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Dinosaur Fossils Flaunt Physics

Recent announcements about dinosaurs show that even the large ones exhibited physics fitness.  Their size did not inhibit their mobility. T. rex racer:  Maybe Jurassic Park got it right after all.  According to Science Daily, “Tyrannosaurus rex was far from a plodding Cretaceous era scavenger whose long tail only served to counterbalance the up-front weight […]

A Tale of Two Mavericks

Two men who recently died are now being honored for their willingness to have stood up to the majority and advanced views that were unpopular at the time.

Evolutionary Explanations Come Up Empty

When evolutionists claim that they have explained the evolution of this or that, or that their research sheds light on its evolution, a closer examination sometimes shows verbiage covering up hollow reasoning, or even employing intelligent design concepts as weapons against design. Snap goes the dragon:  PhysOrg highlighted a research project by some UK biologists […]

Venus Flytrap Uses Chemical “Brain”

There’s a lowly plant that has a botanical version of muscles and a brain – the Venus flytrap.  It has muscle in its ability to snap its traps shut faster than a bug can escape.  And it has a brain in its ability to distinguish between debris and edible prey.  More about its chemical brain […]

Cells Can Be Transformed

An astonishing feat has been performed in a Canadian lab: scientists turned human skin cells into blood cells.  Bypassing the need for stem cells, the technique provides hope for a supply of blood from a person’s own skin. Live Science calls it a “modern miracle.”  The technique avoids “the ethical concerns concerning embryonic stem cells […]

Is “Religious Selection” Evolution?

An annual ritual by a tribe in Mexico has caused some cave fish to adapt.  Science Daily calls this “evolution by religious selection.”  But is it really evolution?  Two evolutionary biologists think so; they said that the tribe not only changed the population dynamics of the fish, but “inadvertently kick-started the evolutionary process of natural […]

Dumbing Down the Science Reading Public

In their rush to grab attention-getting headlines, are reporters doing more harm than good?  An essential part of science education is critical thinking.  Some headlines and articles state ideas that far outstrip the meager data on which they are based.  Fingers do the walking:  Science Daily blindly reproduced an audacious claim from the University of […]

All Kingdoms of Life Have Ideas We Need

Inventors aren’t partial.  They are willing to find inspiration in plants, animals, and microbes.  Here are three examples showing that all kingdoms of life have great engineering ideas that researchers involved in biomimetics are seeking to understand. Plants:  We don’t fight walled cities with catapults any more, but storing elastic energy can still be useful.  […]

Windows into the Mind

What would it be like to see things for the first time?  You can watch the reaction on Live Science #1 and Live Science #2.  Blind patients were implanted with a microchip that allowed them, for the first time, to roughly sense the visual input of objects in front of them.  Amazing as it was, […]

The Blue and Red States of OOL

When it comes to the origin of life (OOL), some scientists color it blue; some color it red.  New Scientist votes for the blue state.  “LIFE may really have been created by a spark, one that came as a bolt from the deep blue.”  Inspired by visions sent from Ryuhei Nakamura at the University of […]

Cells Know Their Physics

At the microscopic level of cells, forces come into play that are unfamiliar to us at the macro level: quantum mechanics, Brownian motion, and subtle elastic forces that we might overlook.  Two recent papers in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences explored physical mechanisms cells use to good advantage.  Good thing cells know […]

Amazing Insects Defy Evolution

Two recent articles about insects call for the ring buoy on the H.M.S. Darwin.  The first is about fossil amber from India, reported by the BBC News.  “We have complete, three-dimensionally preserved specimens that are 52 million years old,” one of the discoverers announced with astonishment, “and you can handle them almost like living ones.”  […]

Automatic Turnstiles Found in the Cell

One of the things students learn about in high school biology classes is active transport: the ability to control flow through a semi-permeable membrane.  Contrary to osmosis, in which the flow goes naturally from high concentration to low concentration, cell membranes employ active mechanisms to push or pull the molecules through their membranes according to […]

Biomimetics: Does It Flatter Darwin?

The imitation of natural design (biomimetics) is a cutting-edge approach to engineering these days.  Many times, the reports on attempts to mimic the amazing properties of cells, plants, and animals have no time to discuss evolution (e.g., 09/24/2010).  Once in awhile, though, scientists or reporters go out of their way to tell their readers that […]

Weekend Grab Bag

Here’s another unclassified assortment of news stories readers can follow and evaluate on their own (cf. 10/18/2010).  Take your Baloney Detector along and discern the Amazing from the Dumb. Fast Lane: Nick Lane explains how life became complex: cells invented mitochondria (Science Daily).  Gem from his paper in Nature:1 “If evolution works like a tinkerer, […]
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