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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 […]

Stem Cell Achievement a Possible Fraud

South Korean stem cell researcher Woo Suk Hwang has reason for stress and fatigue, as news reports show him escorted by bodyguards on the way to the office.  His landmark paper in Science1 last July that announced the creation of stem cells matching the donor’s DNA (05/23/2005) has been called into question on two fronts.  […]

Who Beat Up Paul Mirecki?

A dark sequel has been added to the story of the Univ. of Kansas prof who was going to teach a class ridiculing intelligent design, then canceled it when a defamatory email he wrote surfaced (see 11/29/2005 story).  Now, he claims he was accosted while driving off campus early Monday morning and beaten up by […]

Mao Tse-Tung Killed 77 Million for Darwin

World Net Daily reported that the body count from Mao’s reign of terror in China has been revised upward to 77 million by R. J. Rummel, a Nobel Peace Prize winning political scientist who had earlier estimated it at half that (38 million).  This augments Mao’s Guinness reputation as the worst mass murderer in history.  […]

The Rhetoric of Mockery

Some recent stories illustrate that human rhetoric has evolved from sophistry to philosophy – then back again.  (In ancient Greece, sophistry was criticized of being nothing more than the art of making your opponent look foolish.  Socrates, among others, questioned the value of such exercises and tried to elevate rhetoric to higher purposes.)  The rise […]

Psychotherapy Struggles to Demonstrate Scientific Validity

Psychologist, heal thyself.  That may well have been the caption to the cover story of Science News,1 illustrated with an iconic cartoon of the patient on the psychoanalyst’s couch – only this time, psychotherapy itself is the patient.  “Researchers spar over how best to evaluate psychotherapy,” announced Bruce Bower, as he described the attempts of […]

Dover School Board Members Ousted

Eight school board members in Dover, Pennsylvania, who had backed the intelligent-design policy that led to the ACLU lawsuit, lost their seats in Tuesday’s election.  A slate of Democrats who opposed the policy will take their place December 5.  The campaign against the Republicans who lost was spearheaded by a group named Citizens Actively Reviewing […]

Evolution Thriving in Mexico; Creationismo No Comprendo

Mexicans, religious or not, have no problem with Darwinism, and cannot understand their American neighbors who get so uptight about it.  That’s the gist of an article by Antonio Lazcano, a Mexican biology professor and origin-of-life researcher, who was given lengthy press in Science1 this week under the heading “Global Voices of Science.” I am […]

Charity?  Chimps Don’t Get It – Nor Give It

The science news media took note of an experiment showing that chimpanzees don’t care to share, even when it costs them nothing (see the BBC News and Science Now, “Tightwad Primates”).  Joan Silk and a team at UCLA created an apparatus where a chimp could pull one rope to get a treat for itself, or […]
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