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Questioning Earth’s Privileges

51; Two articles this week downplayed considerations that would make the Earth seem like a special place in the universe.  Both have ties to NASA.     Are life-friendly stars limited to a narrow band in the galaxy called the Galactic Habitable Zone (GHZ)?  NASA-supported Astrobiology Magazine cast doubt on the idea.  Citing a study […]

Cambrian Explosion Still Explosive

51; Two new papers about Cambrian and Precambrian fossils did nothing to help soften the blow of the Cambrian explosion – the sudden appearance of all the animal body plans in the geological blink of an eye.  They essentially restated the problem for Darwin, who hoped that fossil discoveries would fill in the gaps where […]

Depressed Kerry Supporters Find New Cause: Fight Creationism

A grass-roots group of Virginia liberal Democrats has found a new cause to lift them out of their depression after John Kerry’s defeat last fall, according to a Washington Post article reprinted by MSNBC News: “Keep Virginia evolving.”  Their chosen mission is to defend evolution from intrusions by the intelligent design movement and conservative Republicans […]

Mutating Evolution Into Design

51; The word evolve gets used in funny ways.  As Paul Nelson has noted, it often becomes a Designer substitute.  Look how an article in New Scientist employed it: Could a 3D printer help to create in minutes what nature took millions of years to evolve – the perfect insect wing? Tiny robotic insects would […]

Only Atheists Need Apply

51; He’s a Christian, yes, but he is also a leading American scientist and a harsh critic of intelligent design.  He supports research on embryonic stem cells and upholds Darwin’s theory of evolution completely.  That’s not enough to get Francis Collins off the hook with the scientific establishment.  Both Nature and Science expressed “serious misgivings” […]

“Genomic Junk” Is Cell’s Air-Traffic Control

51; Linc-RNAs (large intervening non-coding RNAs) have been promoted from junk molecules to air traffic controllers.  A mystery about these transcripts of DNA that are not translated into proteins is being explained.     Science Daily reported on work at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) and the Broad Institute that found these RNA molecules […]

Sunshine Is for Health

51; The old wisdom: stay out of the sun.  The new wisdom: your life could depend on getting sunshine: about 10-15 minutes of exposure three times a week.     Science Daily reported that Vitamin D, produced in the skin by exposure to sunlight, provides more health to the body than previously thought.  Health professionals […]

Genetics: Alternate Reading Frames May Be Common

Imagine a book written in a language where there were no spaces, and every word was three letters long.  Now imagine that you could get one story by starting at the first letter, and a different story by starting at the second letter, and another by starting at the third letter.  That’s the situation with […]

Peppered Moths Are Back

51; One might think that past embarrassments about the peppered moth as evidence for evolution would keep evolutionists reluctant to mention them.  A team from the University of Liverpool either didn’t get the message, or shed all reluctance anyway.  They published a new paper about Biston betularia in Science,1 calling the moth story “a textbook […]

Cellular Machines Coming to Light

51; As imaging techniques improve, cells are yielding up their secrets.  Scientists are getting closer to watching the processes in cellular factories in real time. Dynein:  PhysOrg reported, “Biologists capture cell’s elusive ‘motor’ on videotape, solving the mystery of its deployment.”  The article began, “Their experiments can be likened to restoring never-before-seen footage to a […]

Your Inner Postal Service

51; Zip codes – those five- or nine-digit numbers on mail – have an analogue in every one of your cells.  Like a city,1 a cell has information to ship from place to place.2  To make sure that the manufacturing instructions for protein parts arrive at the appropriate assembly site, the shipper puts a molecular […]

Flies Turn on a Dime

51; A fly can turn 180 degrees in one tenth the time it takes you to blink an eye.  Beating their wings 250 times a second, they don’t even have to think about each wing beat, PhysOrg said about studies at Brown University using high-speed cameras and image tracking software.  “[Attila] Bergou discovered that flies […]

Bacterial Flagellum Can Tune Its Swim Speed with Network-Controlled Brakes

51; What’s new with flagella?  These are the favorite toys of intelligent design supporters, because they are irreducibly complex molecular machines that evolutionists rarely attempt to explain by a Darwinian process.  More fodder for their position comes from a paper in Cell1 that finds that bacteria can fine-tune their swimming velocity by means of a […]

Alliance for Science – or for Silence?

The American Association for the Advancement of Science had an unusual item on their agenda for their annual meeting in St. Louis: fight intelligent design.  The St. Louis Dispatch reported that while churches were preaching the gospel Sunday morning, the AAAS was preaching battle tactics.  According to the article, though, they were preaching to the […]

Scientists Are Studying Your Garden for Ideas

51; Your garden plants are visited by a butterfly and various insects as you sip tea in a lawn chair.  Did you have any idea that inventors are watching the same things with an eye to making money?  Or that military officers are getting ideas from the garden to use against the enemy?  Biomimetics – […]
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