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Resisting Science, or Resisting Purposelessness?

Why do so many adults “resist science”?, asked Yale psychologists Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg in an essay on The Edge.  They argued that childhood common sense impressions lead to a teleological view of the world.  These impressions conflict with evolutionary ideas presented at school, but are reinforced by religious authorities.  The job of […]

Science Is for the Birds

Birds, with all their variety and functionality, are a never-ending source of study for scientists.  Here are some recent feathery findings: Memory masters:  Scrub jays are like us: they can plan ahead, regardless of mood.  Current Biology did a study that proved these common western birds can cache tomorrow’s breakfast regardless of their motivational state.  […]

Can Morality Be Evolutionized?

A psychologist at the University of Virginia is probing the evolutionary origins of morality: [Jonathan] Haidt shows how evolutionary, neurological and social-psychological insights are being synthesized in support of three principles: 1) Intuitive primacy, which says that human emotions and gut feelings generally drive our moral judgments; 2) Moral thinking if [sic] for social doing, […]

New Theory for Introns: Mutation Sponges

When you don’t know where damage will occur, it makes sense to spread the assets around.  Scientists from City of Hope Medical Center (a cancer care and research institute) have a new idea about introns, those regions of DNA “junk“ between the more interesting exons (parts of genes).  Perhaps the introns are mutation sponges.   […]

More Optical Design in Eye Retina Than Seen Before

For decades, evolutionists have used the vertebrate retina as an example of poor design (dysteleology).  They have mocked how any designer could have been so unintelligent as to get the wiring backwards – with the photoreceptors behind a jumble of light-scattering cells.  Creationists have countered that despite the arrangement, it works well.1  Now, they may […]

Earliest Comb Jelly Fossil Looks Modern

One would think that a paper listed in the category “Evolution” would include supporting evidence that evolution had occurred, but a new Evolution paper in PNAS provides more arguments against it than for it.1  An international team studying early Cambrian fossil beds in China found a comb jelly embryo essentially identical to those alive today.  […]

Stupid Evolution Quote of the Week:  The Evolution of Shopper’s Arm

This week’s prize goes to the Society for Experimental Biology, which, according to EurekAlert, said this in a press release: The next time you are struggling to carry your bags home from the supermarket just remember that this could, in fact, be the reason you are able to walk upright on two legs at all!  […]

New Dinos Found; What Do They Mean?

There is often a wide gap between the bones that are found and the stories that are told about them.  As new dinosaur bones come to light, some reporters cannot resist imagining all kinds of things about their lifestyles.  Here are two recent examples.  As a bonus, we’ll add a non-dinosaur reptile story or two. […]

Questions to Ask a Reductionist Neurobiologist

Can the totality of the brain be described in terms of its neurons?  Is consciousness an artifact of the movement of signals in the brain?  Can the complexity of the brain be described in terms of its evolutionary history?  Does the hardware define the software that runs on it? Gy�rgy Buzs�ki attempted to address these questions […]

Missing Link, or Just Jawboning About Ear Evolution?

Tetrapod vertebrates (four-footed animals with backbones) comprise a dizzying array of species, both living and extinct.  When is it justifiable to arrange different forms into an ancestral evolutionary sequence, especially when some members are extinct and others are still alive today?  On what basis can scientists claim that a discovery demonstrates evolution?  Some Chinese scientists […]

Immature Kid?  Blame Evolution

Why do older children linger at home longer than they should?  Evolution, says Ker Than for Live Science.  This insight of his is based on growth patterns of teeth from an alleged 160,000-year-old juvenile skeleton in Africa.  Tanya Smith [Max Planck Institute] said of the bones, “These early fossils show a mix of primitive and […]

Were Australopithecines Violent?  Should Humans Not Be?

One wonders how a scientist could infer behavior from skeletal dimensions, but David Carrier (U of Utah) believes he can visualize that evolutionary ancestors of humans were good fighters.  A report on EurekAlert begins, “Ape-like human ancestors known as australopiths maintained short legs for 2 million years because a squat physique and stance helped the […]

Deconstructing Darwinese:  Delighting in Ignorance

When is ignorance a good thing?  When is confidence in one’s answers a bad thing?  One science writer expressed his desire for mystery over explanation – as long as the mysterious allowed room for lucky breaks without design.     Science writer Ben Shaberman got to share his views on the last page of the […]

The Evolution of School Boards

A press release from Michigan State University encourages scientists to run for school boards on a pro-evolution platform.  Alarmed that 40% of students are doubting evolution, Jon Miller encourages his fellow evolutionists to get involved in improving “science literacy.”  He sees this as a necessary counter to “other special interest groups, often conservative or religiously […]

Fossil Fish Meat Pushes Idea of Early Complexity

An article in National Geographic News today has a title to catch the eye (or nose) of seafood lovers: “Fossil Meat Found in 380-Million-Year-Old Fish.”  Knowing how quickly fish spoils if left out, this might strike a reader as surprising.  Sure enough, fossilized muscle, with “bundles of muscle cells, blood vessels, and nerve cells” clearly […]
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