and would tend to assume it would constitute a major obstacle to theories of the origin of life by chemical evolution (see online book); certainly creationists Duane Gish and Henry Morris frequently employed the 2TD skilfully in their […]
Does the Brain Produce the Mind and Ethics?
July 15, 2005
Two contrasting views on the mind/body problem appeared in science journals recently. In Nature this week,1 Paul Bloom (Yale) reviewed The Ethical Brain (Dana Press, 2005) by Michael S. Gazzaniga, a member of the President’s Council on Bioethics. Bloom felt the need to clarify the difference between theological and evolutionary views on the source of […]
The Cause of a Teapot: Can Physics Explain Design?
June 8, 2005
George F. R. Ellis (U. of Cape Town) wrote a Concepts piece in Nature1 this week that asks fundamental questions about ordinary things, particularly, can we get from fundamental physics to complex hierarchical structures through a chain of cause and effect? A simple statement of fact: there is no physics theory that explains the nature […]
Mars Radiation Dosage Makes Life Improbable, Even with Global Flooding
May 18, 2005
An upcoming (June) paper in Icarus1 states, “ The biologically damaging solar ultraviolet (UV) radiation (quantified by the DNA-weighted dose) reaches the martian surface in extremely high levels.” Earth has an ozone layer and global magnetic field to shield out the damaging rays, but Mars has no known atmospheric filter. “Therefore, the existence of life […]