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Slate Outpolls Rivals
All eight members up for re-election to the Pennsylvania school board that had been sued for introducing the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution in biology class were swept out of office yesterday by a slate of challengers who campaigned against the intelligent design policy.
Study Shows 'Junk' DNA Has Evolutionary Importance (October 20, 2005)
Genetic material derisively called "junk" DNA because it does not contain the instructions for protein-coding genes and appears to have little or no function is actually critically important to an organism's evolutionary survival, according to a study conducted by a biologist at UCSD.
Faithful Should Listen to Science. VATICAN CITY
A Vatican cardinal said Thursday the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason.
defends 'Intelligent Design'
A biology professor who supports classroom discussion of "intelligent design" testified Friday that major peer-reviewed scientific journals shun articles on the concept because it is a minority view (Associated Press)
do better than faith?
Religions continue both to render their special services and to exact their heavy costs. Can scientific humanism do as well or better, at a lower cost? (Edward O. Wilson, New Scientist)
Selection Has Strongly Influenced Recent Human Evolution, Study Finds
(October 23, 2005)
The most detailed analysis to date of how humans differ from one another at the DNA level shows strong evidence that natural selection has shaped the recent evolution of our species.
Female Frogs Drive Evolution Of New Species In Less Than 8,000 Years
(October 28, 2005)
Females typically have the upper hand in choosing mates, and this choice can rapidly give rise to new species
Stem Cells May Be Just Remnants Of Evolution (November 2, 2005)
Researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research in Bad Nauheim, Germany have now demonstrated, in a study published in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology, that at least some adult stem cells could be the mere remnants of former embryonal differentiation processes, or, in other words, "footprints" of evolution.
Genetic Sequences Illuminate Human Evolution And Disease (October 30,
Chunks of inverted DNA are hundreds of times more common in primates than previously thought. These large structural changes in the human and chimpanzee genomes, called inversions, may account for much of the evolutionary difference between the two species. They may also shed light on genetic changes that lead to human disease.
Genome--and First Fossils--Unveiled
Many animals, ranging from the rat to the puffer fish, have had their genome sequenced, and now humankind's closest living relative, the chimpanzee, has joined the group. The recent publication of a draft sequence of this primate's genome provides the most detailed look yet at the similarities, and differences, between humans and chimps.
Of All Life
Every living thing on Earth - from humans to bacteria, from bluebells to blue whales - is thought to be descended from one single entity, a sort of primitive cell floating around in the primordial soup 3 or 4 billion years ago. So what did it look like? How did it live, and where? Named the "last universal common ancestor", or LUCA for short, it has left no known fossil remains, nor any other physical clues to its identity. For a long time, questions about LUCA were thought beyond the reach of science. But now LUCA could be about to enjoy a resurrection.
Origins Were Easier Than Was Thought
An international team of scientists, leaded by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona researchers, has discovered that RNA early molecules were much more resistant than was thought until now. According to the conclusions of the study, they may have developed enough to contain around 100 genes, which is considered to be the minimum quantity required for the most basic forms of primitive life, similar to the bacteria we have today. The research was published in Nature Genetics.
The grassroots activists and scientific theorists don't see eye to eye. Compiled by Rob Moll and Ted Olsen
Edmond author hopes book will 'marry' science, religion (Edmond Sun, Canada)
design' and faith-based science
The people who are being seduced into thinking that there is a debate and that students should hear all sides are not giving adequate attention to the motives of the groups and institutions which have bought and paid for the popularization of their ideology (John C. Mohawk, Indian Country Today)
Trial In Kansas Topeka, Kan. (UPI) Sep 06, 2005
Kansas is reportedly ready to approve teaching standards requiring Darwin's theory of evolution be challenged in the classroom. See
school year, new battle over evolution
Is intelligent design science or religion? That's the question a U.S. district court judge in Harrisburg will consider starting Sept. 26, and Dover voters will weigh Nov. 4 (USA Today)
natural selection: intelligent design
As a critique of science, intelligent design could have a place in the classroom too but not as an alternative to the theory of evolution. Rather, good biology teachers could use issues raised by the intelligent design movement to help their classes better understand Darwinism. (Edward J. Larson, Los Angeles Times)
debate according to Ernie
Up until recently I thought "intelligent design" had something to do with the arrangement of parking spaces in the basement of large buildings. It took my cat to straighten me out (Al Martinez, Los Angeles Times)
Why the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation gave more than $10 million to the Discovery Institute, champions of "intelligent design" (Salon.com)
Evolution by natural selection is the only workable theory ever proposed that is capable of explaining life. And Richard Dawkins argues that it does so brilliantly.
Cells Spark DNA Repair Missteps And Speed Evolution (September 16, 2005)
When Dr. Susan Rosenberg, professor of molecular and human genetics at Baylor College of Medicine, first published her finding that the mutation rate increased in bacteria stressed by starvation, sometimes resulting in a rare change that benefited the bacteria, it was controversial.
Theory and Creationism
Both young-earth and intelligent-design creationists often claim that evolution is impossible because of various claims about information such as mutation and natural selection "cannot create information." This article provides a brief background on Information Theory and explains how Creationists such as Werner Gitt and Lee Spetner misuse one of the greatest contributions of the 20th Century. (This FAQ is more technical than most. It is hoped that a less technical version will eventually be posted.)
Evidence for Huge Ancient Biomass
Birger Rasmussen, "Evidence for Pervasive Petroleum Generation and Migration in 3.2 and 2.63 Ga Shales," Geology 33 (2005): pp. 497-500.
of the biological origin of kerogen on the Apex fossils
J. William Schopf, et al, "Raman Imagery: A new approach to assess the geochemical maturity and biogenicity of permineralized Precambrian fossils," Astrobiology 5 (2005): pp. 333-371. Related Resource: The Origins of Life: Biblical and Evolutionary Models Face-Off, by Fazale Rana and Hugh Ross.
Genome Comparison Sheds New Light On Evolutionary Processes, Cancer Mutations
An international team that includes researchers from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has discovered that mammalian chromosomes have evolved by breaking at specific sites rather than randomly as long thought - and that many of the breakage hotspots are also involved in human cancer.
on the 2005 Mega Creation Conference
Part Two After Falwell came David DeWitt, who directs the Center for Creation Research at Liberty University. He made only a few brief remarks, emphasizing Liberty's adherence to a literal interpretation of the Bible from Genesis 1:1 to Revelation 22:21 In particular, they believe Adam and Eve were real people and that God created in six literal days.
Johnson's assault upon faith-based Darwinism
A modern monkey trial isn't what Phillip Johnson expected when he wrote a critique of evolution that launched intelligent design -- or was it? (East Bay Express, Emeryville, Ca.)
have no more monkey trials
To teach faith as science is to undermine both. (Charles Krauthammer, Time)
fossils shed light on early evolution
One of the most puzzling phases in the evolution of life - the Ediacaran period - is giving up its secrets, thanks to two strange fossil types. ONE of the most puzzling phases in the evolution of life is giving up its secrets. Two strange fossil types are helping palaeontologists understand the weird inhabitants of the Ediacaran period.
"Darwin's forgotten Defenders" by David Livingstone
He discusses a number of other influential evangelicals who saw no inherent conflict between evolution and the Christian faith. Another very important advocate of evolution was the theologian B.B. Warfield, who was a strong advocate of biblical inerrancy. See Darwin's Forgotten Defenders: The Encounter Between Evangelical Theology and Evolutionary Thought by David N. Livingstone also The Post-Darwinian Controversies: A Study of the Protestant Struggle to Come to Terms with Darwin in Great Britain and America, 1870-1900 by James R. Moore and Perspectives on an Evolving Creation by Keith B. Miller.
dating works for cells
Radioactive fallout from nuclear tests serves as measuring stick.
exhibit scrapped at Tulsa Zoo
Plans to build an exhibit at the Tulsa Zoo featuring the biblical account of creation were scratched July 7 by the city's Park and Recreation Board. (Religion News Service)
Bible tells us that the Earth is about 6,000 years old
As a good Christian, how old should I believe the Earth is? (Sun-Sentinel, Fla.)
the big bang really happen?
Is it time to admit that the idea of a big bang just does not stack up? Marcus Chown meets the doubters thinking the unthinkable.
would allow 'intelligent design' in Pennsylvania schools
The House Subcommittee on Basic Education heard testimony Monday on a bill that would allow local school boards to mandate that science lessons include intelligent design, a concept that holds the universe must have been created by an unspecified guiding force because it is so complex.
evolution poll shows majority want change
A majority of Kansans polled say they want public schools to either allow evolution to be criticized or teach other theories alongside it in science classes. (Knight Ridder Newspapers)
Hearings: Transcripts of an Intelligently-Designed "Kangaroo Court"
A transcript of the "science hearings" held by a subcommittee of the Kansas Board of Education composed of three creationists in May, 2005. A background article and many relevant links are also provided.
Design' belongs in church and not in biology classes
"Intelligent Design" (ID), the religious alternative to Darwinism, ought to be taught in schools Sunday schools and high-school social studies or history classes. But in biology classes? No way. (Morton Kondracke, Naples Daily News)
Zoo caught in creationism-vs.-science flap
Board persuaded to create origins display; to some, it's out of place. (The Dallas Morning News)
Most of us have seen the Darwin Fish symbol on the backs of cars. It's a takeoff on the Christian fish symbol. The so-called "Evolve Fish" have feet and "Darwin" written inside them. Ever wonder where they come from? Would you be surprised to learn it's Colorado Springs? Philip Lightstone recently talked to the folks who sell the "Evolve Fish" icons. (Western Skies, Col.)
Vines And Nets -- Microbial Evolution Changes Its Face
EBI researchers have changed our view of 4 billion years of microbial evolution. Christos Ouzounis and colleagues have gained intriguing quantitative insights into how gene families are transferred, not only 'vertically' through passage from one organism to its progeny, but also 'horizontally' through the exchange of genetic material between distantly related organisms. This new view of the tree of life could help us to better understand how disease-causing bacteria manage to stay one step ahead of us in our battle to tackle antibiotic resistance.
Bias in Science, Part 2: By Randy Isaac. In this post, I'd like to take a closer look at Baumgardner's paper which elicited the concern a few weeks ago that it might be rejected by peer-reviewers due to an inappropriate bias.
In Smithsonian to Screen a Movie That Makes a Case Against Evolution, New York Times reporter John Schwartz tries to coverat very short noticethe growing uproar first blogged here about the Smithsonian letting an ID-friendly film be screened. See http://post-darwinist.blogspot.com/.
"A catechism of creation." To read the catechism itself, visit: http://www.episcopalchurch.org/3577_60521_ENG_HTM.htm.
county removing evolution sticker
Workers in Cobb County have begun removing controversial evolution disclaimer stickers from science textbooks to comply with a judge's order. (Associated Press)
God's gift to the ignorant
As the Religious Right tries to ban the teaching of evolution in Kansas, Richard Dawkins speaks up for scientific logic. (Times, London)
The Coso Artifact:
Mystery from the Depths of Time
The creation 'science' field known as OOPARTS, or "Out Of Place ARTifactS" is a lively area of study with numerous examples. This paper will examine the most popular and least understood specimen, the Coso Artifact.
Over a decade ago Mary Higby Schweitzer began her research career by announcing that she and professor Jack Horner had discovered evidence of blood residues in a Tyrannosaur rex femur. There followed many years of creationists' distortion of those findings which they presented as support for a young Earth that was debunked in Dino Blood and the Young Earth. In April of 2005, Schweitzer and Horner were again at the center of a media circus prompted by their announcement that this time they had discovered blood vessels and identifiable cells. The creationist reaction was immediate. This article reviews these new discoveries, their presentation in the popular media, and the sadly predictable creationist responses.
Evolutionary Triumph Of Flower Power (May 25, 2005)
While flowers originally came on the scene to attract potential pollinators like bugs and birds, it is their appeal to humans that accounts for the incredible variety of shapes and colors we see.
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.
Redux by Gary Hurd.
On 24 March 2005, a team of paleontologists lead by Mary Higby Schweitzer published their discovery of dinosaur soft tissues recovered from the cortical bone of a T. rex femur.
Creationism vs. Intelligent Design Is there a difference? (Daniel Engber, Slate)
Tree Planted in London Park. May 11, 2005
A "Jurassic" tree dating from the dinosaur age and long thought to have been extinct for 200 million years was planted Tuesday at a park in London by British wildlife expert Sir David Attenborough. One of the rarest trees in the world, the Wollemi Pine was found in Australia by a national parks officer, David Noble, in 1994. The discovery astonished botanists worldwide who had thought the tree died out millions of years ago.
Mammoth Resurrection, "Jurassic Park" Planned
Scientists say they'll bring woolly mammoths back to life and create a Jurassic Park-style refuge for resurrected species. Critics aren't so sure.
Evolution Followed Twisty Trail, Study Says
New research suggests the horse varied considerably in form and size over time, following an evolutionary path fraught with unexpected turns.
New ID Website: http://www.idthefuture.com/
Diversity Tied to Evolution of Diving Ability
From clownfish to catfish, grouper to great white, the diversity of fish in the sea is nothing short of astonishing. Now scientists have managed to account for this wide assortment, at least in part, by tracing the evolution of the organ that allows the creatures to swim at different depths.
feel pressed to teach creationism
A new U.S. survey has found about one third of science teachers feel pressured to present creationism and other non-scientific alternatives to evolution (UPI)
Darwin splits Pennsylvania town
The pastoral fields and white frame houses appear at peace, but this Pennsylvania farm town is deeply at war over teaching Darwin or Christian creationism in its schools (AFP)
Design, unintelligent me
For me and many other students, biology as it is usually taught, one complicated fact or term after another, is deadly dull. Introducing a little debate would excite teenagers, just as the attacks on conventional wisdom launched by my favorite high school history teacher, Al Ladendorff, always got me walking fast to that class so I wouldn't miss anything (Jay Mathews, The Washington Post)
Science and religion
'Talk more about life's mystery' (Brian Walden, BBC)
real conflict between religion and science
Science needs moral guidance that religious values can help shape (The Charlotte Observer, N.C.)
intelligent, and surely not science
The term "intelligent design" is nothing more than a linguistic place-filler for something unexplained by science (Michael Shermer, Los Angeles Times)
you Adam and Eve it?
A teachers' union has said it is alarmed by an increase in lessons which teach that Adam and Eve was the literal truth, rather the fable which science believes it to be. The rise in creationism is not just an American phenomenon (BBC)
conflict in schools
How some biology teachers are handling the hot button debate over the theory of evolution, creationism and intelligent design (NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, PBS)
Creationist Helium Diffusion "Dates": Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions
and Questionable Data
Young-Earth creationists consider the helium diffusion studies of D. Russell Humphreys and others to be one of their greatest achievements in arguing for a 6,000 year old Earth. A geologist shows that these studies are extensively flawed and include: serious miscalculations in their data, sampling the wrong rock type, failing to eliminate possible contamination, using equations that are based on invalid assumptions and relying on questionable data.
that Demands Evidence
It is Darwinists, not Christians, who are stonewalling the facts. By Charles Colson, with Anne Morse
in the Science Museums
It is unacceptable for museums to reject legitimate science films because they offend the beliefs of religious fundamentalists.
CALL TO ARMS
The March 23, 2005, issue of USA Today featured Dan Vergano and Greg Toppo's "'Call to arms' on evolution," which described a letter circulated by Bruce Alberts, the president of the National Academy of Sciences, to members of the NAS, calling on them "to confront the increasing challenges to the teaching of evolution in public schools."
on teaching evolution sharpens
Propelled by a polished strategy crafted by activists on America's political right, a battle is intensifying across the nation over how students are taught about the origins of life. Policymakers in 19 states are weighing proposals that question the science of evolution. (Washington Post)
and Natural History Clash Among the Ultra-Orthodox Jews.
Banned books: Three of Rabbi Slifkin's books, published from 2001 to 2004, were singled out in the letter or in related materials: "Mysterious Creatures," "The Science of Torah" and "The Camel, the Hare and the Hyrax." Predictably, the banned books have become hits.
with fruit flies
Scientist Sean Carroll goes beyond genetics to look at how evolution actually works (US News & World Report)
Brains Were Small but Smart
Tiny, newfound fossils are in fact from a new human species, says a study that could turn evolution theory on its head.
'frauds' trigger a decline in atheism
Godlessness is in trouble, according to a growing consensus among philosophers, intellectuals and scholars (UPI).
Creationism: from the US, with love (Stephen Pincock).
Journals and intelligent design (Graciela Flores).
Appleyard meets Richard Dawkins
The fault is not in our genes but in our minds. Here are two recent news stories: weve found the genes that make people believe in God and that make women unfaithful. At a stroke, scientists have scuppered religion and taken the moral sting out of infidelity. If you think you have any of these genes, go to your doctor at once and get them removed.
Science and Religion Dialogue: Where It Stands Today and Why It Matters,
by George F. R. Ellis
"Science and religion are two major long-term themes of human thought-indeed two dominating aspects of human culture, each making major contributions to how we live and think. At issue here is the way we understand ultimate reality and humanity: the very nature of existence."
Scientists and educators fear conservative muscle could force religious ideology into public schools (Deidre Pike, Las Vegas City Life).
The fossil fallacy and the nature of scientific proof.
Modern science is turning up a possible reason why the religious right is flourishing and secular liberals aren't: instinct (Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times)
design' flap inspires school board campaigns
Two Dover Area School District board members who have resigned in protest of the policy say they plan to circulate nominating petitions for the May 17 primary election. A plaintiff in a federal lawsuit against the district is also expected to make a bid for the board. (Associated Press)
Scientists and educators fear conservative political muscle could force religious ideology into public-school classrooms. (Tucson Weekly)
National Figures to Debate Intelligent Design at Elizabethtown College
Intelligent design theory has received extensive national media coverage because of actions taken by the Dover (Pa.) School District and subsequent federal lawsuit by parents. Elizabethtown College is sponsoring a series of debates that will feature national key figures involved in the case. See also Key National Figures to Debate Intelligent Design.
between religion and science is not inevitable
It's possible to be Darwinian and still believe in design (Leo Sandon, The Tallahassee Democrat, Fla.)
claims bias by Smithsonian
A former editor of a scientific journal has filed a complaint against the Smithsonian Institution, charging that he was discriminated against on the basis of perceived religious and political beliefs because of an article he published that challenged the Darwinian theory of evolution (The Washington Times)
document complex genomic events leading to the birth of new genes HEIDELBERG,
Germany, Mon., February 14, 2005
A team of scientists led by Peer Bork, Ph.D., Senior Bioinformatics Scientist at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, report today in the journal Genome Research that they have identified a new primate-specific gene family that spans about 10% of human chromosome 2. Comprised of eight family members, the RGP gene cluster may help to explain what sets apart humans and other primates from the rest of the animal kingdom.
on DVD! Arguments Creationists Should NOT Use by Dr. Jonathan Sarfati.
In this candid presentation before an international conference of nearly 600 creationist speakers and writers, scientist Dr. Jonathan Sarfati reveals the out-of-date, faulty and downright flaky evidences that reputable creationists must avoid. In his trademark style, Sarfati challenges some of the most-loved arguments of modern creationists. Bottom line: hold facts loosely and focus intensely on Gods written Word as the absolute guide to evidence interpretations!
board to appeal ruling to remove evolution stickers
On January 17, 2005, the Cobb County School Board voted 5-2 to appeal the ruling in Selman et al. v. Cobb County School District et al., which ordered the removal of evolution disclaimers from the school district's textbooks. Announcing the decision, Kathie Johnstone, chair of the board, described Judge Clarence Cooper's ruling as an "unnecessary judicial intrusion into local control of schools." For the Atlanta Journal-Constitution's editorial condemning the board's decision (registration required), visit: COBB COUNTY APPEALS
"Wedging creationism into the academy," by Barbara Forrest and Glenn Branch.
Students 'Taught' Intelligent Design
For the first time ever, public high school administrators addressed students specifically about Intelligent Design as an alternative to evolution. The Dover, Pennsylvania, school district mandated that students be taught that evolution is a theory, "not a fact." The revised biology curriculum says, "Students will be made aware of gaps/problems in Darwin's Theory and of other theories of evolution including, but not limited to, Intelligent Design."
sees science through 'Biblical glasses'
As a scientist, Lisle uses his expertise to make try to defend the idea of creation. One of the simplest defenses he offered Saturday was what he described as information science, the idea that information always goes back to an intelligent source. (The Green Bay News-Chronicle, Wis.)
Humans Still Evolving?
A new study suggests that natural selection in people is alive and well.
'Genetic Engineering' Leads To Species Interdependency (January 15,
Findings reported this week reveal how an evolutionary innovation involving the sharing of genes between two ant species has given rise to a deep-seated dependency between them for the survival of both species populations.