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Back to School, Front to Darwinism Debate

The national debate about how to teach origins in public schools continues to roil.  Here are some recent developments: Poll:  A new Pew Research Poll reported on MSNBC News found that 64% of Americans want creationism taught alongside evolutionism, and 38% favor teaching creation only.  For details see the Pew Research press release which includes […]

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 […]

Dumb Down or Wise Up?  Rhetoric Over ID Intensifies

More and more reporters, scientists and scientific societies are weighing in with their opinions on evolution vs. intelligent design (ID) this week (see 08/13/2005 entry).  Here are some of the more interesting of the recent salvos: It’s Official: ID Is Not Science:  If the scientific validity of an idea can be ruled by authority, then […]

Origin of Life Studies: Motion or Emotion?

Harvard is going to fund origin-of-life research to the tune of a million dollars a year, according to an AP release reported by LiveScience.com, MSNBC News and the Washington Post.  The goal is to reduce life’s origin to a “series of logical events that could have taken place with no divine intervention,” according to Harvard […]

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 […]

Origin of Life: Can A Liability Be Turned Into an Asset?

Most of us know the Second Law of Thermodynamics (2TD) as the law of decay and disorder, and would tend to assume it would constitute a major obstacle to theories of the origin of life by chemical evolution (see online book); certainly creationists Duane Gish and Henry Morris frequently employed the 2TD skilfully in their […]

President Bush Votes Yes on ID

Asked whether ID was a valid alternative to evolution, President Bush told reporters August 1, “Both sides ought to be properly taught … so people can understand what the debate is about…. Part of education is to expose people to different schools of thought.  You’re asking me whether or not people ought to be exposed […]

Michael Ruse Balances the Scales in Creation-Evolution Conflict

Sahotra Sarkar seems in a bit of dilemma about how to treat Michael Ruse’s new book, The Evolution-Creation Struggle (Harvard, 2005).  In his review of the book in Science,1 Sarkar knew that Ruse is an important ally in the fight against intelligent design (see 02/18/2003 entry), but he seemed a little bit put off by […]

School Evolution Bills Listed

In response to claims in the media that many states are passing bills to mandate the teaching of intelligent design along with evolution, Seth Cooper on the Evolution News blog has listed 10 states where evolution bills are being debated and three more where discussions are taking place in the legislature.  Contrary to media reports, […]

The Death of the Concept of “Junk DNA”

“God don’t make no junk” has been a slogan for the self-esteem movement, and now no less than Science Now is providing support at the genetic level.  “Don’t call it junk” the article announces, indicating that stretches of non-coding DNA are apparently not useless regions of material as previously believed, but vital to the regulation […]

AAAS President Rails Against ID

Alan Leshner, CEO of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and executive publisher of Science, wrote an editorial asking “Why are scientists so upset about the growing movement to bring ‘intelligent design’ (ID) into science classrooms and public education venues such as science museums, zoos, and theme parks?”  He took the occasion of […]

Battle for Creation Makes Cover of New Scientist Magazine

Another indication of the notice the scientific community is giving to creation and intelligent design can be seen on the cover of New Scientist, in a report entitled, “Creationism special: A battle for science’s soul.”  With battle-laden lingo, Debora McKenzie surveys creationism and intelligent-design skirmishes not only among American school boards, but in Holland, Turkey, […]

Sponge Bobs Upward in Respect

The simplest group of multicellular animals, the sponges, is not so simple.  “Researchers have long regarded sponges as the most primitive form of animal life,” wrote Helen Pilcher in Nature;1 “At first glance, sponges seem simple.  They have no gut, no brain, no obvious front or back, left or right.  Adults pump water through a […]
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