VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Poison Planet Was Life’s Training Ground

Navy Seals go through “Hell Week” in their training to become warriors.  The radical hardships they endure help prepare them for missions that will call on their deepest resources of courage and determination.  These men of the elite special forces also become experts in dealing with explosives.  Can molecules do the same, with a little […]

Scientists Marvel at Enzyme Efficiency

Many chemical reactions occur from simple collisions.  One atom may have spare electrons, another may need them.  Attracted by each other’s valences, the atoms collide and bonds form.  Not so with biological enzymes: these molecular machines owe their efficiency to their three-dimensional shapes.  Made up of hundreds of amino acids, enzymes have “active sites” where […]

Serving Up Life on the Rocks with a Twist

We’ve heard theories life arose in a primeval soup, around hot deep-sea vents, around volcanoes and other hot spots; why would anyone consider the origin of life in ice?  A scientist in Spain has suggested life may have started in ice.  The title to the Science Daily write-up finds this to be the ultimate divination: […]

FrankenTitan Comes to Life

There’s electricity at Titan, the large moon of Saturn.  That can only mean one thing: life!  “Electricity Found on Saturn Moon–Could It Spark Life?” asked a headline on National Geographic News by Rebecca Carroll.  Visions of spark discharge tubes in a mad scientist’s lab arise in the imagination.  “Recently identified electrical activity on Saturn’s largest […]

The Life and Death of Oxygen

The oxygen in our atmosphere has the energy equivalent of 20 thousand billion billion hydrogen bombs.  To maintain the oxygen level in our atmosphere, that amount of energy would have to be spent in manufacturing molecular oxygen every 4 million years (a thousandth the assumed age of the earth).     Now that we have […]

Deep Life Is Right at Home in Total Darkness

It seems every year scientists find organisms thriving in environments thought too inhospitable for life.  A new word was coined for these organisms: extremophiles – lovers of the extreme.  Two recent discoveries push the envelope of extreme environments almost to the deep limit. Pressurized fish:  The bottoms of the deep ocean trenches of the Pacific […]

The Prevolution of Evolution: Life Marches In

There’s a new word preceding the E word evolution.  Two Harvard scientists have made up a new word, prevolution, to describe a supposed stage before replication when natural selection was helping evolution evolve.  What does prevolution act on?  Simple, silly: prelife.     Martin Nowak and Hisashi Ohtsuki titled their paper in PNAS, “Prevolutionary dynamics […]

Are You Too Dumb to Understand Evolution?

Astrobiologist David Deamer believes that life can spontaneously emerge without design, but he thinks lay people are too uneducated to understand how this is possible, so he gives them the watered-down version of Darwin’s natural selection instead, which he knows is inadequate to explain the complexity of life.  That’s what he seemed to be telling […]

Life in Space: Follow the Hot Water, not the Hot Air

Planetary scientists have their eyes and instruments on regions of hot water, but speculating too dogmatically about life in space could get you in hot water yourself.     Simon Klatterhorn (geologist, U of Idaho) is mesmerized by the possibility of life at Europa, Jupiter’s ice-crusted oceanic moon.  In an interview by Science Daily, he […]

Phoenix Did NOT Find Mars Life

A media snafu has NASA spokespersons rushing to deny that life has been found on Mars, reported Space.com.  For example, Live Science reporter Leonard David said that the White House has been alerted to the potential for new information about life on Mars based on findings from the Phoenix Lander.  The apparent secrecy has teased […]

Gems and Hot Ideas About Life’s Origin

It seems that origin-of-life speculations are constantly looking for new plot lines.  PhysOrg published a new idea that life started on diamonds.  Yes, “Diamonds may have been life”s best friend on primordial Earth,” it began, raising the interesting question whether friendship was a concept before consciousness emerged.  Since diamonds are thought to be among the […]

Why Academic Freedom Is Dangerous

Barbara Forrest has a tough case on her hands.  The veteran creationist-fighter has to convince the people of Louisiana that they did a bad thing by passing the Academic Freedom Bill, because academic freedom when it comes to discussing intelligent design and evolution is dangerous (cf. 05/12/2008, bullet 3).  The bill passed by 94-3 in […]

Leaky Fat Blobs Produced Life

“How life began remains an open question,” said David Deamer in Nature,1 then filled the opening with a speculation: maybe life started in leaky blobs of fat.     The imaginary first primitive cells would have had a problem.  Without transport proteins that control entrances and exits, any lucky ingredients that might have come together […]

Evolutionist Learns from “Neo-Creationists”

Neo-creationists: the Intelligent Design (ID) people as well as the active old creationists, are still to be despised and expelled, thinks an evolutionist.  That doesn’t mean, though, that they aren’t making some good points.     The evolutionist is Gordy Slack, a science writer from Oakland, California, who previously wrote a book about the Dover […]

NSF Funds Misleading Cartoons on Origin of Life

A slick new multimedia website called Exploring Life’s Origins made its debut this month.  Dazzling artwork and vivid animations are highlights of the site.     The journey begins with a timeline of life’s evolution in which the viewer can drag a marker through billions of years of evolutionary progress.  Controversial theories about the formation […]
Page 20 of 29« First...10...16171819202122232425...Last »
All Posts by Date