Denyse O'Leary is the News blogger for Uncommon Descent
Culture Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Remember the Icon of the First Bird, Archaeopteryx? Word is, it’s not a bird

After analysing the traits present in Xiaotingia and its relations, Xu and his colleagues are suggesting that the creatures bear more resemblance to the dinosaurs Velociraptor and Microraptor than to early birds, and so belong in the dinosaur group Deinonychosauria rather than in the bird group, Avialae. Many features led the team to this decision, […]

Extraterrestrial life

Princeton scientists: No reason to assume life on other planets

In “Are We Alone In the Universe? New Analysis Says Maybe” (LiveScience, 25 July 2011) Natalie Wolchover reports Scientists engaged in the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) work under the assumption that there is, in fact, intelligent life out there to be found. A new analysis may crush their optimism. Hey, Wolchover, have faith! they’ve […]

Culture Darwinism

Norwegian mass murderer Breivik and the Princeton “evolution” man Lee Silver : Details

Here: In his 1518-page “European Declaration of Independence,” Breivik reveals himself as an unapologetic champion of modern biology and the scientific worldview. Indeed, despite his right-wing views in some areas, he does not believe that the progress of science can be left to private enterprise. Instead, it requires lavish and permanent support by the state. […]

Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design

Breivik: Advances in biology will makes possible a vigorous new form of Social Darwinism that will save the Nordic race

In “Fundamentalist Christian or Deranged Social Darwinist?” (Evolution News & Views, July 27, 2011), political scientist John G. West tells us that the guy didn’t want Christians (for example) involved in public policy: Breivik harbors a special concern that Christians not be able to influence issues related to science and public policy “in any way.” […]

Intelligent Design

10% of fanatics can sway a society? That might explain the persistence of Darwinism

Here: Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover […]

Animal minds

Parrots learn their calls from their parents; not born with them

In “Why Do Parrots Talk? Venezuelan Site Offers Clues” (Science, 22 July 2011) Virginia Morell explains Researchers have discovered details of the parrotlets’ ecology and life histories, and the project has now entered a new phase focusing on their communicative skills. Last week, researchers reported that the contact calls of wild parrotlet nestlings—vocalizations that function […]