Evolution Bends to Fit the Evidence

A good scientific theory should predict what is observed.  When the theory is confronted with unexpected evidence, should the theory be jettisoned or modified?  Darwin predicted slow, gradual change over long periods of time.  Let’s see what evolutionists do with surprises (cf. 01/23/2009). Explosive evolution:  Evolution has been anything but gradual in the case of […]

Science Jelly Beans

Time to clear the deck again.  Here’s a collection of sweet and sour news nuggets readers may wish to munch on. Fossils: big early spider:  An exquisitely preserved spider has been found in Chinese Jurassic strata; see picture on National Geographic News.  This pushes the origin of its genus back 130 million years, according to […]

Biomimetics: Who Is Imitating Whom?

Biomimetics is a cutting-edge branch of applied science that looks for ways to imitate nature to solve engineering problems.  Sometimes, though engineers invent things then find that nature had a similar solution all along.  Other times, there is overlap, with engineers inventing things that affect nature, or nature guiding engineering that is already in progress.  […]

Dubious Darwinian Inferences Unquestioned

Science was invented to stop jumping to conclusions.  Leaps of faith from small clues to grand explanations were to be replaced by slow, careful, methodical investigations of raw data until rational inferences could be drawn.  Do the following research examples do justice to that ideal? Smelly dinobird air space:  The news media are chortling over […]

Weird Science Tolerated by Science Reporters

What are the boundaries between science and pseudoscience?  Before answering, look at some of the stories that made headlines on science news sites recently. Legendary science:  Siberia plans to study the Yeti, reported PhysOrg.  Yeti has nothing to do with extra-terrestrial intelligence; it’s the popular name of a legendary abominable snowman locals report having seen […]

Limits of Science Noted

Biology used to be simple to classify: plants and animals.  Up to the 1990s, that transmogrified into eukaryotes and prokaryotes.  Then the prokaryotes got split into archaea and bacteria.  But now, according to New Scientist there are debates about opening up a fourth kingdom of life – with the realization that 99% of cell species […]

Surprises in Science Never End

In a perfect world of scientific knowledge, scientists would understand everything and be able to predict everything according to their best theories.  The number of surprises that continue to turn up, however, show that we remain far from that perfect world.  Paleoecology: Chilly dinosaurs:  “It has long been thought that the climate of the Mesozoic, […]

What Scientists Don’t Know and How They Don’t Know It

In light of another huge science scandal, questions rise about what scientists know.  Several recent stories cast doubt on the infallibility of the scientific method – and even the ability of scientific inquiry to solve some mysteries. Fraud exposed:  92 peer-reviewed papers published over a decade, now found out to be fraudulent?  How is that […]

Taking Control of Natural Selection

Are humans evolving?  If so, should they?  Two recent articles asked these questions as if natural selection is something we should no longer allow to push us around.  We should take control of it for our own good.  But then, it wouldn’t be natural selection, would it?     On the BBC News, Olly Bootle […]

Anthropology: a Science in Crisis

Students memorize the different -ologies of science – geology, biology, paleontology and others – often without knowing the history of the fields.  An impression is sometimes given that each branch of science has equal validity.  Some recent articles indicate that anthropology (the study of man) is struggling with internal squabbles and external credibility.     […]

Metaphors of Evolution

If Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like, science never metaphor it didn’t force.  The history of science is replete with examples of metaphors not only trying to explain phenomena, but actually driving scientific research.  Many times thoughtless metaphors have said more about current social values than science.     So argued Mary […]

Evolutionary Magic

What do evolutionists do when data bring surprises to their claims?  They find new ways for evolution to work magic.  See if these stories illustrate that or not. Plant-animal partnership:  One could hardly find two groups of organisms more disparate than plants and animals, but an article on PhysOrg claims that both groups hit on […]

Rescuing Theories from the Evidence

If you believed what scientists were saying 5, 10, or 20 years ago about the march of evolution through time, be prepared to reset your clocks or think outside the box.  Things didn’t happen that way, some recent stories claim.  Documentaries based on the old stories may need to be scrapped.  But since we trusted […]

Best Qualified Candidate Expelled Over Views on Evolution, Design

For daring to question evolution, an astronomer who was the best qualified candidate to become director of a new observatory lost out.  “No one denies that astronomer Martin Gaskell was the leading candidate for the founding director of a new observatory at the University of Kentucky in 2007 – until his writings on evolution came […]

Latest Animal Winners in the Inspiration Contest

Scientists want to copy animal skills.  The new science of biomimetics is on a roll (11/30/2010), looking to living things for design inspiration.  Here are a few of the latest organisms giving inventors and engineers goose bumps. Bird gloss:  Ravens have what scientists at the University of Akron in Ohio want: glossy materials.  Nevermore shall […]
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