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Does Darwinism Contribute to Sexual Deviancy?

Joan Roughgarden (Stanford U.) is a transsexual biologist.  Although a convinced Darwinian, “she” claims to have disproved Darwin’s theory of sexual selection (see 02/26/2003 headline).  Two reviews of her book Evolution’s Rainbow: Diversity, Gender and Sexuality in Nature and People (University of California Press, 2003) appeared recently, one in Nature1 and another in Science.2  The […]

Montana Schools Not Allowed to Question Darwinism

“Objective origins” is against the law in Darby, Montana (see 02/27/2004 headline).  A policy change proposed by a local minister would have encouraged students to “analyze scientific strengths and weaknesses of existing scientific theories, including the theory of evolution.”  It didn’t lose because of a vote on the policy, or because of the threats of […]

How Climate Influenced the Dead Sea and History

The Dead Sea, the lowest lake on earth (1368 ft below sea level), figures prominently in the Bible.  Near this body of water, Lot settled and the cities of the plain were destroyed.  David wandered here, battles were fought nearby, and Herod built a fortress at Masada overlooking the lake.  Later, Moslems and Crusaders left […]

Italy Waffles on School Darwinism

It’s not just an American thing; the politicians and scientists in Italy, also, are polarizing around Darwin.  The education ministry just dropped a requirement to teach evolution in elementary and middle schools as part of a major overhaul of education guidelines.  A news brief in the April 28 issue of Science1 claims that pressure “may” […]

Noah’s Ark Search Planned

MSNBC and Fox News report that a search is being planned July 15 to inspect an object that, seen from a satellite, bears some resemblance to remains of Noah’s ark high up the slopes of Mt. Ararat.  The expedition, led by Daniel McGivern, wants to get a closer look and take photographs.  National Geographic took […]

Eugenics Documentary Opens at Holocaust Museum

Michael Ollove at the Baltimore Sun reports on a new exhibit at the U.S. Holocaust Museum entitled Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race.  The exhibit shows a 1937 Nazi propaganda film that invokes the law of natural selection as support for weeding out the unfit.  Ollove writes, The narrator declares that “we humans have sinned […]

Does Ethics Emerge From Genes Alone?

Gene Robinson wants to get us “beyond nature and nurture” in discussions of behavior.  Robinson, of the Department of Entomology and Neuroscience at the University of Illinois in Urbana, wrote an essay in the April 16 issue of Science1 that suggests it is not “either-or” but “both-and” – both genetics and the environment affect the […]

Federal Judge Rules Evolution Must Be Taught As Fact, Not Theory

It sounds like open-mindedness is illegal in Georgia, on the face of it.  Federal judge Clarence Cooper is allowing a lawsuit against the Cobb County school district to go to trial.  Their crime has been to insert warning labels in biology textbooks that state, simply, This textbook contains material on evolution.  Evolution is a theory, […]

Evolutionists Violate Church-State Separation

John G. West thinks he has the NCSE in a hammerlock.  The evolution-only advocacy group, headed by Eugenie Scott, has used religious arguments to promote evolution on their new “Understanding Evolution” website (see 02/29/2004 entry).  West, an associate director of the Discovery Institute, writing for National Review, claims they are violating their own principle of […]

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 […]

Privileged Planet Website Opens

A website featuring a new book by Guillermo Gonzalez and Jay Richards, The Privileged Planet, has opened.  The subtitle of the book is How Our Place in the Cosmos Is Designed for Discovery.  The authors take issue with pessimistic views, such as those of Steven Weinberg and Carl Sagan, that our planet is “pointless” or […]

Scientific Elitism Trumps Democracy

They don’t want it, but they’re going to get it.  Britons have expressed outrage and anger over genetically-modified foods, such as pesticide-resistant maize, reports Jim Giles in Nature.1  But the government has listened to scientists who have assured government ministers it is safe.  On March 9, they approved commercial planting of GM maize “in the […]

Evolution Battle Heats Up in Ohio

CNN has reported that the Ohio school board voted 13-5 in favor of an optional set of lessons called “Critical Analysis of Evolution.”  The usual opponents are lining up on both sides; some scientific organizations are claiming it is a “religious effort cloaked as science,” but others consider it a victory for students and for […]

Rethinking the Geological Layers

One of the most formative ideas in Darwin’s intellectual journey was the concept of gradualism, the principle of “small agencies and their cumulative effects.”  This idea became a dominant motif in his philosophy of life.  Describing how the assumption of gradualism permeated his last book (on earthworms) shortly before his death, Janet Browne, in her […]

Science Journal Editors Face Accountability

This quote by a journal editor comes from a news item in the Mar. 4 issue of Nature:1 “Like everybody else, we are much more interested in other people’s accountability than we are in our own,” explains Richard Smith, editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ), who helped to draft the new code.  “Editors are […]
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