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Biology Now Includes Fluid Dynamic Construction

There’s an old legend that Tibetan monks built a wall by levitating heavy stones with sound by beating their drums and gongs.  Something not quite so fantastic but still amazing is done by cells in the embryo.  Scientists have filmed zebrafish embryos using beating cilia to build little stone structures that they use for balance. […]

Your Brain Decides Best Unconsciously

A report on Science Daily claims your subconscious brain makes the best decisions possible.  This is based on work by cognitive neuroscientists at the University of Rochester.  Alex Pouget believes the brain is hard-wired to make optimal decisions – when we are not consciously thinking about them. Pouget has been demonstrating for years that certain […]

Cilium Likened to GPS

A story on Science Daily says that the primary cilium, a protrusion on most human cells that looks like an antenna, acts like a GPS system.  They “orient cells to move in the right direction and at the speed needed to heal wounds, much like a Global Positioning System helps ships navigate to their destinations.” […]

That Spring in Your Step Is Semi-Automatic

Cross-country runners know the challenge of running on uneven terrain.  What they may not know is that they are executing one of the most difficult operations for robot designers: how to make an upright, walking machine make rapid decisions on irregular surfaces without falling.     Monica Daley of the Royal Veterinary College wrote about […]

How Floppy Feet Produced Marathoners

A picture of a muscle-bound furry gibbon adorns a story on Science Daily that claims, “Floppy-footed Gibbons Help Us Understand How Early Humans May Have Walked.”  The story describes how two European researchers photographed the footwork of wild gibbons to find connections to human evolution.  It turned out that gibbon footfalls are very different from […]

Far-Out Science

The following list of bizarre stories coming from science news outlets is jarring on two fronts: it shows how little scientists understand, and calls into question what counts as science these days.  Some stories illustrate one or the other; some both. Roar of the aurora aura:  Both Saturn and Mars turned up auroras that are […]

Defining Nature Produces a Dilemma

The evolution wars often revolve around the word “nature.”  Evolutionists insist that science must use natural instead of supernatural explanations.  It seems obvious that before arguing such issues, one must first define nature.  That is not easily done, wrote a scientist at the University of Bergen in a letter to Nature.1     Fern Wickson’s […]

Proving the Obvious

The well-known IgNobel Prizes are awarded each year for silly, useless research projects (see Improbable Research).  There seem to be a lot of contenders that may never win the prize, but get reported anyway.  One can only wonder why the reporters aren’t putting these on the funny pages: Well duh:  Science Daily reported that serial […]

Body’s Junk Is Useful Stuff

What’s the difference between junk and stuff?  The jokester replies that stuff is the junk you throw away, and junk is the stuff you keep.  When it comes to stuff in your body that scientists have called junk, you had better keep all of it, because your life may depend on it. Junk DNA:  The […]

Biological Complexity Continues to Astound

There’s more going on in your thinking apparatus than you think.  New scientific discoveries continue to unfold new layers of complexity and control.  Here are a few examples: Meta-code:  Your body has codes directing codes.  Geneticists were initially dismayed to find only 20,000 to 30,000 genes in the human genome.  “We were expecting that something […]

Evolutionizing Religion: Who’s Assuming What?

“Findings from cognitive psychology, neuroscience, cultural anthropology and archaeology promise to change our view of religion,” said Pascal Boyer in Nature.1  His essay summarized studies that offer an evolutionary explanation for mankind’s propensity to embrace religion.  “We can probe the shared assumptions that religions are built on, however disparate, and examine the connection between religion […]

Minding the Brain, or Braining the Mind?

There’s a battle brewing over who controls your brain: nature or your mind.  Materialist scientists are recognizing that creationists are getting a foothold on this hill and “declaring war over the brain,” according to an article in New Scientist.  Psychiatrist Jeffrey Schwartz fired this salvo: “Materialism needs to start fading away and non-materialist causation needs […]

Reducing Human Behavior to Natural Laws

Can human behavior be reduced to natural laws that science can study in a morally neutral way?  Darwin sought to incorporate all aspects of the living world, including behavior, in natural laws that were amenable to scientific explanation.  Evolutionary biologists and neuroscientists continue in that tradition today.  Consider two recent examples in the literature that […]

Designed for Health

Recent science reports on physiology and health contain suggestions of intelligent design as well as challenges to evolutionary theory. “Amazingly elegant, amazingly precise and very complicated” kidneys:  Scientists studying the effects of hypertension on kidneys have found that ATP acts not only as an energy source but an extracellular messenger.  It’s involved in helping arterioles […]

Turing Test Stands: Your Brain Outperforms Computers

What is the speed of thought?  Computer speeds are measured in megahertz and gigahertz, but that’s only part of the story.  The ability to compute an answer to a problem depends on the programming, too.  How does the brain compare with our best computers?  A scientist from UC San Francisco and one from the Salk […]
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