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Darwin Display Becomes Rallying Point

The Charles Darwin exhibit at the American Museum of Natural History (11/21/2005, 11/17/2005, 10/17/2005) has become a safe haven and symbol of dominance for Darwinists otherwise flustered by the controversy over evolution.  This most in-depth exhibition of Darwin’s life and thought will make the rounds to Boston, Chicago, Toronto and London in coming seasons.  Alan […]

Who Beat Up Paul Mirecki?

A dark sequel has been added to the story of the Univ. of Kansas prof who was going to teach a class ridiculing intelligent design, then canceled it when a defamatory email he wrote surfaced (see 11/29/2005 story).  Now, he claims he was accosted while driving off campus early Monday morning and beaten up by […]

New Mammal Discovered in Borneo

Caught on camera: a cat-sized quadruped with a long, bushy tail.  See the picture on National Geographic News.  Found in Borneo’s rain forests, it is so new we don’t know what to call it yet.  The article says this is the “first new mammal species discovered on the Southeast Asian island in more than a […]

Wine for Your Heart?  Think Again

“Any heart gains from drinking alcohol in moderation are likely outweighed by the harm, say researchers.”  That’s how a story on BBC News begins that warns that alleged benefits of alcohol for heart health may not be trustworthy.  A New Zealand team investigated earlier scientific studies that purported to show benefits of drinking in moderation, […]

It Was the Year of Titan

Of the top 10 astronomy stories for 2005, Astronomy Magazine gave #6 to Cassini’s year at Saturn, and #1 to the Huygens landing on Titan last January 14 (01/14/2005, 01/21/2005).     The official science papers from that event are now in.  In a special online edition, Nature1 published 9 new papers and articles with […]

How You Tune In

Studies on rats have shown there are certain neurons that respond to changes in the background sound (see LiveScience story on MSNBC News).  We humans probably have these, too.  Rather than firing continuously, they search for changes in the auditory landscape that might be of interest: changes in pitch, loudness or duration in single sounds […]

SETI vs. Intelligent Design

Intelligent Design proponents have often pointed to the similarity between what they are doing and what SETI is doing.  For example, SETI is attempting to detect evidence of intelligence in coded signals from space, and design biologists are detecting evidence of intelligence in the DNA code.  Seth Shostak, Director of the SETI Institute, decided to […]

Archaeopteryx in the Headlines Again: New Specimen Reported

The best-preserved fossil yet of Archaeopteryx was announced in Science this week,1 the tenth in all.  This one, described by Gerald Mayr of the Senckenberg Natural History Museum (Frankfurt, Germany), had a better-preserved foot than the others (all found in the Solnhofen Limestone beds of Bavaria) with indications it had a hyperextendable second toe somewhat […]

Cell Ribosome Assembly Is Like Throwing Car Parts Together

Ribosomes are the protein-assembly machines in the living cell (11/24/2005, 07/26/2005, 01/19/2005).  A bacterium can have thousands of them.  They are composed of two large RNA complexes; the smaller one has 20 unique proteins that fit snugly in various parts of the apparatus, and the larger complex has even more.  How do the parts all […]

Darwinism: Struggle for Existence of a Controversial Theory

Darwin taught that the struggle for existence in nature produced the survival of the fittest.  A struggle between Darwinism and intelligent design (ID) seems to be producing media red in tooth and claw, as seen by the following recent stories. Define the Opposition Out of Science:  Another University of Kansas professor is offering a class […]

Mao Tse-Tung Killed 77 Million for Darwin

World Net Daily reported that the body count from Mao’s reign of terror in China has been revised upward to 77 million by R. J. Rummel, a Nobel Peace Prize winning political scientist who had earlier estimated it at half that (38 million).  This augments Mao’s Guinness reputation as the worst mass murderer in history.  […]

Mexican Footprints 1.3 Million Years Old?  Impossible, Señor

Paleoanthropologists have a major conundrum on their hands, or feet.  EurekAlert reported about controversial footprints found in Mexico ash deposits that had been thought to be 44,000 years old.  Even that was too old for many to swallow, but new argon-argon dates show them to be 1.3 million years old – far older than those […]

Ecotherapy: Nature Is Good Medicine

The British Medical Journal, according to EurekAlert, says, “Getting close to nature is good for you.”  Ecotherapy is the fancy new buzzword for “restoring health through contact with nature.”  What are the benefits?  Improving quality of life, healing emotional problems, learning practical and social skills and the obvious one: better health through exercise.  Doctors and […]

Welcome to the Religion Department; I Am Your Evil Atheist Professor

The religion professor who organized a class at U of Kansas called “Special Topics in Religion: Intelligent Design, Creationism and other Religious Mythologies” (see 11/21/2005) was caught red-handed expressing his real intentions.  According to Knight-Ridder stories in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and Macon.com, an email from Paul Mirecki became public in which he had said, “The […]

News from the Solar Neighborhood

Here’s a collection of recent items of interest under the sun.  (Don’t miss the big story above, too.) My Rhea Lies Under the Spacecraft:  Cassini added another trophy to its moon collection Saturday, skimming just 300 miles above the surface of Saturn’s large moon Rhea.  (Saturday is named after Saturn, hey).  Rhea is the largest […]
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