Tag Archives: biology

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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The Question Biologist Matt Rainbow Would Ask an Imam

Yesterday, I interviewed an American imam, Kamal Al-Khatib. Originally from Jordan, he has lived in the United States for 24 years and heads a mosque in northern Los Angeles County. Joseph West, a Muslim friend and coworker of mine, video taped the … Continue reading

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Life on Mars? A new paper says maybe

In 1976, did the scientists responsible for interpreting Viking data underestimate some important evidence that actually points to life on Mars? A new scientific paper says maybe. The New York Times earlier this week: For the veteran Mars researcher Gilbert V. Levin, … Continue reading

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Go West, Young Species? Like Ulysses and Darwin, Launch Out?

Exploiting an open territory appears to be a larger driver of big evolutionary changes than getting into an already crowded market and competing for local territorial niches, suggests a new scientific study that, at first glance, might seem to contradict Charles Darwin’s … Continue reading

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Kepler Telescope Detects an Earth-Size Planet Orbiting a Star Like Our Own

The New York Times today: Scientists working with NASA’s Kepler satellite reported Thursday that they might have spotted a planet just 1.5 times the diameter of Earth around a Sun-like star. And, not to be outdone, the Europeans announced an … Continue reading

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Kepler Telescope Watch: Will the Discovery of an Earth-like Planet Be Announced By NASA Tommorrow?

Something seems to be brewing around a NASA announcement scheduled for tommorrow. Here’s Denise Chow at Space.com: NASA is expected to make an announcement Thursday on the progress of its Kepler spacecraft, which has been staring at one patch of … Continue reading

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Evolution v. Creation Watch: The Cambrian Explosion (545 Million Years Ago), the Cambridge Explosion (1869), and Natural Selection Replaced by the Eschaton?

Here is a depiction of the HMS Cambridge firing a torpedo (Illustrated London News, 1869): And here’s a fossil from the Cambrian explosion (image source: Wikipedia).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     . And here’s my question: does the Cambrian explosion (the relatively sudden appearance of … Continue reading

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Jerry Coyne on Natural Selection and What Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini Get Wrong

University of Chicago evolutionary geneticist, Jerry Coyne, reviewing, for The Nation, Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini’s book, What Darwin Got Wrong (2010), gives as clear a definition of natural selection as you’re ever likely to find: In principle, natural selection is simple. It … Continue reading

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Jerry Coyne v. Jerry Fodor: The Great Divorce

Jerry Fodor and Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini’s book, What Darwin Got Wrong (2010), received a fair amount of attention (and drubbing) when it first came out in February. On Tuesday of this week, evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne expressed dismay that Jerry Fodor, in a recent interview, continues … Continue reading

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Stairway to Gilligan’s Island: Jason Rosenhouse and Auguste Comte on Theology v. Science

At EvolutionBlog, Jason Rosenhouse takes after theology’s shell game: If theology must change every time scientists achieve consensus on something, then what good is it? If it is only allowed to make assertions about things that are completely divorced from … Continue reading

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Donor 45: Talk about Speeding up Evolution!

Imagine locating a single person who just happens, by natural variation, to have the ability to ward off most strains of a widely feared virus. Then imagine taking cells from that man, learning how they achieve the trick, and then putting that discovery … Continue reading

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This religious epidural is brought to you by Francisco Ayala

Geneticist Francisco Ayala, introduced with some soothing piano and string music, takes on the manner of a family physician, assuring his jittery audience of nonexperts that everything is just fine; there is no conflict between science and religion (and we can … Continue reading

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The resurrection of M. capricolum

Nobody really knows whether Jesus rose from the dead, but here’s a resurrection that you can know happened. PZ Myers explains what geneticist Craig Venter hath wrought: The experiment involved creating a strand of DNA as specified by a computer … Continue reading

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The first synthetic cell

Craig Venter crosses a threshold. This today in the New York Times: Dr. Venter described the converted cell as “the first self-replicating species we’ve had on the planet whose parent is a computer.” “This is an important step, we think, … Continue reading

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If evolution is true, why do young earth creationists so often win public debates with evolutionists?

It’s sometimes said that evolutionists come out on the short end of public debates with creationists, and this is evidence that evolution is a weaker theory than scientists are generally willing to admit. But think about it. The idea that … Continue reading

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Charles Darwin and the Looming 21st Century Eugenics Debate

By Victorian standards, and even by our own, Charles Darwin was a sensitive and liberal person—someone who clearly loved animals and human beings, and opposed slavery. And, like a theologian justifying God’s ways to man, I think that Darwin did … Continue reading

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Nietzsche’s Revenge: PZ Myers v. Sam Harris on whether science can assist a person in deriving an “ought” from an “is”

PZ Myers, backing the physicist Sean Carroll in the argument, says no: Sam Harris recently and infamously proposed that, contra Hume, you can derive an ‘ought’ from an ‘is’, and that science can therefore provide reasonable guidance towards a moral … Continue reading

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Genetics researcher Francisco Ayala argues against intelligent design

In a recent interview with the Washington Post, genetics researcher Francisco Ayala makes the Argument from Imperfection in support of evolution by natural selection: Nothing in the living world is really intelligently designed; if it was, it would be designed by … Continue reading

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Taking your medicine science free

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Jerry Coyne: an atheist evolutionary biologist recommends a movie

Jerry Coyne of the University of Chicago calls An Education  a “don’t-miss film”: [T]his gets my vote for the best movie of 2009 and one of the best of the last few years: An Education. Based on a true story, … Continue reading

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