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So Long Darwin Bicentennial

Even some Darwinians are growing weary of Darwin hoopla.  The Darwin Bicentennial and Origin of Species 150th Anniversary celebrations have come and gone, but Darwin is just as contentious and controversial as ever.  Historians may remember not just the pro-Darwin celebrations of 2009, but the strong internet and media presence of Darwin skeptics.     […]

L.A. Museum Sued Over I.D.

They had a contract.  The American Freedom Alliance (AFA), which takes no official position on Darwinism vs Intelligent Design but wanted to present both sides of what they considered an important public issue, was scheduled to show two films at the California Science Center’s IMAX Theater – one which assumes evolution, and one which argues […]

Robot Designers Strive to Match Animals

Engineers feel great satisfaction when their robots can match just some of the feats of animals.  What does that say about the design of the animals? It’s a bird, it’s a plane:  The first “hummingbird robot” was unveiled by Japanese researcher Hiroshi Liu (Chiba University) in a press release published by PhysOrg.  The hand-sized device […]

“Messy” Genomes: Did They Evolve?

The genomes of most eukaryotes are riddled with introns – intragenic regions – that have to be cut out by sophisticated DNA-transcribing machinery so that the true gene sections (called exons) can be spliced together.  Introns can vary from 20 base pairs to over 500,000 – significantly impacting the energy required to duplicate the genome.  […]

The Evolution of the Future

Evolution, being an unguided process, would seem the last thing one could predict.  That hasn’t stopped some evolutionists from speculating what an evolutionary future will bring to our planet and our species.  Carl Zimmer, a blogger for a Discover Magazine blog, is one such speculator.  He also wrote the final essay in the Origins series […]

How One Bright Young Scientist Challenged the Junk-DNA Paradigm

A young snowboarder turned to science and turned the consensus on its head.  PhysOrg, in “Turning trash to treasure,” told the story of John Rinn (Harvard Medical School), who challenged the paradigm of “junk DNA” and discovered a new class of functional molecules: lincRNAs (large intervening non-coding RNA).  He found important functional molecules “in a […]

Insect Wing Photocopied for Good

Biomimetics is the new science of imitating nature – but why not save a step, and just copy the design directly?  That’s what Aussie and British researchers did.  They wanted a self-cleaning surface that could repel moisture and dust, so they made a template of an insect wing.  And why not?  “Insects are incredible nanotechnologists,” […]

Darwin Marketed to Kids

There’s a move on to get Darwin’s ideas taught to tots.  Britain is giving a “birthday present to Darwin,” wrote Andrew Copson for The Guardian, in the form of national curriculum for primary schools that will mention evolution for the first time – and prohibit teaching of creationism or intelligent design in science lessons.   […]

Inefficiency Made You Complex

Remember the old Darwinian story?  Slight variations that prove beneficial are naturally selected when they help an organism adapt to its environment.  Wrong.  According to Ariel Fernandez of Rice University, we humans are complex because natural selection is inefficient.  He said, “the origins of some key aspects of the evolution of complexity may have their […]

To Advance Science, Imitate Nature

Biomimetics – the imitation of nature – continues to be one of the hottest areas in science.  Here are a few of the latest findings coming from the world of living creatures. Fish robot:  National Geographic News shows a photo of the latest thing in underwater robotics: a robotic submarine modeled after the Amazonian knifefish.  […]

The Nature of Darwin and the Darwin of Nature

“Even the most ardent fan of Charles Darwin might be feeling weary as his anniversary year draws to a close,” remarked Clive Wynn in another issue of Nature celebrating his bicentennial.1  “Publishers have seemingly explored every corner of Darwin’s life: his youth, his marriage, his attitudes to slavery and religion.”  And now Wynn was introducing […]

Asian Darwinist Profs Call Creationists Barbarians

“We have kept the creationist barbarians from the gate,” announced a professor at Hong Kong University triumphantly.  A news article in Science this week described tensions in the city over the teaching of evolution.  The Darwinists won a vote over a change in wording in the science curriculum that would have “opened the door to […]

Introducing the Maple-Copter

Plants are not as stationary as one might think.  Parts of them, like seeds, can travel for miles.  One good example is the maple seed.  Its little helicopter seeds can catch an updraft and fly a long distance from the tree.  Now, engineers at University of Maryland have imitated its physics and designed a radio-controlled […]

Darwin Debate Strategy: Declare Victory

The easiest way to win a debate is to simply disallow your opponent, and then declare victory by forfeit.  Is that what supporters of Darwin are doing to their critics? The winner is: Darwin:  PhysOrg reported favorably on a book by Mano Singham (Case Western Reserve University) that declares victory against creationism and intelligent design: […]

Chemistry Nobel Celebrates Cell Complexity

A discovery rivalling the elucidation of the genetic code is the structure of the ribosome – the “molecular machine” that translates the DNA code into proteins.  Untangling the complexity of this multi-part system won three scientists the Nobel Prize for Chemistry (see BBC News).  The winners are Venkatraman Ramakrishnan, Thomas Steitz and Ada Yonath.   […]
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