Science & Evolution
Posted 3/8/13 at 11:36 AM | Brian Wallace
To send one gallon of water into space, it costs approximately $49,800. With one crew member requiring roughly 100,000 pounds of water, $420 million is spent on water each year. With numbers this high, you can imagine how important water conservation is in the final frontier. In this infographic, Emergency Plumber explores the frugal use of water in space.
Posted 3/4/13 at 10:41 PM | Mike Keas |
In a few recent episodes of ID the Future (part 1 and part 2), Casey Luskin engages in an interesting multi-part interview of Biologic Institute director Dr. Douglas Axe about his new research paper, "The Limit of Complex Adaptation: An Analysis Based on a Simple Model of Structured Bacterial Populations," in the scientific journal BIO-Complexity.
Dr. Axe reports on some of the work done at Biologic Institute to test whether amino acids are able to be converted from one function to another in Darwinian step-wise fashion. Amino acids are the bulding blocks of proteins, which are the important class of molecules that make up the cell's basic structures and functions. Thinks of amino acids as if they were the colored plastic pieces that snap together in the popular toddler's toy pictured here. Long chains of amino acids, when properly sequenced and folded into specific 3-D shapes, form viable proteins that help support life. FULL POST
Posted 2/28/13 at 3:04 PM | Mike Keas |
How could this Professor of Mathematics at the University of Oxford possibly interest you? Listen to him for five minutes and you will understand just how interesting and provocative he is. I first met the man before he became famous. I was studying in a summer program for college professors at Oxford University in 2001 and spent an afternoon with him along with another American science professor. Now is your opportunity to meet this gracious, humble, and very smart human.
Christians interested in the meaning of Genesis would surely wish to hear this interview about his book Seven Days That Divide the World. In his book, Lennox delves into controversial issues surrounding science and faith, answering common questions regarding apparent tensions between scripture and scientific evidence. Thoughfully consider Professor Lennox's view of how science and faith are indeed compatible.
Atheists open to frank conversations about God in the light of modern cosmology and philosophy would be challenged to doubt some things Stephen Hawking has written if they would take a few moments to listen to this engaging interview (about another book Lennox published). Lennox reflects on this statement from Hawking: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” Lennox explains just how unreasonable this claim is. Part of the problem hinges on the meaning of “nothing.” But there is much more to the story.
Professor Lennox has written about the interface between science, philosophy and theology. Books on these fields of knowledge include "God's Undertaker: Has Science Buried God?" (2009), "God and Stephen Hawking" [a response to Hawking's co-authored book "The Grand Design" (2011)], "Gunning for God", which is on the new atheism (2011), and "Seven Days that Divide the World", which is about Genesis 1 (2011). FULL POST
Posted 2/25/13 at 10:52 PM | Mike Keas |
You may have heard of a bill in the Missouri State Legislature that would require equal treatment for evolution and intelligent design. Discovery Institute, the leading think-tank for intelligent design, opposes this sort of legislation. As a senior fellow of Discovery Institute I can testify that it has been our longstanding policy to oppose requiring intelligent design in public science courses. Academic freedom bills are well worth supporting (as I explained earlier), but the current Missouri bill under discussion is not one of those.
Why does Discovery Institute oppose policy proposals like the current Missouri bill? Our Science Education Policy Page explains why we oppose mandating ID in public schools:
As a matter of public policy, Discovery Institute opposes any effort to require the teaching of intelligent design by school districts or state boards of education. Attempts to mandate teaching about intelligent design only politicize the theory and will hinder fair and open discussion of the merits of the theory among scholars and within the scientific community. Furthermore, most teachers at the present time do not know enough about intelligent design to teach about it accurately and objectively. Read more. FULL POST
Posted 2/21/13 at 5:52 PM | Mike Keas |
This is a road test. Read the two quotations below in order to compare the one that refers to expected 2014 prototype human transportation technology with the one that describes transportation in the nanotechnological world of the living cell. You will better appreciate intelligent design in both worlds.
With prototypes set to hit the pavement in the Netherlands next year, these interactive interventions take innovation back from a focus on the car and put it right on the road. Examples include ... temperature- and moisture-sensitive weather- and road-condition displays with color-changing paint to warn of icing, and even dedicated induction-priority lanes to magnetically recharge electric cars. ... While we may eventually see a future where cars drive themselves, for now we live in a world where high speeds bring real dangers, and invention has not matched the acceleration of actual drivers. Time and experiments will tell how well these ideas actually work when applied to asphalt. [source] FULL POST
Posted 2/18/13 at 8:55 AM | Mike Keas |
Evolutionary biologist Richard Sternberg explains well the implausibility of whales evolving from mammals that lived on land, which is the standard textbook story. Someone kindly rounded up some whale film footage and a few diagrams to illustrate Sternberg's whale story here (you will hear Sternberg's voice, but not see him in his original lecture context). If you want to dive deeper into the impressive primary peer-reviewed literature of Sternberg's career, go here. He holds a Ph.D. in Biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghamton University. Let me offer a few thoughts today about Sternberg, whales, naturalistic religion, and evolutionary biology.
Back in 2004, due to the religious-like devotion to Darwinism of some powerful scientific bureaucrats, Sternberg lost his job at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History. Sternberg tells that story here:
In 2004, in my capacity as editor of The Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, I authorized “The Origin of Biological Information and the Higher Taxonomic Categories” by Dr. Stephen Meyer to be published in the journal after passing peer-review. Because Dr. Meyer’s article presented scientific evidence for intelligent design in biology, I faced retaliation, defamation, harassment, and a hostile work environment at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History that was designed to force me out as a Research Associate there. These actions were taken by federal government employees acting in concert with an outside advocacy group, the National Center for Science Education. Efforts were also made to get me fired from my job as a staff scientist at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Subsequently, there were two federal investigations of my mistreatment, one by the U.S. Office of Special Counsel in 2005, and the other by subcommittee staff of the U.S. House Committee on Government Reform in 2006. Both investigations unearthed clear evidence that my rights had been repeatedly violated. Because there has been so much misinformation spread about what actually happened to me, I have decided to make available the relevant documents here for those who would like to know the truth. FULL POST
Posted 2/15/13 at 8:49 PM | Mike Keas |
The PBS-affiliated Independent Lens praised the new documentary The Revisionaries without bothering to investigate who is actually distorting the truth:
As recently as last year, the Texas State Board of Education had the power to rewrite history. The Revisionaries (airing Jan. 28 on Independent Lens) captures the scope of the board’s reign. ... The “pretty influential” board shoehorned ideas into national textbooks that changed the way we teach science and social studies, as The Revisionaries shows.
The Darwin-lobbying National Center for Science Education calls the film an "acclaimed documentary about the controversy over the Texas state board of education's efforts to undermine the scientific and historical integrity of the textbooks used in the state's public schools." FULL POST
Posted 2/15/13 at 7:05 PM | Eric Johnson
God created humans with a bivalent emotion-system, that is, their emotions are either positive and enjoyable to some extent or negative and unpleasant. The positive emotions—happiness, joy, surprise, and contentment, for example—are pleasant, and humans by nature—that is, according to creation—are generally predisposed to seek to experience and maintain them. Indeed, as I suggested a few months ago, there is something disordered in those who are more disposed to seek to experience negative emotions, like fear/anxiety, anger, or sadness, as well as emotional pain, than the positive emotions.
The fallen human emotion-system is even more complicated. This week I want to consider how its disorderedness is demonstrated in the tendency to experience positive emotions when they are inappropriate, and sometimes even sinful: when our otherwise good emotions are bad and unhealthy and in some way. The following are some examples of such emotions.
When one feels a kind of satisfaction or takes pleasure in the misery or misfortune of another. The Germans have coined a term for this emotion: “schadenfreude” (lit. joy in harm or damage). We are especially likely to experience this when we find out that something bad has happened to someone with whom we have had a serious disagreement and towards whom are harboring some bitterness.Another example would be inappropriate self-love, for example, an excessive happiness in one’s own performance or when one is praised, where one’s conscience bears witness that one is happier than one should be.Similarly, when one is excessively happy about doing better than someone else, with a sort of delight focused precisely on one’s dominance over that person.Also, when one feels good about oneself or one’s performance, apart from an awareness of God and gratitude to him for the grace that enabled us to be who we are or to do what we did. Such autonomous happiness is a direct result of the Fall. FULL POST
Posted 2/15/13 at 4:08 PM | Jeffrey Goodman |
Signs and Wonders in the Heavens
Thursday, February 14, 2013 a ten ton fiery meteor about the size of a SUV blazed across the Russian sky over the Ural Mountains after sunrise, part of which went on to strike a frozen lake. Early AP reports say that upwards of 1,000 people were injured by broken glass and debris as a result of the “blast wave” that occurred after the meteor exploded in the sky. Note: In 1908 a comet fragment 100 meters in diameter exploded above Tunguska, Siberia flattening 2,000 square-kilometers of forest.
The Russian meteor strike appears to be unrelated to the February 15, 2013 asteroid (DA14) which is half the size of a football field, and large enough to destroy a city. This asteroid is expected to come within 17,000 miles of earth, passing within the ring of satellites that surround Earth. Then sometime between Thanksgiving and the end of the year Comet Ison will come into the solar system to round the sun. As it grazes the sun it will no doubt break up to some degree and as a result dramatically increase in brightness. Some astronomers expect that it might get even brighter than the moon and be seen during daylight hours crossing the sky. Astronomers know that our planet exists in a cosmic shooting gallery of objects that could strike the Earth and cause major catastrophes. Are these events occurring in a relatively short period of time coincidental or is something else going on? Do these signs and wonders speak of events foretold in the Bible? FULL POST
Posted 2/12/13 at 9:29 PM | Mike Keas |
Many of Darwin's ideas about trivial small-scale change in organisms have held up well under further scrutiny, but the naturalistic molecules-to-intelligent life thesis has failed rigorous probing. I'm referring to both Darwin's original ideas and the most recent versions of his biological theories today. Here are ways to celebrate Darwin's birthday on February 12 (or later as you read this). These resources will help you clarify the issues regarding Darwin's theory, both historically, and today.
1. Go see a new free video that premiered on Darwin Day 2013: "C.S. Lewis and Evolution."
"C.S. Lewis and Evolution" is the second of three short documentaries inspired by John West's book The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis on Science, Scientism, and Society (Discovery Institute Press). It examines the evolution of Lewis's views on orthodox Darwinian theory from his time as a college undergraduate to his death in 1963.
Yes, it's a wonderful way to celebrate this special day. And in case you missed it, go watch the first film in the series, "The Magician's Twin: C.S. Lewis and the Case against Scientism." Enjoy your Darwin Day responsibly. [Follow the link above for all the related links]. FULL POST