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Bird Brains: No Evolutionary Pattern in Size

A scientist went looking for evolutionary patterns in bird brain size, but his chart shows data all over the map.  Fahad Sultan (U of Tuebingen, Germany) measured brains in a wide variety of birds, and published his results in Current Biology.1 How does brain size and design influence the survival chances of a species?  A […]

Floored of the Rings: Cassini Baffles Scientists at Saturn

For the past few months (02/28/2005), the Cassini spacecraft has had a ringside seat at Saturn, with high inclination orbits that have provided the best viewing angles since orbit insertion last year (07/01/2004).  Cassini scored, as it soared around and around the horde of ring particles, and poured its stored data toward waiting scientists at […]

Mars Joins Active Volcano Club

Mars may join Earth and Jupiter’s moon Io in having active hot-lava volcanos, says a report on BBC News.  A field of smooth volcanic cones near the north pole show no sign of impact craters or wind-blown features, suggesting they could have erupted recently.  If so, Mars could still be geologically active. At half the […]

Men Aren’t Going Extinct – Yet

Not long ago, evolutionary biologists were predicting the demise of manhood (see 11/01/2001, 03/31/2004).  The idea was that the Y chromosome, with no redundant copy (unlike the female’s two X chromosomes, and all others) appeared to be shriveling up and mutating itself out of existence.  Now that the chimpanzee genome has been published (see 09/01/2005 […]

How Proteins Build Teeth Like Glass on a Mattress

Here’s something to chew on.  Tooth enamel is hard, like crystal, but is bound to dentin underneath, which is pliable, like a mattress.  Your teeth can last a lifetime only because the ceramic-like enamel is cemented to a foundation of softer dentin, and because both of these materials are built to the right hardness specs […]

Is “Intelligent Design” the New Cussword?

The phrase “intelligent design” is being bandied about everywhere.  Pro-Darwin scientists generally put it in quote marks with palpable derision; it has practically sunk to the level of the older cussword, “creationism.”  Yet a groundswell of support for I.D. continues not only in America but in other countries.  Here are recent events, attacks and counterattacks […]

Chimpanzee Fossil Upsets Early Man Speciation Theory

Paleontologists need no longer lament the complete dearth of chimpanzee fossils.  Nature announced the discovery of the first fossil chimpanzee teeth.  The location, however – the Great Rift Valley in Africa – was unexpected.  The discoverers, Sally McBrearty and Nina G. Jablonski,1 explain: There are thousands of fossils of hominins, but no fossil chimpanzee has […]

Chimpanzee Genome Published: Is There a Monkey in Your Genes?

Nature’s cover story September 1 is about the publication of the chimpanzee genome.  Evolutionists are digging through the data for evidence of human common ancestry.  Have they found it?  The results, as usual, are mixed: MSNBC News states the situation concisely: “Genome comparison reveals many similarities – and crucial differences.”  Here is the gist of […]

Briefly Noted

Human Body – You Smell Like a Dog:  Bloodhounds, we know, are good at telling the direction of a scent, but it turns out that humans have that ability, too.  Researchers at UC Berkeley did experiments with human subjects to see if they could tell which direction a scent came from.  Functional MRI (fMRI) was […]

Darwin Debates Attract Rhetoricians, Some Pro, Some Not

Nothing like a controversy to get people talking.  Some understand the issues and speak with skill and style; some just like to be part of the excitement.  Here are samples from the war of the words over evolution: Connect the Dots:  Having just read Richard Weikart’s From Darwin to Hitler (02/03/2005), Chuck Colson on BreakPoint […]

“Marvelous Puzzle”: Enceladus’ South Pole Surface Less Than 1,000 Years Old

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 […]

Back to School, Front to Darwinism Debate

The national debate about how to teach origins in public schools continues to roil.  Here are some recent developments: Poll:  A new Pew Research Poll reported on MSNBC News found that 64% of Americans want creationism taught alongside evolutionism, and 38% favor teaching creation only.  For details see the Pew Research press release which includes […]

Do You Belong in the Zoo?

People are gawking at people in the London Zoo, each probably wondering what side of the cage they belong on.  In one of the primate exhibits, eight scantily clad white people are on display, reports AP (see MSNBC and Yahoo).  Wearing fig leaves pinned onto their swimsuits, they play, they scratch, they groom each other, […]

Molecular Motors Galore: How Did They Evolve?

Myosin is one of the cell’s little monorail motors that trucks cargo around the cell, pushes false feet into the surrounding environment, forces packages out the cell membrane, makes muscles move and wiggles hairlike cilia.  Scientists reporting in Nature1 found twice as many varieties of myosin (37) than were previously known (17) and decided to […]

Do Fossil Counts Match Sediment Counts?

If evolution is true, the number of species coming and going should track the number of rock layers in which they are fossilized, at least roughly.  The more sediments per unit time, the more new genera should arise within them.  Shanan E. Peters (U of Michigan) decided to test this “novel” approach with marine fossils […]
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