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Think Before You Speak

Children are capable of thoughts before they have the words to vocalize them, according to a study published in Nature July 221 (see also summary by Paul Bloom in the same issue2 and report on Science Now).  This contradicts the postmodernist view that thought is conditioned by language, and instead suggests that humans are innately […]

You Have Motorized Sunscreens in Your Eyeballs

The pain of walking suddenly into a bright light sets up an amazing reaction, according to EurekAlert.  An alarm is sent to the fire station in the retinal cell.  There, protein firefighters hop onto a motorized shuttle on the molecular railway, and once firmly attached, are ferried swiftly to the scene of danger.  There, they […]

Blame Evolution

Men can’t help themselves.  Evolution made them that way.  That’s the gist of a science story on ABC news.  Accompanied with a picture of rebel without a cause James Dean, it begins, “Research shows that simply being male means you’re more likely to die as a young adult.  Why?  Blame evolution…and pursuit of the opposite […]

Haemoglobin More Complex than Thought: Regulates Blood Flow

Physiologists have long known that haemoglobin, the molecule that adds the redness to red blood cells and carries oxygen to the tissues, releases its oxygen as the blood vessels constrict.  Now, increasing evidence shows that haemoglobin (composed of four complex proteins that surround a central iron atom) is not just a passive oxygen carrier.  It […]

Babies Walk in the Womb

New vivid ultrasound imaging technologies reveal a nursery of activity inside the womb, reports the BBC News.  Click the link to see the amazingly clear pictures.  Unborn babies have been observed stretching, kicking and leaping from 12 weeks, before the mother is aware, and “From 26 weeks, they appear to exhibit a whole range of […]

Can Natural Processes Create a Mind?

No problemo, says H. Clark Barrett (UCLA), getting a mind from mindless matter.  In a review of a book by developmental psychologist Gary Marcus published in Science June 11,1 Barrett was reassured by Marcus’ book that evolutionary theory working within natural law is up to the task: “The strengths of The Birth of the Mind […]

How Many Neurons Does It Take to See a Picture?

Israeli scientists publishing in Current Biology1 attempted to determine how many neurons participate in the representation of a single image.  At least a million was their conservative answer: probably more like 30 or 300 million or more.  They made careful measurements of neural activity when subjects were shown a face or a house.  In the […]

Neural Darwinism: The Evolution of Truth

Can evolutionary theory build a bottom-up explanation of higher cognitive functions?  David Papineau (King’s College) doubts it.  In his review of The Physiology of Truth: Neuroscience and Human Knowledge by Jean-Pierre Changeux (transl. Malcolm DeBevoise, Belknap Press: 2004), published in the June 3 issue of Nature,1 he gives the author high marks, but concedes that […]

Exercise Your Nerves

A team of neurologists from UCLA and duPont Hospital for Children in Delaware found that voluntary exercise improves regeneration of neurons, both for those who work out, and for those recuperating after injury.  The abstract in PNAS1 states: Recent advances in understanding the role of neurotrophins on activity-dependent plasticity have provided insight into how behavior […]

Male Imparts More to Embryo than Just DNA

A team of biologists have confirmed that male sperm RNAs are delivered to the oocyte along with the DNA.  Specifically, paternal messenger RNAs are delivered to the egg.  These might influence development and put the male’s imprint on the developing zygote.  Writing in Nature,1 the researchers speculate what the finding means: Why should spermatozoa messenger […]

Is It Possible to Be Too Clean?

Mr. Clean may have a bad immune system.  A story in EurekAlert says kids without enough exposure to infectious agents are at greater risk of autoimmune diseases.  “The cleaner everyone is, the less stimulation their immune system gets,” says [Nora] Sarvetnick [of Scripps Research Institute]. “Their immune system tends to be incomplete.”  Stimulation increases the […]

In Defense of Men and Women, Body and Soul

The BBC News published a male-bashing article by Baroness Susan Greenfield, Director of The Royal Institution, on March 29.  It must have created a stir, because the next day, Prof. Steve Jones of University College, London, tried to restore the male ego.  This was apparently a two-part documentary exploring what would happen “If women ruled […]

We Don’t Know How We Know that Genes Make Minds

“If the mind can be explained from the workings of the brain, and the brain develops by direction from our genes,” Anthony Monaco (Oxford) writes, “then presumably the mind can be explained from our genetic make-up.  But how can only 30,000 genes make a brain with billions of neurons and encode the particular aspects of […]

No Man Is an Island – We Are the World

Myriads of organisms live in and on our bodies, reminds an article in the Feb. 27 issue of Science,1 and they’re not just freeloaders on a hayride.  We need them, and they need us.  “We are not alone,” claim the three microbiologist authors, but “we get by with a little help from our (little) friends.”  […]

Evolution of Language Debated

The Feb. 27 issue of Science features the topic of the evolution of language.1  The thousands of words in 10 articles might be summarized by the title of a book review by Andrew Carstairs-McCarthy: “Many Perspectives, No Consensus.”2 Since there are many perspectives and no consensus, language evolution is one of the subjects Darwinists love.  […]
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