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David Attenborough Finds Living Fossil Tree Romantic, Not Devastating

England’s famous Kew Royal Botanical Gardens is getting a Wollemi Pine, and David Attenborough, naturalist and evolution popularist, is proud of it.  This “living fossil” was thought extinct for 200 million years, but was found alive and well a few years ago in Australia (see 12/15/2000 entry).     Grinning like a kid at Christmas, […]

Media, Journals Alarmed at Rise of Intelligent Design Movement

The number of articles in the news about the Intelligent Design (ID) Movement is rising, partly because of the upcoming hearings before the Kansas school board.  National Geographic news asked, “Does ‘Intelligent Design’ Threaten the Definition of Science?” in an April 27 article, but at least author John Roach got the definition of ID correct, […]

Do Neurologists Understand Brain Evolution?

Jane Bradbury wrote a feature piece for PLOS Biology recently,1 entitled, “Molecular Insights into Human Brain Evolution.”  Help us find the insights.  First, she marvels on how “humans sit on top of the pile when it comes to relative brain size.”  Then she marvels at how quickly the human brain apparently evolved compared to apes.  […]

More Convergent Evolution Claimed for Dino-Era Mammal

A chipmunk-size mammal with Popeye-like forearms and beaver-like teeth resembling an armadillo?  That’s how the discoverers are describing the fossil they named Fruitafossor, a small mammal found near Fruita, Colorado and reported in Science.1  They think it dug burrows and ate termites.  Of special interest were the open-root teeth like those of the beaver.  Lead […]

Migration Theory Overturned: “Mammals Went Crazy” – Or Did Darwinists?

The discovery of an elephant shrew fossil in Wyoming badlands said to be 54 million years old is causing a stir.  Elephant shrews were thought to be endemic to Africa, the alleged cradle of mammals.  This find hints not only that elephant shrews may have originated in North America instead, but also that “there may […]

Descendants Can Overcome Parental Mutations

Bad genes from both parents may not spell doom in all cases.  Scientists at Purdue University found that if two parents have bad mutations, the child can sometimes reconstruct the correct gene from the grandparents.  “Our genetic training tells us that’s just not possible,” said Bob Pruitt, co-researcher on the team that ran the experiment […]

Easter Essay

Accompanied by a picture of a cross and a sunset, captioned “The Sun and the Son,” a somber-looking Brian Walden wrote an essay in the BBC News expressing his reaction to Astronomer Royal Sir Martin Rees’ “chilling” comment that “It will not be humans who witness the demise of the Sun six billion years hence; […]

NAS President Calls on Scientists to Defend Darwinism

The man who described a cell as “a factory that contains an elaborate network of interlocking assembly lines, each of which is composed of a set of large protein machines” (see 02/10/2003 entry) now wants his fellow scientists to oppose efforts to attribute this factory to design.  Bruce Alberts, president of the National Academy of […]

Public Not Patronizing Evolution-Based IMAX Films

Mark Looy at Answers in Genesis comments on reports that some IMAX movie theaters are dropping evolution-based films because the public is taking offense at them.  Looy denies that “religious fundamentalists” or creation organizations are putting any pressure on the theaters.  He claims this is just an informal grass-roots response by viewers who are becoming […]

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 […]

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 […]

If I Only Had a Brain…

The scarecrow didn’t know what he was asking for.  Look what Steven E. Hyman of Harvard says about the human brain and nervous system in the 8 March 2005 issue of Current Biology:1 The nervous system processes sensory information and controls behavior by performing an enormous number of computations.  These computations occur both within cells […]

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, […]

Indonesian Hobbit No Numbskull

Whoever Homo florensiensis was (see 10/27/2004 entry), it was no dumb half-ape.  This miniature human packed a lot of brains into a small skull, says Michael Balter in Science1 (see also EurekAlert, National Geographic and BBC News).  A cast of the brain made from the skull shows complexity: convolutions in the frontal lobe suggest an […]

SETI Outreach Director: “Teach Evolution”

Evolution is the foundation of biology, geology, and astronomy, claims Edna Devore, Director of Education and Public Education for the SETI Institute.  Writing in Space.Com, she finds it hard to believe evolution is controversial (see 12/14/2004 and 11/30/2004 entries).  Why, just look out the airplane window; it’s obvious.  “Evolution is fundamental to modern biology, geology […]
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