On the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for designing molecular machines ….

Awarded to Drs. Frasier Stoddart, Ben Feringa, and Jean-Pierre Sauvage. From Akshat Rathi at Quartz: Stoddart’s inspiration came from nature. All life is powered by tiny biological machines that nature has had billions of years to perfect. The most fundamental processes of life, such as translating genetic code to make proteins or ensuring that cellular […]

Social science on the perilous whiteness of pumpkins

Yes, now for something completely ridiculous: From Margaret Wente at Canada’s Globe and Mail: I learned about the true meaning of the pumpkin-spiced latte in a scholarly paper, called The Perilous Whiteness of Pumpkins. It was peer-reviewed and published in a genuine academic journal. Lisa Jordan Powell, its lead author, is a postdoctoral researcher at […]

New Scientist: A balanced take on Tom Wolfe’s Kingdom of Speech

The Kingdom of Speech From Alun Anderson at New Scientist, a surprisingly balanced take on Tom Wolfe’s The Kingdom of Speech: It is a dramatic fable, but at the end of the book we have not reached a real ending. Everett’s work is not enough to convince linguistics researchers, as Wolfe might wish, that they […]

Trailer for new film on biochemist Michael Behe: Revolutionary

Twenty years ago this Fall, biochemist Michael Behe helped spark a revolution with his landmark book Darwin’s Black Box: The Biochemical Challenge to Evolution. Featured in the New York Times, Behe’s book provoked a fierce debate that continues to this day, inspiring a new generation of scientists who are challenging Darwin’s theory and exploring evidence […]

Bumblebees can learn to pull strings for a reward, pass on skill

You think bonobos cracking nuts is remarkable? Now, from Elizabeth Pennisi at Science: Hints of tool use, culture seen in bumble bees Chittka’s team has shown that bumble bees can not only learn to pull a string to retrieve a reward, but they can also learn this trick from other bees, even though they have […]

Bonobos can crack nuts with stones: Nothing science story of the year?

In the running, anyway. From ScienceDaily: A first of its kind study from the University of Kent found that wild-born, rehabilitated bonobos (Pan paniscus) can be efficient nut-crackers with a skill level not that different from wild chimpanzees. Conducted by Johanna Neufuss from the University’s School of Anthropology and Conservation, with the results published in […]

Oh dear: Defending against the enemies of science

From Shawn Otto at Scientific American: Four years ago in Scientific American, I warned readers of a growing problem in American democracy. The article, entitled “Antiscience Beliefs Jeopardize U.S. Democracy,” charted how it had not only become acceptable, but often required, for politicians to embrace antiscience positions, and how those positions flew in the face […]

Evolution is becoming a history, therefore messy, and not a dogma

Yes, yes, you say, gentle reader. Tell that to Darwin’s followers. Well it is too bad about Darwin’s followers. The rethinking evolution meet at the Royal Society in the fall, however disappointing at first, is only the beginning of th end. Darwinism worked so well as a dogma, foisted on school systems at public expense […]

Trump goes nuke:

” . . . you would be in jail.” Clip: embedded by Embedded VideoYouTube Direkt (To make certainty on non endorsement etc clear, snip. KF) The pivotal issue relevant to UD here, is not whether either major candidate is of any great promise ([again to be utterly clear, snip. KF]), but instead, the revelation of […]

Unvarnished: Why scientism helps sell books

From Robert P. Crease at Nature, a review of Carlo Rovelli’s upcoming Reality Is Not What It Seems, A sceptic might react to this irksome scientism by objecting that, unlike in Plato’s image, the vistas seen through the window keep changing. One can imagine, too, a book by a string theorist offering another view out […]

Birds “behave like human musicians”? This is getting ridiculous.

From ScienceDaily: The pied butcherbird, a very musical species, provided a wealth of intriguing data for analysis by co-author Eathan Janney, a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Psychology at CUNY’s Hunter College. Janney based his analysis upon years of data collected and also analyzed by violinist and biomusicologist Hollis Taylor of Macquarie University, who […]

Human age limit is 120 years?

From Linda Geddes at Nature: Jeanne Calment outlived her daughter and grandson by decades, finally succumbing to natural causes at the ripe old age of 122. Calment, who was French and died almost two decades ago, is thought to be world’s longest living person. But if subsequent advances in medicine have lulled you into thinking […]

Turning religion from a way of thinking into a “thing” has bad implications for thinking

From Peter J.Leithart at First Things, reviewing Peter Harrison’s The Territories of Science and Religion: Harrison discerns that a seemingly innocuous grammatical change signalled tectonic shifts. Calvin wrote of “Christian religion,” religio Christiana. English translators added a definite article that was not in the original Latin. According to Harrison, “the expression ‘the true religion’ places […]

Nine-year-old astrophysics freshman seeks to prove existence of God

From Debra Heine at Townhall: A child genius in Pennsylvania is studying to be an astrophysicist so he can become the person who finally proves the existence of God. Nine-year-old William Maillis graduated from high school in May and is now attending a community college as he develops his theories as to how the universe […]

Inspiration: Boy with double hand transplant pitches at Orioles game starter

He can do it, what stops us? Meanwhile, others take a different view: Child Euthanasia Centre Soon To Open In Netherlands Civilizations must decide.

Naturalism is a total failure: Mockery without achievement

No, you don’t need any more evidence, but where O’Leary for News lives, this is the time of year one cleans out stuff and takes stock. From David Klinghoffer, quoting a biology grad at Evolution News & Views: I’m just finishing up my master’s degree in evolutionary biology and likely starting a PhD in evolutionary […]

Something other than methane was keeping early Earth warm

The most certain thing we know about early Earth is that we don’t know much about it. From ScienceDaily: For at least a billion years of the distant past, planet Earth should have been frozen over but wasn’t. Scientists thought they knew why, but a new modeling study has fired the lead actor in that […]

Union of Concerned Scientists inconsistent as apocalypse marketing agency

Further to a recent account of cyberbullying of GMO scientists, Brian McNicoll writes at Townhall: Hysterical predictions that haven’t panned out have taken a toll on the credibility of scientists, and one would think environmentalists would want to be more careful about how they state their case going forward. Just 39 percent have “a lot […]

When evolution ran backwards?

From Jenny Morber at National Geographic, a look at five examples of “regressive evolution,” including: Now, in a shock to biologists, a close look at a 300-million-year-old hagfish fossil reveals that the [now blind] animals once had working eyes—and evolution took them away. The discovery challenges the way scientists think about the origins of the […]

Another accidental use for “junk DNA”

From ScienceDaily: Researchers have shown that when parts of a genome known as enhancers are missing, the heart works abnormally, a finding that bolsters the importance of DNA segments once considered “junk” because they do not code for specific proteins. … “The cardiac changes that we observed in knockout mice lacking these enhancers highlight the […]

« Previous PageNext Page »