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What Can Science Really Know?

Two book reviews on philosophy of science appeared in the leading general-science journals Nature and Science last week.  Both of them downplayed the oft-told triumphalist portrayal of science as a progressive path toward infallible knowledge – the picture most students get in school.     In Nature,1 N. David Mermin (Cornell) gave a surprising reprimand […]

Tree of Life in the Genes? Not Yet

Now that we have hundreds of animal genomes in the bank (the GenBank), is Darwin’s tree of life becoming visible?  If the image is present, it is extremely weak, said Michael J. Sanderson of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Arizona.  Writing for Science,1 he showed that only a small fraction […]

Mangrove as Metaphor

The mangrove – that shoreline tree with the salt-tolerant roots that grows into dense thickets – is the fulcrum of two unrelated news stories.  It never met a force it couldn’t handle.  It also provides metaphors for evolution and creation.     PhysOrg reported that the mangrove is a key to saving lives.  “The replanting […]

Earth from Space Is a Special Place

The Deep Impact spacecraft, 31 million miles away, captured images of the moon circling the Earth, reported Space.com (for the sequence of images, click here).  “Making a video of Earth from so far away helps the search for other life-bearing planets in the universe by giving insights into how a distant, Earth-like alien world would […]

Adult Stem Cells May Cure Muscular Dystrophy

Muscular dystrophy leaves children and adults in a nearly helpless state.  Parents watch in agony as their children suffer rapid and progressive weakness.  Attempts to support research, like the annual Labor Day events Jerry Lewis has held for over 40 years, have betrayed their inability to find a cure by the very fact of their […]

Cellular Trucks Use Moving Highways

Imagine how cool it would be to get in your car and have the road do the driving.  The highway would stretch or shrink, moving this way or that, till you saw your destination and hopped off.  That appears to be what the cargo-bearing motors do in the cells in your body.  A new paper […]

Early Magnetic Galaxies Surprise Astronomers

Astronomers reported in Nature that early galaxies have normal magnetic fields.1  That is surprising because magnetic fields were supposed to start small and strengthen over billions of years.     The team tried to be careful to distinguish intervening magnetic signatures from those in quasars.  Their measurements indicated that “organized fields of surprisingly high strengths […]

The Cro-Magnon Were Europeans

There’s no genetic difference between Cro-Magnon Man and modern Europeans, a genetic study reported by Science Daily.  Researchers took extra care to avoid contamination of bones found in southern Italy, they said.  They claimed Cro-Magnon people were able to maintain genealogical continuity for 28,000 years, remaining distinct from Neanderthals, whom they said lived in Europe […]

Another Evolutionary Statistic Is Wrong

Marine invertebrate diversity has not increased dramatically over time, contrary to conventional wisdom.  That’s the conclusion of a team of 35 researchers who spent a decade analyzing seashell fossils from around the world.     Science Daily reported the story July 7.  A week later, on July 14, Science Daily reported a follow-up story, entitled, […]

Is Artificial DNA Intelligently Designed?

Japanese chemists have made a new kind of DNA, reported Science Daily.  It resembles natural DNA, but is composed of bases that are shorter, modified forms of the ones cells use.  “The finding could lead to improvements in gene therapy, futuristic nano-sized computers, and other high-tech advances,” the article says. An evolutionist should extend his […]

Watery Moon Upsets Conventional Wisdom

The moon looks pretty dry.  It may have maria (oceans) but the figurative term would not attract customers for beachfront property: its seas are made of hardened lava.  The moon’s “Ocean of storms” (Mare Procellarum) only gets rain in the form of solar wind and cosmic rays.  Still, could there be water molecules in this […]

Love Your Planet

Modern astronomy and space travel have given humans the ability to view the earth from a distance and ponder its significance.  Some astronomers expected the earth to be ordinary-looking.  In many respects, however, astronomy is teaching us otherwise.  Clara Moskowitz, staff writer for Space.com began an article by saying, “Earth is one special planet.”   […]

What Mean These Stars?

There are more things in heaven and earth than are dreamt of in current astronomical models.  Two articles recently underscored the fact that astronomers still have a lot to learn. Cluster generation conundrum:  The members of globular star clusters were long thought to be old stars of the same age, like seniors at a care […]

Flatfish Evolution Revealed

Darwin has been vindicated again, to hear the media reports.  Science Daily said, “Flatfish Fossils Fill in Evolutionary Missing Link.” National Geographic News ruled out the competition by saying, “Odd Fish Find Contradicts Intelligent Design Argument.”  In a nutshell, Science Daily said, “Hidden away in museums for more that 100 years, some recently rediscovered flatfish […]

Why Academic Freedom Is Dangerous

Barbara Forrest has a tough case on her hands.  The veteran creationist-fighter has to convince the people of Louisiana that they did a bad thing by passing the Academic Freedom Bill, because academic freedom when it comes to discussing intelligent design and evolution is dangerous (cf. 05/12/2008, bullet 3).  The bill passed by 94-3 in […]
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