VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Can Scientific Journals Perpetuate False Ideas?

An unusual paper appeared in PNAS this week.1  Four social scientists from Columbia and Yale argued that scientific papers can actually perpetuate false ideas rather than correct them.  The abstract says that an influential paper can generate momentum that becomes merely cited as fact by subsequent authors: We analyzed a very large set of molecular […]

Lest We Forget: Website Recalls Horrors of Eugenics

The American Holocaust Museum has a website, “Deadly Medicine: Creating the Master Race.”  It discusses how Hitler’s Germany depended on currently popular scientific ideas of eugenics to try to create a master race, and in the process, eliminate the unfit – millions of them.  The website was mentioned in Science this week. The website profiles […]

March of the “Selfish Darwinians”?

Penguins: are they moral models, or evolutionary examples?  Ever since last year’s surprise blockbuster documentary March of the Penguins, the well-dressed seabirds and their harsh lives have provoked empathy and commentary.  Marlene Zuk (UC Riverside) took issue in Nature1 with those who try to moralize about monogamy from taking their cues only from the movie.  […]

More on “Literary Darwinism”

Harold Fromm in Science1 reviewed Gottschall’s new book on literary Darwinism (see 01/27/2006 entry).  Like Gottschall, he argued that an evolution-informed approach to literary criticism is superior because it provides quantifiable certitude: For years, scholars in the literary humanities have struggled to achieve at least a semblance of the certitude possible in the sciences, although […]

Science Seeks Integrity After Scandals

The Hwang scandal (01/09/2006) has prompted a good deal of international soul searching about scientific ethics.  (Now, it appears that Hwang also corrupted officials with monetary gifts; see New Scientist).  Some journals are preaching ethics like an old time revival is in session.  This raises an interesting question: what is the source of ethics?   […]

Ruse Gives Dennett Poor Grade on “Evolution of Religion” Book

Daniel Dennett is one of those Darwinists not shy about getting in the face of religious people, particularly Christians.  Philosopher and pro-Darwinist historian Michael Ruse, on the other hand, has spent enough time around theologically-inclined people to give them a more sympathetic hearing.  Ruse has regularly appeared on panels and in debates with leaders of […]

Darwin Acid Eats Literature

A potent acid has fallen on the bookshelf, eating away the minds and intentions of its characters, dissolving romances and adventures into a hideous morass of uniform consistency.     Prominent evolutionist Daniel Dennett, author of Darwin’s Dangerous Idea, wrote that evolution is like a “universal acid” that cannot be contained in its scientific vial.  […]

The Evolution of Spite

Since everything evolves, according to consensus science, why not attitudes like spite?  The BBC News reported about a University College London study on attitudes of revenge between the sexes.  They found that men seemed to get more satisfaction out of hurting foes than women.  This is all part of an evolutionary explanation for altruistic behavior […]

Plants Contribute to Global Warming?

If anyone needs a reminder that scientists still have a lot to learn, consider this major discovery of something right under their noses that caught them completely off guard.  Up to a third of methane in the atmosphere comes from plants.  This is not only a baffling puzzle about how or why plants would create […]

Peer Review: Can You Trust a Scientific Journal Paper?

Science magazine has egg on its face – deviled, poached, and scrambled – everything but sunny side up.  Last May, it printed one of the biggest breakthrough stories of the year in stem cell research: Korean scientist Woo Suk Hwang, a professor at the Seoul National University and President of the World Stem Cell Hub, […]

Darwin Hits Home: Adultery Rationalized

USA Today began an article with a steamy picture of a man and a woman embracing.  As could be expected, they are not married; reporter Sharon Jayson began, “Some men cheat on their partners.  So do some women.  Now researchers say it is more than a wandering eye that might cause a woman to stray.”  […]

A Foxhole Anthology: News from the CrEv Trenches

If Judge Jones or the NCSE thought for a minute that the Dover ruling would bring an end to the ID wars, the news media should clear up any miscalculations.  Here is a clearinghouse of recent headlines: Peruse Pyrrhus:  “Pyrrhic victory” is a phrase used by John West, Pat Buchanan on Real Clear Politics and […]

Abortion Pill Can Kill

An ugly secret has come out of the abortion drug mifepristone known as RU486.  It can kill normal, healthy women, and its approval by the FDA involved procedural violations that overlooked known safety concerns at the time.  Source: Annals of Pharmacotherapy news release (see also EurekAlert).  The research paper by Margaret M. Gary, MD and […]

How to Overcome Student Objections to Evolution

Biology teachers face increasing difficulty from students coming into class with bad feelings about evolution (11/30/2005, 08/30/2005).  Many pro-evolution teachers will be attracted to methods that have a demonstrable track record of relieving tensions and facilitating the process of getting students to accept Darwin’s theory.  David Sloan Wilson (Binghamton U, NY) has just the thing.  […]

Creation-Evolution Controversy in the News

Darwin, Genesis, Paul Mirecki, disclaimer stickers, Kansas and intelligent design continue to be searchable keywords in news reporting about science education. Mirecki’s got a fight on his hands:  The embattled U of Kansas prof who was going to ridicule intelligent design (ID) in a religion class till his inflammatory email surfaced (11/29/2005), and who later […]
All Posts by Date