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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 […]

Darwinists Award New Inductee

The journal Science published the winning entry in the 2006 contest “GE and Science Prize for Young Life Scientists.”  The Grand Prize went to Irene A. Chen (Harvard) for her essay entitled, “The Emergence of Cells During the Origin of Life.”1  Her chemical-evolution scenario makes generous use of that word emergence and its synonyms. Modern […]

Experiment: Take a Darwinist to Church

“Go to church and breathe easier,” announced an unusual entry on EurekAlert.  A study at Temple University found a positive correlation between religious activity and lung function.  They said that “religious activity is emerging as a potential health promoting factor, especially among the elderly.”  In addition, “going to church provides social contact and emotional support, […]

To Get Complex Life, Just Add Oxygen

A story is circulating in the science news media that a burst of complex organisms in the Cambrian coincided with a rise in oxygen in the atmosphere.  Reporters seem to be drawing a cause-and-effect relationship.  Examples: News@Nature:  “A sharp increase in the amount of oxygen in the air may have sparked the evolution of complex […]

Fish Species in African Lake Diversified Rapidly

Two related articles in the Public Library of Science (PLoS) show that a large number of species can branch out of a small population in a short time.  Hobbyists familiar with tropical fish appreciate how wide is the variety found within Cichlids.  In the first article,1 the author alleged that in the last 15,000 years, […]

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 […]

Darwin Stars at the Galaxy, by Universal Pictures

A press release from the European Southern Observatory asks, “Do Galaxies Follow Darwinian Evolution?”  One may wonder how stars, which do not bear children, can be considered progeny of Charles Darwin.  They explain: The ‘nature versus nurture’ debate is a hot topic in human psychology.  But astronomers too face similar conundrums, in particular when trying […]

How Your Joints Auto-Lubricate Themselves

Motion sets up an automated process that produces more lubricant for the joints, scientists at UC San Diego found.  EurekAlert explains how shear forces on cartilage stimulated it to produce proteoglycan 4, which secretes joint fluid where it coats and lubricates cartilage surfaces.  This way, the fluid is produced according to the need of the […]

The Physics of Gecko Toes

Why would anyone want to know the details of physical forces when gecko feet walk on glass?  Here’s why: “The results have obvious implications for the fabrication of dry adhesives and robotic systems inspired by the gecko’s locomotion mechanism.”  A team of scientists from Santa Barbara and China watched gecko toes peel off glass and […]

Mars Waterpark a Booming Place

Two surprises about Mars came from NASA this week: (1) water may be flowing today down gullies in places (NASA press release), and (2) meteorites are still hitting the surface (NASA press release).  The water evidence comes from fresh deposits downslope of a gully on a crater wall.  One photo in the second article shows […]

Darwin Missed the Beetle Can Opener Trick

You know those big horns on rhinoceros beetles?  They’re not just for showing off.  Scientists at Indiana University found a “surprising function” for them.  It turns out “horned beetles use their young horns as a sort of can opener, helping them bust out of thick larval shells.”  The function of horned beetles’ wild protrusions has […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Evolution as Inventor

This week’s award goes to Gines Morata, a research professor in Spain, who was interviewed in Current Biology.1  He gives us a glimpse into his biology classes: I often tell my students that they do not have to invent anything; in biology everything has already been invented.  What they have to do is find out […]

Why Are We Here? Because We’’re Not All There

The anthropic principle survived another criticism.  Charles Q. Choi on Space.com reported on a critique by two physicists who think the cosmological constant is not so finely tuned.  In the end, the argument was shot down.  The story, asking “Why Are We Here?” was picked up by Fox News. Watch the new film The Case […]

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 […]

How Does the Emperor Penguin Dive So Deep?

Using a small recorder mounted on an emperor penguin, researchers at Scripps Institute measured the bird diving as deep as 1,800 feet – six times the depth any human has survived unassisted.  This is much deeper than scientists had expected.  Live Science surmises that if we could figure out how they do it without getting […]
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