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Dealing with Light at the Extremes

“Light is the most important variable in our environment,” wrote Edith Widder, a marine biologist.  The inhabitants of two different ecosystems have to deal with either too little or too much.  Let your light so shine:  A thousand meters below the sea surface, all sunlight is extinguished.  Yet for thousands of meters more, creatures live […]

Early Platypus Stuns Evolutionists

With the possible exception of a monotreme tooth assumed to be 62 million years old, the oldest known platypus fossil was dated 15 million years old.  Now, a fossil from Australia reported in Science sets a new record: 112 million years old.1     “It’s really, really old for a monotreme,” Timothy Rowe of the […]

Nature Inspires Useful Products

Some day soon you may be able to extract water out of thin air, decorate your walls with detachable wallpaper, read street signs clearly in fog, and employ reusable tape underwater.  These are some of the innovations coming from biomimetics – science inspired by nature’s designs. Venus flytrap:  Alex Crosby at University of Massachusetts was […]

Gone Fishing: Can Humans Counteract Evolution?

Darwinists insist that human beings are part and parcel of the evolutionary process, but once in awhile, they criticize their fellow hominids for getting in Darwin’s way.  A recent example in Nature1 took aim at fishermen: People like to catch big fish, sometimes so much so that fish sizes overall become greatly diminished.  According to […]

Monkey See, Monkey Rationalize

It’s a quirk of English that rational and rationalize have opposite meanings.  Be that as it may, the latter may have evolved into to the former, according to a story in the New York Times.  A monkey study using children as control subjects seems to indicate that Capuchin monkeys, like us, occasionally rationalize bad choices. […]

Mighty Mouse Has Arrived

Geneticists at Case Western Reserve University have genetically engineered mice that “can run five to six kilometres at a speed of 20 meters per minute on a treadmill, for up to six hours before stopping,” according to a report on the BBC News.     Professor Richard Hanson explained, “They are metabolically similar to Lance […]

Winged Migration Grows Up

Scientists used to rely on metal bands on birds’ legs to find out how they got from here to there.  Now, they can glue tiny radio transmitters to their shoulders and follow them in real time.  What happened when Princeton scientists hijacked 30 white-crowned sparrows and took them from Seattle to New Jersey?  Age has […]

Month-End Close-Out

Sometimes the creation-evolution news comes in too fast.  Here’s a baker’s dozen from the October shelf, lest they go stale; time to start a new batch for November. Charity begins at worldview:  David Cyranoski in Nature (450, 24-25, 10/31/2007) investigated why the level of charitable giving in prosperous Japan is a tenth of that in […]

Amphibian Imprints Found

Full-body imprints of amphibians claimed to be 330 million years old have been reported from Pennsylvania.  “The imprints show the unmistakably webbed feet and bodies of three previously unknown, foot-long salamander-like critters that lived 100 million years before the first dinosaurs.”     The story in a press release from the Geological Society of America […]

Machiavellian Monkeys Made Us Compassionate

Love, loyalty, patriotism – all the qualities that imbue a romantic novel with soul – came from Rhesus monkeys acting badly.  This is the belief of Dario Maestripieri, a primatologist and Associate Professor in Comparative Human Development and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago, according to an article in Science Daily.     Dr. […]

Evolutionary Science Reporting Battles Creationists

If creationism is so discredited as to not warrant any further discussion, some science writers are sure going out of their way to refute it.  Some recent examples: Eye of the Hydra:  Little sea creatures known as hydrae have light-sensitive molecules called opsins, reported Science Daily.  Scientists think the opsin proteins, which exist all over […]

Inner Ear More Complex than Thought

Another level of complexity has been added to the mystery of hearing.  Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) found that another membrane in the cochlea of the inner ear, once thought to be passive, is actively involved in transmitting sound waves to the hair cell receptors.  Their work was published in PNAS.1     […]

Make Your Face Sparkle With Diatoms

Human engineers may join forces with cellular architects to produce the next generation of paints, cosmetics and holograms, reported Science Daily.  Scientists are finding ways to harness the rapid growth of diatoms.  Manufacturing consumer products with these properties currently requires energy-intensive, high-temperature, high-pressure industrial processes that create tiny artificial reflectors.  But farming diatom shells, which […]

Crow Cam Lets Scientists See Intelligence at Work

Ever want to fly like a bird?  Now you can do the next best thing: get a tail-feather view of what it is like to fly from branch to branch.  University of Oxford scientists attached a small video camera to the underside of a New Caledonian Crow to watch it in the wild, reported PhysOrg.  […]

Nanofabrication Imitates Shells, Butterflies

A new plastic “strong as steel” has been manufactured according to the specs in seashells, reported PhysOrg.  “By mimicking a brick-and-mortar molecular structure found in seashells, University of Michigan researchers created a composite plastic that’s as strong as steel but lighter and transparent.”  (See these previous entries about how marine organisms manufacture their shells: 06/26/2003, […]
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