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Sensing the World Requires Intelligent Design

How do our bodies make sense of the external world?  Through our senses, of course; at least they are the entry points of data into the mind.  Behind those senses are remarkable mechanisms that we use but do not actively operate.  The design in their automatic operations is slowly being revealed with better observing techniques. […]

More Soft Tissue Found in Old Fossils

A reptile skin fossilized in rock said to be 50 million years old has been found.  According to Science Daily, scientists at the University of Manchester reported the discovery of amide molecules in “fossilized soft tissue of a beautifully-preserved reptile.”  The original paper, accessible to the public, was published in the Proceedings of the Royal […]

Better Life Origin Through Chemistry

Jeffrey Bada went digging through Stanley Miller’s old 1958 spark-discharge vials and found more amino acids.  When Miller added rotten-egg gas (hydrogen sulfide, H2S) to the mix, more amino acids were produced: “A total of 23 amino acids and 4 amines, including 7 organosulfur compounds, were detected in these samples,” his team reported in PNAS.1  […]

Evolution Everyone Can Agree On

The controversy over Darwinian evolution concerns one core question: Can an unplanned, undirected process generate new functions and complex organs of irreducible complexity without design?  No one really doubts that organisms vary in horizontal or downward ways – either by modifications of existing genetic information, or by deleterious mutations that somehow allow animals to continue […]

Limits of Science Noted

Biology used to be simple to classify: plants and animals.  Up to the 1990s, that transmogrified into eukaryotes and prokaryotes.  Then the prokaryotes got split into archaea and bacteria.  But now, according to New Scientist there are debates about opening up a fourth kingdom of life – with the realization that 99% of cell species […]

It’s Raining Methane on Titan’s Dunes

Imagine a world where it rains liquid natural gas.  That world is Titan, the Mercury-sized moon of Saturn.  In Science this week,1 Cassini scientists reported large equatorial clouds over Titan’s vast dune fields, and a darkening of the surface after an apparent cloudburst.  Since only hydrocarbons can be liquid at the temperatures there, and methane […]

Mummified Trees in the Arctic: Are They Millions of Years Old?

Arctic wood in a “polar desert” has been discovered that is “so well preserved that the wood can still burn, and even the most delicate tree structures, such as leaves, are present” reported PhysOrg.  Joel Barker (Ohio State) remarked, “The dead trees look just like the dried-out dead wood lying outside now.” How old are […]

Double Ratchet Found in ATP Synthase

ATP synthase, the rotary engine in all living things, has another trick in its design specs: a ratcheting mechanism that improves the efficiency of ATP synthesis.  ATP is the “energy currency” of cellular life, so the efficiency of production of ATP is of vital importance.  (For background and animation, see CMI article.)     Three […]

Follow the Insects

Science has good reason to study insects – not just because they are the most numerous and diverse animals on the planet.  They know some tricks we would do well to emulate.  Robot designers are taking the lead on following insects. Print a fly:  New printers are allowing inventors to print the paper-thin wings they […]

Surprises in Science Never End

In a perfect world of scientific knowledge, scientists would understand everything and be able to predict everything according to their best theories.  The number of surprises that continue to turn up, however, show that we remain far from that perfect world.  Paleoecology: Chilly dinosaurs:  “It has long been thought that the climate of the Mesozoic, […]

Feather Color Is a Costly “Complex System Design”

The brilliant, shimmering colors in the breast feathers of the Bird of Paradise have long fascinated ornithologists.  Alfred Russell Wallace was perhaps the first Englishman to see the magnificent birds in their native Malaysian habitats and wrote, “the richness of their glossy orange colouring, and the exquisite delicacy of the loosely waving feathers, were unsurpassable.”1 […]

Don’t Tell the Creationists

John Horgan, a blogger for Scientific American, wanted to use this headline 20 years ago, but the editor didn’t let him.  Now that editor is gone, so Horgan let the cat out of the bag: “Pssst!  Don’t tell the creationists, but scientists don’t have a clue how life began.”  Well, he just did.     […]

Assessing Evolutionary Explanations

No matter the biological discovery, evolutionists are ready with their explanations.  The explanations, however, are often riddled with puzzles, surprises, and seemingly arbitrary appeals to chance.  Do such explanations really provide more understanding than those of creationists, who explain that living things were designed for a purpose? Shrimp deal:  “Many deep-sea species have close relatives […]

If Pigs Have Wings, SETI Could Be Robots

The SETI program is still waiting to catch a sentient signal from deep space, but in the absence of data, people are free to speculate.  Michael Dyer, a computer science professor at UCLA, is certain that the first aliens to visit Earth will be robots.  He even attached a probability to it, according to Adam […]

Evolution by Loss

Evolutionists have added a counter-intuitive notion to their explanatory toolkit.  It surfaced this week in Nature,1 then reverberated around the media: our ancestors became human when they lost genetic information from ape-like ancestors.     New Scientist exemplified the new story line: “Key to humanity is in missing DNA.”  Reporter Andy Coghlan explained the central […]
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