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Ida Not a Human Ancestor

If Ida known then what I know now: the media-frenzied presentation of Ida (Darwinius masillae) as a distant relative of human beings last year has been debunked.  “Many lines of evidence indicate that Darwinius has nothing at all to do with human evolution,” said Chris Kirk (U of Texas) in an article on Science Daily.  […]

Media Uncritical of Science, Journalist Says

Reporters need to stop regurgitating the self-promotion of scientists and start criticizing them, a veteran science reporter wrote in Nature News.  Colin Macilwain had a lot to say about what’s wrong with science’s relationship with the mass media.  “Like sausages being made, or legislation being passed, the process that turns scientific developments into headlines and […]

Old Primordial Soup Is Spoiled

Don’t open it; that can of primordial soup sitting on the shelf for decades is rotten.  PhysOrg announced, “New research rejects 80-year theory of ‘primordial soup’ as the origin of life.”  In its place come new theories about tiny chemical cooking pots in the pores of deep-sea vents.  Pioneered by Michael Russell (02/15/2008) and others, […]

Chimps Produce Movie

The BBC is going to air a movie made by chimpanzees.  (Note: This is not a Planet of the Apes remake.)  A primatologist working on her PhD gave some chimps at the Edinburgh zoo a “Chimpcam,” a camcorder in a “chimp-proof” box, to see what they would come up with.  “Despite the fact that the […]

Aliens Invade Science News

What are aliens doing in science news reports?  There is no evidence they even exist.  That has not hindered some scientists from speculating.  BBC News reporters Pallab Ghosh headlined an entry “Astronomers hopeful of detecting extra-terrestrial life,” and adorned it with a Hollywood-style alien corpse.  The article highlighted the optimism of Lord Rees, the president […]

So Long Darwin Bicentennial

Even some Darwinians are growing weary of Darwin hoopla.  The Darwin Bicentennial and Origin of Species 150th Anniversary celebrations have come and gone, but Darwin is just as contentious and controversial as ever.  Historians may remember not just the pro-Darwin celebrations of 2009, but the strong internet and media presence of Darwin skeptics.     […]

L.A. Museum Sued Over I.D.

They had a contract.  The American Freedom Alliance (AFA), which takes no official position on Darwinism vs Intelligent Design but wanted to present both sides of what they considered an important public issue, was scheduled to show two films at the California Science Center’s IMAX Theater – one which assumes evolution, and one which argues […]

Comparative Legacies of Two Rocket Pioneers

Wernher von Braun developed rockets in Germany that were used by the Nazis, then came to America, became an American citizen, and pioneered the American space program, including landing man on the moon.  Qian Xuesen developed rockets in America then moved to China, where he joined the Communist Party and pioneered the Chinese space program […]

Can Scientists Conspire to Mislead?

Scientists are only human.  Objectivity may be a noble aspiration; empiricism a worthy goal – but recent scandals illustrate the propensity for large-scale manipulation and misdirection by the very people supposedly devoted to intellectual integrity.  Though off-topic for Creation-Evolution Headlines, the flap over stolen documents that appear to reveal collusion to support anthropogenic global warming […]

Science News or Tabloid Journalism?

Science news outlets have put out some bizarre headlines recently.  Readers can judge whether they should be blessed with the label “science” or belong instead at supermarket checkouts. Women are evolving fatter:  New Scientist and PhysOrg said that natural selection is making women shorter, plumper and more fertile.  “The take-home message is that humans are […]

Darwinists Party Hardy, But Crash ID Events

As the 150th anniversary of the publication of Origin of Species approaches in November, institutions are promoting Darwin in some bizarre ways.  When other events are held critical of Darwin’s ideas, though, the sponsors know to expect trouble and media distortion.     Last night, the new film Darwin’s Dilemma (review) was shown in the […]

Trio of Darwin Films Released

This month finds us two thirds of the way between Darwin’s 200th birthday and the 150th anniversary of his Origin of Species.  Taking advantage of the extra attention Darwin is getting this year (as if he needed more), three films on his life and ideas are being released from three different companies. The Voyage that […]

Selfish Gene Mutates, Dies a Metaphorical Death

Richard Dawkins proposed in his book The Selfish Gene that a gene, being the target of natural selection and unit of replication, is the entity most likely to get passed on to posterity; as such, it is “selfish” in that the rest of the organism is really only incidental to its immortality.  Dawkins expanded this […]

Science Reporters Need to Bark More

“Cheerleader or watchdog?”  That’s the title of this week’s editorial in Nature1 opening a feature on science journalism.  Science reporters are an aid to scientists, the editors said, but not just when they convey their findings to the public or help shape public understanding on matters of policy.  They are also an aid when they […]

Salting News with the L Word Life

Small amounts of sodium were detected in ice particles erupting from Saturn’s moon Enceladus.  Deduction: this might lower the melting point of underground ice, forming subsurface pockets of liquid water – perhaps an ocean.  Conclusion: Life!  It doesn’t matter that Enceladus has no other factors conducive to life than water, or that salt is generally […]
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