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Was Baby Lucy Someone Else’s Kid?

Jeffrey Schwartz (U of Pittsburgh) thinks the “child” skeleton nicknamed “Lucy’s baby” celebrated in the news media last month (09/20/2006) was probably not the same species as Lucy.  In fact, he’s not sure if anyone knows what species the skeleton found in Hadar, Ethiopia is.  According to a press release on EurekAlert, without exposed teeth […]

Should Elephants and Lions Be Reintroduced to North America?

Believe it or not, some scientists think large mammals that existed in North America in prehistoric times should be brought back.  This is called “rewilding,” in hopes of healing some of the ecological disruption caused when early humans “played a significant role in their demise 13,000 years ago.”  A dozen scientists provided a detailed proposal […]

Evolutionary Anthropologists Seek to Study Christianity

According to a press release on EurekAlert, “Anthropologists have almost no track record of studying Christianity, a religion they have generally treated as not exotic enough to be of interest.”  This omission needs to be rectified, says Joel Robbins (UC San Diego): “Anthropologists, who are specialists in the study of religion outside the West, ought […]

Supernova 80% Younger Than Thought

The age of a supernova remnant has dropped from 10,000 years to less than 2,000 years.  According to a news item on Space.com, the object RCW 86 in Centaurus has been linked to sightings by the Chinese in 185 AD, making it the oldest supernova recorded by man, taking place 1821 years ago.     […]

Europa: The Link Between OOL and SETI

Why would searchers for extraterrestrial intelligence be interested in Europa?  After all, despite the movie 2010 command to “attempt no landings there,” no astrobiologist believes it could host anything more than primitive life – certainly no one who could send messages to us.     Cynthia Phillips, a principal investigator for the SETI Institute, explained […]

Paper View:  Evolutionists Augur Genes for Tales of Eyes, Hearts, Brains

The Sept. 29 issue of Science includes a special section on evolutionary genetics, beginning with an overview by Barbara R. Jasny, Elizabeth Pennisi and John Travis entitled “Genomic Tales.”1  Our organs tell stories.  A pathologist, for example, can look at a lung and recognize a lifetime of toiling in a mine.  Our genes tell stories, […]

Why Are Kids Hyper?  Blame Evolution

Jon Hamilton on National Public Radio was curious why his 7-year-old kid always had more energy than he did and didn’t need coffee to get him going.  So he asked an evolutionary biologist at UC Irvine and got the following explanation: “It’s fairly clear that human evolution has been strongly shaped by very powerful selection […]

Tarantula Spins Silk from Feet

Surprise: a Costa Rican tarantula can spin silk from the tips of its feet.  A team of German and American scientists writing in Nature1 coaxed one of these heavy, hairy spiders to walk vertically up glass, and was astonished to find it ejecting silky threads that arrested its slipping and enabled it to cling.  They […]

Atheist Dilemma: Fight or Smooth-Talk Religion?

The unpopularity of evolutionism and the persistence of religious faith has scientific materialists confounded and dumbfounded over how to respond.  Some want to fight, some want to shrug it off, and some want to dialog with religious believers, in hopes of convincing some of them that evolution is not the bogeyman they think.  Richard Dawkins […]

Deep Field Survey Shows Oldest Galaxies Yet

Astronomers continue to find mature galaxies at higher and higher redshifts.  The latest record, reported in Nature,1 is z=6.96, interpreted to mean the galaxy was present 700 million years after the big bang (usually dated at 13.7 billion years ago).  A survey of distant galaxies from the Hubble Ultra Deep Field (HUDF), also reported in […]

Mars Radiation Would Fry Astronaut Brains

Imagine the first Martian astronauts coming home confused, impaired and demented.  This is the risk from solar radiation on Mars, say a group of NASA medical researchers (see RxPG News).  Among the gravest risks of a manned flight to Mars ranks the possibility that massive amounts of solar and cosmic radiation will decimate the brains […]

Was Archaeopteryx a Biplane?

A U of Calgary PhD student thinks Archaeopteryx flew on all fours.  Nick Longrich thinks the early bird had feathers on its legs that gave it additional lift.  The discovery of some Chinese fossil birds with feathers on the legs lends support to his interpretation, he says. “The idea of a multi-winged Archaeopteryx has been […]

Farewell to the “Face on Mars” – A Teachable Moment

ESA’s Mars Express orbiter has just sent back pictures of the Cydonia region on Mars.  Objects seen in early Viking images of this region resembled a face, a skull and pyramids that gave rise to a cult following on late-night talk shows.  NASA always discounted these resemblances as coincidental, and when JPL released higher-resolution photos […]

Bacteria Generate Hydrocarbon Reservoirs

Ethane and propane have been detected in ocean depths near the Galapagos, reported EurekAlert.  These heavy energy-rich hydrocarbons may be widespread in ocean sediments.  The authors of a paper in PNAS1 believe it is formed by bacteria metabolizing acetate from organic material in the sediment, and that this “upsets the general belief that hydrocarbons larger […]

Genetic Toolkit Manages Dangerous Tools with Safety Switch and Lockbox

Laymen appreciate scientists who can express complex concepts in everyday terms.  Here’s a good example from the Wistar Institute: Around the home, regularly used tools are generally kept close at hand: a can opener in a kitchen drawer, a broom in the hall closet.  Less frequently used tools are more likely to be stored in […]
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