VIEW HEADLINES ONLY

Roses Are Red, Darwinists Are Blue

Roses have a special pigment molecule, a particular form of anthocyanin, responsible for all the rich red-to-blue shades in the petals that delight gardeners and attract pollinating insects.  This molecule is different from the pigments in every other flowering plant; it is glycosylated at two positions instead of one.2  A single enzyme does the job […]

Evangelical Christians Split on How to Handle Evolution

A dismal picture of controversy dividing Christian brother against brother, with no resolution in sight, is painted by Paul Nussbaum in the Philadelphia Inquirer.  He says evangelical Christians are not monolithic in their opposition to evolution, but as divided as much of the rest of the nation.  He quotes a spokesperson for the American Scientific […]

Who Wins and Loses in the Darwin Wars?

Sandra Lilley, writing in MSNBC News, pictures sad-faced students, whose scientific inquisitiveness has been stifled by the controversy over evolution.  The article starts with a touching photo of a young girl, a look of wonder in her eyes, examining a toy human skeleton.  “Science is becoming a political ‘hot potato’ for some students,” she describes, […]

Kansas Debate Over ID Reverberates in Holland

“Is Holland becoming the Kansas of Europe?” asked Martin Enserink in Science this week.1  All that education minister Maria van der Hoeven wants to do is have some public debate about intelligent design, but the suggestion has caused an uproar among scientists who claim she wants to take Holland back to the Dark Ages.  On […]

Something from Nothing Dept.

How do you get optimization by chance?  In a Concepts piece in Nature this week,1 William J. Sutherland (U. of East Anglia, UK) suggested that the constraints of the environment will drive living systems toward optimal solutions.  He thinks that’s how “selective forces” shaped your teeth and jaw, for instance.  Economists and engineers use optimization […]

SETI Researcher Joins NG Imagination Fest

Space.Com writer Tariq Malik reviewed the National Geographic TV series Extraterrestrial that envisions flying whales, giraffe-like predators and flesh-eating tadpoles on a mythical world undergoing its own evolution.  “Using computer models and armed with basic evolutionary theory, the scientists imagined not only what conditions might exist on their theoretical planets,” writes Malik, “but also how […]

All You Wanted to Know About Spider Webs, Except Their Evolution

Each issue of Current Biology contains a Primer on some interesting subject.  The May 24 issue had one about spider webs.1  Fritz Vollrath shared some amazing details about this unique product of the lowly spider, but gave a strange explanation for how the capability to spin strong-as-steel nets evolved.  First, the factoids: Structure:  …the… common […]

Stegosaur Plates Were for Decoration

Berkeley scientists are disputing the notion that the rows of plates on the backs of stegosaurs served as heat exchangers.  Instead, they were for show.  EurekAlert and Science Daily explain that this was probably true of other dinosaur decorations: “The team’s analysis of stegosaur plates lends support to a growing consensus among paleontologists that the […]

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; […]
All Posts by Date