VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Crystal Mysticism Invades Astrobiology

Mystical ideas about the life-giving power of crystals usually go with New Age movies and storefronts.  Science is above all that, right?  Then what is a reader supposed to think of this opening line by Leslie Mullen on Space.com? One of the greatest mysteries about the origin of life is how the necessary ingredients consistently […]

From Dust to St. Patrick in 5 Billion Years Flat

Biblical creationists and evolutionists have one belief in common: we came originally from dust.  How that dust became organized is the difference.  Both views teach that our bodies are comprised of the same atoms found in dust, but creationists say an intelligent designer purposefully molded the dust into a fully-formed man and woman, whereas evolutionists […]

More Functional Non-Coding DNA Found

Another finding undermines the concept of “junk DNA.”  A team of scientists in Massachusetts found over a thousand functional RNA transcripts from intergenic sequences.  These RNA transcripts, coming not from genes but from regions earlier thought to be non-functional, take part in diverse functions from stem cell pluripotency to HOX gene developmental processes to cell […]

See Like a Bee, Fly Like a Fly

An aerospace engineer in Australia was inspired by insects to design a better way for missiles to find their targets.  Aviation Week reported on work announced by the Australian Government Department of Defense.  “Bioseeker,” a new guidance system for smarter weapons, was inspired by insect navigation.  The Hon. Warren Snowdon, on his website as Minister […]

Are You Cereous?  Life Came from an Asteroid?

Ceres is an icy asteroid way out in space that has a lot of ice.  The DAWN spacecraft is heading there.  When it arrives in 2015, maybe it will find out if a substantial part of the water is in liquid state under an ice crust.  Say the word water, and some think… life.   […]

Using Engineering to Prove Evolution

David Deamer smiling at a tide pool: is there an evolutionary connection?  The picture accompanies an article on Science Daily about Deamer’s latest thinking on the origin of life.  He’s going to share his ideas at a symposium in Oakland, California, organized by Eugenie Scott of the NCSE. According to Deamer, life began with complex […]

Cell Motors Play Together

If one molecular machine by itself is a wonder, what would you think of groups of them playing in concert?  Recent papers and news articles are claiming that’s what happens in living cells: molecular motors coordinate their efforts.     Science Daily led off a story on this by saying, “Even within cells, the left […]

Assassins Roam Our Highways

Slinking surreptitiously through our blood streams, the assassins prowl about, looking for their targets.  These are not terrorists or vigilantes.  They have a license to kill.  Be glad they are there; they have saved your life many times.  They are called natural killer cells.     PhysOrg reported on work going on at Howard Hughes […]

Darwinism as Religion in a Holy War

It might be expected that media attention on Darwin would be exceptionally high this month because of his bicentennial, but some of it seems downright religious.  The adulation he has been receiving is almost embarrassing sometimes.  It is only exceeded by the righteous indignation Darwin’s fans frequently express against intelligent design.  In any other context, […]

Can You Have Evolution Without Darwin?

It might seem crass to diminish the reputation of a historical figure right before his Bicentennial, but it’s happening.  There are some who are trying to chuck Darwin.  In the New York Times, Carl Safina shocked readers with his title, “Darwinism Must Die So That Evolution May Live.”     Safina was appalled at the […]

Panspermia Discounted: Life Had to Start Here

Some prominent biologists have pointed to a back door on the stage of life’s origin.  They have argued that even if the probability for the first cell was unlikely on Earth, life could have been brought here from space.  Francis Crick promoted this view; so did Fred Hoyle.  Most recently, even the ardent atheist Darwin […]

What Mean These Observations?

Science news outlets report many interesting findings every week.  It’s not always clear, though, whether the conclusions drawn from them are warranted by the data.  Here are some recent cases: Jaws of steel:  A skull labeled Australopithecus robustus was studied for the force its jaws could generate.  Interpretation: “Early humans had jaws of steel.”  With […]

Darwin Still Doesn’t Do Well in Polls

British Darwin defender Richard Dawkins is gnashing his teeth over the latest poll in Britain that shows “More than half of the public believe that the theory of evolution cannot explain the full complexity of life on Earth, and a ‘designer’ must have lent a hand,” according to the UK Guardian and UK Telegraph.  Dawkins […]

SETI Has a Long History

Astrobiology Magazine provided a historical look at attempts to communicate with aliens.  Like the weather, people talked about life in outer space, but nobody did anything about it – at least till technology made such talk a little less crazy.  Michael Schirber’s survey includes some interesting characters – Kepler, Gauss, Tesla and Einstein – along […]

New Genetics Revolution Underway

The genetics of the 1950s was that DNA is the seat of all inheritance, and that genetic information traveled one way: from DNA to protein.  That “central dogma” has been changing after decades of further researchers.  Theories of epigenetics (inheritance not limited to DNA) have been gaining attention with increasing frequency.     Science Daily […]
All Posts by Date