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Who Wants Embryonic Stem Cells?

Amazing treatments continue to spring forth from adult stem cells – the stem cells with no ethical qualms attached.  With adult stem cells easy to obtain doing so much good, why would anyone want embryonic stem cells (the stem cells with ethical qualms attached), when no usable treatments have yet been found? Here are some […]

Expel the Creationists

Apparently Eugenie Scott of the NCSE is feeling no remorse from her appearance in Ben Stein’s documentary Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, where she defended the actions of those who ruined careers, denied tenure, and deprived students and teachers of their academic freedom because they dared to question Darwin.  Her latest piece in Scientific American is […]

Blame Hiccups on Your Inner Fish

Why do humans get hernias and hiccups?  Neil Shubin says it’s because of your inner fish.  In the Scientific American series on Darwin, the discoverer of Tiktaalik was trying to show how evolutionary theory sheds light on human anatomy.  He looked back to fish and amphibians and found insight.     “A glimpse inside the […]

Sci Am Jumpstarts Darwin Day

It’s not even Christmas or 2009 yet, but the cover stories on Darwin have started to hit newsstands.  Latest to feature a whole issue to Darwin is Scientific American.  Predictable themes are all there: Darwin was a genius, he was the greatest scientist in history, evolution is the keystone of all biology, and creationists are […]

Darwin’s New Terror: Islamic Creationism

The Darwinists must be feel like victims of a pincer strategy.  After years of hassling with American creationists and the Intelligent Design movement in the west, here come the Muslims on the east.  A couple of recent reports express the uneasiness evolutionists feel over the rise of anti-Darwin sentiments in Turkey and other parts of […]

Evolutionary Mutualism Flutters

A story on Science Daily is decorated with a butterfly collection.  Amazonian butterflies studied by an international team were chosen to test Darwin’s theory of mutualism – a kind of symbiosis in which two species benefit one another.  The test yielded a surprise.     The idea going in was that sister species would evolve […]

Fish and Reptiles Converge on Magnetic Navigation

Two very different kinds of animal both have outstanding ability to navigate by earth’s magnetic field: salmon and sea turtles.  A new hypothesis by scientists at University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, published in PNAS,1 suggests that the young are “imprinted” with their local magnetic field signature at birth. From a navigational perspective, some […]

Applying the Scientific Method to Prehistory

What could be more scientific than the scientific method?  A scientist observes an unexplained phenomenon.  He or she gathers data, analyzes it, proposes a hypothesis to explain it, and tests it.  The results are published in a peer-reviewed journal.  Mission accomplished, right?  Here are two papers on very different phenomena – one dealing with the […]

Nature Plagiarizes Behe’s Mousetrap

The prevention of genomic instability – and cancer – can be attributed to a “complex mousetrap” mechanism, said Robert M. Brosh, Jr (Laboratory of Molecular Gerontology, NIH) in Nature.1  This not-so-subtle reference to Michael Behe’s irreducibly complex system described in Darwin’s Black Box even has a mousetrap illustration with the following caption: The BLM protein […]

Fly Swiftly

The common swift is being eyed by aircraft engineers who want to go fast, high, and green.  Science Daily says these engineers are “inspired by nature.”     Calling Apus apus a common “swift” is like calling an orange an orange.  They are swift!  These incredible birds dart about effortlessly and spend their lives almost […]

Are Religious People Weird?

Some scientists treat religious people as a class.  They put them in a test tube, so to speak, to see how they react to a stimulus, then write up the results in scientific papers.  The implication seems to be that these fellow humans of theirs are some kind of odd lot. Reactionary:  The BBC News […]

Thanks to Clam Design, Stronger Materials Are Coming

Scientists at Lawrence Berkeley National Labs have produced a lightweight composite material 300 times stronger than its constituents.  How?  By taking inspiration from clams.     The team, writing in Science,1 described nacre, the shiny mother-of-pearl found inside clam shells.  Because of the way it sandwiches crystalline aragonite with layers of protein (07/26/2004), nacre resists […]

Cosmologists Taste the Forbidden Fruit

Everyone agrees: our universe appears fine-tuned for human existence.  You have two choices: it was designed by God, or there is a multiverse (other universes we cannot detect).  Amanda Gefter is unhappy with that choice.  In New Scientist, she asked, why can’t we have more options?     Calling the God-vs-multiverse choice a false dichotomy, […]

Tiktaalik Not a Missing Link

Has all the colorful artwork of the fish-a-pod been for naught?  Three European biologists claim that Neil Shubin’s famous Tiktaalik fossil, supposedly of a fish evolving into a four-footed land dweller (see 05/03/2006, 11/13/2008) which has garnered iconic status in the media (01/16/2008), is not a missing link after all.     The situation is […]

Another Attempt to Explain Life’s Handedness

Life uses only single-handed (homochiral) molecules for proteins and DNA.  How that came about when mixtures of life’s building blocks contain equal amounts of both hands is a puzzle that confounds origin-of-life research.  Science Daily reported on new studies at the Argonne National Laboratory that show that molecules in space on a magnetic substrate exposed […]
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