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Missing Links Found: Walking Seal, Teen Tyrannosaur

Science news media are abuzz with reports that two missing links have been found.  One is a fossil seal (pinniped) with four legs, the other a smaller presumed ancestor of the famous Tyrannosaurus rex. Seal:  National Geographic News calls it a seal with arms, and features artwork of an otter-like animal doing a kind of […]

Publish Your Kooky Idea

Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute has a solution for sorting science from pseudoscience: publish.  In the weekly SETI article for April 16 on Space.com, he said he gets lots of wacky theories in the mail and email.  What’s the best way to sift through claims and find the gems?  Publication.     Shostak acknowledged […]

Art as Propaganda for Evolution

Should a scientific theory be propagated by appeal to scientific evidence, or by appeal to emotions through visualization?  Nature this week contained two articles that shamelessly praised art as propaganda for evolution.  Surprisingly, one of them mentioned Charles Darwin as someone “at the cutting edge of visualization.” Endless Forms:  Carl Zimmer reviewed an exhibit currently […]

Physicists Bow to Darwin

What’s Darwin got to do with physics?  Presumably, if you dropped his statue off the leaning tower of Pisa, it would fall at 32 feet per second squared, but the man is remembered for his speculations about biology, not physics.  Why, then, did Nature Physics devote a special issue to Darwin?  Here’s what it presented. […]

Darwin Had Genetic Blinders

Darwin was a contemporary of Mendel, so why did he get inheritance wrong?  That question was addressed on Science Daily by Jonathan Howard of the University of Cologne, Germany.  His thesis is that Darwin had philosophical blinders on that prevented him from recognizing the significance of evidence before him.     “Why Didn’t Darwin Discover […]

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, […]

The Nature of Nature’s “Darwin 200”

As could be expected for yesterday’s Darwin Day February 12, Nature devoted almost its entire 2/12/09 issue to Charles Darwin with at least 20 Darwin-related articles.  The caption for the special edition states, The latest edition of Nature to celebrate Darwin’s life and work looks at the human side of evolution.  We have features on […]

Darwin Losing in the Polls

Many scientists are celebrating Darwin as the greatest scientist in history on his Bicentennial, but public support for his theory is slipping.  A new Zogby poll shows significant erosion over the past few years over the question of whether evolution only should be taught, and a new Gallup poll shows only a minority believe in […]

Darwin’s Wrong Turn in Argentina

When the Beagle was sailing the coast of Argentina in 1834, it stopped at the mouth of the Santa Cruz River.  25-year-old Charles Darwin, who had been reading Lyell’s Principles of Geology, got out and explored the area on foot as the crew made camp on the cliffs.  Darwin was impressed by the six-mile-wide canyon […]

For His Birthday, Darwin Loses His Tree

The “tree of life” is the central icon of Darwinism.  Charles Darwin’s only illustration in the Origin of Species was a drawing of organisms descending from a common ancestor in a branching tree pattern.  It has been reproduced, expanded, embellished and decorated into a primal symbol of what science believes about biology.  Why, then, are […]

Darwin Blogs on Origin of Life

He may not blog himself, but Darwin has disciples who blog for him.  There’s bound to be a lot of blogging this year with Darwin’s 200th birthday next month and the 150th anniversary of the Origin of Species this November.  Science began a blog called Origins with some entries from their Jan 8 issue.  Two […]

Darwin Missed the Pink Iguanas

The news media are excited about pink iguanas found in the Galapagos Islands.  The rare type was discovered accidentally in 1986 but received almost no attention till now.  Reports with pictures can be found on Live Science, PhysOrg, New Scientist and the BBC News, based on the paper by Gentile et al in PNAS.1   […]

Did Music Evolve?

Nature is running a nine-part series on music.  The most recent entry by Josh McDermott, psychologist at University of Minnesota, asked how music might have evolved.1  The theme, with variations, is that nobody knows.     Music is a uniquely human trait.  It is ubiquitous across cultures.  Bird songs and animal calls, while musical to […]

Dinosaur Expert Criticizes Uber-Darwinists More than Biblical Creationists

One of the field researchers most identifiable with dinosaurs is Dr. Robert Bakker, a colorful individual who’s had a long friendly rivalry with an equally iconic figure of the modern dinosaur hunter, Jack Horner (e.g., 11/24/2007).  Brian Switek interviewed Bakker on the Laelops Science Blog.  He introduced him as “one of the most famous paleontologists […]

Darwin and Complexity: Another Genetic Solution?

It remains one of the biggest obstacles to belief in evolution that a random, unguided process could build an eye, a wing or any of thousands of complex structures.
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