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Make Your Own Privileged Planet

NASA-Ames Research Center has produced an online simulation game called AstroVenture that allows kids to try to design a habitable planet.  After they pick half a dozen parameters, the game tells them whether humans could live there or not. This is a cute feature that, with caveats, could be useful for parents and teachers.  The […]

Creation-Evolution Contest in Grand Canyon: New York Times Prints Eyewitness Report

New York Times reporter Jodi Wilgoren explored “parallel universes” along the Colorado River this summer (here for multimedia version).  She rode a raft with a creationist group led by Tom Vail for several days, then rode with another party led by evolutionist Eugenie Scott.  Her experiences with these two groups illustrated the stark contrast between […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Network Evolution Trumps ID

This entry will make more sense after reading yesterday’s story on the evolution of modular networks (10/04/2005).  A reader sent in a reference to a very similar article from scientists at Johns Hopkins published in PLoS Biology.1  It must be Network Evolution Week.  Before awarding the SEQOTW prize, some background is necessary.     Like […]

University of Idaho President Announces Evolution-Only Policy

Timothy P. White, President of the University of Idaho, just issued a letter to faculty, staff and students “to articulate the University of Idaho’s position with respect to evolution: This is the only curriculum that is appropriate to be taught in our bio-physical sciences.”  The Discovery Institute calls this naked viewpoint discrimination. The president’s next […]

Can Networks Design Themselves?

A molecular biologist and a physicist at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel (see also 09/26/2003) wrote a paper in PNAS1 with an intriguing title: “Spontaneous evolution of modularity and network motifs.”  Can a network arise spontaneously?     Biologists increasingly speak of the interaction of genes, proteins and metabolic processes in terms of […]

Muscle Motor Observed in Action

Myosin proteins have been heavily studied in recent years since they are critical to many cellular and tissue functions, including muscle.  According to EurekAlert Scientists from the Burnham Institute for Medical Research and the University of Vermont have captured the first 3-dimensional (3D) atomic-resolution images of the motor protein myosin V as it “walks” along […]

Darwinian Phylogenetic Tools Are Mathematically Flawed

Many evolutionists use software tools to construct evolutionary trees from genetic data.  Two mathematicians have just reported in Science1 that several popular “tree-building” algorithms can give misleading results: Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) algorithms play a critical role in the Bayesian approach to phylogenetic inference.  We present a theoretical analysis of the rate of convergence […]

Spider Blood Survives 20 Million Years – So They Say

EurekAlert announced, “Spider blood found in 20 million year old fossil.”  Science Daily repeated the story.  The articles even tell how the spider died (it was climbing a tree and was struck on the head by fast-flowing sap).  The BBC News said, “Spider is ‘20 million years old.’” At least they put quotes around the […]

Can a Robot Build Itself?

The news media got a load of Joseph Jacobson’s toy robots that could make copies of themselves.  Ker Than on LiveScience, for instance, called these “biological” robots: Inspired by biological systems, scientists have developed miniature robots that can self-assemble using parts that float randomly in their environments.  The robots also know when something is amiss […]

Another Record Distant Galaxy Found

The Spitzer Space Telescope found a “positively gigantic” galaxy at a time the universe was supposedly only 800 million years old – just 5% the assumed age of the universe – according to a press release from Jet Propulsion Lab.  For the galaxy to be this big that far back, it must have “bulked up […]

Were Dinosaurs Gasping for Air?

A news story on CNN claims that “the air contained only about 10 percent oxygen at the time of the dinosaurs.”  It climbed to 23% by 40 million years ago, then dropped to its current level at 21%, said the researchers.  They feel that the rise of oxygen “almost certainly contributed to evolution of large […]

Scientific Institutions Root for Darwin

With the Dover trial in the midst of its first week (09/26/2005), the Goliath fans are sounding off, led by their cheerleaders, Nature, Science and other institutions: Nature had two pieces this week, claiming the Dover trial represents Do or Die for Design.  This editorial ended, “Scientific organizations are well aware of this case’s significance, […]

Do Dead Meteorites Tell Tales?

Several researchers lately have claimed that meteorites can tell us the history of our solar system.  How can this be? Messages from Heaven:  Richard Kerr in Science1 reported on work by Strom et al. in the same issue2 that the asteroid belt was the source of the so-called “late heavy bombardment” that is said to […]

Hobbit Update

BBC News posted an article updating the story of Homo florensiensis, the so-called “Hobbit Man” miniature-human fossil (see 10/27/2004).  Opponents of the “missing link” interpretation are becoming more ardent in their claim that the fossils represent diseased modern humans with a condition known as microcephaly.  The discoverers are not convinced. Wait for this story to […]

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos Is Back

MSNBC News reported that Carl Sagan’s popular 13-part series Cosmos is returning to TV this week, digitally remastered and enhanced with new up-to-date animations.  The 1980 series, which began with its own Agnus Dei invocation “The cosmos is all that is, all that ever was, and all that ever will be,” went far beyond the […]
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