VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Seeing Is Believing, or v.v.

What you see is not what is out there in the world – not exactly, at least.  Scientists have shown that your brain is tweaking the light coming in from your eyes and making predictions about what you expect to see.     The “blind spot” experiment is well known to students.  That’s where it […]

Assuming Reality: Can Crater Dating Be Tested?

Two astronomers in Paris have come up with a new crater chronology for the moon and offered it as a way to date other objects in the inner solar system.  Their paper in Icarus,1 however, assumes so many unobservable things, the reader may wonder if it talks about the true history of the moon or […]

Imagining Worlds: Is It Science?

An entry on Space.com is almost pure speculation with no observation.  Does it belong on a science news site?     Reporter Clara Moskowitz gave Viorel Badescu [Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania] free rein to imagine life on free-floating planets (FFPs) – bodies wandering free in space after being abandoned, like wayward children, from their […]

Plants Generate Their Own Sunscreen

Ultraviolet radiation hits plants as well as humans, but plants can’t reach for a tube of sunscreen.  Too much exposure can damage them; what do they do?  They have a sensor that turns on production of their own brand of sunscreen and spreads it on their skin automatically.     UV-B rays are the most […]

Psychologist Analyzes ID Belief with Emotionally Loaded Poll

Without any critique, Science Daily and PhysOrg reproduced a bizarre press release from University of British Columbia that alleges, “Death anxiety prompts people to believe in intelligent design, reject evolution.”     A contrived psychological survey, replete with imagining one’s own death and then reading quotes from Michael Behe and Richard Dawkins, scared 1,674 respondents […]

Plants Have Social Networks

Plants may be mostly stationary, but they have connections.  They are so well connected, in fact, that they have both intranets, extranets and internets.  Inside their own vessels, they communicate with proteins and RNA molecules from root to shoot (04/23/2010); outside, they have many social relationships with other organisms.  They even “friend” their partners, just […]

Science Discovers the Unexpected and the Obvious

Young’s Law jokes, “All great discoveries are made by mistake.”  Here are some recent examples. Arch-istan:  Think the world’s natural features are all well known?  “Researchers from the Wildlife Conservation Society have stumbled upon a geological colossus in a remote corner of Afghanistan: a natural stone arch spanning more than 200 feet across its base,” […]

Scientists: Who Can You Believe?

Scientists form a kind of knowledge priesthood in our modern world, but when long-taught principles get overturned, it raises questions on what scientists really know. Windy geology:  Wind is a more powerful force for eroding mountains than previously thought.  University of Arizona quoted Paul Kapp, an associate professor of geosciences at U of A saying, […]

Plagiarizing Nature

Copying someone else’s invention is a crime, but researchers in biomimetics are doing it with impunity and getting away with it. Leaf power:  “Why come up with new ways to generate clean energy, when we can copy what plants have been doing for millennia?”  That’s what led Daniel Nocera and colleagues at MIT to develop […]

Your DNA Repairman Is Handy as an Octopus

Some 10 times a day in a given cell, your DNA breaks on both strands.  This is an emergency.  Unless repaired quickly, serious diseases, like cancer, can develop.  But no fear: the first responder is an octopus-shaped protein complex that rushes to the rescue, wraps around the damaged site, and brings in all the parts […]

Neurons Know What to Do

Neurons are among the most vital cells in the body: after all, your brain is largely composed of neurons.  Neurons are transmission lines of information that keep a body in touch with itself and the world.  None of the other body organs would work without neurons.  The increasingly powerful tools of microscopy are allowing neuroscientists […]

We Are Filled with Viruses

Viruses have a bad connotation.  We immediately think of the ones that cause disease: “I’ve got a virus,” you say when feeling under the weather.  Actually, you have trillions of them all the time, even in the best of health.  A single gram of stool sample can have 10 billion of them!  What does that […]

Plants Spring into Action

We shouldn’t take plants for granted.  They seem so slow and stationary, but actually they move and breath and carry on their lives in truly amazing ways.  Plants really show off their glory in the spring.  But how do they know, without eyes, what time it is?     In “The science of spring,” PhysOrg […]

Evolution Goes Against Darwin

Evolutionists are coming up with new ideas far afield from Charles Darwin’s original ideas of spontaneous variation and natural selection.  The new ideas even differ from neo-Darwinism, and some of them are making other evolutionists angry. Mating of the quickest:  A new phrase, “mating between the quickest,” is supplanting survival of the fittest according to […]

Weird Science Tolerated by Science Reporters

What are the boundaries between science and pseudoscience?  Before answering, look at some of the stories that made headlines on science news sites recently. Legendary science:  Siberia plans to study the Yeti, reported PhysOrg.  Yeti has nothing to do with extra-terrestrial intelligence; it’s the popular name of a legendary abominable snowman locals report having seen […]
Posts by Date