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Make Your Own Privileged Planet

NASA-Ames Research Center has produced an online simulation game called AstroVenture that allows kids to try to design a habitable planet.  After they pick half a dozen parameters, the game tells them whether humans could live there or not. This is a cute feature that, with caveats, could be useful for parents and teachers.  The […]

Carl Sagan’s Cosmos Is Back

MSNBC News reported that Carl Sagan’s popular 13-part series Cosmos is returning to TV this week, digitally remastered and enhanced with new up-to-date animations.  The 1980 series, which began with its own Agnus Dei invocation “The cosmos is all that is, all that ever was, and all that ever will be,” went far beyond the […]

Zoo Wants You in the Cage

Visitors to the Zagreb Zoo get to walk through displays detailing the ways in which humans “contribute to the destruction of wildlife and the environment,” and then spend a little time in a cage that was deemed unsuitable for the foxes and martens who were its previous inhabitants.  The zoo calls humans “the most dangerous […]

Do Emperor Penguins Know the Meaning of True Love?

The nature film sensation March of the Penguins is capturing the public imagination because of its portrayal of emperor penguins in almost anthropomorphic visions.  Strutting upright in their feathery tuxedos, these Antarctic seabirds seem almost human: they love, they walk, they sacrifice, they grieve over the loss of a chick, they endure hardship bravely, they […]

History Channel Documentary on Human Ancestry: History or Fiction?

The History Channel aired a program called “Ape to Man” Monday evening August 7, alleging that modern science had finally pieced together the solution to the puzzle of human evolution.  Although it included debunking episodes of Piltdown (11/18/2003) and Java Man (02/27/2003), the flavor of the show was that the picture of human origins has […]

Sharks and Beavers Inspire Humans

Animals never cease to amaze us with their clever solutions to problems that plague human technology.  EurekAlert told of work being done by the Society for Experimental Biology to emulate shark skin as a self-cleaning surface for boats; National Geographic News has pictures of the new product, and a comparison with shark skin.  The navy […]

Battlefront Dispatches

Activities in the Darwin-vs-Design controversy continue generating national news: War of the museums:  The Sternberg Museum in Kansas is trying to reinforce arguments for evolution, according to Voice of America news.  Proud of his T. rex display, curator Greg Liggett claims that “if the school curriculum changes to include theories such as Intelligent Design, critical […]

Smithsonian Reversal Over ID Noticed by Big Science

Both Nature1 and Science2 noticed the Smithsonian’s flip-flop over co-sponsoring The Privileged Planet at their Natural History Museum this month (see 06/01/2005 entry).  Both noted the quandary that the Smithsonian found itself in.  They could not back out because of a contract, but under pressure from evolutionists, did not want to appear to endorse intelligent […]

ID Film To Be Aired at Smithsonian

The intelligent-design film The Privileged Planet will be shown at the Smithsonian on June 23.  See story on The Ames Tribune.  Pam Sheppard at AIG has a report also.  Following the showing at the National Museum of Natural History, the film will air on PBS stations around the country. Update 06/02/2005: The Smithsonian appears to […]

SETI Researcher Joins NG Imagination Fest

Space.Com writer Tariq Malik reviewed the National Geographic TV series Extraterrestrial that envisions flying whales, giraffe-like predators and flesh-eating tadpoles on a mythical world undergoing its own evolution.  “Using computer models and armed with basic evolutionary theory, the scientists imagined not only what conditions might exist on their theoretical planets,” writes Malik, “but also how […]

Toothy Dinosaur Goes Vegan

The news media all pounced on a dinosaur fossil discovery reported in Nature this week.1  Dinosaur finds are ever popular, and reporters especially like it when an artist’s rendition is available.  Some outlets reporting the discovery of Falcarius utahensis, a previously unknown species “in the process of converting to vegetarianism from a rather more bloodthirsty […]

ID in the News

PBS aired a segment on the anti-Darwinism controversy in the schools Monday (see PBS transcript).  Ken Ham and Stephen Meyer presented arguments for criticizing Darwin, while Eugenie Scott and others defended exclusive evolutionary teaching.  The Discovery Institute blog Evolution News analyzed the 14:32 minute segment, complaining that 90 minutes of Meyer’s interview received only 30 […]

Visual Aid: Chance or Design?

A TV commercial for the Honda Accord has been circulating around the net as a popular download (see Steel City’s Finest).  It shows the parts of a car, without human intervention, interacting in strange ways like a Rube Goldberg device, resulting in a finished car rolling off the ramp.  Garrison Keillor adds the punch line, […]

Media and Journals Conflict Over Mars Life

Timed for the one-year anniversary of the Mars Exploration Rovers, PBS aired a NOVA program last night about Spirit and Opportunity, and the teams that landed them and operated them on Mars.  As is common for popular programs about Mars exploration, NOVA suggested that evidence for past water found (especially by Opportunity at Meridiani Planum) […]

Engineers Envy Diatoms’ Glass-Sculpturing Prowess

What is it?  An ornate crown?  A crystal serving dish cover?  A work of art?  The photo on the cover of the July 17 Science News, labeled “silicon jewels,” is a microphotograph of a diatom, a one-celled organism that lives in the sea and builds itself a glass house too small to see with the […]
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