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Baloney Detecting Exercise for Students

Jeff Barbour’s brief history of everything was published on Universe Today.  His essay, entitled “Where does intelligent life come from?” paints a short but sweeping panorama from the Big Bang to humans.  Its style is somewhat like watered-down Carl Sagan or gilded Neil deGrasse Tyson (see 09/29/2004 entry).  Here’s a sample about the origin of […]

Mars Makeover Underway

Amazing claims about Mars are coming in almost too fast to fathom, reports Space.Com, especially from the European Space Agency’s Mars Express orbiter.  These include evidence for recently active volcanos, frozen ice beds, methane and vestiges of glaciers and waterfalls.  Activity is “only yesterday” in the standard geological timescale.  One said, “it could start up […]

Will Darwinian Law Protect the Unfit?

Eggheads at Vanderbilt import evolutionary ideas into legal policies that could negatively affect individual rights in devastating ways.

The Future of Biology: Reverse Engineering

Just as an engineer can model the feedback controls required in an autopilot system for an aircraft, the biologist can construct models of cellular networks to try to understand how they work.  “The hallmark of a good feedback control design is a resulting closed loop system that is stable and robust to modeling errors and […]

Bacterial Engineering On Par With Higher Life

Bacteria aren’t the simple life-forms microbiologists used to envision, writes Zemer Gitai in Cell.1 Recent advances have demonstrated that bacterial cells have an exquisitely organized and dynamic subcellular architecture.  Like their eukaryotic counterparts, bacteria employ a full complement of cytoskeletal proteins, localize proteins and DNA to specific subcellular addresses at specific times, and use intercellular […]

Martians Might Be Troglodytes

According to an article on Space.Com, Spirit and Opportunity aren’t going to find critters on the surface.  Since the surface is harsh because of radiation, a safer environment might be found in caves.  The discovery of soluble rock and methane is leading some to imagine that extensive caves might exist on Mars, and maybe that […]

Darwinists Dig In Heels Against I.D.

“We aren’t going to convince them and they aren’t going to convince us,” said Vittorio Maestro of Natural History magazine, quoted at the end of a piece entitled, “US scientists battle over challenge to Darwinism” in ABC News Online.  The article gave quite a bit of space to quotes by Michael Behe and Jonathan Wells, […]

Visual Aid: Chance or Design?

A TV commercial for the Honda Accord has been circulating around the net as a popular download (see Steel City’s Finest).  It shows the parts of a car, without human intervention, interacting in strange ways like a Rube Goldberg device, resulting in a finished car rolling off the ramp.  Garrison Keillor adds the punch line, […]

Aliens of the Deep Preaches Astrobiology and Chemical Evolution

Titanic director James Cameron has released a large-format, 3D film of undersea life around hydrothermal vents, entitled Aliens of the Deep and released by Walt Disney pictures.  National Geographic News interviewed Cameron.  When asked why he speculated in the movie that life could have originated around deep-sea vents, he said: Presumably the hydrothermal activity was […]

ID. Article Makes N.Y. Times

Michael Behe got a full-length column in the New York Times (reproduced at Discovery.com) to present the case for intelligent design.  The EvolutionNews blog says it is the second most emailed article from that day’s edition, and asks, “Who says there’s no controversy?” Which side wants to air the debate?  Which side wants to shut […]

Will “Top-Down” and “Bottom-Up” Meet in the Middle?

Some difficult problems can be approached from opposite ends.  Engineers needing to build a shaft through a mountain, for instance, might start digging from the bottom and the top, trying to find each other in the middle.  But what if the mountain has an unanticipated impregnable layer?  Or what if there is no mountain, but […]

Editorials Lukewarm to ID, but Not as Hot to Darwin

A subtle shift seems to be taking place in media coverage of intelligent-design controversies in school boards across the country.  Darwinists used to be the unchallenged kings of the hill.  Alternatives, whether creationism or intelligent design, were disqualified before they reached the starting gate.  It also used to be “open season” on anti-Darwinists.  No vituperative […]

Astrobiology: 0 Steps Forward, 3 Steps Back

Astrobiology, the science in search of a subject, has major hurdles to overcome in its quest to explain everything from hydrogen to high technology.  Despite being one of the most active interdisciplinary research projects around the world (see 01/07/2005 entry), a leading researcher this week conceded that several promising leads of the past are now […]

Newspaper Editorials Lead Revolt Against King Charles

Some columnists and editorial writers are gaining boldness to attack the Darwin-only rule in science education.  Some examples: Senator Rick Santorum (R., Pennsylvania) in The Morning Call advocated a balanced approach to teaching evolution. Brian Fahling in The Union Leader took up the charge to defend Georgia’s “critical thinking” stickers (see 01/13/2005 entry). Neal McCluskey, […]

Dover, PA Administrators Will Read ID Statement

In a compromise aimed at relieving recalcitrant teachers, the Dover, Pennsylvania school board decided that administrators will read a four-paragraph statement about evolution and intelligent design (ID) to high school students for any teachers that want to “opt out” of the new policy (see 11/04/2004 headline).  The decision, according to the York Daily Record, was […]
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