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Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  The Evolution of TV Dinners

Humans still have genetic memories of feasting and telling stories around the campfire, says Martin Jones at Cambridge University.  That’s why we gravitate toward eating TV dinners in front of the telly.  This opinion is expressed in all seriousness by United Press International, titled “Television dinners linked to evolution.”  Jones calls today’s TV dinners “today’s […]

How Evolutionary Science Is Done: From Deduction to Story

“Evolution is a fact!” Carl Sagan stated emphatically on TV in his 1980 Cosmos series (now in reruns on The Science Channel).  Following this lead, many evolutionists repeat this four-word phrase, often augmenting it like, Evolution is a fact, like gravity (see association).  This motto has some interesting properties in its effects on scientific research.  […]

Ichthyosaurs Suddenly Appeared in Triassic Oceans

“Ichthyosaurs were a group of Mesozoic marine reptiles that evolved fish-shaped body outlines,” begins Ryosuke Motani (UC Davis) in the Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences,1 in a paper on “Evolution of Fish-Shaped Reptiles… in Their Physical Environments and Constraints.”  But while much is said about their environments and constraints, little is said to […]

Findings vs Surmisings in Evolutionary Biology

51; What part of the following story is a finding, and what is a supposition?  Science Daily told about work by Julie Baker (Stanford) and a graduate student who set out to discover the evolutionary origin of the mammalian placenta.  They evaluated differences between placentas and eggs of a number of different animals, and told […]

Your Inner Postal Service

51; Zip codes – those five- or nine-digit numbers on mail – have an analogue in every one of your cells.  Like a city,1 a cell has information to ship from place to place.2  To make sure that the manufacturing instructions for protein parts arrive at the appropriate assembly site, the shipper puts a molecular […]

Teeth Resist Cracking

51; Here’s a story to share with your dentist.  You can crack a tooth, but it takes a lot of force.  This should be surprising, since tooth enamel is as brittle as glass.  The way the enamel develops, researchers found, absorbs excess energy and gives your teeth an extraordinary crack resistance.     “Human enamel […]

Crows Use Tools in Sequence

51; Watch a one-minute video clip on the BBC News.  A New Caledonian crow in New Zealand figures out how to use three tools in sequence to get at food that is out of reach.  This amazing display of animal intelligence surprised researchers at the University of Auckland who already knew about the legendary problem-solving […]

Flies Turn on a Dime

51; A fly can turn 180 degrees in one tenth the time it takes you to blink an eye.  Beating their wings 250 times a second, they don’t even have to think about each wing beat, PhysOrg said about studies at Brown University using high-speed cameras and image tracking software.  “[Attila] Bergou discovered that flies […]

Inflation: Cosmic, Comic, or Cosmetic?

The science media seem beside themselves with enthusiasm over some dots and lines.  When scientists analyzing data from the Wilkinson Microwave Anisotropy Probe (WMAP) told reporters they determined the polarization of certain points in the cosmic microwave background, one could almost hear the yawns.  But when they suggested that this tells us something about what […]

National Geographic Embellishes Human Fossil Data

Confronting millions of homes around the world is National Geographic’s latest cover: a wide-eyed, fearful looking small human with black skin, flared ape-like nostrils, bloodshot eyes and disheveled hair – all make-believe.  What was found are bones of a small human population that inhabited the island of Flores in Indonesia (see 10/27/2004 entry); the soft […]

More Details of Photosynthesis Coming to Light

Photosynthesis, the light-harvesting capability of plants, was a black box 30 years ago, but more and more details have been elucidated by advanced probing techniques.  In the March 18 issue of Nature,1, a team of Chinese scientists determined the X-ray structure of a principal component acts like a light-harvesting antenna.  The structure utilizes special molecules […]

A Bad Kind of Sexual Selection

51; Darwin taught a kind of sexual selection that presumed mate choice can lead to extravagant sexual differences.  There is a kind of sexual selection going on among humans that is by intelligent design – with bad consequences.  In this case, the selections are not being made by potential mates, but by parents.     […]

Bacterial Flagellum Can Tune Its Swim Speed with Network-Controlled Brakes

51; What’s new with flagella?  These are the favorite toys of intelligent design supporters, because they are irreducibly complex molecular machines that evolutionists rarely attempt to explain by a Darwinian process.  More fodder for their position comes from a paper in Cell1 that finds that bacteria can fine-tune their swimming velocity by means of a […]

Evolution Rules

51; It would be convenient if all a scientist had to do to prove his theory was declare it to be a law of nature.  Is that what scientists from UC Berkeley and Imperial College have done with evolution?  “First ‘rule’ of evolution suggests that life is destined to become more complex,” announced a press […]

SETI Sans ETI So Far

There’s “no din of alien chatter in our neighborhood,” writes Richard Kerr in the Feb. 20 issue of Science.1  “Early-generation searches for extraterrestrial intelligence are coming up empty-handed, but the SETI community is carrying on,” he writes.  Search pioneer Frank Drake admits “We found nothing” in the latest Project Phoenix, a survey of 700 nearby […]
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