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Looking for OOL in a Shallow Pool

Origin-of-life (OOL) studies entertained a new hypothesis this week: life started in shallow waters near hydrothermal vents.  “Life’s Origin May Have Been a Shallow Affair,” claimed Anuradha K. Herath in Astrobiology Magazine, echoed by Live Science and PhysOrg.  Leslie Mullen’s report on Live Science employed the ubiquitous “shedding light” phrase again: “In finding answers to […]

Contenders Vie for Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week

Creation-Evolution Headlines needs reader feedback to rank this week’s winners.  Some of these articles are so over the top, giving Darwin credit for anything and everything, it’s a wonder the Darwinists themselves don’t censor them – just to avoid public embarrassment. Evolve!  Sing Along:  New Scientist is letting you take part in the evolutionary process […]

The Evolution of the Future

Evolution, being an unguided process, would seem the last thing one could predict.  That hasn’t stopped some evolutionists from speculating what an evolutionary future will bring to our planet and our species.  Carl Zimmer, a blogger for a Discover Magazine blog, is one such speculator.  He also wrote the final essay in the Origins series […]

Evolutionary Explanations Assume Evolution Explains

The facility with which some evolutionary biologists appeal to almost magical powers of evolution to explain anything and everything is revealed in some recent science articles.  Whatever needs explaining is due to evolution – evidence or not.  These four examples can be considered representative of the genre. The evolution of shopping:  Both PhysOrg and Science […]

Darwin Marketed to Kids

There’s a move on to get Darwin’s ideas taught to tots.  Britain is giving a “birthday present to Darwin,” wrote Andrew Copson for The Guardian, in the form of national curriculum for primary schools that will mention evolution for the first time – and prohibit teaching of creationism or intelligent design in science lessons.   […]

Inefficiency Made You Complex

Remember the old Darwinian story?  Slight variations that prove beneficial are naturally selected when they help an organism adapt to its environment.  Wrong.  According to Ariel Fernandez of Rice University, we humans are complex because natural selection is inefficient.  He said, “the origins of some key aspects of the evolution of complexity may have their […]

Can SETI Be Quantified?

What is the probability of finding intelligent life on other planets?  In 1960, Frank Drake attempted to quantify that question with his famous Drake Equation (see MSNBC and NOVA, which allows you to estimate the probability with an interactive meter).  Trouble is, Stanley Miller and Leslie Orgel of primordial soup fame thought it was meaningless.  […]

Cambrian Explosion Solved: Elementary, My Dear Darwin

Two articles announced solutions to the evidential problem that most troubled Darwin – the sudden appearance of complex animals at the base of the Cambrian fossil record.  Both of them involve chemical elements.  The only difference is which element.     Science Daily announced a “Novel Evolutionary Theory For The Explosion Of Life.”  The article […]

How the Octopus Built Its Own Brain for Better Fishing

The octopus was glad to see fish evolve, but needed a bigger brain to catch them, so it evolved one of the most complex brains in the animal kingdom.  Is that the gist of this story in the Science blog Origins?  Greg Miller wrote in the style of a children’s storybook: Cephalopods—octopuses, squid, and their […]

Beethoven: It All Began With a Thump

Live Science in all seriousness, “When monkeys drum, they activate brain networks linked with communication, new findings that suggest a common origin of primate vocal and nonvocal communication systems and shed light on the origins of language and music.”     Choi reported on work at the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics to determine […]

What’s in a Name?  Sima Fossils Confuse Human Evolution Story

“A hush fell over the room….”  Ian Tattersall had just astonished paleoanthropologists gathered for a meeting on human origins in Gibraltar.  The group was puzzling over a treasure trove of hominin bones found in the mid-1990s at Sima de los Huesos in Spain.  What should they be called?     The co-discoverer, Juan Luis Arsuaga, […]

Fossil Said to Enlighten Evolution of the Ear

Did mammal ear bones evolve?  If so, it was not a straightforward Darwinian progression.  Authors of a paper in Science who announced a new Cretaceous mammal fossil from China had to invoke convoluted explanations to keep the evolution story intact. Science Daily shows an artist’s conception of Maotherium, a chipmunk-sized mammal said to have lived […]

How to Name a Protoplanet

Pallas has long been classified as an asteroid, but all of a sudden in the news media, everyone is calling it a protoplanet.  How did it get promoted?     The picture being painted of asteroid 2 Pallas is that of a planetary building block that failed in its attempt to grow into another real […]

Cosmology: Truth or Style?

If you follow cosmology, you’re familiar with WMAP, Type-1a supernovae, gravitational lensing, inflation and a host of technical terms.  They seem authoritative because they rely on respectable laws like gravity and general relativity.  In an article in Nature today, however, Richard Massey pictured the whole enterprise as a matter of fashion, not fact.     […]

Crusty Salt Incubates Raw Ingredients for Life

Science Daily asked, “Could salt crusts be key ingredient in cooking up prebiotic molecules?”  What if the answer is “No”?  Just asking the question must be newsworthy.  It invokes the power of suggestion.     Stefan Fox told members of the European Planetary Science Congress last week that his team cooked up a new idea […]
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