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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 […]

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 […]

Judge Jones Took Credit for ACLU Writings

Judge John E. Jones has become somewhat of a celebrity of late, traveling and speaking about his judgment against the Dover, Pennsylvania School Board on December 20, 2005 (see 12/23/2005).  He has stated that he felt his opinion should set forth the case once for all that intelligent design is not science but religion in […]

A Tale of Two Videos: Advocacy and Censorship

A teacher gets a free video on science, and likes it.  She thinks it fits in with the lesson plan and curriculum guidelines.  Should she be allowed to show parts of it in the classroom?  At what point should the government step in and say the material is inappropriate, or even ban it outright, if […]

How Stem Cell Reporting Can Blur Ethics

“The potential of stem-cell technologies to revolutionize medical care is causing great excitement among biologists and the general public,” Nature reported Nov 30.1  “ Recent studies on embryonic and adult stem cells, coupled with advances in our understanding of how they can be coaxed into forming particular cell types and tissues, have improved the prospects […]

Evolutionary Ethics Teeters on Brave New World

What happens when science pursues whatever it can do, unfettered by moral standards?  Three recent news stories should cause all futurists to ponder the ramifications: A BBC News story this month asked, “UK scientists are seeking permission to place human nuclei into animal eggs in a bid to create stem cell lines.  Why do researchers […]

Nature Interviews German Creationist; Media Notes Rise of Anti-Darwinism

Following a news report entitled, “Anti-evolutionists raise their profile in Europe,”1 Nature printed a short interview with one of them:2 Peter Korevaar is head of the physics and cosmology working group of Germany’s Studiengemeinschaft Wort und Wissen, one of the largest creationist groups in Europe.  He holds a PhD in astrophysics and now works at […]

Anti-Religious Sentiment Increases in Intensity

The two poles could hardly be farther apart.  In the East, a hundred million radical Muslims swear death to all Americans and Jews and work themselves into frenzies of jihad for the worldwide triumph of Islam.  In the West, radical atheists are determined to eradicate religion from the Earth.  Somewhere in between, millions of Christians […]

Evolutionism Fomented Columbine Disaster, Father Says

Brian Rohrbough, father of one of the students killed in the Columbine school shooting in 1999, spoke on CBS News “free speech” segment October 2 after the recent Amish school shooting.  Tonight (Nov. 22) on Fox News, the Bill O’Reilly show replayed an interview he had with Rohrbough about that CBS speech that led to […]

Outsource Our Energy Woes to the Microbes

Do we need to dig for oil forever?  Do we need to fret and fume over energy policy as more consumers compete for decreasing resources?  What if there were a virtually inexhaustible supply right under our noses?  That’s what the American Society for Microbiology asked in a press release reproduced by EurekAlert.  “The answer to […]

Unhappiness with Big Science: It’s Not Just Creationism Anymore

Feeling marginalized?  Unable to get a hearing?  Shunned by your peers?  Subject to attacks and ridicule?  Rejected by leading publications and the press, while your opponents get free rein for overhyped claims?  You may not be a politician or creationist.  You may be a scientist with views that differ from the consensus of Big Science.  […]

Stem Cells: Hurry Up and Wait

When will embryonic stem cells produce cures for Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, paralysis and other maladies these wonder-cells were promised to bring?  Be prepared to wait.  If predictions of leading proponents are accurate, and if California is to be a world leader in stem cell research and clinical trials, even Christopher Reeve would have died […]

Peer Review Goes Public

A scientific revolution for the internet age is taking place: peer review is coming out of its secrecy into public light.  Tired of the dominance of big-name journals and their editorial policies, independent-minded researchers are taking their publications to the web.  The revolution is explained by AP reporter Alicia Chang (see Yahoo News), and by […]

Patients in Vegetative State May Be Aware

Remember the arguments put forth for why Terry Schiavo should be allowed to die?  They revolved around the awareness of those said to be in a persistent vegetative state.  Now, researchers reported in Science1 that a patient diagnosed in a vegetative state was aware of what was going on: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging […]

Historian Reveals Isaac Newton as Biblical Economist

The image of Isaac Newton as pure mathematician and physicist ignores a big part of his persona, said Georgia Tech Professor Kenneth Knoespel in a press release reported by EurekAlert.  Living in an era when alchemy was still considered a serious subject for natural philosophers, Newton viewed alchemical research as part of his Biblical vision […]
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