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

Last eukaryotic common ancestor had many “modern-like features”

At Design Matrix, blog for the book of the name, Mike Gene introduces us to the Last Eukaryotic Common Ancestor: Earlier I showed you that the last eukaryotic common ancestor (LECA) was quite modern-like in terms of its nuclear pore complex, mechanisms of transport through this complex, and the entire endomembranous system. Yet the modern-like Read More…

Cosmology Culture

Fundamental physics increasingly dominated by “unsuccessful highly speculative research programs”?

At Not Even Wrong, (July 8, 2011), the blog for his book of the name, Columbia computer scientist Peter Woit goes after the defects of cosmic string theory and other bizarre cosmologies Here he notes a new book by Helge Kragh, Higher Speculations: Grand Theories and Failed Revolutions in Physics and Cosmology : I’ve always Read More…

Genomics Intelligent Design

Biophysics: Long DNA terminal repeats have wrapping function, researcher finds

In “Kinky genes: Biophysics of DNA affects how it works” (New Scientist, 08 July 2011), MacGregor Campbell reports DNA is typically a long double-helical strand that can expose its sequences of base pairs. These are translated by RNA and particles called ribosomes into proteins, which do the cell’s work. When not in use, DNA wraps Read More…

Mind Neuroscience

Mind: Put “neuro” in front of an abstract discipline and poof! – it becomes nonsense

In a recent review of Aping Mankind: Neuromania, Darwinitis and the Misrepresentation of Humanity, by MD neuroscientist Raymond Tallis, British journalist Robert McLuhan quotes Tallis on the current fad for identifying changes in brain function that are associated with thoughts and feelings as the explanation for those feelings. There are repeated references to new disciplines Read More…

Darwinism Evolution

NCSE stands firm: There is no evidence against (Darwinian) evolution

The source who reported on U.S. Darwin lobbyist Eugenie Scott’s recent talk in Scottsdale, Arizona, on why you can’t teach evidence against evolution, asked her for clarification. Now, when she says “evolution,” we are pretty sure she means Darwinism. Why? Let investigative journalist Suzan Mazur explain. Her story is consistent with  another episode in the Read More…

Intelligent Design science education

Darwin lobbyist Eugenie Scott on why you can’t teach evidence against evolution

Here. According to a source, round the 45 minute mark, she says U.S. courts have ruled that teachers cannot teach creationism or intelligent design. Then she says: 46:29 Okay, what else can you not do? I have a little asterisk here. You cannot teach evidence against evolution. There have been some court decisions that have Read More…

Genomics

Most life forms show S pattern in chromosome lengths, guess which one doesn’t?

From “Chromosomes’ Big Picture: Similarities Found in Genomes Across Multiple Species; Platypus Still out of Place” (ScienceDaily, July 11, 2011), we learn: “Basically what this all means is that if the chromosome number of a species can be given, the relative sizes of all the chromosomes can instantly be known,” Yu said. “Also, if you Read More…

Culture

Darwin vs. design in the ‘Toons

Here’s Doonesbury’s daily dose of political correctness, this time on Darwin in the classroom, and here’s an on the ground response. Favourite panel line: Teacher: “Sorry, the government has mandated that I continue to fill your heads with this crap.” Here’s a great one on the difference between science as understood by the legacy media Read More…

Books of interest Evolutionary psychology

Where mellow elides to shallow? Andy Crouch looks at Brooks’ “The Social Animal”

In “Common Grace and Amazing Grace: A Review of David Brooks’s ‘The Social Animal,’” Andy Crouch finds that “Brooks’s portrait of human flourishing lacks the essential elements of rescue and redemption” (Christianity Today, 7/11/2011): Then there is Erica’s brief fling with adultery, her only real moral failure. Erica’s indiscretion could have been a catalyst of Read More…

Evolution Neuroscience

Extrapolation studies discover single gene that creates human brain

In “Mutations in Single Gene May Have Shaped Human Cerebral Cortex” (ScienceDaily, Apr. 28, 2011), we encounter a surprising claim: The size and shape of the human cerebral cortex, an evolutionary marvel responsible for everything from Shakespeare’s poetry to the atomic bomb, are largely influenced by mutations in a single gene, according to a team Read More…