Irreducible Complexity: the primordial condition of biology

In 1996, Lehigh University professor of biochemistry, Michael Behe, published his first book Darwin’s Black Box, which famously advanced the concept of irreducible complexity (IC) to prominent status in the conversation of design in biology. In his book, Professor Behe described irreducible complexity as: A single system which is composed of several interacting parts that contribute […]

Slain officer in Colorado Springs was a pro-life pastor

Amid media speculation about the possible motivation of the Colorado Springs shooter who killed three people at a Planned Parenthood clinic last Friday, one thing seems to have been overlooked: the slain officer, The Rev. Garrett Swasey, was actually a pro-life pastor (h/t Terry Mattingly). Time magazine reports that the officer was “heavily involved in […]

Off topic and unbelievable: A U prez who is NOT running a daycare

From Dr. Everett Piper, President, Oklahoma Wesleyan University: This past week, I actually had a student come forward after a university chapel service and complain because he felt “victimized” by a sermon on the topic of 1 Corinthians 13. It appears that this young scholar felt offended because a homily on love made him feel […]

Cosmologist Sean Carroll asks, Is anything constant?

From PBS: The ability for seemingly constant things to evolve and change is an important aspect of Einstein’s legacy. If space and time can change, little else is sacred. Modern cosmologists like to contemplate an extreme version of this idea: a multiverse in which the very laws of physics themselves can change from place to […]

Backwards eye wiring? Lee Spetner comments

A friend must have been a really jumpin’ social event recently. Was buttonholed by a Darwin follower, just up from the crypt, who launched into the hoary old claim that the backwards eye wiring of vertebrates shows that the vertebrate eye is poorly designed—therefore not designed at all. Now, of course, it is a non-sequitur […]

Grade VII classroom, TX: Is God real — fact, opinion, myth, common (but questionable ) view

Here (make sure to watch the embedded Fox26 video which I doubt I can embed at UD). Is it reasonable to be putting such a question to 12 year old students in class? (And if you think this was just one teacher, note how it came up the next day in other classes and in […]

The rejection of continental drift and consensus science

Hard on the heels of the Atlantic noting the resistance to valid new ideas in science, we hear from Inside Science that : Scientific Consensus Is Almost Never Wrong – Almost The man who shifted the geology paradigm was Alfred Wegener and he was never mentioned in my Geology 101 class. How this happened was […]

Will Dawkins’ selfish gene concept die as its proponents retire?

From The Atlantic: The strangeness of the geology and fossil evidence behind the theory of continental drift helped drive a half-century of resistance to the idea. Siddhartha Mukherjee documented in his book The Emperor of All Maladies how a fixation on the cure for a misconceived disease inhibited recognition of the complexity of cancer for […]

Physicist Brian Cox targeted over free speech?

Readers recall Brit physicist/TV presenter Brian Cox? You know, ”multiverse/“many worlds” makes sense“ and all that? Rumour has it that he became something of a target this year. A reader sends: Laughably, Prof. Brian Cox – a household name in Britain in science-communication – was attacked for having the ‘wrong’ wife. Not so laughable at […]

Is evil a disease?, asks New Scientist

Thoughts spurred by ISIS, apparently. From New Scientist: What turns an ordinary person into a killer? The idea that a civilised human being might be capable of barbaric acts is so alien that we often blame our animal instincts – the older, “primitive” areas of the brain taking over and subverting their more rational counterparts. […]

Fundies and new atheists have a secret sympathy?

Recently, we looked at open theology in connection with the work of one-tme BioLogian Karl Giberson. “The Secret Sympathy: New Atheism, Protestant Fundamentalism, and Evolution” by Liam Jerrold Fraser for an argument for similarlity, from the open theology perspective: Abstract: In spite of the apparent differences between the two, a number of commentators have suggested […]

Evangelical Henry Center launches “Creation Project”

From Henry Center: The Creation Project recognizes the need and opportunity for establishing and strengthening this field of inquiry within the evangelical community, both among its thought leaders and the general ecclesial public. We believe that the doctrine of creation provides opportunity for humble and open inquiry and the potential for new insights at the […]

Snake turns out to be six different “species”

From ScienceDaily: The Persian dwarf snake is wrongly classified as one species, scientists say. New research shows it is composed of six different species, a finding which might be important for the conservation of the snake. Well, the new finding might be important for the conservation of the snake but, together with many other instances, […]

Convergent evolution: Tarantulas evolved blue hue eight times

From BBC News : Tarantulas have evolved almost exactly the same shade of vibrant blue at least eight separate times. That is the conclusion of a study by US biologists, exploring how the colour is created in different tarantula species. The hue is caused by tiny structures inside the animals’ hairs, but those shapes vary […]

Researchers: Cyanobacteria responsible for Earth’s early oxygen

From ScienceDaily: Earth’s oxygen-rich atmosphere emerged in whiffs from a kind of cyanobacteria in shallow oceans around 2.5 billion years ago, according to new research. … “The onset of Earth’s surface oxygenation was likely a complex process characterized by multiple whiffs of oxygen until a tipping point was crossed,” said Brian Kendall, a professor of […]

Did farming change the human genome?

Did farming change the human genome? If so, the genome has certainly been a work in rapid progress, and maybe regress too From : Genomic analysis of ancient human remains identifies specific genes that changed during and after the transition in Europe from hunting and gathering to farming about 8,500 years ago. Many of the […]

We hesitated to bring you the Frankenflatworm …

… but well, it’s Friday night … From LiveScience: Call them Franken flatworms. Scientists have created worms with the heads and brains of other species just by manipulating cell communication. The research is an example of how development is controlled by more than genetics alone. The researchers did not alter the flatworms’ DNA in any […]

Could original life forms have been completely different from today?

Physical organic chemist Michael Page asks that at The Conversation: Living systems are chemically based and therefore must obey the laws of science. Life appears to be just a series of chemical reactions – and we now understand how these reactions work at the molecular level. So surely this should tell us how life came […]

Claim: Ground-breaking research could challenge underlying physics principles

From University of Southampton: An international team of physicists has published ground-breaking research on the decay of subatomic particles called kaons – which could change how scientists understand the formation of the universe. Professor Christopher Sachrajda, from the Southampton Theory Astrophysics and Gravity Research Centre at the University of Southampton, has helped to devise the […]

Wired: Physicists desperate to be wrong about Higgs boson

Why? Didn’t the thing get Higgs a Nobel? Must be more prizes in there somewhere… 😉 Oh well, here: The Higgs was, in a way, the end of the line. At the heart of particle physics is what’s known as the Standard Model: a group of 17 elementary particles and the rules for how they […]

Elephant butchering site found from early Paleolithic, 600-300 kya

From Science Daily: The researchers found stone tools, which the early hunters are likely to have used to cut the meat from the bones. “That makes Megalopolis the only site in the Balkans where we have evidence of an elephant being butchered in the early Paleolithic,” says Professor Katerina Harvati of the Senckenberg Center for […]

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