SETI: To the Unknown, Full Speed Ahead
October 16, 2010
This year marks the 50th year of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI). Seth Shostak, senior astronomer at the SETI Institute and one of its most outspoken spokesmen, made the cover of Sky and Telescope’s November 2010 issue. He stands proudly over his Allen Telescope Array in his feature story, “Closing in on E.T.” celebrating […]
Brain Rewires for Lost Senses
October 11, 2010
Born without vision or hearing? The brain can apparently rewire itself to accommodate the loss, reported the BBC News. Dr Stephen Lomber, who led research published in Nature Neuroscience, said: The brain is very efficient, and doesn’t let unused space go to waste. The brain wants to compensate for the lost sense with […]
The Evolution of Speech, and v.v.
September 23, 2010
The brain just got more complex – that is, the part that helps us speak. “Complex brain landscape controls speech,” reported PhysOrg, discussing findings by German researchers that show Broca’s region, implicated in speech disorders when damaged, appears to be “a much more complexly structured centre of language than was previously believed.” Not just a […]
More Neanderthal Promotion
September 22, 2010
It’s a good time to be a Neanderthal. You’ll get more respect than ever before from paleoanthropologists. The latest example, published in PhysOrg, is headlined, “Neanderthals more advanced than previously thought.” Julien Riel-Salvatore [U of Colorado at Denver] says he is “rehabilitating Neanderthals” by challenging a half-century of “conventional wisdom” that portrayed them as numbskulls. […]
Archer Fish See Like People
September 13, 2010
An archer fish can spit out a man’s cigarette. That’s actually a humorous scene at the end of a video clip on The Scientist that talks about the amazing eyes of this underwater sharpshooter. New research shows that these freshwater fish, known for their ability to spit bugs off bushes, have a mammal-like ability to […]
Nerve Traffic Cop Identified
September 13, 2010
What makes signals go in one direction in neurons? It’s important, because a reflex signal from a bump on your knee needs to go in the direction of the controlling muscle and on to the brain, not any which way. Is there some kind of traffic cop that directs the placement of “one way” signs […]
Evolution Storytellers Unrepentant
September 10, 2010
Evolutionists have been criticized for telling “just-so stories”1 for decades and decades, even by other evolutionists (see 08/08/2010), yet the storytelling continues, as recent examples in the news media illustrate. Blame Mom: In its “Science News” category, Science Daily trumpeted the headline, “Acting Selfish? Blame Your Mother!” In the article, we are told, “The fact […]
Who Invited the Scientist in Here?
August 25, 2010
If you envision science in terms of white-coated lab chemists holding flasks, field biologists gathering bird eggs, astronomers peering through a telescope or geologists chipping rocks with hand picks, think again. Today’s science sweeps everything into its domain, including the human mind, intellect, emotions, will, creativity, and our most sincere beliefs and actions. When not […]
Is Our World Natural?
July 27, 2010
At first glance, the headline sounds absurd: is our world natural? Of course the world is natural. Nature is natural, isn’t it? Often, though, we picture what humans do as unnatural – oil spills, landfills, pollution, nuclear waste, crime, war. But if humans are a part of nature, then whatever they do is natural. Some […]
Recapitulation Theory Gets Recap
July 26, 2010
The long-discounted “recapitulation theory” of Ernst Haeckel, the idea that the development of an embryo replays its evolutionary history, pops up every once in awhile in evolutionary explanations. Evolutionary biologists (most notably the late Stephen Jay Gould) have long since disparaged the idea that evolutionary history would be preserved in embryos. In addition, photos of […]
Spinning Webs of Belief: Accounting for George Price
July 16, 2010
It’s instructive to take a story and compare how evolutionists and creationists report it. A recent example can be found in the story of George Price: an ex-atheist scientist who, as a creationist, contributed original ideas to evolutionary theory. How did reviewers from both sides of the origins aisle characterize his creationist beliefs? […]
Is Psychology Adding Scientific Knowledge?
July 8, 2010
Psychologists have a knack for proving the obvious. It leads to a question, though: do we really need their help? Broken relationships are bad: A press release on PhysOrg about a study at the University of Queensland reported that “Separation has an enormous impact on both men and women.” Rudeness at work is bad: According […]
Can Darwin Be Rescued from a New Eye Discovery?
May 7, 2010
Darwinists have claimed for years that the human eye is an example of bad design, because it is wired backwards – the photoreceptors are located behind a tangle of blood vessels and other material. But then in 2007, German scientists found that cone-shaped cells called Müller cells act like waveguides that transmit the light through […]
Human Mind Outwits Darwinian Models
May 2, 2008
Evolutionists struggle to explain complex human behaviors in Darwinian terms. Sure, corporate squabbles can seem like survival of the fittest, but humans also sacrifice for people they don’t even know and do other weird, un-Darwinian things. In Darwinism, selfishness rules. How does cooperative and altruistic behavior arise from selfish motives? Here are some of the recent attempts to reconcile observations with a theory in which selfishness is key.
Why Darwin Is Like Yoda, and Darwinism Like Marxism
February 4, 2004
Homage for the master is palpable in John Vandermeer’s review (Science, Jan. 23)1 of a thick new book entitled Niche Construction: The Neglected Process in Evolution by Odling-Smee, Laland and Feldman (Princeton, 2004). Vandermeer seems almost worshipful in his opening lines: The nascent germ of many novel ideas in biology can be traced directly or […]