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Insects Lead the Way

Why engineer things from scratch, when we can imitate nature?  Two recent examples come from the world of insects.  A press release from UC Berkeley begins, “Using the eyes of insects such as dragonflies and houseflies as models, a team of bioengineers at University of California, Berkeley, has created a series of artificial compound eyes.”  […]

Non-Coding DNA Has “Far More Complexity Than Was Imagined”

The concept of “junk DNA” appears to be fading away.  “A mathematical analysis of the human genome suggests that so-called ‘junk DNA’ might not be so useless after all,” reported Paul Rincon for the BBC News.  The photo caption reads, “The genome may possess far more complexity than was imagined.”     A team from […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  Astrobiology Takes on I.D.

The Center for Astrobiology at the University of Boulder is hosting a symposium today entitled, “Fossils and Genes: Exploring the Evolution of Life.”  Douglas Futuyma (State University of New York) calls Evolution the “most important theory in biology.”  By his own admission, though, it is a theory filled with paradoxes: Evolution is both a fact […]

Paper View:  Cambrian Explosion Damage Control

Like some federal official holding a press conference after a disaster, a Harvard paleontologist has tackled the unenviable job of explaining what Darwin called the most severe challenge that could be levied against his theory: the fossil record. The challenge starts with a bang...

The Politics of Darwinism: Dictate, Slander, Block

In a state of panic over the rise of intelligent design and creationism, most scientific societies supporting Darwinism are doing what their opponents feel is doomed to fail: avoiding, at all costs, a fair and intellectual debate about the evidence.  Instead, many pro-Darwin forces issue prepared statements, misrepresent their opponents, and use legal maneuvering to […]

Astrobiology Ten Years Later: Can It Justify Its Funding?

Astrobiology just turned ten years old, but is experiencing growing pains, partly due to a starvation diet.  This “science without a subject” (as George Gaylord Simpson quipped about its predecessor, exobiology) is struggling to justify itself at the Congressional feeding trough.  Proponents tout it as the most important subject in the universe.  Why, then, is […]

Isolated DNA Bases Are Destroyed Quickly

Without water, DNA bases fall apart quickly.  Any origin-of-life models expecting the building blocks of DNA (nucleotides) to stick around for long are going to suffer, say researchers from Oregon State University.  The molecules can enter a “dark state” in which they are highly vulnerable to UV radiation.  This idea was once considered “scientific heresy” […]

The Evolution of Irreducible Complexity

It must be open season on Intelligent Design (ID).  Yesterday, Nature tried defense with a new missing link claim (04/06) and today, Science is printing a story to tackle ID’s offensive line, irreducible complexity (see U of Oregon press release and EurekAlert).  The Discovery Institute immediately jumped to the match, with Mr. Irreducible Complexity himself, […]

Experimental Biologists Look to Animals for Inspiration

Whether insects, fish, birds or mammals, animals have a lot to teach scientists and engineers.  Here are some recent stories that begin to answer, “How do they do that?” with hopes that humans might be able to mimic their feats. Hard sponges:  Aimee Cunningham in Science News (03/25/2006; 169:12, p. 184) described the astonishment Joanna […]

“Fertile Imagination” Envisions Life on Titan

The dramatic landing of the Huygens Probe on Titan over a year ago (01/14/2005, 01/21/2005, 12/05/2005) is finally getting some overdue notice from the media.  The PBS science series NOVA just aired a new program on Cassini-Huygens, “Voyage to the Mystery Moon” (see your local PBS station for rebroadcast times), and Astronomy Magazine’s May 2006 […]

War Stories: Darwinism vs. ID

How are things going in the Darwin Wars?  The rhetoric is still flying, and there have been gains and losses on both sides.  Here are assorted war stories from battle stations and strategic summits: Golden Rule at Hahvahd:  The Harvard Gazette held a panel discussion on “How Do We Teach Evolution.”  Richard Lewontin sees the […]

Reviewer Stunned by Author’s Handwaving

David Nicholls appears to have suffered whiplash from a line in a book he was reviewing in Science,1 Power, Sex, Suicide: Mitochondria and the Meaning of Life by Nick Lane (Oxford, 2006).  Though he liked the book in general, he said this about Lane’s explanation for how the first cell got its power generator: The […]

Minimum Genome Doubles

How many genes does a bacterium need to live?  Evolutionists interested in the origin of life have been trying to determine the minimal genome for life.  Those estimates may have been way too low, say researchers from the University of Bath.  Though they did not supply a number, they estimate the required number of genes […]

How Dry I.D.

Greg Schirf of Wasatch Brewery is riding the wave of publicity over the intelligent design controversy in Utah.  He came out with a new “intelligently designed” beer: Evolution Amber Ale.  The press release expresses his alarm over the alleged erosion of separation of church and state, but how serious (or sober) he was may be […]

New Book:  Traipsing Into Evolution

The Discovery Institute has published a new book, Traipsing Into Evolution, analyzing the Dover decision.  (Traipsing is defined as walking or traveling about without apparent plan but with or without a purpose.)  An article on Evolution News introduces the contents, and describes the authors: “The book was written by David K. DeWolf, professor of law […]
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