Denyse O'Leary is the News blogger for Uncommon Descent

Symbiosis between animals and bacteria half a billion years ago

At ScienceDaily (June 28, 2011), we learn: “Ancient Symbiosis Between Animals and Bacteria Discovered” Marine shallow water sandy bottoms on the surface appear desert-like and empty, but in the interstitial space between the sand grains a diverse fauna flourishes. In addition to bacteria and protozoa numerous animal phyla have been found here, some only here. Read More…

Culture Darwinism

Update re John Lennon vs. Charles Darwin: Lennon earliest to diss Darwin profs?

“It keeps all the old professors happy in the university. It gives them something to do. I don’t know if there’s any harm in it except they ram it down everybody’s throat.” At Evolution News & Views, David Klinghoffer elaborates on Lennon’s Darwin-dissing views: He laughed at what he regarded as the ludicrousness of Darwinian Read More…

Culture Darwinism

Darwin matters far more in politics than your history teacher ever let on

Here, Martin Olasky, editor-in-chief of World tells us how “Darwin matters” (June 29, 2011): Politics.Woodrow Wilson started federal government expansion in 1912 by opposing the “Newtonian” view that the government should have an unchanging constitutional foundation, somewhat like “the law of gravitation.” He argued that government should be “accountable to Darwin, not to Newton. It Read More…

Culture Intelligent Design Mind Neuroscience

Here’s a first: A reviewer skeptical of airhead neuroscience claims

That’s Adam Hanft on the recent The Compass of Pleasure by neuroscientist David J. Linden, who writes at Barnes & Noble Reviews (June 27, 2011): Disciplines from neuroscience to behavioral psychology to evolutionary biology have created a new cranial transparency that’s unleashed a gush of books like Blink by Malcolm Gladwell; Sway: The Irresistible Pull Read More…

Darwinism Mind Neuroscience

How do people understand algebra if they never encounter it?

In “Geometric Principles Appear Universal in Our Minds” (Wired Science, May 24, 2011) , Bruce Bower reflects on the fact that research among peoples who do not even count suggests that abstract geometric principles are probably innate in humans: If geometry relies on an innate brain mechanism, it’s unclear how such a neural system generates Read More…

Cambrian explosion

Don’t ask us how the most complex eyes appeared at the beginning. Instead, we offer to solve a tautology for you.

In John R. Paterson’s “Modern optics in exceptionally preserved eyes of Early Cambrian arthropods from Australia (Nature, 30 June 2011) from Nature by, we learn of a particular, “exceptionally preserved” trilobite-like eye from South Australia that predates other known finds from 85 million years later: The arrangement and size of the lenses indicate that these Read More…

Culture Darwinism Evolution

This just in: John Lennon doubted common descent of man and apes – so why was Yoko Ono suing Expelled?

From John Nolte at Andrew Breitbart’s “Big Hollywood,” we learn John Lennon’s take on evolutionary theory. “More on John Lennon’s Move Away from ‘Imagine’: Evolution is ‘Absolute Garbage’: Even more shocking to the idea of Lennon as a secular leftist, or a deep thinker, the man rejected evolution. “Nor do I think we came from Read More…

Culture Darwinism

In 2006, Nature covered PZ Myers’s Pharyngula as one of the “top five science blogs.” What were they thinking?

Perhaps they weren’t thinking how other evolutionists might react. The fact that the Sage of Morris, Minnesota scored in Technorati’s top 3500 doesn’t tell us much about who reads his blog or why, and that’s now Nature made the decision. And you have to pay to read about it. Over at Evolution News & Views Read More…

Cosmology Intelligent Design

Cosmos: Universe clumpier than it is supposed to be

Also, from Stephen Battersby (New ScientistJune 21, 2011), we learn: , “Largest cosmic structures ‘too big’ for theories”: We know that the universe was smooth just after its birth. Measurements of the cosmic microwave background radiation (CMB), the light emitted 370,000 years after the big bang, reveal only very slight variations in density from place Read More…


Resources: Need to do some clear thinking?

The latest edition of The Reasoner (Volume 5, Number 7 – July 2011), a monthly digest highlighting exciting new research on reasoning, inference and method broadly construed. It is interdisciplinary, covering research in, e.g., philosophy, logic, AI, statistics, cognitive science, law, psychology, mathematics and the sciences, is available for download. Articles of interest:

Cambrian explosion

Paul Chien on the suppressed significance of the Chinese Cambrian fossils

“… the most complex animal group, the chordates, were represented at the beginning, and they did not go through a slow gradual evolution to become a chordate.” The Darwin circus wagons should have halted there at Chengjiang and been repurposed as hot dog stands for public convenience. But too much had been invested. Paul Chien, Read More…