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Language Is Not a Simple Genetic Matter

It sounds so simple.  The title on an article in PhysOrg announced, in Kipling Just-So Story Format, “How gorilla gestures point to evolution of human language.”  Because gorillas have an extensive repertoire of over 100 gestures, human conversation was only a matter of evolutionary time.  Is this mere storytelling, or do such explanations have scientific […]

Disease Genes Play the Wrong Tune

How did disease originate?  It might seem that large changes in genes would be required to turn a benign cell into a pathogen, but an article on Science Daily says it might just be a good cell playing a bad tune.     Bacteria have more genes than they use at any one time.  What […]

Darwin as Compassionate Buddhist Ape Descendant

National Geographic claimed today.  “Darwin the Buddhist?  Empathy Writings Reveal Parallels,” wrote Christine Dell’Amore about new ideas about Darwin by Paul Ekman, psychologist.     What could Darwin possibly have to do with Buddhism?  Ekman told an audience at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in Chicago that Charles […]

Songbirds Sing on a Fast Wing

Purple martins and wood thrushes are common songbirds of the eastern United States.  Until recently, it has not been possible to follow their movements accurately.  Now, a team of biologists in Toronto, Erie and Cambridge was able to track them with tiny geolocators.  They found that the little birds fly farther and faster than previously […]

The Uses of Wood Rot

Wood rot fungus doesn’t sound like a useful thing.  Most people would rather get rid of it – especially those who have seen their houses decay because of it.  Some scientists, however, are intrigued by it.  It may have properties that could some day help power your car.     Science Daily reported that the […]

The Nature of Nature’s “Darwin 200”

As could be expected for yesterday’s Darwin Day February 12, Nature devoted almost its entire 2/12/09 issue to Charles Darwin with at least 20 Darwin-related articles.  The caption for the special edition states, The latest edition of Nature to celebrate Darwin’s life and work looks at the human side of evolution.  We have features on […]

Darwin Losing in the Polls

Many scientists are celebrating Darwin as the greatest scientist in history on his Bicentennial, but public support for his theory is slipping.  A new Zogby poll shows significant erosion over the past few years over the question of whether evolution only should be taught, and a new Gallup poll shows only a minority believe in […]

Darwin’s Wrong Turn in Argentina

When the Beagle was sailing the coast of Argentina in 1834, it stopped at the mouth of the Santa Cruz River.  25-year-old Charles Darwin, who had been reading Lyell’s Principles of Geology, got out and explored the area on foot as the crew made camp on the cliffs.  Darwin was impressed by the six-mile-wide canyon […]

Can You Have Evolution Without Darwin?

It might seem crass to diminish the reputation of a historical figure right before his Bicentennial, but it’s happening.  There are some who are trying to chuck Darwin.  In the New York Times, Carl Safina shocked readers with his title, “Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live.”     Safina was appalled at the […]

Science Special Issue on Darwin: Is Ignorance Evidence?

It’s fair to confess that scientists cannot be expected to know everything.  Often, though, ignorance is presented as evidence that a paradigm needs to continue.  The idea is that by following the consensus paradigm, scientists can hope to one day fill in the blanks in our knowledge.  How long should this practice continue with a […]

Evolutionists Hunger for Morality

Nature is completely sold over to naturalistic evolution, yet cannot escape the question of morality.  Science depends on morality, but it is not clear in their statements that they acknowledge any universal moral standard.  Christian standards of honesty seem to be assumed.  But if everything in biology (including human behavior) emerged by natural selection, then […]

Panspermia Discounted: Life Had to Start Here

Some prominent biologists have pointed to a back door on the stage of life’s origin.  They have argued that even if the probability for the first cell was unlikely on Earth, life could have been brought here from space.  Francis Crick promoted this view; so did Fred Hoyle.  Most recently, even the ardent atheist Darwin […]

Modeling Solar Cells on Butterflies

Sunlight is free – if we could just learn how to use it better.  For decades, engineers have been trying to improve the efficiency of solar cells.  Why not look at nature?  Science Daily reported on work going on in China and Japan: “The discovery that butterfly wings have scales that act as tiny solar […]

A Tale of Two Sites: Moby Dog and The Claw

Discoveries portrayed as major evolutionary missing links were announced this week.  One is a putative transitional form from land animal to whale, and one is a Cambrian trilobite-like creature said to be evolving the first claw. Moby dog:  The current evolutionary scenario for the origin of whales is that they evolved from dog-like hoofed animals […]

Evolution as Efficiency Expert

Who would have thought that a lowly bacterium is a “master of industrial efficiency”?  That’s what a researcher at the Weizmann Institute of Science called it.  E. coli, the best-studied microbe, “can be thought of as a factory with just one product: itself,” a press release said.  “It exists to make copies of itself, and […]
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