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Dust Bunny Lays Planet Eggs

Where do planets come from?  The Dust Bunny.  That’s a line coming from a press release from the University of Hawaii Institute for Astronomy.  They measured spectra of gas and dust at radio and infrared wavelengths around a sunlike star, and concluded the dust was collecting.  “This suggests that the dust particles are sticking together, […]

Why Your Brain Has Gray Matter, and Why You Should Use It

Vertebrate brains have an outer layer of “gray matter” over the inner “white matter.”  Why is this?  “By borrowing mathematical tools from theoretical physics,” a press release from Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory announced, two researchers found out. Based on no fewer than 62 mathematical equations and expressions, the theory provides a possible explanation for the […]

Darwin Hits Home: Adultery Rationalized

USA Today began an article with a steamy picture of a man and a woman embracing.  As could be expected, they are not married; reporter Sharon Jayson began, “Some men cheat on their partners.  So do some women.  Now researchers say it is more than a wandering eye that might cause a woman to stray.”  […]

Health Depends on Robust Cell Machinery

When we think of health, we typically visualize the big things: firm muscles, energy, lack of a protruding stomach and the like.  Cell biology, though, is showing us how our health depends on the proper functioning of countless myriads of molecular machines.  Here are some recent samples from the science journals: Heroic Underdogs in the […]

Do Guppies Make Good Darwinian Grandmothers?

If a report on EurekAlert is right, some evolutionary biologists used lack of evidence for natural selection as confirmation for evolution.  They predicted guppies would show no evidence of a “grandmother effect” on life history after reproduction, and “that is what they found.”     The question under study is why evolution keeps aging individuals […]

Astronomers See Poison Around Star, Think Life

The Spitzer Space Telescope discovered acetylene and hydrogen cyanide, two deadly gases, around a star.  Some astronomers got all excited and thought of the birth of life.  The title of a press release from Jet Propulsion Laboratory read, “Partial ingredients for DNA and protein found around star.”  The two carbon-containing substances were found in the […]

How Apemen Learned to Give Christmas Presents

For your Christmas amusement, some scientists think they have solved the evolution of gift giving.  In an announcement on EurekAlert called “Why we give: New study finds evidence of generosity among our early human ancestors,” the introduction states, “A groundbreaking new study examines the origins of holiday giving and finds that our early human ancestors […]

Cell Ribosome Assembly Is Like Throwing Car Parts Together

Ribosomes are the protein-assembly machines in the living cell (11/24/2005, 07/26/2005, 01/19/2005).  A bacterium can have thousands of them.  They are composed of two large RNA complexes; the smaller one has 20 unique proteins that fit snugly in various parts of the apparatus, and the larger complex has even more.  How do the parts all […]

On the Origin of Hee-Hees by Natural Selection

From slime to smile in 200 million years: some Darwinists feel they have explained the evolution of laughter.  In all seriousness, EurekAlert announced, “The first laugh: New study posits evolutionary origins of two distinct types of laughter.”  The story is about a new hypothesis by Matthew Gervais and David Sloan Wilson.  The origin of comedy, […]

Sea Monsters Were For Real

A large fossil crocodile-like sea monster with a bullet-shaped snout has been reported in Science.1  See MSNBC News for a summary.  For an artistic rendering of what Dakosaurus andiniensis might have looked like, see National Geographic News, which states that the discovery will be the December cover story of their magazine.  Dubbed “Godzilla” by its […]

Stupid Evolution Quotes of the Week

Two articles in the popular press tried to make the case that monkeys have humanlike characteristics.  Maybe they proved the converse, at least for some humans. Does this add up?  Reporting on experiments suggesting monkeys have the rudiments of math skills, at least in the ability to compare sizes of things, MSNBC News writer Bjorn […]

A Just-So Story Digest

For your weekend reading entertainment, here is a collection of recent science stories that rely more on imagination than evidence, in the tradition of Kipling’s Just-So Stories for children. How the Brown Dwarf Sowed Planet Seeds:  Apai et al. in Science found magic crystals, hidden by the six brown dwarfs, that turn into planets over […]

Listen to Yourself Evolve

A pretty gene is like a melody, decided Mary Anne Clark at Texas Wesleyan University, so she gave life to music—literally.  She translated the structure of proteins into musical notes so that she could hear “protein songs,” reported National Geographic News.  By listening to the songs, scientists and students alike can hear the structure of […]

Evolution Runs in Reverse

A commercial for Guinness Beer shows devolution: evolution running in reverse.  It’s called, “The history of life in :50 seconds flat.”  Is beer drinking a slippery slope to the primordial ooze? This commercial is really funny to watch, and very clever, but it demonstrates the pervasive influence of Darwinism on our culture.  We like the […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Network Evolution Trumps ID

This entry will make more sense after reading yesterday’s story on the evolution of modular networks (10/04/2005).  A reader sent in a reference to a very similar article from scientists at Johns Hopkins published in PLoS Biology.1  It must be Network Evolution Week.  Before awarding the SEQOTW prize, some background is necessary.     Like […]
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