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Cooking Up Human Evolution, Or a Crock?

51; What’s cooking in human evolution stories?  “Cooking is what made us human,” announced zoologist Richard Wrangham on New Scientist.  “Cooking food allowed our ancestors to evolve our big brains, the zoologist argues, and created the gender roles still observed by most people.”  The reporter apparently did not catch the embedded Lamarckism in that sentence.  […]

Evolution As Assumption

51; Reasoning requires premises: axioms or truths taken for granted.  Notice the premise of reasoning stated in a recent article on Science Daily: “Because all living organisms inherit their genomes from ancestral genomes, computational biologists at MIT reasoned that they could use modern-day genomes to reconstruct the evolution of ancient microbes.”  They used an evolutionary […]

Evolutionists Reduce Human Ideals to Molecules

Two recent stories illustrate the attempt by some evolutionary biologists to reduce complex human behaviors to chance events among molecules. You Are What You Get High On:  Michael Balter in ScienceNow asked, “Did endorphins make us more human?”  Pondering that question is a photo of a chimp and a naked ape (i.e., man) facing opposite […]

Out-of-Africa Theory Becomes More Convoluted

The old simple story that early modern humans migrated out of Africa 40,000 years ago and took over Europe from brutish Neanderthals just got more complicated.  A new theory mentioned in National Geographic News now proposes that they took a side trip to India first, 70,000 years ago.  After knocking off Heidelberg Man there, they […]

Flight Design Inspires Research

There are flying machines hovering over our planet that can turn on a dime, making rapid 90-degree turns.  Their instruments process images ten times faster than we can, and possess precision gyros that tell them how fast they are rotating in space – yet their computers are smaller than the head of a pin.  They’re […]

Robot Tadpole Sex Sheds Light on Intelligent Design

Scientists studying the evolution of vertebrate physiology at Vassar College in Poughkeepsie, N.Y.  have designed swimming robots to demonstrate how evolution might have produced such efficient vertebrate swimmers (see Live Science).  Swimming abilities of each robot were tested by measuring its ability to swim toward and follow a light suspended above the surface of a […]

Sponges Use Fiber Optics for Interior Lighting

51; Sponges are among the simplest of multicellular organisms, but they contain an advanced human technology: fiber optics.  In a case of reverse biomimetics, scientists have determined that one of the products of proud human engineering was already at work in a lowly sponge.     Fiber optical properties of sponge spicules was already known, […]

Rooting for Human Evolution

Can you squeeze human blood out of a turnip?  A new story floating around for how humans began their long divergence away from apes in the jungle was that they developed a taste for roots.  EurekAlert reported a story coming out of U of Minnesota: “About five to seven million years ago, when the lineage […]

Big Bird Was Scary

51; A giant fossil bird with a serrated-edge beak was found in Chile, reported Science Daily, PhysOrg, Live Science, and New Scientist.  The projections on its beak look like teeth but are not true teeth.  They probably helped the sea bird hold onto fish.  The artist reconstruction gives the bird a scary-looking demeanor.     […]

Validity of Evolutionary Explanations Demonstrated

An article in Ethology is claiming much for itself.  It purports to show “New evidence for the validity of evolutionary explanations,” according to EurekAlert.  Researchers are claiming evidence that “Men holding high positions within a hierarchical organisation have more offspring than those in other positions within the same organisation.”  The sample was male university employees.  […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Let Darwin Take Over

Jack Szostak (Harvard Medical Center) wins this week’s prize for a comment in an Associated Press article (see PhysOrg) claiming that scientists will create life in a test tube within 10 years.  Szostak was explaining the process of creating a cell membrane to the reporter: His idea is that once the container is made, if […]

Plants Are World Travelers

We think of plants as stationary life forms anchored to the soil, but National Geographic News reminds us that they have remarkable ways of getting around via seed dispersal mechanisms.  Some fly through the air with parachutes or helicopters, some float in the water, and some rely on animals.  It appears that some exotic species […]

Harnessing Cellular Machines for Humans

The cell is loaded with molecular machines, so why reinvent the wheel?  or the whole truck?  Martin G. L. van den Heuvel and Cees Dekker wrote in Science that engineers ought to put the existing technology to work.1  The biological cell is equipped with a variety of molecular machines that perform complex mechanical tasks such […]

Mutating Evolution Into Design

51; The word evolve gets used in funny ways.  As Paul Nelson has noted, it often becomes a Designer substitute.  Look how an article in New Scientist employed it: Could a 3D printer help to create in minutes what nature took millions of years to evolve – the perfect insect wing? Tiny robotic insects would […]

Fishing for Darwinian Stories

51; Stickleback fish can learn from each other where the best food sources are.  This proves you brain’s remarkable learning abilities have their roots in fish heads, according to science news sources this week.  Science Daily said the findings by UK scientists “show that the cognitive mechanisms underlying cumulative cultural evolution may be more prevalent […]
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