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Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Academic Bill of Rights?

Why would Nature claim that academic freedom is a threat to academic freedom?  In the April 7 issue,1 Emma Marris titled her news item, “Professors bristle as states act to mould lecture content – Academics are fighting right-wing ‘bills of rights’.”  The academic freedom the professors want is their own freedom to control lecture content, […]

No Excuses: Nazi-Era German Scientists Had Bloody Hands

A six-year, $5 million (US$) project in Germany to investigate the extent of scientific involvement with the Nazi regime completed its final report last month, reports Nature,1 with “uncomfortable truths.”  It can no longer be claimed that (1) there were only a few rotten apples involved, (2) the work was pseudoscientific, low-quality work with meaningless […]

Will Darwinian Law Protect the Unfit?

For the soccer moms, sports fans and teen girls with cell phones glued to their ears who think Darwinism is just an egghead scientific thing, a press release from Vanderbilt University connects evolutionary ideas to legal policies that could affect individual finances, private property rights, political correctness, social conventions, use of resources and public safety. […]

Mad Science: Stanford to Create Rat with Human Brain

Those who thought stem cell research was about helping people afflicted with disease may become alarmed over Stanford’s latest experiment, reported by the UK News Telegraph: the creation of a lab rat with all human brain cells.  The article quotes Wesley Smith of Centre for Bioethics and Culture warning, “biotechnology is becoming dangerously close to […]

Did Haeckel’s Defunct Recapitulation Theory Influence the Supreme Court?

One of our readers uncovered an amicus brief from the American Psychological Association (q.v. on American Bar Association website) encouraging the Supreme Court to overturn capital punishment for minors (see 03/04/2005 entry).  One of the key arguments in the brief is that “Neuropsychological research demonstrates that the adolescent brain has not reached adult maturity.”  Zeroing […]

Naturalistic Science Influences Criminal Law, Excuses Murder

Why was Science1 magazine happy about the Supreme Court’s decision to eliminate the death penalty for murderers under 17?  Because the decision was not made on the basis of the Constitution or on Judeo-Christian values, but rather on psychiatric, neuroscientific and behavioral studies: Eight medical organizations, led by the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry (ASAP), […]

Iraqi Marshlands on Slow Mend

The ecological disaster wrought by Saddam Hussein’s policy of drying up ancient marshes along the Tigris and Euphrates (see 08/18/2003 and 05/01/2003 entries) is still severe, reports Science,1,2 but groups are working hard on restoration.  It may take many years and will probably never be the same.  About 20% has been reflooded, with portions coming […]

Stem Cell Research Launches into the Ethical Unknown, Full Steam Ahead

No one knows where stem cell research will lead.  Some hope for miracle cures.  Some fear horrendous abuses and ethical nightmares.  But states and nations, apparently more concerned over priority and prestige, are fighting to the head of the pack after the California Proposition 71 gun fired last fall.     With $3 billion in […]

Scientist Preaches Integrity to Fellow Scientists

Patrick Bateson (U. of Cambridge), concerned over reports of malpractice by scientists, wrote an essay in Science1 Feb. 4 to remind his fellow researchers about “Desirable Scientific Conduct.”  One mustn’t allow his or her affiliations or biases to influence results.  Performing tainted research feeds the postmodern conception that science is a cultural construct, for one […]

“Darwinian Funding” Makes Losers Angry

Evolutionists love Darwinism – except when it threatens their funding.  Daniel Clery complained in Science1 this week that it means the demise of physics and chemistry in UK universities.  “Survival of the fittest” seems to be favoring the departments that provide lucrative careers.  The funding shortfall for traditional chemistry and physics is due partly, of […]

Medical Professionals Lambaste the Nature of Ethics

Nature’s editorial on religion and ethics last month (see 12/09/2004 entry) motivated two medical professionals to write in and give the journal a piece of their mind.1  Apparently indignant over the editorial’s patronizing view of religion and its simplistic view of ethics, they made it clear that the scientific establishment is no judge of truth […]

Nature Takes Note of Religious Influence

The surprisingly strong show of support for moral issues in the recent U.S. election has been the talk of the news for weeks now, and Big Science can’t ignore it.  “The voices of religion are more prominent and influential than they have been for many decades,” begins a prominent editorial in Nature1 Dec. 9, entitled […]

The Politics of Academic Scientists: Democrats Vastly Outnumber Republicans

A news item in Science1 entitled “Academia as a ‘One Party’ System” will probably attract the attention of conservative talk show hosts: Universities in the United States are very keen on fostering “diversity” as long as it’s not ideological diversity, according to the National Association of Scholars (NAS), a conservative group of academics.  Last year […]

Adult Stem Cells Continue to Work Miracle Cures

Chalk up two more amazing successes for adult stem cells (not derived from human embryos, like the controversial ES stem cells): 1. Blindness:  The BBC News reported that stem cells from the back of the eyeball might be able to restore sight to those afflicted with macular degeneration, a leading cause of blindness. 2. Parkinson’s […]

Scientific Supporters of ES Stem Cell Research Fear Future Abuses

“How would you know if a human brain was trapped in a mouse’s body?”  This frightful and intriguing question opened an article in Nature this week.1  More on that in a minute.     Last week, in the Oct. 14 issue,2 a Nature editorial on California’s Stem Cell Proposition 71 stated that “the proposal is […]
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