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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 […]

Stem Cell Breakthroughs: No More Ethical Concerns?

Several science news sites have been reporting two new techniques for creating embryonic stem cells that do not involve the creation of viable embryos (see, for instance, New Scientist, Science Now, and Nature news, 437, 1065 (20 October 2005) | doi: 10.1038/4371065a).     There is no consensus yet, however, whether these methods overcome all […]

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 […]

Are Democrats the Guardians of Science?

Dan Danbom reviewed Chris Mooney’s The Republican War On Science in the Rocky Mountain News.  According to Danbom, Mooney argues “that the Bush administration ignores, subverts, twists and misrepresents science to conform to its political goals.” The review includes these quotes from the book: ….in politicized fights involving science, it is rare to find liberals […]

Will Hurricane Katrina End Social Darwinism in America?

Harold Evans, writing an op-ed piece for the BBC News, thinks the TV images of destruction from Hurricane Katrina will arouse a new wave “compassion in government” (which he interprets as “the responsibility of government to relieve individual suffering”), and spell the end of Social Darwinism (which he interprets as laissez-faire individualism): My judgment is […]

Looking for Ethical Alternatives to Embryonic Stem Cells

Pro-life advocates perked up their ears at the announcement of a new method that can produce stem cells without destroying embryos.  National Geographic News and MSNBC News talked about the method, which uses skin cells and “reprograms” them to act like embryonic stem cells.  Religion Journal thinks the ethical debate over stem cells may be […]

I.D. vs. Evolution Rhetoric Continues Unabated

The surge in articles and editorials about intelligent design vs. evolution, prompted by President Bush’s remarks (08/13/2005) often seems to track the political philosophy of the person or group: Republican vs. Democrat, conservative vs. liberal – but not always.  Recent salvos: Irish Scream:  Bill O’Reilly had Dr. Richard Sternberg on his O’Reilly Factor show on […]

Evolution vs. ID: This Means War

President Bush’s mild off-the-cuff remarks about students needing to hear alternatives to evolution (see 08/02/2005) set off a firestorm of reaction pro and con in the media.  Get your ringside seat here for the war of the words: Mad Scientists:  Nature, as reported this week (08/10/2005), expressed outrage at the President’s remarks – a reaction […]

What’s On the Agenda?  Kansas Votes in New Science Standards

Science Now (from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, publisher of Science magazine) reported that Kansas voted 6-4 to adopt the new science standards yesterday that “allow for the teaching of alternatives to evolutionary theory.”  It alleged that “scientists” (unspecified by name or number) say that the new draft standards are “a thinly […]

Nature Rallies Troops Against I.D. to the Defense of “Science”

“President Bush’s endorsement of ‘intelligent design’ has sparked a national debate in which scientists are well positioned to prevail,” editorialized Nature this week,1 with the a rallying-cry title, “Keeping religion out of science class.”  This editorial, along with a news item by Virginia Gewin, “Scientists attack Bush over intelligent design,”2 was prompted by President Bush’s […]
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