Denyse O'Leary is the News blogger for Uncommon Descent
Animal minds Intelligent Design

Bird tool use study provides answers – and questions

In “Clever Tool Use in Parrots and Crows”, (ScienceDaily, June 13, 2011) , we learn: Parrots and Corvids frequently astonish researchers investigating animal intelligence, in particular when it comes to solving technical problems. The New Caledonian crow (Corvus monduloides), for example, manufactures and uses elongated objects such as sticks or pieces of Pandanus leaves as […]

Animal minds

Can bacteria be smart?

At Scientific American, Anna Kuchment tells us about “The Smartest Bacteria on Earth” (June 2011) One species of soil microbe makes unusually wise communal decisions The team identified this relative intelligence by comparing the P. vortex genome with that of 502 different bacterial species whose genomes were known and, based on that comparison, calculating what […]

Darwinism Intelligent Design

Recent papers confirm that genetic entropy decreases fitness

Over at Creation-Evolution Headlines, Dave Coppedge reports that two recent journal article’s have confirmed Cornell’s John Sanford’s “genetic entropy”: An accumulation of mutations always decreases fitness (contrary to neo-Darwinists’ hopes): For mutations under epistasis to produce innovation, there must be a way for them to work together (synergistic epistasis). This is often assumed but has […]

Philosophy

What does it mean for the design debate if Spinoza outsells Heidegger?

What does it mean for the design debate if Spinoza outsells Heidegger? In Prospect (25 May 2011), Rebecca Goldstein advises us to “Sell Descartes, buy Spinoza,” because “Investors, take note: this Dutch rationalist is a hot stock.”She starts out taking a swipe at glitterate airheads, Thinking of buying shares in a great philosopher? The first […]

Extraterrestrial life Origin Of Life

Origin of life: “I could do this work, but I couldn’t publish it”

In “Science Papers Challenge Claims that ‘Alien’ Bacteria use Arsenic Instead of Phosphorous,” Casey Luskin (Evolution News & Views, June 11, 2011) discusses the recent challenges to the claim that bacteria have been found that are so far out that they may shed light on extraterrestrial organisms. The science media loved the story; another step to proving […]

Evolution Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

This guy knows exactly what happened early in the history of life on Earth …

Except that he doesn’t. In “Slaves to evolution,” (ABC Science 06/09/2011) Bernie Hobbs explains it all for you: Two billion-odd years ago, one of the most important meals in history took place. One bacterium swallowed another one. But instead of being digested, the swallowee survived. And it kept doing what it had always done: using […]

science education

A tale of two students: The “rebel” who knows the Establishment is right vs. the “problem” kid who wants to think critically

Some think them a mirror of contemporary American society. Recently, the Clergy Letter Project‘s Michael Zimmerman (getting the clergy to help sell Darwinism to their congregations) was publicizing Louisiana student Zack Kopplin’s effort to repeal Louisiana’s “discussion allowed” law on controversial issues in science: