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Florida Wises Up and Teaches Evolution Uncritically

The Florida State Board of Education adopted, by a vote of 4 to 3, science standards that require the teaching of evolution as “the fundamental concept underlying all of biology” without critical analysis or alternatives.  Evolution News said that calling evolution a “scientific theory” instead of a scientific fact represented a meaningless compromise with the […]

Monkey See, Monkey No Comprendo

In 19th century mythology, a million monkeys might type the works of Shakespeare by chance, given millions of years.  But monkeys would make lousy computer programmers, because they cannot understand the “if-then” construction.  Comparison studies on humans and monkeys showed that while the monkeys could be trained to recognize when one word is followed by […]

Bats Exhibit Aerodynamic Superiority

They may look clumsy fluttering around in the twilight air, but “Flexible, highly articulated wings give bats more options for flight than birds: more lift, less drag, greater maneuverability.”  Thus reads the caption to a picture of a bat in flight on a Brown University press release.  Researchers at Brown U are studying the differences […]

How and Why Whiskers Whisk

Scientists at Weizmann Institute found some interesting things about whiskers, reports EurekAlert.  While working with rats, they noticed that the whiskers are always in motion, twitching and sensing objects around them.  They discovered that two kinds of neurons are involved in sending whisker signals to the brain.  The “whisking” neurons are active all the time, […]

Live at the Improv: DNA Polymerase

When a DNA reader hits an unfamiliar line, it improvises, reports EurekAlert: Prof. Zvi Livneh and Ph.D. student Ayelet Maor-Shoshani of the Biological Chemistry Department cut a DNA strand — from the bacterium E. coli — and inserted material similar to that which composes crude oil in between both its ends.  As expected, the regular […]
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