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In Science and Politics, Expect the Unexpected

Two findings reported this month illustrate how science changes.  Paradigms and policies can have their scientific underpinnings yanked out from under them, causing both consternation and opportunities for new ways of thinking. Bring back the acid rain:  Pick your poison: acid rain or global warming.  Acid rain was the bogeyman of the 1980s, leading to […]

Cell Zippers, Linemen and Editors Put on a Show

The golden age of cell biology continues.  Scientists keep unlocking the secrets of cellular machinery with newer and better techniques.  With the curtain rising on a show we could not previously imagine, played out on a stage so small it took centuries of scientific work to even see it, biochemists are discovering amazing tricks that […]

Insects Pester Darwinian Story

It’s enough to bug any Darwinian: where did the insects come from?  Here are some problems right off the bat sonar: Insects are fantastically diverse. Insects are among the most successful animals. There are no insect fossils earlier than the Devonian (evolutionary date: 410 million years ago). The earliest segmented body plans appeared in the […]

Incredible Stasis in Evolution: What Does It Mean?

Quite often in phylogenetic research, evolutionists find examples of extreme conservation of genes or traits.  How they explain the lack of change is almost as interesting as the phenomenon itself.  Here are two recent examples. Your cousin the shark:  Surprise: you have more in common with horn sharks than bony fishes do.  Craig Venter’s international […]

Danes Found the Keys to Happiness

According to the British Medical Journal, reported EurekAlert, British scientists wanted to find out what makes the Danish so darn happy.  “Their hypotheses range from the unlikely (hair colour, genes, food and language) to the more plausible, such as family life, health and a prosperous economy.”  Their conclusion?  Danes are happier than other Europeans because […]

Plant Pores March to Their Own Beat

Plants have pores called stomata that open and close (see 09/13/2006).  These gates of the leaf surface provide plant protection from invaders, and allow the transpiration of gases and water vapor in and out, depending on conditions.  The stomata of many plants open wide during the day to allow in carbon dioxide, but close at […]

How Your Brain Conducts Itself at Attention

The conductor taps the stand.  All the musicians, who had been warming up or conversing with neighbors, suddenly hush and rivet their attention on the conductor.  The downbeat comes, and a marvel of coordination comes to life, each skilled player contributing to a unified yet diverse exhibition of harmonious sound.     Something like that […]

Big Dino Found, But How Did it Eat?

A few interesting dinosaur stories came to light this month. I was a Spanish monster:  A new giant sauropod has been found in Spain, reported EurekAlert based on a paper in Science.1  Named Turiasaurus riodevensis by the discoverers, it ranks among the largest of dinosaurs and is the first giant sauropod found in Europe, weighing […]

Frozen Storms in Sandstone

Impress your friends at the water cooler with this phrase: “hummocky cross-stratification.”  Let’s call this mouthful HCS and talk about it.  It has a story to tell.     HCS is a kind of geological formation characterized by alternating three-dimensional hummocks (convex up) and swales (convex down).  Discussed in the geological literature since the 1970s, […]

Crisis in Comet Formation Theories

Results from the Stardust mission last week (12/15/2006) are causing quite a stir.  Detailed analysis of comet dust particles from Comet Wild 2, published in Science Dec 15, reveal the wrong stuff.  Scientists found olivine, pyroxene and osbornite – minerals said to form at high temperatures – instead of the cold volatiles expected for an […]

Are Embryonic Stem Cells a Stepping Stone to Eugenics?

In Paris, according to Science Dec. 8, “One cherished French institution has attacked another in a bruising battle over embryonic stem cell research.”  The cause of the “Jeremiad” as Science dubbed it, was a Catholic Archbishop’s statement to a French health institute that any research “instrumentalizes the embryo or borders on eugenics.”  The “News of […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Comets as Life’s Lego Jumper Cables

Results of the Stardust mission made the cover of Science this week.1  The Jet Propulsion Laboratory put out a press release that condensed the abstruse papers into a simplistic story built around the L word life.  Publicist David Agle wrote for the Lego generation: Just as kits of little plastic bricks can be used to […]

Animal Plan IT

Imitating animal technology is one of the hottest areas in science.  The engineering and information technology (IT) observable in living things continues to astonish scientists and makes engineers want to imitate nature’s designs.  Biomimetics is leading to productive, useful discoveries helping solve human problems and leading to a better life for all.  Here are some […]

Mutations Accelerate Each Other’s Damage

As reported in our 10/14/2004 entry, mutations do not work in isolation; even the good kind usually conspire against the host.  This fact has been largely ignored by neo-Darwinists.  Some researchers at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot, Israel, writing in Nature,1 tested the interaction of mutations (epistasis) on proteins.  They found, in short, that harmful […]

Life Out of Place, Life Out of Time

Evolutionists have a standard timeline based on Darwin’s “tree of life” that indicates when complex life forms should have appeared.  What happens when the wrong animal shows up in the wrong place or time?  The theory is never falsified; it is just accommodated to the new data, as simply as rearranging branches on a Christmas […]
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