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Complex at the Beginning: Distant Galaxy Cluster Highly Developed

Observations from the European Southern Observatory have pointed to a “surprise” discovery: a cluster of galaxies 9 billion light-years away that is “in a very advanced state of development.”     The press release points to just how surprising is this find: “The discovery of such a complex and mature structure so early in the […]

Tissues Build Firebreaks to Avoid Disease

An article in the March 3 issue of Nature1 explains how tissues communicate to fight off infection.  As reported before, cells display samples of the proteins they contain on their outer membranes, a process called presentation.  Killer T cells wander around, like cops, looking at the presentations.  When they recognize alien proteins (antigens), they respond […]

Water Can Get Hotter than the Sun

When vacuum bubbles form in turbulent water, they can collapse violently in a process called cavitation.  Scientists reporting in Nature1,2 March 3 showed that the energy of cavitation can heat the plasma in the bubble to 15,000 degrees Kelvin – hotter than the surface of the brightest stars.  The resulting flash can sometimes be seen […]

Did Haeckel’s Defunct Recapitulation Theory Influence the Supreme Court?

One of our readers uncovered an amicus brief from the American Psychological Association (q.v. on American Bar Association website) encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn capital punishment for minors (see 03/04/2005 entry).  One of the key arguments in the brief is that “Neuropsychological research demonstrates that the adolescent brain has not reached adult maturity.”  Zeroing […]

If I Only Had a Brain…

The scarecrow didn’t know what he was asking for.  Look what Steven E. Hyman of Harvard says about the human brain and nervous system in the 8 March 2005 issue of Current Biology:1 The nervous system processes sensory information and controls behavior by performing an enormous number of computations.  These computations occur both within cells […]

Darwinists Dig In Heels Against I.D.

“We aren’t going to convince them and they aren’t going to convince us,” said Vittorio Maestro of Natural History magazine, quoted at the end of a piece entitled, “US scientists battle over challenge to Darwinism” in ABC News Online.  The article gave quite a bit of space to quotes by Michael Behe and Jonathan Wells, […]

Naturalistic Science Influences Criminal Law, Excuses Murder

Why was Science1 magazine happy about the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the death penalty for murderers under 17?  Because the decision was not made on the basis of the Constitution or on Judeo-Christian values, but rather on psychiatric, neuroscientific and behavioral studies: Eight medical organizations, led by the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry (ASAP), […]

What Is Melting the Ice on Enceladus?

When Cassini flew by Enceladus from 730 miles up on Feb. 15, scientists were hoping it would reveal the secret of its active surface.  As is common in planetary science, the mystery only deepened (click here for photo gallery).  The surface showed a complex mix of canyons, ridges and spots that suggest a taffy pulling […]

Indonesian Hobbit No Numbskull

Whoever Homo florensiensis was (see 10/27/2004 entry), it was no dumb half-ape.  This miniature human packed a lot of brains into a small skull, says Michael Balter in Science1 (see also EurekAlert, National Geographic and BBC News).  A cast of the brain made from the skull shows complexity: convolutions in the frontal lobe suggest an […]

Biblical Archaeology Address

Baptist Press posted a report about an address by noted archaeologist William Dever (see 02/18/2005 entry) at New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary last month.  Dever provided several examples from his own digs of archaeological finds that corroborate the Biblical record and chronology.  He hit hard against the revisionists who try to deny the historicity of […]

Visual Aid: Chance or Design?

A TV commercial for the Honda Accord has been circulating around the net as a popular download (see Steel City’s Finest).  It shows the parts of a car, without human intervention, interacting in strange ways like a Rube Goldberg device, resulting in a finished car rolling off the ramp.  Garrison Keillor adds the punch line, […]

Aliens of the Deep Preaches Astrobiology and Chemical Evolution

Titanic director James Cameron has released a large-format, 3D film of undersea life around hydrothermal vents, entitled Aliens of the Deep and released by Walt Disney pictures.  National Geographic News interviewed Cameron.  When asked why he speculated in the movie that life could have originated around deep-sea vents, he said: Presumably the hydrothermal activity was […]

Mars Life in Embalming Fluid?

A researcher with the Mars Express project claims to have found formaldehyde along with methane in exceptional amounts, reports News@Nature.  Since methane is destroyed by radiation in hundreds of days, and formaldehyde in several days, there is either a geological source for it, or it comes from living organisms in the soil, Vittorio Formisano claims. […]

Cassini Shines in the Light of Saturn

Since its arrival at Saturn last June (see 07/01/2004 entry), the Cassini orbiter has achieved a string of phenomenal successes, and these just 15% of the way into its tour of Saturn’s rings, moons and magnetosphere (see JPL press release).  The prize has been publication of initial science results in Nature1 and Science2 – the […]

Dating Disaster: Is Neanderthal the New Piltdown?

We all know it by heart: Neanderthal Man was a big-boned, hairy cave-dweller that got pushed out of northern Europe 40,000 years ago by the smarter modern humans.  Could this all be wrong?  Did some bones actually belong to real people living in recorded history?     The man who dated some of these bones, […]
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