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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 […]

Anthropic Principle Won’t Go Away

The so-called “Anthropic Principle” is the observation that the universe, whether by accident or design, appears to have been fine-tuned for our existence.  Dating back decades, if not centuries, the idea has been alternately criticized and seriously pondered by the world’s greatest cosmologists.  During the 1990s the idea was ridiculed to the point that, if […]

How Science Reports the School Controversies Over Darwinism

In the Feb. 28 issue of Science,1 Constance Holden reports on the battles over Darwinism vs. creationism in schools across the United States.  The tone is one of military alarm.  Here is the score as Science sees it (emphasis, underlining and brackets ours): Georgia school officials took a big step back from opening the door […]

How to Get a Genetic Code by Chance

The Feb. 17 issue of Current Biology1 has a Q&A magazine feature on the genetic code.  After dismissing some myths about it being universal, consisting of only 20 amino acids and obligated to only three codons (there are some minor exceptions to these mostly-true principles: see 04/30/2003), the authors tackle the big question: where did […]

Irreducible Complexity: Can It Be Explained Away?

When Sharon Begley, writing in the Wall Street Journal Feb. 13, criticized the intelligent design movement (see reprint on Access Research Network), Michael Behe answered with a pointed reply five days later.  Begley particularly singled out the concept of “irreducible complexity.”  Behe’s reply, defending the validity of irreducible complexity (a term he coined in his […]

DNA Is a Code Operated by Another Code

The discovery in the 1950s that DNA stored a coded language was amazing, but recently a new level of complexity has come to the awareness of biochemists.  Apparently, another code determines which DNA genes will be opened for expression and which should be suppressed.     The Feb. 14 issue of Science News1 describes the […]

Scientists Probe Differences Between Living and Nonliving Chemicals

“All life forms are composed of molecules that are not themselves alive.  But in what ways do living and nonliving matter differ?  How could a primitive life form arise from a collection of nonliving molecules?”  Any article beginning with questions like that is bound to be interesting.  That’s how Rasmussen et al. tantalized readers of […]

New Website Aids Slow Process of Dethroning Darwin

A new website, Darwin and Design.com, based on the book co-authored by Stephen Meyer and John Angus Campbell, has been announced by Discovery Institute.  Meanwhile, Ohio anticreationists are trying to caricature a proposed lesson plan on critical analysis of evolution by identifying it with intelligent design theory.  �Intelligent design isn�t even covered in this lesson,� […]

Legality Argument

The Discovery Institute has posted remarks by David DeWolf, a law professor, to the Darby, Montana School District.  He addresses concerns that have been raised about the legality and constitutionality of a proposed change to their science policy that would permit “teaching the controversy” about origins in the science classroom. Has it come to this, […]

How to Get Engineering Without an Engineer

The study of complex systems is all the rage these days (see, for example, 08/18/2003 entry).  In the Jan. 28 issue of Nature,1 J. M. Ottino (Northwestern University) mixes up biology with human design in his Concepts essay on “Engineering complex systems.”     “Complex systems,” he explains, “can be identified by what they do […]

10 More Questions

As a follow-up to Jonathan Wells’ popular (or notorious, depending on your point of view) 10 Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher About Evolution, William Dembski has come up with 10 Questions to Ask Your Biology Teacher About Design.     Dembski has also recently published a new book, The Design Revolution, “Answering the Toughest […]

Book

The Discovery Institute in Seattle has published a new book, Darwinism, Design and Public Education, by John Angus Campbell and Stephen C. Meyer, encouraging schools to teach both sides of the controversy over Darwinism vs Intelligent Design. The Darwin Party’s spin doctoring that students should be protected from the controversy over Darwinism is unpopular and […]

Discussions Increase About Science and Religion

Cary McMullen, writing for the Lakeland Ledger (Florida), has listed some recent developments indicating that more and more scientists and theologians are becoming interested in the relationship between science and religion.  His list spans a spectrum from atheistic opinions of Stephen Weinberg to neo-orthodox views of Fuller Seminary, with a variety of voices and views […]

In the Beginning Was the Bit

Is intelligent design theory making an inroad into secular science?  One might think so, based on a book review published in the Jan. 1 issue of Nature,1 entitled, “The bits that make up the Universe.”  Michael A. Nielsen reviews a new book by Hans Christian van Baeyer, Information: The New Language of Science (Weidenfeld & […]

Phillip Johnson Honored, Still Wedging

Phillip E. Johnson, the Berkeley law professor who spearheaded the Intelligent Design movement, has been named “Daniel of the Year” by World Magazine (cover story, Dec. 13, 2003, also reproduced on Access Research Network).  Johnson has often used the metaphor of a wedge splitting a log.  Intelligent design, he believes, is the Wedge of Truth […]
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