Tag Archives: biology

On Evolution, Women Scientists Weigh In

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On Earth as It Is on Mars: Curiosity Mars Rover is Heading for the Grand Canyon of Mars, and May Provide Strong Evidence Against Young Earth Creationism

Are you curious about Curiosity, NASA’s new Mars rover, scheduled to launch from Cape Canaveral, Fla., this month? Here’s part of a report in the Los Angeles Times about it: Curiosity will take 8.5 months to travel the 354 million … Continue reading

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Jonathan Wells on Whale Evolution

Some thought-provoking observations on whale evolution by biochemist Jonathan Wells (a Berkeley graduate and vocal skeptic of strict philosophical naturalism): In the case of the Durrett and Schmidt (2008) paper, evolutionary biologist Richard von Sternberg has applied the equations employed in that … Continue reading

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Why Not Getting a Flu Shot is Like Giving Your Keys to a Robber or Predator

This high quality National Public Radio (NPR) produced video on how viruses pick the lock on cells, then hijack them, ought to send every parent to the doctor for their kids’ shot updates. And, if you don’t get your own … Continue reading

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Blogging David Goodsell’s “The Machinery of Life” (Evolution, Scale, and the Counter-Intuitive Nano-Realm)

David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.” I call it “hippie-beautiful” because … Continue reading

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Blogging David Goodsell’s “The Machinery of Life” (Chapter 1)

David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.” I call it “hippie-beautiful” because … Continue reading

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Blogging David Goodsell’s “The Machinery of Life” (The Preface)

David Goodsell is a molecular biologist at The Scripps Research Institute in California, and he has written a hippie-beautiful introductory text to molecular biology, The Machinery of Life (2nd edition, Springer 2010), which Scientific American calls “an impressive and original book.”  … Continue reading

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Was the Cambrian Explosion Really an Explosion?

Donald Prothero, a paleontologist, knows his fossils. And, in 2007, Columbia University Press published his book, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters. For it’s scope, clarity of writing, and visual attractiveness (it has lots of illustrative drawings, … Continue reading

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Question of the Day

If Adam or Eve, in the Garden of Eden, had cut down a tree, would they have discovered that it possessed tree rings? Image source: Wikipedia Commons.

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Eugenics Revival Watch: Scientific American editor, Mariette DiChristina, calls eugenic goals expressed in 1911 “lofty aspirations”

Curiously, the editor at the Scientific American website (Mariette DiChristina) recently approved the posting, with only minimal comment, of an editorial written in its pages 100 years ago, in 1911, advocating eugenics. Here are three quotes from the editorial: It is not … Continue reading

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The Thorny Problem of Defining What a Book Is (It’s Not as Easy as You Might Think)

I like this definition of a book (which I found in a Times Literary Supplement essay): I. A. Richards called the book “a machine to think with” . . . Notice that the definition has the two elements that Aristotle … Continue reading

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Should You Believe That Alien Bacteria Have Been Discovered on Meteorites? And if You Do Believe It, How Strongly Should You Believe It?

Perhaps you noticed (as I did this afternoon) that DrudgeReport and Fox are pushing a “big” story that alien bacteria have been discovered on meteorites. Of course, nowhere else is there much buzz about this. So what gives? Biologist PZ Myers has … Continue reading

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Biotech and Robotics: The Two Great Technology Waves That Are Coming

A pretty powerful quote from the BigThink website: [Managing Director of Excel Venture Management, Juan] Enriquez stresses that “life code” (the famous A, G, T, C of DNA) will have the same importance for the next generation as digital code (1’s … Continue reading

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Flim-Flam Watch: Microbiologist Rosie Redfield on Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s Mono Lake Arsenic Based Life Claim

In a recent blog post, microbiologist Rosie Redfield is scathing concerning Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s recent claim, made in a scientific paper (Wolfe-Simon et al. 2010, A Bacterium That Can Grow by Using Arsenic Instead of Phosphorus) that arsenic based life may have been … Continue reading

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Has Felisa Wolfe-Simon Discovered Arsenic Based Life? Chemist Steven Benner is Skeptical for This Reason: “Arsenic compounds break down quickly in water while phosphorus compounds do not.”

The Washington Post today has an exceptionally clear report on Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s claim that she may have found arsenic based life at Mono Lake in California. Here’s how the Post piece opens: All life on Earth – from microbes to elephants … Continue reading

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Evolution v. Creation Watch: Felisa Wolfe-Simon on the Implications of Arsenic Based Life

In the below BBC clip for an upcoming special on whether there is life on other planets, Felisa Wolfe-Simon says something to the interviewer that ought to blow everyone away. If what she has indeed recently found at Mono Lake is … Continue reading

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Felisa Wolfe-Simon’s Microbes are Not Just Arsenic Loving, They’re Arsenic Based, and That’s Why This News is HUGE

How on earth did the Mono Lake arsenic eating microbes discovered by Felisa Wolfe-Simon go (presumably) from eating phosphorus and utilizing phosphorus in their DNA to eating arsenic and utilizing arsenic in their DNA? This is far more than just another extremophile organism … Continue reading

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Dr. Lewis Dartnell on Arsenic Based Life in Mono Lake: “They’re aliens, but aliens that share the same home as us.”

In front of the NASA news conference scheduled for 11:00 AM Pacific time, reliable news is finally leaking. A science correspondent for London’s Telegraph quotes an astrobiologist as saying this about a bacterial discovery in Mono Lake on the eastern side of … Continue reading

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NASA’s Felisa Wolfe-Simon Appears Poised to Announce Arsenic Based Life in Mono Lake

Today (Thursday), at 11:00 AM Pacific time, a team of NASA scientists appears poised to announce a discovery of arsenic based life at Mono Lake in California. The implications of this discovery are enormous. It means that NASA might begin an intensive … Continue reading

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Christine O’Donnell Says That Young Earth Biblical Creationism Has as Much Evidence Supporting It as Evolution Has

The GOP’s Delaware Senate nominee, Christine O’Donnell, has a history of saying rather ridiculous things about matters of science. Here, for example, is something that she said on CNN about the merits of reading Genesis chapter 1 literally, and how … Continue reading

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