News Icon

Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies

Site Map | Contacts | Links | Newsletter |  
Google

News:
Creation/Evolution


Top Stories

Note: Due to the archiving policies of the various news Websites some links on this page may no longer be valid. All links will take you away from the IBSS Site - use your browser's "back" button to return to this page.

"Arguments we think creationists should NOT use"  by Answers in Genesis http://www.answersingenesis.org/Home/dont_use.asp

Maintaining Creationist Integrity: There is a big verbal battle between Ken Ham of AIG and Kent Hovind of CSE. See the arguments at
http://answersingenesis.org/docs2002/1011hovind.asp?srcFrom=aignews 

Getting the lies out of creationism: Unleashing the Storm; Answers in Genesis critique of Dennis Peterson's new book: Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation. See  http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0113peterson.asp

How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments? A Close Look at Dr. Hovind's List of Young-Earth Arguments and Other Claims by Dave E. Matson. This is a great point by point rebuttal of Hovind's arguments. See http://talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood.html

Confirmation of the Big Bang. Hugh Ross explains the latest discovering of polarized light confirming the Big Bang. Audio at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/creation_update/ 


December 2003

December 21

Genome scan shows human-chimp differences
Variations hint at how our lifestyle is reflected in our genes.

Chimp genome draft completed
Closest relative's code will highlight human qualities.

The American Society of Human Genetics has instituted a series of articles on evolution in the "educational resources" portion of its web site. The first two articles are "Tinkered Masterpieces or Master Tinkerer" by Charles R. Scrivner and "Genetic Variation and Human Evolution" by Lynn B. Jorde.

Dr. Phillip Johnson is World Magazine's "Daniel of the Year"

Oldest evidence of photosynthesis.
Scientists claim to have found the oldest evidence of photosynthesis - the most important chemical reaction on Earth - in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks.

Intelligent Design: Key Organizations

Young Earth Creationists: Key Organizations

Old Earth Creationists: Key Organizations

Theistic Evolution: Key Organizations

Evolution: Key Organizations

December 14

Physicists Lead The Field In Solving A Major Mystery Of The Big Bang. Brighton - Dec 11, 2003
A Sussex-led team of scientists is ahead in the race to solve one of the biggest mysteries of our physical world: why the Universe contains matter.

Citing Scadding (1981): Another Example of Poor Creationist Scholarship.
Creationists often quote a paper by Steve Scadding as proof that vestigial structures are not evidence for evolution. Scadding's paper was in error as was quickly pointed out in the same journal by another researcher. Furthermore the creationists misrepresent this twenty-year-old paper. This article is a useful case study of what is wrong with the creationist practice of quote mining.

Higher Concepts and Advanced Aliens. Moffett Field - Dec 08, 2003
Astrobiology Magazine (AM): Religion and science have been intertwined throughout history, and although these two modes of thought are seen as separate and antagonistic realms today, the ties still exist. You note how they are both based on belief systems; for instance, Occam's razor - the theory that the simplest explanation must be correct - is a scientific belief that may or may not be true. Could you comment on the relationship between science and religion today?

The God Hypothesis: Discovering Design in Our "Just Right" Goldilocks Universe by Michael Corey.
Michael Corey has written an excellent book about the anthropic principle and design in the universe. Corey's writing style is quite readable and engaging. The book does an excellent job leading you through the various theistic and naturalistic theories about how the universe came to be the way it is. In the end, we are left with the conclusion that intelligent design is a far superior model than random chance as an explanation for all the "coincidences" required to enable human beings to live in the universe.

Cave colors reveal mental leap.
Red-stained bones dug up in a cave in Israel are prompting researchers to speculate that symbolic thought emerged much earlier than they had believed. Symbolic thought - the ability to let one thing represent another - was a giant leap in human evolution. It was a mental ability that allowed sophisticated language and math. New excavations show that a red color made from ochre was used in burials 100,000 years ago, much earlier than other examples of color association.

Researchers Discover The Earliest Known Relative Of Marsupial Mammals
An International team, including scientists from Carnegie Museum of Natural History, have discovered the most primitive and oldest know relative of all marsupial mammals.

December 7

NEW RATE DATA SUPPORT A YOUNG WORLD (ICR).
New experiments done this year for the RATE project strongly support a young earth. This article updates results announced in an ICR Impact article last year and documented at a technical conference last summer. Our experiments measured how rapidly nuclear-decay-generated Helium escapes from tiny radioactive crystals in granite-like rock. The new data extend into a critical range of temperatures, and they resoundingly confirm a numerical prediction we published several years before the experiments. Other scientists disagree, like Dr. Hugh Ross. See 9/18/03 radio discussion at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/creation_update/Archives.asp

CAN THE USSHER CHRONOLOGY BE TRUSTED? (By John Morris, ICR)
Up until fairly recently, nearly all printings of the King James Bible included dates in the marginal notes which helped place Biblical events in their chronological context. Using this as a guide we can see that "God created the heaven and the earth" in 4004 b.c.; the Flood covered the Earth in 2348 b.c.; the Exodus occurred in 1491 b.c.; David became King of Israel in 1056 b.c.; and the Nation of Judah was carried into captivity in 593 b.c. Obviously, the numbers are helpful in understanding the sequence and timing of events, but where did they come from, and are they reliable? I would disagree with this. See my article entitled "The Date of the Exodus According to Ancient Writers."

Ethiopian Fossil Finds Elucidate Elephant Evolution.
Fossils recovered from the Ethiopian highlands are helping scientists fill in long-lost branches on the family tree of modern-day elephants. According to a report published today in the journal Nature, five kinds of proboscidean (the group that includes elephants and their extinct relatives) were recovered, as well as three other types of prehistoric creatures. The discoveries should help explain why certain mammal species survived and thrived once a land bridge granted access to Eurasia some 24 million years ago.

Ocean Currents Slow Adaptation Of Tree-dwelling Lizards, UCLA Study Finds; Research Sheds New Light On Island Evolution (December 4, 2003)
Evolution of genetically distinct species that live exclusively on land can be slowed by over-water dispersal following tropical storms, according to a UCLA study that suggests classic theories of island evolution need an overhaul.

November 2003

November 30

Darwin's Atolls Theory Challenged. Nov. 21, 2003
Though his theory of evolution may be holding up, Charles Darwin's well-regarded theory of how ring-shaped islands called atolls formed in tropical oceans is getting some serious revising, a University of Arizona geologist said.

Oxford Scientist Launches Sharp Critique of Religion
Despite the massive costs religion has imposed on human society, it persists because children do not question their parents' beliefs, renowned Oxford scientist Richard Dawkins argued in a fiery lecture last night at Lowell Lecture Hall. (The Harvard Crimson, MA).

November 23

Major Mutations, Not Small Changes, May Lead To New Species. Seattle - Nov 17, 2003
Hummingbirds visited nearly 70 times more often after scientists altered the color of a kind of monkeyflower from pink – beloved by bees but virtually ignored by hummingbirds – to a hummer-attractive yellow-orange.

The GISP2 Ice Core: Ultimate Proof that Noah's Flood Was Not Global
by Paul Seely in Perspectives on Science and Christian Faith (Journal of the American Scientific Affiliation) December 2003 issue pages 252-260. Not yet available online. Paul also explains the Lost Squadron argument that Kent Hovind loves to cite. Their web site is at http://www.asa3.org.

LIFE'S LITTLE BUILDERS
Researchers Kevin Laland and John Odling-Smee argue for nothing less than a rethink of the evolutionary process. Their studies have convinced them that "niche construction" should rival natural selection as a contributory factor in evolution. By accepting that organisms shape environments as surely as environments shape organisms, evolution is transformed from a linear to a cyclic process. This feedback allows organisms to influence the adaptations that successive generations need to make to survive. See New Scientist, November 15, 2003.

Researchers Design And Build First Artificial Protein (November 21, 2003)
Using sophisticated computer algorithms running on standard desktop computers, researchers have designed and constructed a novel functional protein that is not found in nature. The achievement should enable researchers to explore larger questions about how proteins evolved and why nature "chose" certain protein folds over others.

Who was history's greatest scientific hoaxer?
It's been fifty years since Piltdown Man was exposed as a fake. To mark the occasion, the Natural History Museum in London will be exhibiting the "fossils" for the first time since the hoax became public.

November 16

Can science prove the existence of God?
What is for some the ultimate question — Does God exist? — has become a matter of how much further the domain of the unknown will continue to contract, and if it will ultimately evaporate ?(The New York Times).

Is evolution truly random?
To many scientists, it would seem impossible to re-evolve anything like life on earth today, given how life has been shaped by accidents large and small. But 12 flasks of bacteria in East Lansing, Mich., are beginning to challenge such notions (The New York Times)

How did life begin?
Researchers are a long way from reconstructing any plausible path for the origin of life (The New York Times)

Research Sheds New Light On Process Of Evolution.
For more than a century, scientists have concluded that a species evolves or adapts by going through an infinite number of small genetic changes over a long period of time. However, a team of researchers, including a Michigan State University plant biologist, has provided some new evidence that an alternate theory is actually at work, one in which the process begins with several large mutations before settling down into a series of smaller ones. The research is published in the Nov. 12 issue of the journal Nature.

THE EDUCATIONAL DEBATE OVER DARWINISM
By: John Angus Campbell. Journal of Interdisciplinary Studies

Kent Hovind announces the first ever Southeast Creation Conference to be held at Marcus Pointe Baptist Church and Dinosaur Adventure Land (DAL) September 17-19, 2004 in Pensacola, Florida. Keynote speakers include Dr. John Morris of ICR, Dr. Dennis Swift, America's foremost expert on the ICA stones and Dr. Carl Baugh of the Creation Evidence Museum as well as others presenting exciting workshops.

November 9

Extraterrestrial Enigma: Missing Amino Acids In Meteorites (November 4, 2003)
Amino acids have been found in interstellar clouds and in meteorites – but with some enigmatic omissions and tantalizing similarities to life on Earth.

Debate Heats Up On Role Of Climate In Human Evolution (November 3, 2003)
Scientists at the Geological Society of America annual meeting in Seattle this week are taking a comprehensive new look at drivers of human evolution. It now appears that climate variability during the Plio-Pleistocene (approximately 6 million years in duration) played a hugely important role.

THE SPEED OF LIFE
Much about an animal is determined by its size. In general, the larger the beast, the slower its metabolism and the longer its life, and vice versa. But the question of how nature imprints each creature with its assigned metabolic rate, and why some are destined to die sooner than others, is a long-standing mystery. But now researchers believe it could all lie in our cell membranes....and if they are right it could have some profound effects on people's thinking about rates of living and the evolution of warm-blooded animals. (must be subscriber to New Scientist).

THE ORIGIN OF NEW GENES: GLIMPSES FROM THE YOUNG AND OLD
Manyuan Long, Esther Betran, Kevin Thornton & Wen Wang. Genome data have revealed great variation in the numbers of genes in different organisms, which indicates that there is a fundamental process of genome evolution: the origin of new genes. However, there has been little opportunity to explore how genes with new functions originate and evolve. The study of ancient genes has highlighted the antiquity and general importance of some mechanisms of gene origination, and recent observations of young genes at early stages in their evolution have unveiled unexpected molecular and evolutionary processes.

Board gives final approval to biology books
AUSTIN - Biology books in Texas will continue to present the origin of life according to the theories of Charles Darwin. The State Board of Education gave final approval Friday to 11 biology books, among others, despite a major campaign to poke holes in Darwin's theory of evolution as presented in the textbooks.

Darwin, Design & Democracy IV:
Responding to the AAAS Decree Against ID. Intelligent Design Network Symposium at the University of Minnesota, Wiley Hall (Nov. 15).

November 2

Zillions of universes? Or did ours get lucky?
A controversial notion known as the anthropic principle holds forth that the universe can only be understood by including ourselves in the equation (The New York Times).

Scientists Find Evolution Of Life Helped Keep Earth Habitable.
In a paper titled "Carbonate Deposition, Climate Stability and Neoproterozoic Ice Ages" in the Oct. 31 edition of Science, UC Riverside researchers Andy Ridgwell and Martin Kennedy along with LLNL climate scientist Ken Caldeira, discovered that the increased stability in modern climate may be due in part to the evolution of marine plankton living in the open ocean with shells and skeletal material made out of calcium carbonate.

October 2003

October 26

The mystery of the missing links
It is becoming fashionable to question Darwinism, but few people understand either the arguments for evolution or the arguments against it (Mary Wakefield, The Spectator, U.K.).

Clays May Have Aided Formation of Primordial Cells. Chevy Chase - Oct 24, 2003
Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have discovered that clays may have been the catalysts that spurred the spontaneous assembly of fatty acids into the small sacs that ultimately evolved into the first living cells.

Adaptive Mutation Is Common In E. Coli, Say Indiana University Researchers
The quickening of genetic mutation rates in bacteria may not only happen when the microorganisms find themselves in strange and stressful circumstances. Biologists Patricia Foster and Jill Layton found that as E. coli cells begin to starve, the bacteria quadruple their expression of DNA Polymerase IV (Pol IV), a mutation-causing enzyme that is notoriously bad at copying DNA accurately. The culprit, the scientists discovered, is sigma-38, a stress protein that appears to activate expression of the Pol IV gene.

Determining Distances to Astronomical Objects.
Astronomers can measure distances to objects in the universe whose light took thousands, millions, or even billions of years for their light to reach us. This has obvious implications for those who believe the universe is under ten-thousand years old. This article explains how scientists measure distances to various types of astronomical objects and how young-earth creationists deal with large astronomical distances.

MINNESOTANS GIVE INPUT ON SCIENCE EDUCATION STANDARDS
By: Seth Cooper, Discovery Institute. October 20, 2003.

Oxford University's Richard Dawkins wrote to Skilton House Ministries' Paul Humber last spring concerning the Oxford Union Debate that he had participated in against creationists.  Dr. Dawkins wrote "Durant also records (which I had forgotten) that Maynard Smith and I won the debate by 198 votes to 15."  These numbers, however, were/are seriously flawed.  The true numbers were 198 to 115 (or possibly 198 to 150).  If you would like to receive a copy of the published paper concerning these exchanges in pdf format, write to humber@juno.com.

October 19

Setting The Evolutionary Record Straight On Darwin and Hutton. Cardiff - Oct 16, 2003
Writing in this week's issue of Nature, Professor Paul Pearson relates how he discovered an account of the theory - regarded as one of the most important in the history of science – in a rare 1794 publication by geologist, James Hutton.

How the species became
One of the ironies of Charles Darwin's On The Origin of Species is that while it provides ample evidence that new species evolve from existing ones, it doesn't tell us much about how it happens. Speciation remains one of the biggest puzzles in biology. Mathematical models however, have shed new light on the problem. When applied to the "undramatic" instances of speciation, some very interesting results are produced. Far from being a surprising phenomenon, maths indicates it would be very odd if speciation did not occur. The principle is known as "symmetry-breaking". Species diverge because of an unmanageable loss of stability. (New Scientist magazine 10/11/03 subscribers)

THE PLEASURE SEEKERS
For 30 years, it seems, researchers searching for the brain's "pleasure centre" may have missed the mark, by confusing pleasure and desire. That's the view of a group of neuroscientists who are evolving a new model of how and where pleasure is registered in the brain. The emerging theory suggests that, far from being a heady, human pursuit, pleasure may be a very simple and evolutionarily ancient invention. The role it plays in decision-making is leading some researchers to see it as a fundamental biological process that evolved long before humans did. (New Scientist magazine 10/11/03 subscribers)

Evolution: Single-gene speciation by left–right reversal Nature Oct. 16, 2003 p.679
REI UESHIMA AND TAKAHIRO ASAMI
A land-snail species of polyphyletic origin results from chirality constraints on mating.

October 12

Did Nobel Committee Ignore MRI Creator Because of Creationism?
The Nobel Committee on Monday announced that the prize would be awarded to Paul C. Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, for their discoveries concerning magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI scans. But when you ask Google who invented the MRI, the most common answer is Raymond V. Damadian. What's up? The controversy has been percolating, and The Wall Street Journal reported last year that "a ferocious battle in the scientific community over who gets credit" probably held up an MRI-related Nobel for years. A full-page ad in yesterday's The Washington Post said the Nobel committee was "attempting to rewrite history" and "did one thing it has no right to do: It ignored the truth." But Knox, along with Reason magazine's Ronald Bailey, suggested another reason Damadian may have been disregarded: He's a devout Christian (see this 1997 profile in Christianity Today sister publication Christian Reader) who believes in creationism. In fact, he's on the Technical Advisory Board for the Institute for Creation Research, and on the reference board for Answers in Genesis's upcoming Creation Museum.

The Big Bang and death before the fall.
Audio discussion by Hugh Ross and others at Reasons to Believe.

Animal Death Before the Fall by Lee Irons.

Evolutionist science journal gives exciting support to creationist cosmology!
Is the wind beginning to shift against the big bang? by Carl Wieland. See also Hugh Ross's comments on this at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/creation_update/Archives.asp under Hezekiel's Tunnel.

NSF'S 'FIBR' To Mix Disciplines, Use Breakthroughs On 5-Year Explorations Into Biology's Mysteries (October 8, 2003)
How do species arise? Do they even matter among microbes? And what does genetic recombination—do for Daphnia? These questions are among those to be pursued by six five-year projects, each established by the National Science Foundation's (NSF) new Frontiers in Integrative Biological Research (FIBR) program.

October 5

The Drake Equation Revisited: Part I. Moffett Field - Sep 30, 2003
The Drake equation was developed as a means of predicting the likelihood of detecting other intelligent civilizations in our galaxy. At the NASA forum, Frank Drake, who formulated the equation 42 years ago, moderated a debate between paleontologist Peter Ward, co-author of the book Rare Earth, and astronomer David Grinspoon, author of the forthcoming book Lonely Planets: The Natural Philosophy of Alien Life.

ICR and Master Books have just announced the publication of a new edition of The Biblical Basis for Modern Science, by Dr. Henry Morris, updated and enlarged from the original edition published in 1984. That first edition proved popular as a textbook and general reference book on Bible-science relations, with approximately 120,000 hardback copies in use. So far as known, it is the only book with comprehensive chapters on the relation of the Bible to each of the major sciences (biology, geology, astronomy, ethnology, etc.—fourteen in all), plus six appendices, nine tables, an extensive bibliography, and three indexes. This edition contains 480 pages and 33 illustrations. In its new paperback format, the price is only $13.99. The book can be purchased through ICR's online store. For my review of his book see http://www.bibleandscience.com/science/bibleandscience.htm

How did freshwater and saltwater fish survive the Flood?
By Ken Ham, Jonathan Sarfati, and Carl Wieland, Ed. Don Batten. "This suggests that the ability to tolerate large changes in salinity was present in most fish at the time of the Flood.  Specialization, through natural selection, may have resulted in the loss of this ability in many species since then."

An Index to Creationist Claims.
A collection of creationist claims which aims to be comprehensive. It includes brief rebuttals and, in many cases, pointers to more information.

The Quote Mine Project: Or, Lies, and Quote Mines.
The collecting of quotes to attack evolution is often called "quote mining" and is a very common tactic used by those who wish to deny evolution or modern evolutionary biology. A creationist on the talk.origins newsgroup posted a large collection of such quotes which he copied from a creationist website. This resulted in other participants looking up those quotes. The results, gathered in the Quote Mine Project, show that many of the quotes are blatantly out-of-context.

Unintelligent designs on academic freedom
The academic freedom that so incensed Bill Buckley as a student at Yale decades ago is now acting to protect a conservative scholar under fire at Baylor U. (The American Spectator).

Yellowstone Microbes Tapped To Settle Species Question (September 29, 2003) — Whether microbes--the little guys of the planet--belong to one big gene pool or to numerous smaller, discrete ones doesn't sound like the stuff of controversy. But among the microbiologists of the world, the issue is big enough that the National Science Foundation has put up $5-million to try to settle the question using microbes in Yellowstone National Park.

What Are The Chances? Mathematician Solves Evolutionary Mystery (September 29, 2003)
For the last two years, Iosif Pinelis, a professor of mathematical sciences at Michigan Technological University, has been working on a mathematical solution to a challenging biological puzzle first posed in the journal "Statistical Science"*: Why is the typical evolutionary tree so lopsided?

September 2003

September 28

Divining nature's plan
A generation after his pioneering work in the Burgess Shale, Conway Morris is convinced that far from being a random, directionless process, evolution shows deep patterns, and perhaps even a purpose (U.S. News & World Report).

Fruit Odors Lure Some Flies To Evolve Into New Species (September 23, 2003)
For apple maggots, the dating scene is simple -- flies only mate on a specific host fruit. Using new technology developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station, Cornell University researchers have demonstrated that this fact of fly life has resulted in the emergence of two distinct races of the pest in just 150 years.

Monkeys strike for justice
Getting the short end of the stick tends to tick people off. It turns out the same is true for monkeys. Scientists report that capuchin monkeys become upset when they feel they've been treated unfairly. The findings suggest that the animals have an innate sense of justice, a trait previously thought to be unique to humans.

Doubts Over Evolution Continue to Mount as 60 Biologists Express Skepticism with Central Tenet of Darwin’s Theory.
(From Discovery Institute).

Mythbusters!
Discovery channel program to expose urban legends.

September 21

Radiometric Dating & the RATE Study. Are young-earth creationists right? Listen to this discussion at http://www.reasons.org/resources/multimedia/rtbradio/cu_archives/index.shtml?main

Speakers focus on evolution
Although not exactly the Scopes "monkey trial," scores of sometimes-unruly critics and proponents of modern evolutionary theory squared off Wednesday before the Texas State Board of Education (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram).

Board to hear exemption request again
Pastor wants to eliminate evolution being taught in public schools (The Morning News, Springdale, Ark.).

The evolutionary inheritance of elemental stoichiometry in marine phytoplankton Nature 9/18/03 p.291.
ANTONIETTA QUIGG, ZOE V. FINKEL, ANDREW J. IRWIN, YAIR ROSENTHAL, TUNG-YUAN HO, JOHN R. REINFELDER, OSCAR SCHOFIELD, FRANCOIS M. M. MOREL & PAUL G. FALKOWSKI See also http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/09/030918092255.htm.

Plasma blobs hint at new form of life
Researchers recreating the atmosphere of the early Earth have made "cells" that reproduce and communicate - but they are made of gas.

September 14

Molecules of life come in waves
Compounds found in cells show quantum behaviour.

Nuclear DNA sequences detect species limits in ancient moa Nature 425 p.175
L. HUYNEN, C. D. MILLAR, R. P. SCOFIELD & D. M. LAMBERT.

Geneticists Show Ripple Effects Of Gene Mutations (September 9, 2003)
When a plane arrives late to an airport, it affects more than just the frustrated passengers on the tardy plane – the ripple effects could throw the entire day's timetable off schedule. Similarly, in a new study, North Carolina State University geneticists have found that changes to genes regulating olfactory behavior in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster, a popular insect model for genetics, have far greater implications than previously appreciated.

'Creationism' school opens its door
A new £20m school which will teach biblical creation, opened on Teesside on Monday (BBC).

Critics of biology textbooks draw on think tank
The Discovery Institute, based in Seattle, is trying to persuade the State Board of Education and others around the nation to adopt biology textbooks that point out "weaknesses" in Darwin's theory (Houston Chronicle).

Sudbury Neutrino Observatory Reports New Measurements - Thanks To Table Salt! (September 11, 2003)
In a presentation on Sunday September 7th, at TAUP2003, a major scientific conference in Seattle, Washington, new measurements were reported that strongly confirm the original SNO results announced in 2001 and 2002 that solved the "Solar Neutrino Problem" and go much further in establishing the properties of neutrinos that cause them to change from one type to another in transit to the Earth from the Sun. Young-earth creationists have used the solar neutrino problem to show the sun is young. Answers in Genesis states that this argument can no longer be used.

September 7

RENEGADE CODE: For most people, Candida albicans, the cause of "thrush" literally evokes intense irritation. But among scientists, this loathsome creature is now an awe inspirer. About 270 million years ago, its ancestor achieved what was deemed impossible. It changed its genetic code. And it's not alone, other code-changers have been discovered alive and kicking. They are a slap in the face for one of the most basic tenets of biology: the unshakable stability and ubiquity of the universal genetic code. The implications are enormous. See New Scientist latest magazine issue.

Evolution of cooperation and conflict in experimental bacterial populations
Nature 9/4/03 p.72 PAUL B. RAINEY AND KATRINA RAINEY

40 Texas scientists join growing national list of scientists skeptical of Darwin

J.P. Moreland on the age of the earth

August 2003

August 31

Coming soon! Creation magazine archive: Brand new feature! Years of research and life-changing articles—from Creation magazine—at your fingertips. Every Creation article over the past six years, conveniently organized in a single, powerful database for advanced research or easy reading! (Look for several more issues very soon.) Search by author, type of article, date, etc. It’s easy to use. Check it out at www.answersingenesis.org/creation/.  The TJ journal of creation at http://www.answersingenesis.org/home/area/magazines/technical.asp.

The End of Evolution
Population geneticists, rummaging in DNA's ever-fascinating attic, have set dates on two important changes in the human form.

Re-evolving Evolution
Bartel, a researcher at Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research, pursues a theory of early evolution called the "RNA-world hypothesis," which maintains that, in the beginning, long before DNA or protein existed, RNA performed both DNA's job of encoding information and protein's job of catalyzing replication. Because RNA replication is far simpler than protein replication, and because RNA participates in central cellular functions, researchers postulate a primitive, yet elegant, system in which RNA made RNA.  

August 24

The Dick Staub Interview: The Long War About Science
Larry Witham, the author of Where Darwin Meets the Bible and By Design, talks about faith, science, and how the battle has evolved.

RATE group reveals exciting breakthroughs!
A few years ago an initiative was undertaken to research thoroughly the whole area of Radioactivity and the Age of The Earth.  The RATE project began as a cooperative venture between the Institute for Creation Research (ICR), the Creation Research Society (CRS) and Answers in Genesis (AiG). For the latest RATE discoveries see http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0821rate.asp For a different view see

Evolution teaching unlikely to change
Biology teachers who understand evolution generally teach about it; creationist teachers generally do not (John Richard Schrock, The Wichita Eagle).

Speakers gear up for textbook battle on evolution issue
The State Board of Education will hold its second and final hearing on the textbooks Sept. 10. Already, more than 80 people have registered to testify (Houston Chronicle).

Evolution backers launch counter-offensive in Texas textbook fight 
Religious leaders, scientists and parents unveil campaign Stand Up For Science as state Board of Education prepares to adopt new biology textbooks this fall (Associated Press).

Scientists At TSRI Create New Strain Of Yeast With 21-Amino Acid Genetic Code
A team of investigators at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and its Skaggs Institute for Chemical Biology in La Jolla, California is introducing revolutionary changes into the genetic code of organisms like yeast that allow these cellular factories to mass produce proteins with unnatural amino acids.

Open access (21 Aug)
Debate over open access to scientific articles is steadily moving into the mainstream, with the publication this month of an editorial in The New York Times, a recently introduced Congressional bill to promote open access publishing, and a television commercial sponsored by the Public Library of Science (PLoS), a California-based group that plans to launch an open-access journal in October.

August 17

Caught in the rat race? No wonder
Dogs may be man's best friend but rats are closer relatives, according to a new study that compares stretches of DNA for 13 different animals - including human beings. We primates share common stretches of DNA with rats and mice that weren't found in carnivores such as dogs and cats or hoofed animals such as pigs and cows. The researchers, who published their paper in today's issue of the journal Nature, also studied DNA from two fellow primates - baboons and monkeys - as well as chickens, zebrafish and two species of pufferfish.The researchers also looked at previously studied DNA from horses and found they were more closely related to dogs than they were to cows. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/health/6527023.htm Also see http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030814072241.htm

Microbe From Depths Takes Life To Hottest Known Limit -- Researchers Find Iron-reducing Archaeon 'Strain 121' Respires To Greatness
It may be small, its habitat harsh, but a newly discovered single-celled microbe leads the hottest existence known to science. Its discoverers have preliminarily named the roughly micron-wide speck "Strain 121" for the top temperature at which it survives: 121 degrees Celsius, or about 250 degrees Fahrenheit. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030815075108.htm

Critics: Publisher changed textbook to please creation theorists  But spokesman says company was simply responding to valid scientific arguments when it revised biology book being considered for Texas schools (Associated Press). See http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/news.aspx?id=11810

NYT's Nicholas Kristof Pits Religious Belief Against 'Intellect'
Noting that Americans are three times as likely to believe in the Virgin Birth of Jesus (83%) as in evolution (28%), he writes, "The faith in the Virgin Birth reflects the way American Christianity is becoming less intellectual and more mystical over time." See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/132/51.0.html  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/15/opinion/15KRIS.html

Researchers Find A Pattern In Evolution Of Lizard Groups
Many scientists, such as the late Stephen Jay Gould, to conclude that each group of living things evolves in its own idiosyncratic manner. But now biologists at Washington University in St. Louis have proposed a general pattern among groups in the timing of evolutionary diversification. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030815075001.htm

Creation Expeditions team discovers giant duck-billed dinosaur
Fossilized skin imprints from "Ezekiel" the Edmontosaurus point to recent catastrophic death of this duck-billed giant. This find counters the myth that the Edmontosaurus was a transitional dinosaur with feathers. See http://bhcsa.org/DinoStory.asp

Fifth International Conference on Creationism papers online
PDF versions of the papers recently presented by Institute for Creation Research scientists
are available at this site. There is some very interesting material dealing with radioisotope dating and climate models relating to the Genesis Flood. See http://www.icr.org/research/

Scientific research put under spotlight. Britain's academy of science is to set up an inquiry into how scientific research is made public. It follows rows about the reliability of some studies which, although they were published in journals, were later found to have been based on false or poorly interpreted results. There is also concern about organisations which make scientific claims in press releases and at media conferences but then present no evidence to support their announcements. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3140261.stm

Meetings seek synergy between science and religion  The Kansas City Religion and Science Dialogue Project, which began in 2002, is designed to be a "conversation" on what new scientific discoveries—covering everything from stem-cell research to black matter—mean to age-old beliefs (The Kansas City Star). See http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/news/local/6508410.htm

Faith collides with science on campus | Mystery and humility can help students resolve the conflict (The Charlotte Observer). See http://www.charlotte.com/mld/observer/news/6505454.htm

August 10

Cross-species Mating May Be Evolutionarily Important And Lead To Rapid Change, Say Indiana University Researchers
Like the snap of a clothespin, the sudden mixing of closely related species may occasionally provide the energy to impel rapid evolutionary change, according to a new report by researchers from Indiana University Bloomington and three other institutions. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030808081854.htm

From Studies Of A Rare Human Mutation To New Approaches To Herbicides Or Antibiotics
In work on a key human enzyme, PBGS (porphobilinogen synthase), the laboratory of Fox Chase Cancer Center scientist Eileen K. Jaffe, Ph.D., has characterized a rare mutation that results in an unprecedented rearrangement of the enzyme's structure. The discovery provides a key into how tiny genetic changes can have a giant evolutionary impact and may even lead to the development of novel herbicides and antibacterial agents. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030804075152.htm

Mouse intelligence measured
Rodent 'g' might reveal genes for intellect. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030728/030728-9.html

Artificially evolved protein destroys nerve gas
Bacterial enzyme tweaked to dismember chemical-warfare agent. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030728/030728-7.html

Search For Life Could Include Planets, Stars Unlike Ours
The search for life on other planets could soon extend to solar systems that are very different from our own, according to a new study by an Ohio State University astronomer and his colleagues. In fact, finding a terrestrial planet in such a solar system would offer unique scientific opportunities to test evolution, said Andrew Gould, professor of astronomy here. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/08/030804075326.htm

Creation/Evolution: NCSE are pleased to announce that five more issues of Creation/Evolution (21-25) are now available on the NCSE web site at http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=16  Some interesting articles:

The Legacy of Louis Leakey. For National Geographic Radio Expeditions, NPR's Christopher Joyce reports on the legacy of the Leakey family patriarch. See http://www.npr.org/programs/re/archivesdate/2003/aug/leakey/index.html

A bioethicist's take on Genesis  As Leon R. Kass shows, Genesis finds both the pathos and the possibility of human life, for the world will not accommodate itself to desire and desire will demand more than the world can ever offer. The question is where humanity will seek its consolation and its satisfactions (The New York Times). See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/08/02/arts/02SHEL.html

August 3

Experts Say There Is NO Loch Ness Monster July 28, 2003 — The Loch Ness monster does not exist, according to a team of scientists who have taken a sonar and satellite survey of the loch. Using 600 separate sonar beams and satellite navigation technology to make sure that none of the loch was missed, the BBC team surveyed the waters, looking for telltale signs of the air in Nessie's lungs to distort the sonar signals. But it found nothing. See http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20030728/nessie.html

The fossil record, online
By analysing masses of data compiled from fossil collections throughout the world, a group of leading palaeontologists hopes to address the big questions about the history of life on Earth. Quirin Schiermeier logs on to the Paleobiology Database.
www.nature.com/nature/featureoftheweek/ OR http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v424/n6948/full/424482a_fs.html Online website: http://www.paleodb.org

ICC Meeting: The Fifth International Creation Conference on August 4-9 at Geneva College. See http://www.csfpittsburgh.org/icc03.htm 

58th Annual Meeting of the American Scientific Affiliation held at Colorado Christian University. For papers and links of this meeting see http://www.asa3.org/ASA/meetings/CCU2003/CCU_paperlinks.html  New online articles see http://129.82.76.41:591/FMPro?-db=ASAdb49.fm4&-format=/ASAdb/on-line_recently_added.html&-lay=Layout1&-sortfield=date_added&-sortorder=descending&-op=eq&Current=1&-Max=500&-Find

Reasons to Believe new video: Journey Toward Creation, 2nd Edition Preview Clip website at www.reasons.org  also Register and watch full video of the RTB 2003 Conference.

Clarifying the Issues in the Texas Textbook Controversy
By: Discovery Staff. See http://www.discovery.org/viewDB/index.php3?command=view&id=1514&program=News

Evolutionary capacitance as a general feature of complex gene networks Nature July 31, 2003 p. 549 AVIV BERGMAN AND MARK L. SIEGAL. First paragraph  The following links to Nature may require membership.

EARLY CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM EVOLUTION: AN ERA OF SKIN BRAINS? Nicholas D. Holland. See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eBQK0BgPqu0C40C5Z0Ab

PHARMACOPHYLOGENOMICS: GENES, EVOLUTION AND DRUG TARGETS by David B. Searls. The study of genomic data from an evolutionary perspective -phylogenomics - is useful in the prediction of protein function,protein interactions and other relationships. Evolutionary analyses also indicate new ways to consider the overall space of gene products in terms of their suitability for therapeutic intervention. In this article, David Searls discusses how pharmacophylogenomics, that is, the use of phylogenomics in drug discovery, can inform target selection and validation. See http://www.nature.com/nrdlink/v2/n8/full/nrd1152_fs.html

Evolution: A tangled web. See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eBRp0BgPqu0C60C6g0AV

Evolutionary genetics: Growing apart. See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eBRp0BgPqu0C60C6j0AY

Evolution: Closing the net on chordate origins. See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eBRp0BgPqu0C60C6l0Aa

THE HUMAN Y CHROMOSOME: AN EVOLUTIONARY MARKER COMES OF AGE. Mark A. Jobling & Chris Tyler-Smith. See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eBRp0BgPqu0C60C6q0Af

July 2003

July 27

Hydrothermal Vent Systems Could Have Persisted Millions Of Years, Incubated Life
The staying power of seafloor hydrothermal vent systems like the bizarre Lost City vent field is one reason they also may have been incubators of Earth's earliest life, scientists report in a paper published in the July 25 issue of Science. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030725080845.htm

NASA Research Seeks To Discover If Comets Seeded Life. Greenbelt - Jul 18, 2003 - NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center will lead the effort to discover if comets supplied the raw material for the origin of life on Earth, and if they could do so for alien worlds, as part of its participation in NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) research. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03zh.html

New clues to identity of first genetic molecule
TNA resembles DNA and RNA in almost every respect, but is simpler - now researchers show it can be assembled by natural enzymes. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993972

An Evolutionary Fast-Track In Which The Hunted Outwit Their Hunters. Ithaca - Jul 18, 2003 - In the fishbowl of life, when hordes of well-fed predators drive their prey to the brink of extinction, sometimes evolution takes the fast track to help the hunted survive -- and then thrive to outnumber their predators. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03zg.html

Teaching creationism muddies the waters of science education | When a school district teaches a pseudo-scientific theory espoused by a religious community as scientific fact, it crosses a line (Art Coulson, Pioneer Press, St. Paul, Minn.). See http://www.twincities.com/mld/pioneerpress/news/editorial/6335792.htm

David Sloan Wilson says plankton can tell us a lot about God and human morality. By Andrew Brown. David Sloan Wilson's career as a biologist started with zooplankton in the depths of the ocean and has ascended to God. He is convinced the same theoretical tools can be used to analyse the patterns of animal behaviour and human belief; and that the kinds of equations that tell you whether fish will be brightly or dully coloured, depending on the part of a river they live in, will also tell you why Calvinism thrived in 16th-century Geneva but the church of England is in decline today. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/interview/story/0,12982,1004403,00.html

Darwin and the Barnacle: The Story of One Tiny Creature and History's Most Spectacular Scientific Breakthrough by Rebecca Stott. See http://xml.amazon.com/onca/xml2?t=darwinanddarwini&dev-t=D2C43HO9U0XYC0&AsinSearch=0393057453&type=heavy&f=http://human-nature.com/web-services/asin-data-to-html2.xsl

Darwin and Design : Does Evolution Have a Purpose? by Michael Ruse. See http://xml.amazon.com/onca/xml2?t=darwinanddarwini&dev-t=D2C43HO9U0XYC0&AsinSearch=067401023X&type=heavy&f=http://human-nature.com/web-services/asin-data-to-html2.xsl

Deeper Than Darwin: The Prospect for Religion in the Age of Evolution by John Haught. See http://xml.amazon.com/onca/xml2?t=darwinanddarwini&dev-t=D2C43HO9U0XYC0&AsinSearch=0813365902&type=heavy&f=http://human-nature.com/web-services/asin-data-to-html2.xsl

July 20

Panel hears a lot about Darwin  Pleas to keep Darwin's theory of evolution in biology textbooks and to not include creationism virtually dominated the State Board of Education's public hearing Wednesday on the next generation of public school textbooks (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.). See http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/state/6271818.htm

Darwin in a Box
Are you ready for computers that speed up the process of evolution and teach themselves to think?
See http://www.discover.com/aug_03/gthere.html?article=feattech.html

Faith-based science is not really science | Few things could be more reckless or dangerous to our nation's health, wealth and well-being than shattering the traditional barrier between science and faith (Chet Raymo, The Boston Globe). See http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/196/science/Faith_based_science_is_not_really_science+.shtml

First HIV hybrid formed in a human revealed
Two different strains of HIV infecting the same woman swapped genes to form a new virus - it is bad news for vaccine researchers. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993941 

Evolutionary biology: Body plans and simple brains Nature July 17, 2003 p.263
THURSTON LACALLI
Genes expressed in the vertebrate brain and spinal cord show up in the surface nerve net of a closely related group of invertebrates. Could this mean that brains started out on the body surface? Full Text (members only).

Rapid evolution drives ecological dynamics in a predator–prey system July 17, 2003 p.303
TAKEHITO YOSHIDA, LAURA E. JONES, STEPHEN P. ELLNER, GREGOR F. FUSSMANN & NELSON G. HAIRSTON JR. First paragraph See http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v424/n6946/abs/nature01767_fs.html http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/07/030716090941.htm

July 13

Reviewing the books | Validity of evolution at issue as state considers adopting new biology texts (Ft. Worth Star-Telegram, Tex.). See http://www.dfw.com/mld/dfw/news/6263915.htm

'Intelligent design' theory debated at hearing | Board of Education hears from both sides during discussion on adoption of new texts (Houston Chronicle). See http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/ssistory.mpl/metropolitan/1987782

Mystery Ape-Like Beast Spotted in China. June 30, 2003 — An investigation has begun after sightings of a legendary "ape-like" beast in the forests of central China, state press said Monday. The mythical creature was apparently seen by six people, including a journalist, in the Shennongjia Nature Reserve in China's Hubei province Sunday afternoon, the Xinhua news agency reported. The reserve is well known as a place where local legend has it that the half-man, half-ape creatures live. See http://tlc.discovery.com/news/afp/20030630/apeman.html

Deciding the world does not revolve around Galileo | In the confrontation between Galileo and the Catholic Church, Wade Rowland maintains that the church's position is more defensible (The New York Times). See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/07/11/books/11BOOK.html

July 6

The Dick Staub Interview: Are Darwinists Immoral?
Benjamin Wiker says Darwinism isn't science per se: it's just a reiteration of a 2,300-year-old philosophy. See http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2003/126/23.0.html

Issues 1-20 of Creation/Evolution are now available online at
http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=16

Frank Sonleitner's Creation/Evolution Update 2001 is now available at
http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=3
Sonleitner reviews recent scientific advances that bear on the creationism/evolution controversy.

Monkeys link faces and sounds
Humans may have evolved a language skill from primate ancestors.
26 June 2003 See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030623/030623-8.html

New Look at Human Evolution. Reading the cracked brown fragments of fossils and sequences of DNA, scientists have found clues that the story of human origins has more convolutions than previously thought. The account of our shared human heritage now includes more controversial plot twists and mysteries. See http://www.sciam.com/special/index.cfm?sc=I100194

A flexible theory of evolution  Nature July 3, 2003 p.16
GERDIEN DE JONG AND ROSS H. CROZIER review Developmental Plasticity and Evolution by Mary Jane West-Eberhard doi:10.1038/424016b Full Text (members only).

Evolutionary biology: Polygamy and parenting Nature July 3, 2003 p.23
MARK PAGEL
In most animal groups, females put more effort into rearing children, and males compete for female attention. But what about seahorses and pipefish, in which males invest the most in offspring? doi:10.1038/424023a Full Text (members only).

A hair-raising theology lesson | The message of The Million Volt Man: Science actually provides evidence of a divine plan for creation (Daily Herald, suburban Chicago). See http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=305&ncid=305&e=1&u=/cdh/20030624/lo_cdh/ahairraisingtheologylesson

Few contenders so far for creationist's reward for proof of evolution | Kent Hovind has a quarter of a million dollars burning a hole in his pocket. He'll give it to anyone who can convince him that evolution is more than just a theory. (Stars & Stripes). See  http://www.estripes.com/article.asp?section=104&article=15556&archive=true

Darwin faces a new rival | A Roseville high school parent urges that 'intelligent design' also be taught in biology (The Sacramento Bee). See http://www.sacbee.com/content/news/story/6901932p-7851550c.html

Evolution vs. creation | The debate continues to flourish (The Express-Times, Penn.). See http://pennlive.com/living/expresstimes/index.ssf?/base/living-0/105609998312250.xml

Lehigh professor shakes up Darwinists | In his research, Michael Behe concluded Darwin's evolution did not hold up for molecules. (The Express-Times, Penn.). See http://pennlive.com/living/expresstimes/index.ssf?/base/living-0/105609994812250.xml

Putting belief aside: pragmatism versus the Bible | "A necessary evil" is how Richard Edlin, a Christian educator and advocate of parent-controlled schools, views the Higher School Certificate examinations (The Sydney Morning Herald). See http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/06/24/1056449246004.html

Schools must spark thinking | The Shawnee Mission School District should be commended for its handling of the Inherit the Wind controversy (Jay Sjerven, The Kansas City Star). See http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascitystar/news/opinion/6133826.htm

Science and religion cease fire | The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the National Council of Churches signed a pact here to open channels of communication between them about the promise and potential perils of biotechnology (Wired News). See http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,59395,00.html

Observational Concessions of Young-Earth Cosmology An audio Hugh Ross discussion at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/creation_update/Archives.asp

29+ Evidences for Macroevolution. Creationists continually claim that there is no evidence for macroevolution. This section of the archive provides more than 29 examples, none of which are simply an extrapolation from "microevolution." This update focuses on the evidence for common descent from vestigial structures, a commonly misunderstood concept. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/comdesc/

Human genome (30 Jun) - Stored in the human genome, perhaps, is the record of human evolution and existence on this planet. Many say, however, that this history and the benefits it may unfold for human health cannot be found in the single, essentially complete human sequence--99.9% similar to any other human sequence. It's the 0.1% difference that should tell the tale--not only of migration, war, technological achievement, and conquest--but also of the differences that confer susceptibility to complex, multigenic diseases. See http://www.the-scientist.com/yr2003/jun/research1_030630.html

Unlocking the Mystery of Life, a documentary about the "intelligent design" movement cowritten by Stephen C. Meyer, Director and Senior Fellow of the Center for Science and Culture at the Discovery Institute, is airing on individual PBS stations across the country. Because NCSE has received many inquiries about Unlocking, we have added a section to our web site for information and opinions about it: See http://www.ncseweb.org/article.asp?category=19

June 2003

June 22

Reasons To Believe's 2003 Conference: Who is the Designer? June 26-28th 2003 at SeaCoast Grace Church in Cypress, CA. Questions addressed: "Does the created realm adequately support a search for the Designer?" "If so, does the evidence point to the personal God of the Bible, or to the god(s) of other world religions, or somewhere else altogether?" "How can I gain the wisdom to examine the evidence and draw sound conclusions?" "How can I most effectively discuss and defend my conclusions among those who disagree?" If you can not attend, you can listen by way of the internet. See http://www.reasons.org/events/2003_conference/index.shtml?conference

Skulls reveal dawn of mankind. Skulls found in Ethiopia are the oldest modern human fossils yet. The 160,000-year-old bones open a valuable window on the birth of Homo sapiens. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030609/030609-8.html

Abundant gene conversion between arms of palindromes in human and ape Y chromosomes Nature 423, p873 (June 19)
STEVE ROZEN, HELEN SKALETSKY, JANET D. MARSZALEK, PATRICK J. MINX, HOLLAND S. CORDUM, ROBERT H. WATERSTON, RICHARD K. WILSON & DAVID C. PAGE. See
http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6942/abs/nature01723_fs.html

Y Chromosomes. As often noted, the genomes of humans and chimpanzees are 98.5 percent identical, when each of their three billion DNA units are compared. But what of men and women, who have different chromosomes? Until now, biologists have said that makes no difference, because there are almost no genes on the Y, and in women one of the two X chromosomes is inactivated, so that both men and women have one working X chromosome. But researchers have recently found that several hundred genes on the X escape inactivation. Taking those genes into account along with the new tally of Y genes gives this result: Men and women differ by 1 to 2 percent of their genomes, which is the same as the difference between a man and a male chimpanzee or between a woman and a female chimpanzee. See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/06/19/science/19GENE.html and  http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2994226.stm http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030618/03/

Colour vision ended human pheromone use
Genetic analysis suggests that being able to see in full colour led our primate ancestors to stop using pheromones to select mates. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993835 also http://dsc.discovery.com/news/afp/20030616/pheromone.html

Sperm competition (18 Jun) - Matthew Gage is an expert in the rapidly advancing field of evolutionary biology. "Sperm competition is an area where all the forces that Darwin recognised are acting at a level that we did not previously appreciate," he says. See http://news.independent.co.uk/world/science_medical/story.jsp?story=416576

Genetics - evolution (16 Jun) - Researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering have uncovered evidence that major evolutionary changes are more likely to occur in approximately 400 ‘fragile’ genomic regions that account for only 5 percent of the human genome. The findings, reported in the June 24 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), undercut the widely held view among scientists that evolutionary breakpoints – disruptions in the order of genes on chromosomes – are purely random. See http://www.jacobsschool.ucsd.edu/news_events/news_2003/20030616.shtml

Evolution - Scientists have found an organelle - an enclosed free-floating specialised structure - inside a primitive cell for the first time. Prokaryotic cells are relatively simple cells, without nuclei, such as bacteria. It is believed they evolved first then absorbed other prokaryotes and became eukaryotes - complex cells that have nuclei and structures like the energy-producing mitochondria. Finding a self-contained organelle inside a prokaryote is a puzzle as it suggests that the evolution of cells - the basic building blocks of higher organisms - may have to be reconsidered. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3003946.stm

June 15

Ancient skulls may be key link
The fossils, with more refined facial features, may be of modern man's immediate predecessors. Scientists in Ethiopia have unearthed what may be the oldest and best-preserved skulls of modern man's immediate predecessors, a finding that illustrates the dramatic transformation from the heavy-browed caveman look to more refined facial features. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/6067707.htm

Human evolution: Out of Ethiopia
New fossil skulls from Ethiopia provide fresh evidence that Africa was the birthplace of modern humans, but raise new questions about the pattern of human evolution. See http://www.nature.com/nature/featureoftheweek/

Adaptive evolution drives divergence of a hybrid inviability gene between two species of Drosophila 715 Nature
DAVEN C. PRESGRAVES, LAKSHMI BALAGOPALAN, SUSAN M. ABMAYR & H. ALLEN ORR doi:10.1038/nature01679 Summary See http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6941/abs/nature01679_fs.html and http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030612/02/ Drosophila genome reveals that gender-dependent selection is an evolutionary driving force. See http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030613/02/

Evolutionary biology: Genes to make new species 699 Nature
MOHAMED A. F. NOOR
A long-term goal of studies of the way in which new species form has been to identify the genes involved, and the forces that drive their evolution. That goal is now being realized — and natural selection plays a major part. doi:10.1038/423699a Full Text (subscription required)

Designer darwinism 686 Nature
MARK RIDLEY reviews Darwin and Design: Does Evolution Have a Purpose? by Michael Ruse. doi:10.1038/423686a Full Text (subscription required)

Early humans lost hair to beat bugs
A new evolutionary theory suggests nakedness helps reduce the damage to health caused by fur-loving parasites. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993807

The Chimp Genome: See http://www.spectator.co.uk/article.php3?table=old&section=current&issue=2003-06-14&id=3201

EVOLUTION: FIVE BIG QUESTIONS. Also Robin Dunbar on "intelligent design" p.38 in New Scientist Magazine, this issue. See http://www.newscientist.com/inprint/

Book Review: Larry Witham's Where Darwin Meets the Bible, reviewed by Thomas Sheahen. Where Darwin Meets the Bible provides an excellent introduction to the controversy between creation and evolution. With an absolute commitment to neutrality that is rare in the field of journalism, Larry Witham provides readers with background information on all of the major players in the contemporary debate, and allows readers to draw their own conclusions.
See http://www.metanexus.net/archives/message_fs.asp?ARCHIVEID=8295

June 8

Astronomer Offers Skeptics Scientific 'Reasons to Believe' Read the full profile of Hugh Ross in the June issue of "Charisma" magazine, out now. See  http://www.charismanews.com/a.pl?ArticleID=7629

Reasons To Believe's 2003 Conference: Who is the Designer? June 26-28th 2003 at SeaCoast Grace Church in Cypress, CA. Questions addressed: "Does the created realm adequately support a search for the Designer?" "If so, does the evidence point to the personal God of the Bible, or to the god(s) of other world religions, or somewhere else altogether?" "How can I gain the wisdom to examine the evidence and draw sound conclusions?" "How can I most effectively discuss and defend my conclusions among those who disagree?" See http://www.reasons.org/events/2003_conference/index.shtml?conference

Born Under The Sun: UV Light And The Origin Of Life. London - Jun 02, 2003 - Early evolution of life as we know it may have depended on DNA's ability to absorb UV light. This insight into the early moments of life on Earth comes from research published today in the journal BMC Evolutionary Biology. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03zb.html

Chimp Study Yields Clues to Evolution of Human Speech. We humans are nothing if talkative. Indeed, it's one of our most salient characteristics as a species. But exactly how we came to be so chatty is less obvious. Despite decades of research into the subject, anthropologists are still struggling to reconstruct the chain of events that produced our unique oral capabilities. New research suggests that one part of the story they thought they had nailed in fact needs revision. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=00018313-7C84-1ED3-8E1C809EC588EF21

The double puzzle of diabetes
Why is the prevalence of type 2 diabetes now exploding in most populations, but not in Europeans? The genetic and evolutionary consequences of geographical differences in food history may provide the answer. See http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6940/full/423599a_fs.html

Deadly crossovers of the Darwinian 'divide' SO, IT SEEMS the new SARS coronavirus, agent of a deadly respiratory infection, leapt to Homo sapiens from a catlike animal with an exotic name, the masked palm civet - a delicacy in China, where the illness smoldered for months before going global. See http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe/Deadly_crossovers_of_the_Darwinian_divide_%2B.shtml

“Junk DNA” Creates Novel Proteins. DNA sequences long considered genomic garbage are finally getting a little respect. Researchers have figured out how short stretches of DNA that do not normally code for proteins worm their way into genes. This can result in the production of abnormal proteins and lead to genetic diseases, such as Alport Syndrome, a rare kidney disease. But the sequences, sometimes called “junk DNA,” have also allowed humans and other species to create new proteins in a process that has dramatically influenced evolution. One of the biggest surprises to come from the sequencing of the human genome was that we have about 30,000 genes but produce approximately 90,000 proteins. And 99 percent of our DNA codes for no protein at all. The new research provides a clue as to why we have so much “junk DNA.” It also suggests an explanation of how so few genes can produce so many proteins. See http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/05_03/junk.shtml

Plants And People Share A Molecular Signaling System, Researchers Discover
Scientists announce in the current issue of the journal Nature their discovery that plants respond to environmental stresses with a sequence of molecular signals known in humans and other mammals as the "G-protein signaling pathway," revealing that this signaling strategy has long been conserved throughout evolution. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/06/030606080837.htm

"Polonium Haloes" Refuted: A Review of "Radioactive Halos in a Radio-Chronological and Cosmological Perspective" by Robert V. Gentry. Professional geologist Tom Bailleul takes a second look at Gentry's claimed polonium haloes, arguing that there is no good evidence they are the result of polonium decay as opposed to any other radioactive isotope, or even that they are caused by radioactivity at all. Gentry is taken to task for selective use of evidence, faulty experiment design, mistakes in geology and physics, and unscientific principles of investigation and argument style. This document is now illustrated and features improved explanations of the ideas involved and of the terms used. See http://www.talkorigins.org/faqs/po-halos/gentry.html

Radiometric Dating -- A Christian Perspective by Dr. Roger Wiens, a physicist at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, has been recently updated and is now available on the ASA web site. See http://www.asa3.org/ASA/resources/Wiens.html

June 1

Chimpanzees are human, say Wayne State University scientists
After finding 99.4 percent correlation between "key genes" in humans and chimpanzees, scientists from the Wayne State University School of Medicine say it's time to start monkeying with taxonomy. Chimpanzees, they say, should be considered humans and placed in the Homo genus under the Hominid family. They're currently part of the Pongidae family, which include other apes. But the researchers' argument seems to suggest that it's humans who should be moved, not chimps. "We humans appear as only slightly remodeled chimpanzee-like apes," says the study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Anatomy professor Morris Goodman, one of the study's authors, admits that part of his motivation for the change is political advocacy. "The loss of the [wild] chimp and gorilla seems imminent," he says. "Moving chimps into the human genus might help us to realize our very great likeness, and therefore treasure more and treat humanely our closest relative." See http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/05/0520_030520_chimpanzees.html also http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3042781.stm

Neandertals Not among Our Ancestors, Study Suggests. The story of where modern humans came from has never been cut-and- dried, but two theories occupy the forefront of the debate. According to the Out of Africa model, Homo sapiens arose as a new species approximately 150,000 to 200,000 years ago in Africa and went on to replace archaic humans such as the Neandertals. The multiregional evolution model, in contrast, holds that archaic populations, the Neandertals among them, contributed to the modern human gene pool. A new analysis lends support to the former model, suggesting that moderns replaced Neandertals without interbreeding. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000BA9A0-456C-1EC1-BDC0809EC588EEDF also http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/3023685.stm

Neanderthals (1 June) - Research suggests the so-called brutes fashioned tools, buried their dead, maybe cared for the sick and even conversed. But why, if they were so smart, did they disappear? See http://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian/issues03/jun03/neanderthal.html

DNA Fragments Help Trace Migration Routes Of Modern Humans. Stanford - May 28, 2003 - Human beings may have made their first journey out of Africa as recently as 70,000 years ago, according to a new study by geneticists from Stanford University and the Russian Academy of Sciences. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/human-03a.html

Mammalian microevalution: Rapid change in mouse mitochondrial DNA 
OLIVER R.W. PERGAMS, WAYNE M. BARNES & DENNIS NYBERG
Wild mice around Chicago may have switched genotype to keep pace with modern living. http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v423/n6938/abs/423397a_fs.html also http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000469CF-EC10-1ECB-8E1C809EC588EF21

Evolutionary genomics: Splicing and evolutionary change: See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/DM/y/eq20BgPqu0C60Bd40Am

Exploring the divide Science, religion find common ground at conference (The Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.) See http://www.bouldernews.com/bdc/religion/article/0,1713,BDC_2477_1985520,00.html

May 2003

May 18

Reasons To Believe's 2003 Conference: Who is the Designer? June 26-28th 2003 at SeaCoast Grace Church in Cypress, CA. Questions addressed: "Does the created realm adequately support a search for the Designer?" "If so, does the evidence point to the personal God of the Bible, or to the god(s) of other world religions, or somewhere else altogether?" "How can I gain the wisdom to examine the evidence and draw sound conclusions?" "How can I most effectively discuss and defend my conclusions among those who disagree?" See http://www.reasons.org/events/2003_conference/index.shtml?conference

Army Ants Have Defied Evolution For 100 Million Years. Ithaca - May 12, 2003 - Army ants, nature's ultimate coalition task force, strike their prey en masse in a blind, voracious column and pay no attention to the conventional wisdom of evolutionary biologists. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03y.html

Male Pregnancy May Spur Seahorse Speciation. No one could accuse a seahorse of being a hands-off father. That's because males are the ones that carry the young. New findings suggest that male pregnancy not only takes the load off female seahorses, it can also drive the development of new species. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000214BD-E52F-1EB7-BDC0809EC588EEDF

Malaria mosquitoes' secret revealed
Mutation study uncovers key to insecticide resistance. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030505/030505-7.html

Creationism (12 May) - The Vardy Foundation's announcement that it is to open six new schools has sparked fresh debate over the teaching of creationism. Evolutionary theorist Richard Dawkins called the plans 'educational debauchery'. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/editor/story/0,12900,953742,00.html

May 11

Reasons To Believe's 2003 Conference: Who is the Designer? June 26-28th 2003 at SeaCoast Grace Church in Cypress, CA. Questions addressed: "Does the created realm adequately support a search for the Designer?" "If so, does the evidence point to the personal God of the Bible, or to the god(s) of other world religions, or somewhere else altogether?" "How can I gain the wisdom to examine the evidence and draw sound conclusions?" "How can I most effectively discuss and defend my conclusions among those who disagree?" See http://www.reasons.org/events/2003_conference/index.shtml?conference

New Recipes For Prebiotic Cook Up. San Diego - May 09, 2003 - Scripps Professor Revisits the Miller Experiment and the Origin of Life Fiftieth anniversary of famous experiment commemorated with June 10 public symposium In the fall of 1952, Stanley Miller, now a chemistry professor emeritus at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), began simulating primitive earthly conditions in an experiment that produced the basic building blocks of life. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03x.html

Anthrax Genome Spills Its Deadly Secrets. Mutations in just a few genes can turn a benign dirt bacterium into the deadly form of anthrax that was used to kill five people in the fall of 2001, researchers report. Scientists compared the deadly pathogen's genetic makeup with those of its two closest, and less dangerous, relatives. The findings should help elucidate how virulence evolved and help researchers mount a better defense against the potential bioterror agent. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=000819E6-571B-1EB0-BDC0809EC588EEDF

Without Enzyme Catalyst, Slowest Known Biological Reaction Takes 1 Trillion Years. Chapel Hill - May 07, 2003 - All biological reactions within human cells depend on enzymes. Their power as catalysts enables biological reactions to occur usually in milliseconds. But how slowly would these reactions proceed spontaneously, in the absence of enzymes - minutes, hours, days? And why even pose the question? See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03w.html or http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030506073321.htm

Artificial life experiments show how complex functions can evolve
If the evolution of complex organisms were a road trip, then the simple country drives are what get you there. And sometimes even potholes along the way are important. See http://www.nsf.gov/od/lpa/news/03/pr0351.htm

Fact v faith | Creationists cannot ignore scientific truth (Editorial, The Guardian, London). See http://www.guardian.co.uk/leaders/story/0,3604,949500,00.html

May 4

Molecular biology: Complicity of gene and pseudogene
JEANNIE T. LEE. 01 May 2003
Nature 423 , 26 - 28 (2003)
'Pseudogenes' are produced from functional genes during evolution, and are thought to be simply molecular fossils. The unexpected discovery of a biological function for one pseudogene challenges that popular belief.
Pseudogenes are defective copies of functional genes that have accumulated to an impressive number during mammalian evolution 1. Dysfunctional in the sense that they cannot be used as a template for producing a protein, pseudogenes are in fact nearly as abundant as functional genes 2,3. Why have mammals allowed their accumulation on so large a scale? One proposed answer is that, although pseudogenes are often cast as evolutionary relics and a nuisance to genomic analysis, the processes by which they arise are needed to create whole gene families 4, such as those involved in immunity and smell. But are pseudogenes themselves merely by-products of this process? Or do the apparent evolutionary pressures to retain them hint at some hidden biological function? For one particular pseudogene, the latter seems to be true: elsewhere in this issue ( page 91 ), Hirotsune and colleagues 5report the unprecedented finding that the Makorin 1-p1 pseudogene performs a specific biological task. See http://info.nature.com/cgi-bin24/flosensing?y=fY0BgPqu0Ch0Bf"/html (must be a member).

Geologists Raise Questions About Controversial Theory Of Species Survival. Syracuse - Apr 30, 2003 - A recent study by a team of Syracuse University geologists has punched holes in a relatively new theory of species evolution called coordinated stasis; the theories involved are based on findings from fossil-bearing rocks that underlie Central New York. The SU study was published in "Geology," the premier journal of the Geological Society of America. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03s.html

Creationists planning to open six new schools. The organization behind a state-funded secondary school that has been criticized for promoting biblical creationism is to open two inner-city academies and is in talks that would bring seven schools under its control (The Times, London). See http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-661633,00.html

Dawkins attacks 'educational debauchery' of creationist schools. The organisation criticised for promoting creationism in state education has admitted that anti-evolutionary theories will be taught in its new schools. See http://education.guardian.co.uk/schools/story/0,5500,945524,00.html

Chimps expose humanness
Preliminary genome comparison points to primate individuality. (Nature)

New evidence that fish feel pain
The first conclusive evidence of pain perception in fish is said to have been found by UK scientists. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2983045.stm

One Fig, One Wasp? Not Always!
Contrary to prevailing wisdom concerning one of the most famous textbook examples of a tightly co-evolved mutualism, not every fig species is pollinated by its own unique wasp species. In this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Drude Molbo, postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute and collaborators report that two genetically distinct species of wasps are present in at least half of the fig species surveyed. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030428082254.htm

Religion versus science might be all in the mind By stimulating the cerebral region presumed to control notions of self, Michael Persinger has been able to induce in hundreds of subjects a "sensed presence" only the subjects themselves are aware of (The Sydney Morning Herald). See http://www.smh.com.au/articles/2003/04/28/1051381900365.html

Templeton's turn An award that tries to reconcile science and religion (John J. Miller, The Wall Street Journal). See http://www.opinionjournal.com/taste/?id=110003442

April 2003

April 27

Texas Tech Professor Drops Evolution Belief Requirement. See http://lists.christianitytoday.com/t/758920/936088/482/0/

An Unexplored Genomic Terrain in a Handful of Dirt. The studies, which were undertaken with the aid of high school students from Pennsylvania and New York, have also uncovered evidence supporting the theory that mycobacteriophages undergo constant random genetic mixing in the wild. These free-flowing associations produce a mélange of recombinant viruses, with the weaker strains weeded out in survival-of-the-fittest competitions. See http://www.hhmi.org/news/hatfulljacobs.html

A Rocky Start: Fresh take on life's oldest story. A new origin-of-life theory holds that life began within the confines of iron sulfide rocks surrounding hydrothermal vents at the ocean bottom. See http://www.sciencenews.org/20030426/bob10.asp

Sars virus 'mutating rapidly' The virus thought to cause Sars is constantly changing form, say scientists - which will make developing a vaccine difficult. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/health/2966117.stm

Debating the fastest evolution on record. More than 500 species of brightly colored fish called cichlids live in east Africa's Lake Victoria. Prized by aquarists, most of these fish cannot be found in any other lakes in the world. They have evolved a dizzying variety of roles: insect eaters, leaf choppers, snail crushers and scale scrapers, to name a few. See http://www.geotimes.org/current/WebExtra042503.html

Gould and God. A Devil's Chaplain
by Richard Dawkins edited by Latha Menon. See  http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v422/n6934/full/422813a_fs.html

The Dynamics of (Radiometric) Dating by Roger Wiens, Ph.D.
Scientists agree that radiometric-dating techniques offer the most concrete evidence of any dating system for answering questions about the age of Earth. Yet, many people challenge the accuracy of radiometric dating, and misinformation describing the various radiometric techniques abounds. See http://www.reasons.org/resources/fff/2001issue07/index.shtml?main#dynamics_of_dating

April 20

A Story Darwin Might Love: Brian McLaren's evolutionary interpretation of the faith promises more than it delivers, but what it delivers is good enough. By Mark Galli. See http://lists.christianitytoday.com/t/745511/936088/179/0/

The Public Education Committee of the Texas House of Representatives recently approved HB 1447, which will now be considered by the House as a whole. This bill would return total control of textbook content to the State Board of Education. Key provisions of this bill include a requirement that textbooks must "…be free from factual errors." See http://www.ncseweb.org/resources/news/2003/TX/132_bill_approved_by_committee_4_10_2003.asp

Fast Changing Gene Drives Species Split
A gene that stops different species of fruit flies from interbreeding is evolving faster than other genes, according to researchers at the University of California, Davis, and the University of Cambridge in England. The findings may help scientists understand how new species evolve from existing ones. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030418081050.htm

April 13

Creationism vs. evolution central debate behind rejection of textbooks: The Blount County Board of Education denied the adoption of three new biology textbooks because they teach evolution but do not cover creationism. See http://www.thedailytimes.com/sited/story/html/127192

Evolution's new line: By Dr David Whitehouse. The tree of life has a new branch. Genetic studies show that the group from which insects were thought to come, the Collembola, turns out not to be closely related to insects after all. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/science/nature/2928345.stm

Did the human race evolve from worms? Beijing - Chinese scientists believe that new discoveries support a theory that man ultimately descended from worms, state media reported on Wednesday. Fossilised ancient worms found in the south-western Yunnan province represent the "first step" in a long evolutionary process that eventually led to the human species, the Xinhua news agency said. See http://www.iol.co.za/index.php?click_id=31&art_id=qw1049283361928B252&set_i

Gaps in Scientific & Religious Education: Grace Wolf-Chase: Are religious scientists being too quick to jump on the "Anthropic bandwagon"? Are we so certain of the cosmological details? Don't recent discoveries suggest a caution before we force God into yet-another box? See http://www.metanexus.net/archives/message_fs.asp?listtype=Magazine&ARCHIVEID=7891

University Of Georgia Scientists Plot Key Events In Plants' Evolution
A new University of Georgia study, just published in Nature, demonstrates key events in plant evolution. It allows scientists to infer what the gene order may have looked like in a common ancestor of higher plants. And it shows one way plants may have differentiated from their ancestors and each other. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/04/030408085204.htm

April 6

Do our genes reveal the hand of God? | The scientists who launched a revolution with the discovery of the structure of DNA in Cambridge 50 years ago have both used the anniversary to mount an attack on religion (The Daily Telegraph). See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fconnected%2F2003%2F03%2F19%2Fecfgod19.xml

Our DNA makes us want to believe | A hunt for the "God gene" that underpins our ability to believe is under way by scientists (The Daily Telegraph, London). See http://www.telegraph.co.uk/connected/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fconnected%2F2003%2F03%2F19%2Fecfgod219.xml

Who is John Marks Templeton? | An investor and philanthropist who endows an annual prize billed as the world's richest, Templeton is fascinated by the intersection between religion and science (Associated Press). See http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story2&cid=613&ncid=613&e=3&u=/ap/20030327/ap_on_re/religion_today

Science, not religious texts, backs theories Creation stories in Scripture are not theories and not scientific (Joe Meinhart, The Oklahoma Daily, Oklahoma U.). See http://www.oudaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2003/04/02/3e8a689b20223

Scientists Find Evidence For Crucial Root In The History Of Plant Evolution: New Orleans - Mar 26, 2003 - If ancient plants had not migrated from the shallow seas of early Earth to the barren land of the continents, life as we know it might never have emerged. And now it appears this massive floral colonization may have been spurred by a single genetic mutation that allowed primitive plants to make lignin, a chemical process that leads to the formation of a cell wall. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03o.html

Human evolution (3 Apr) - A leading palaeontologist has questioned the heritage of a 3.5-million-year-old fossil skull hailed two years ago as a new human relative. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/life/dispatch/story/0,12978,928152,00.html

EVE: (2 Apr) - New DNA evidence suggests "African Eve", the 150,000-year-old female ancestor of every person on Earth, may have lived in Tanzania or Ethiopia. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2909803.stm

Unravelling angiosperm genome evolution by phylogenetic analysis of chromosomal duplication events 
JOHN E. BOWERS, BRAD A. CHAPMAN, JUNKANG RONG & ANDREW H. PATERSON
First paragraph

March 2003

March 23

Researchers Identify Gene Unique to Humans and Their Ape Kin. Each newly sequenced genome allows scientists to determine how humans stack up against other members of the animal kingdom. As it turns out, our genome is rather similar to that of the puffer fish, and we have only about twice as many genes as a worm or a fly. Now a report published online this week by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences identifies a gene specific to hominoids--the group made up of apes and humans--that arose as recently as 21 million years ago. Because the gene is expressed primarily in the testes, the researchers say it could have played a role in speciation, eventually helping humans become humans. The gene described in the new work, Tre2, was first identified by the Human Genome Project. The team determined that Tre2 was a hybrid of two different genes, USP32 and TBC1D3. The former is evolutionarily ancient and exists in many mammals. The latter, in contrast, is present only in primates that are closely related to humans. The scientists posit that the two genes fused to form Tre2 between 21 and 33 million years ago. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?chanID=sa003&articleID=0007E136-5587-1E4D-967D809EC588EEDF

Student knowledge of evolution deficient : Researchers from McGill and Indiana Universities tackle issue in Evolution. Public understanding of evolution is woefully lacking. Despite a considerable boost in evolutionary teachings over the past decade, says Brian Alters, director of McGill's Evolution Education Research Centre, people's lack of evolutionary understanding is still affecting science literacy, research and general academia. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-02/mu-sko022603.php

An urge to organize
Even with tiny brains, birds have to flock, fish have to school, and ants have to march in line. A Princeton scientist explains this "intelligent" behavior.
As individuals, army ants have almost no brain to speak of, just a clump of neurons inside their tiny heads. Working as a group, however, they rule the Amazon jungles, marching in formation over acres of land and flushing out thousands of insects, even scorpions, that are their prey. The ants move out and then file back in orderly lines, with the returning parties efficiently forming lanes inside the outgoing ants. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/health/5409380.htm

Six legs good: (21 March 2003) The six-legged arthropods are a result of convergent evolution. See http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030321/02/

Does Irreducible Complexity refute neo-Darwinism? a review by Gert Korthof. See http://home.wxs.nl/~gkorthof/korthof8.htm

Design on the Defense. by Kenneth Miller. See http://biocrs.biomed.brown.edu/Darwin/DI/Design.html

Behe's empty box. Reviews and Criticisms of Michael Behe's book: See http://www.world-of-dawkins.com/Catalano/box/behe.htm

The Seven Warning Signs of Bogus Science. By ROBERT L. PARK. See http://chronicle.com/free/v49/i21/21b02001.htm

March 16

Dr. Stephen Meyers' debate with Dr. Kent Hovind now available online at http://trassicparkofpa.com/Debate.WMV

Underground Fish Back Darwin: Mexican cavefish throw new light on evolution in the dark. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/314/3?etoc

March 9

Former defender of evolution now promotes creationism | Author and lecturer Mike Riddle isn't out to change anybody's mind. (Plano [Tex.] Star Courier). See http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?newsid=7221562&BRD=1426&PAG=461&dept_id=186027&rfi=6

Evolution Boosted Anti-cancer Prowess Of A Primordial Gene
Researchers at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have looked back in evolutionary time and identified what may be a gene that was once only moderately effective in slowing down cellular reproduction, until it linked up with a more efficient set of genes to create a powerful anti-cancer response. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/03/030304072719.htm

Reverse evolution: Genomic collinearity is important in yeast speciation. | By Jonathan Weitzman. The process of speciation (when one species splits into two distinct species that can no longer mate efficiently) takes thousands of years, and the mechanisms underlying speciation are therefore difficult to investigate in the laboratory. In the March 6 Nature, Daniela Delneri and colleagues describe experiments designed to reverse the process of speciation using genomic engineering in yeast (Nature, 421:952-956, March 6, 2003).See http://www.biomedcentral.com/news/20030306/01/

Comparative genomics (3 Mar) - Comparison of human chromosome 21 with chimpanzee, orangutan, rhesus macaque, and woolly monkey DNA sequences have identified a significant number of random genomic rearrangements between human and nonhuman primate DNA. This evidence shows, contrary to popular belief, that genomic rearrangements have occurred frequently during primate genome evolution and are a significant source of variation between humans and chimpanzees as well as other primates. See http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2003-03/nc-psp022703.php

Genetic Patchwork Reveals Species Split: Chromosome rearrangement turns one species into another--partly. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/305/1?etoc (Must be a member to get the full text)

March 2

GEOLOGY BEFORE DARWIN
The Struggle to Find and Defend the Truth about the Earth’s Past

David C. Bossard, PhD

Date:        Thursday, March 27, 2003
Time:        8 PM Lecture; 9 PM Discussion & Refreshments
Location:  Biblical Theological Seminary (Hatfield PA)
Cost:         Free - Public Welcome

Abstract

The Golden Age of Geology bloomed in the decades just prior to Darwin’s 1859 Origin of the Species. Geologists could read for the first time the details of how God created a place for mankind. Opposition came both from religious leaders and from secular opponents who saw their cherished notions challenged. The opposition was answered by painstakingly careful argument, which by the time of Darwin was seen by some prominent geologists to give strong evidence of  God’s hand at work. After Darwin, though, this evidence in favor of a creator largely vanished from mainstream geology. In this talk we will discuss the state of geology just prior to Darwin and then ask whether the conclusions reached at that time were valid and why they largely disappeared from the literature after 1859. See www.ibri.org

Accident of Nature or Intelligent Design?
Announcing a two day conference

March 28 - 29, 2003
Clemens Theater, Longacre Center
Christopher Dock Mennonite HS, Lansdale, PA

Ticket Reservations  Phone:  (215) 234-4759
Email: artandjudy@netcarrier.com
Cost:  Suggested donation $10/ticket;  full-time students free. See http://www.ibri.org/idconference.htm

West Virginia science standards won't include evolution alternatives | State Board of Education refuses to insert intelligent design in guidelines despite lobbying by evolution foes (Associated Press). See http://www.freedomforum.org/templates/document.asp?documentID=17588

Taking flight
Recent findings offer insight into the evolution of winged and feathered creatures into true birds.
From the soaring hawk to the fluttering sparrow, birds in flight have inspired more envy among humans than perhaps any animal. Since time immemorial, poets and singers have invoked flight as a metaphor for escape and freedom. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/living/health/5247959.htm

TRANSGENIC MOSQUITOES UNFIT FOR DUTY: Malaria-resistant insects must be bred for success. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/030217/030217-12.html

'The Journey of Man': Following the Genes of a Common Ancestor. By CARL ZIMMER. See  http://www.nytimes.com/2003/03/02/books/review/002ZIMMET.html

Rutgers' Tanzanian Fossil Reshuffles The Deck On Early Human Ancestry
The fossilized jaw of a 1.8 million-year-old human ancestor (hominid) from Tanzania may just be one of the five best specimens out of about 50 known to represent the earliest members of the genus Homo (H) – the genus to which the human species belongs. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030224082258.htm

February 2003

February 23

In Texas, a Darwinian debate | Religious student protests professor's question on evolution (The Washington Post). See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A13871-2003Feb15.html

Ministries say expeditions to archaeological sites support creationism (San Antonio Express-News). See http://news.mysanantonio.com/story.cfm?xla=saen&xlb=180&xlc=949924

State school board debates 'intelligent design' | One member calls it 'screwball science,' another finds it 'fascinating' (The Charleston Gazette). See http://www.wvgazette.com/news/News/2003021942/

Two Chemical Processes Point To Possible Origin Of Life: Tempe - Feb 17, 2003 - Some of the most important evolutionary events in Earth's history didn't just create new organisms -- they created new fundamental biochemical processes. And where do biochemical processes come from? They evolve from other biochemical processes. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03m.html

Teeth Evolved Twice: Primitive jawed fishes had chompers of their own design. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/220/3?etoc

A Genetic Tryst in the Testes: New gene cobbled together from extra copies may have been important in human evolution. See http://sciencenow.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/full/2003/218/2?etoc

Squirrels' Evolutionary 'Family Tree' Reveals Major Influence Of Climate, Geology
The first-ever genetic delineation of nearly all existing squirrel groups suggests not only some surprising branchings in the squirrels' family tree. The study also reveals strong evidence that geological and climatic change influenced how their ancestors evolved and spread over 36 million years from just one part of ancient North America to nearly all of today's world. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/02/030221080311.htm

A scientist searches for mysticism | A review of Rational Mysticism: Dispatches From the Border Between Science and Spirituality (Los Angeles Times). See http://www.calendarlive.com/books/cl-et-book11feb11,0,2815377.story?coll=cl%2Dbooks%2Dfeatures

February 16

Sizing up evangelicals Fundamentalism persists but shows signs of moderation (Scientific American). "Fundamentalism represents more than a continuation of traditional religion; it is also a transformation of old religious attitudes that arose in reaction to modernity and, in particular, Darwinism and progressive Protestantism. Its most prominent feature--the doctrine of biblical inerrancy--was a creation not of the 16th-century Reformation but of 19th-century Princeton University theologians attempting to preserve traditional belief in divine origins. Unlike the Calvinist tradition from which it grew, American fundamentalism is unsympathetic to science. After the Scopes "monkey trial" of 1925, it entered a quiescent period, reawakening in the 1960s and 1970s as a reaction to feminism and events such as the U.S. Supreme Court's 1963 decision banning prayer in public schools and its 1973 decision overturning laws against abortion in 46 states." See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?colID=19&articleID=009E0809EC588EEDF

Unexpected evolution of a fish out of water This is the story of two small, plastic, adhesive plaques and all that came forth and multiplied after them: the Jesus fish and the Darwin fish (The New York Times). See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/11/science/life/11FISH.html

February 9

Getting the lies out of creationism: Unleashing the Storm; Answers in Genesis critique of Dennis Peterson's new book: Unlocking the Mysteries of Creation. See  http://www.answersingenesis.org/docs2003/0113peterson.asp

Did Martin Luther Get Galileo In Trouble? David Lindberg talks about the early relationship between science and faith and his own journey on the subject. See http://ChristianityToday.com/ct/2003/105/21.0.html 

Professor's snub of creationists prompts U.S. inquiry A biology professor who insists that his students accept the tenets of human evolution has found himself the subject of Justice Department scrutiny (The New York Times). See http://www.nytimes.com/2003/02/03/education/03PROF.html 

Creationists' evolving argument Is a scientist expected to entertain all points of view on whether, say, the Earth travels around the sun or risk being called a bigot? (Ellen Goodman, The Boston Globe). See http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/037/oped/Creationists_evolving_argument+.shtml 

February 2

Alabama disclaimer in every textbook that discusses evolution. See http://www.ncseweb.org 

Many in state support teaching creationism Despite split, poll shows room for religious thought. Half of Wisconsin's residents favor requiring that public schools teach the biblical theory of creation along with evolution, according to a poll conducted by the University of Wisconsin Survey Center. (Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel). See http://www.jsonline.com/news/Metro/jan03/113563.asp 

Justice Department probes Texas Tech professor's policy He refuses to write letters of recommendation to students who don't believe in the theory of human evolution (Houston Chronicle). See http://www.chron.com/cs/CDA/story.hts/metropolitan/1757158 

Evolutionary Genomics: Compensation or innovation. See http://www.nature.com/nrglink/v4/n2/full/nrg1011_fs.html 

SIGNATURES OF NATURAL SELECTION IN THE HUMAN GENOME: Michael Bamshad & Stephen P. Wooding. See http://www.nature.com/nrglink/v4/n2/abs/nrg999_fs.html 

ANCIENT HORIZONTAL GENE TRANSFER: James R. Brown. See  http://www.nature.com/nrglink/v4/n2/abs/nrg1000_fs.html 

Human evolution (31 Jan) - The fossil of an early human-like creature (hominid) from southern Africa is raising fresh questions about our origins. Remains from the Sterkfontein Caves near Johannesburg suggest our ancestors were less chimp-like than we thought. See http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/2709797.stm 

January 2003

January 25

Discovery of 4-winged dinosaur is a shock
Fossil hunters in China have discovered what may be one of the weirdest prehistoric species ever seen - a four-winged dinosaur that apparently glided from tree to tree. For the first time, archaeologists have unearthed the remains of what looks like a four-winged dinosaur. The four 124-million- to 128-million-year-old fossils found in northeast China feature veined feathers on their front and rear legs as well as long, feathered tails. The 2 ½-foot-long animal, Microraptor gui, named in honor of Chinese paleontologist Gu Zhiwei, offers more evidence that birds evolved from dinosaurs. It also adds to a theory that birds' ancestors glided from tree to tree before they flapped wings in flight. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/nation/5009187.htm also http://abcnews.go.com/sections/scitech/DailyNews/fourwingeddino030123.html 

Human evolution: or Adam (21 Jan) - By analyzing DNA from people in all regions of the world, geneticist Spencer Wells has concluded that all humans alive today are descended from a single man who lived in Africa around 60,000 years ago. See http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2002/12/1212_021213_journeyofman.html 

Evolving Inventions Computer programs that function via Darwinian evolution are creating inventions that are novel and useful enough to be patented. See http://www.sciam.com/article.cfm?colID=1&articleID=00073FCE-1E19-8B3B809E88EEDF 

Universal truths (23 Jan) - Paul Davies says that scientific discovery does not make the cosmos seem increasingly pointless. See http://www.guardian.co.uk/online/science/story/0,12450,879894,00.html 

January 19

Expanding The Genetic Code: The World's First Artificial Organism: Lancaster - Jan 14, 2003 - From time immemorial, every living thing has shared the same basic set of building blocks -- 20 amino acids from which all proteins are made. That is, until now: A group of scientists say they have, for the first time, created an organism that can produce a 21st amino acid and incorporate it into proteins completely on its own. The research should help probe some of the central questions of evolutionary theory. See http://www.spacedaily.com/news/life-03d.html 

Phoenixville school chief on creationism issue
As superintendent of the Phoenixville Area School District, I want to state clearly that Phoenixville does not teach "creationism" or "intelligent design" alongside the teaching of evolution. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/opinion/local2/region/4966044.htm 

Columnist was off-base on evolution argument
In his Dec. 31 column on the issue of evolution, John Grogan refers to "accepted scientific knowledge" and seems outraged that anyone would question it. I would like to point out the difference between scientific knowledge and theory. Perhaps Mr. Souder, his 10th grade teacher, skipped that lesson. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/opinion/local2/region/4912941.htm 

'Intelligent design' believers, sect seek curriculum change | People who believe in "intelligent design" are trying to change the way science is taught in West Virginia's public schools. This time, they have an unlikely ally: the Raelian sect espoused by baby-cloner Brigitte Boisselier (The Charleston [W.V.] Gazette). See http://www.wvgazette.com/news/Other+News/2003011325/ 

A presentation without arguments | Dembski disappoints (Mark Perakh, Skeptical Inquirer). See http://www.csicop.org/si/2002-11/dembski.html 

Walking sticks, just winging it: Insects' 're-evolution' challenges 'use it or lose it' assumption of evolutionary biology (The Washington Post) and Stick insects upset theory of evolution (The Daily Telegraph, London). See http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A63146-2003Jan15.html 

Editorial | A matter of gravity: Einstein predicted that if the universe behaved as he figured, gravity would travel at the speed of light. Most physicists agree, but it hasn't been easy to test that idea. At last week's meeting in Seattle of the American Astronomical Society, scientists announced the first huge-scale attempt to measure the "propagation speed of gravitational force" in the universe (not the speed of acceleration here on Earth - that's the familiar 32 feet per second). It's a big moment in the history of physics - make that history, period. Sergei Kopeikin of the University of Missouri at Columbia and Ed Fomalont of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory say the speed of gravity is indeed equal to that of light - give or take 20 percent. Kopeikin and Fomalont decided to track radiowaves from a quasar named J0842+1835 only 9 billion miles away. In September a once-a-decade alignment of planets brought Jupiter into a cool place in the night sky. As the radiowaves passed by, Jupiter's massive gravitational pull bent them a little. The scientists measured how, when, and how much. See http://www.philly.com/mld/philly/4932934.htm 

Meat Role in Human Evolution Questioned : Jan. 14 — Tubers, scavenging, and women — this might have been the winning combination that spurred human evolution about 2 millions years ago, according to a provocative hypothesis by American anthropologists. Writing in the current issue of the Journal of Human Evolution, University of Utah anthropologist James O'Connell and colleagues challenge the conventional wisdom that meat, brought home by man the hunter and shared out, fueled the rise of early humans. See http://dsc.discovery.com/news/briefs/20030113/earlyhuman.html 

Microbial phylogenomics: Branching out
ROBERT L. CHARLEBOIS, ROBERT G. BEIKO & MARK A. RAGAN
Has genomics overturned the family tree of microbial life? Thanks in part to often polarized debate, elements of a new synthesis are emerging. See Nature Full Text (HTML / PDF)

Evolution (15 Jan) - That enduring metaphor for the randomness of evolution, a blind watchmaker that works to no pattern or design, is being challenged by two European chemists. They say that the watchmaker may have been blind, but was guided and constrained by the changing chemistry of the environment, with many inevitable results. See http://www.newscientist.com/news/news.jsp?id=ns99993267 

January 12

How Good Are Those Young-Earth Arguments?A Close Look at Dr. Hovind's List of Young-Earth Arguments and Other Claims by Dave E. Matson. This is a great point by point rebuttal of Hovind's arguments. See http://talkorigins.org/faqs/hovind/howgood.html

Confirmation of the Big Bang. Hugh Ross explains the latest discovering of polarized light confirming the Big Bang. Audio at http://www.oneplace.com/ministries/creation_update/ 

Intelligent Design: In an attempt to prove that the universe was intelligently designed, religion has lately been fidgeting with the fine-tuning digits of the cosmos. The John Templeton Foundation even grants cash prizes for such "progress in religion." Last year mathematical physicist and Anglican priest John C. Polkinghorne, recognized because he "has invigorated the search for interface between science and religion," was given $1 million for his "treatment of theology as a natural science." In 2000 physicist Freeman Dyson took home a $945,000 prize for such works as his 1979 book, Disturbing the Universe. See http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?csa006&024-1DF7-9733809EC588EEDF 

Cobb issues evolution guidelines to teachers | Four months after Cobb County schools opened the door to considering "disputed views" of evolution, the district essentially told teachers Wednesday to handle the topic as they always have (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution). See http://www.accessatlanta.com/ajc/epaper/editions/thursday/metro_e3d131ff739f01a51040.html 

January 4

John Grogan | Sneaking faith into science class
Ding! Ding! Ding! Hark! The Grogan Bull Meter rings again! And in the sleepy burg of Phoenixville, no less. What has set off my finely tuned cow-patty sensor? Why, it's the local school board's campaign to guarantee students the freedom to question accepted scientific knowledge. See http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/states/pennsylvania//philadelphia/4843847.htm

Professors argue intelligent design | Phoenixville, PA Area School District recently added new language to its mission statement that permits science teachers to discuss theories of intelligent design alongside evolution (The Phoenix, Phoenixville, Penn.). See http://www.zwire.com/site/news.cfm?BRD=1673&dept_id=17915&newsid==461&rfi=9 

Scientists have sequenced the sea squirt: This latest genome promises insights into how animals develop, and how those with backbones evolved from those without. Sea squirts (Ciona intestinalis) are among our closest spineless relatives. Their hearts and nervous systems, for example, are like simple version of ours. The animal has about 16,000 genes, half as many as most vertebrates. We share about 80% of these. But where humans or mice have families of many similar genes, such as for the immune system, the sea squirt typically has just one for each function. "Vertebrates increased their complexity by having multiple genes," says Dan Rokhsar of the Joint Genome Institute in Walnut Creek, California, where much of the sequencing work was done. The squirt's simple genetics will help us to understand how and when genes switch each other on and off, he says. See http://www.nature.com/nsu/021209/021209-11.html 

Evolution's Logic of Credulity: An Unfettered Response to Allen Orr
William A. Dembski
Rather than a book review per se, this article is a review of a book review! The link takes you to  Dembski's full response to Allen Orr's critical review of his book, No Free Lunch. See http://www.designinference.com/documents/2002.12.Unfettered_Resp_to_Orr.htm

Sequencing the chimpanzee genome: insights into human evolution and disease Maynard V. Olson & Ajit Varki. See http://www.nature.com/nrglink/v4/n1/full/nrg981_fs.html 

UC Riverside Study Suggests Placentas Can Evolve In 750,000 Years Or Less; Guppy-Like Fish Help Fill In The Gaps In The Evolution Of Complex Organs: RIVERSIDE, Calif. -- Dec. 20, 2002 -- Evolutionary biologists have long been intrigued by how natural selection -- the process in nature by which the organisms best suited to their environment are the ones most likely to survive and leave descendants -- gradually creates a complex organ such as the eye, heart, or kidney. Now UC Riverside biologists, David Reznick and Mark Springer, along with Mariana Mateos, research associate at the University of Arizona, present in the journal Science a model system for studying the evolution of complex organs. They focus on the placenta (the organ that provides nutrients for the fetus and eliminates its waste products) in the fish genus, arguing that placentas serve as a good stand-in for complex organs whose histories have eluded evolutionary biologists. See http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2002/12/021226071202.htm 

Darwinian literary criticism - For many years, literary study has been divided among various arcane philosophies, from deconstruction to postcolonialism. The next hot theory comes not from France or Slovenia but from American laboratories -- by way of evolutionary theorists like E. O. Wilson and Steven Pinker. See http://www.nytimes.com/2002/12/15/magazine/15DARW.html 

Darwin's Religious Odyssey: by William E. Phipps review by Eric Wargo. See http://www.bib-arch.org/bswb_BR/bswbbr1806books.html