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Kepler On the Way to Search for Earth-Size Planets

The long-awaited launch of the planet-hunting Kepler spacecraft was successful Friday night, announced the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.  Named for the 17th-century German astronomer-mathematician Johannes Kepler, the spacecraft will stare at 100,000 stars for over three years, looking for variations in their light that indicate the presence of planets.  Follow-up studies may determine if some of […]

The Evolution of Creationism and Other Intangibles

If you are a creationist, you can’t help yourself, because evolution made you that way.  It might have also made you moral and religious, especially if you are a woman.  These and other evolutionary stories are making the rounds. Evo-creationism:  New Scientist says humans may be primed to believe in creation.  Studies show that humans […]

Are You Cereous?  Life Came from an Asteroid?

Ceres is an icy asteroid way out in space that has a lot of ice.  The DAWN spacecraft is heading there.  When it arrives in 2015, maybe it will find out if a substantial part of the water is in liquid state under an ice crust.  Say the word water, and some think… life.   […]

Darwin Had Genetic Blinders

Darwin was a contemporary of Mendel, so why did he get inheritance wrong?  That question was addressed on Science Daily by Jonathan Howard of the University of Cologne, Germany.  His thesis is that Darwin had philosophical blinders on that prevented him from recognizing the significance of evidence before him.     “Why Didn’t Darwin Discover […]

Using Engineering to Prove Evolution

David Deamer smiling at a tide pool: is there an evolutionary connection?  The picture accompanies an article on Science Daily about Deamer’s latest thinking on the origin of life.  He’s going to share his ideas at a symposium in Oakland, California, organized by Eugenie Scott of the NCSE. According to Deamer, life began with complex […]

Tracking Human Ancestors

“Earliest human footprints found,” the BBC News announced, and National Geographic echoed, “Oldest Human Footprints With Modern Anatomy Found.”  Presumably these are to be distinguished as human rather than pre-human.  What was discovered?     A photo of a modern-looking footprint accompanies the two articles.  The print was found in volcanic ash in Kenya dated […]

Star Children for Darwin

Why should we be looking for alien intelligence around other stars when it is right behind your eyeballs?  You may not have known that you are a star child, but that’s what a leading astronomer called you.  As a good star child, you need to pay tribute to Charles Darwin.     In New Scientist, […]

Cell Motors Play Together

If one molecular machine by itself is a wonder, what would you think of groups of them playing in concert?  Recent papers and news articles are claiming that’s what happens in living cells: molecular motors coordinate their efforts.     Science Daily led off a story on this by saying, “Even within cells, the left […]

Motive Mongering: Does It Belong in Science?

Amanda Gefter, a book reviewer and science editor, felt the need to warn the world about the creationists.  She wrote a blog entry at New Scientist called “How to spot a hidden religious agenda.”  Aiming to “share a few tips for spotting what may be religion in science’s clothing,” she exposed buzzwords and buzzphrases she […]

Can Evolution Keep You Safe?

A new practical use for Darwinism has come to light: natural security.  Two recent articles claim that we can learn from evolution how best to protect ourselves. Natural security:  Darwinism can be practical, thinks Rafe Sagarin, an ecologist at Duke University.  Science Daily reported that he is using Darwinian principles to write and speak about […]

Evidence for Inflation, or Inflating the Evidence?

Cosmic inflation has become an accepted truth in cosmology, but its appeal is primarily philosophical and theoretical.  Something as weird as a universe jumping 26 orders of magnitude in size in one trillion trillion trillionth of a second (see 02/21/2005) should raise eyebrows in any scientific circle.  Is there any evidence for it?  Live Science […]

Evidence for Evolution Found – Or Claimed

It seems that in this Darwin Bicentennial year, some reporters are overeager to find confirming evidence for Darwin’s theory.  Here are some recent reports where it is not clear the evidence presented would convince a skeptic. Survival of the weakest:  Add a new catch-phrase to Darwin’s arsenal: survival of the weakest.  Sure enough, Science Daily […]

Adult Stem Cells, +2; Embryonic Stem Cells, -1

Two more successes were chalked up for adult stem cell therapies recently.  Science Daily said that sufferers from Crohn’s disease may have a new treatment option by getting injections of their own bone marrow stem cells.  This “now constitutes a treatment option to cure an intestinal disease that sometimes does not successfully respond to drugs […]

Assassins Roam Our Highways

Slinking surreptitiously through our blood streams, the assassins prowl about, looking for their targets.  These are not terrorists or vigilantes.  They have a license to kill.  Be glad they are there; they have saved your life many times.  They are called natural killer cells.     PhysOrg reported on work going on at Howard Hughes […]

Darwinism as Religion in a Holy War

It might be expected that media attention on Darwin would be exceptionally high this month because of his bicentennial, but some of it seems downright religious.  The adulation he has been receiving is almost embarrassing sometimes.  It is only exceeded by the righteous indignation Darwin’s fans frequently express against intelligent design.  In any other context, […]
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