May 26, 2010

Mr Diety

nuff said

Everyone Clap for Hand Fish

Hand fish are an extremely rare and unusual fish, using there fins as hands to move around.
Examples like this show how the diversity of life is evidence for the evolution,
Unfortunately we are still bombarded with poor logic and sometimes just plain ignorance when it comes to the natural world.

This looks like somthing from a fifties era horror movie.

Synthetic Life or Assembly

Synthetic Life or is it assembly?

I defiantly see it as assembly. What has essentially happened is from a not so good movie (albiet a better real life story) Tucker and his car. when they first built it they used off the shelf car parts with a new body and used the car to help get funding to build a whole new car.

Now this only works as an analogy. What really was really done was that pieces of dna were assembly and then used to replace the dna in an already functional cell. That is where it gets really amazing, the cell worked.

So now we have a brand new kind of life. What really is fascinating is this is just the first step. Soon there will be Wholly new life forms and quite possibly made from different building blocks.

So what could this seemingly Frankenstein concept really do for us to help. One we can use this type of technology to make viruses that cure cancer, as well as a host of other diseases. How about an organism that breaks down CO2 faster better, and can be used to filter coal burning power plants. Instead of changing an organism's existing dna we now may be able to completely build it from the ground up.

For more info see links below.

May 16, 2010

Science Still Rules in Missouri

Recently the was another very sneaky bill set up to allow creation nonsense in Missouri class rooms
House Bill 1651.  House Bill 1651 died before being assigned to a committee. Three cheers for MO!

May 15, 2010

Cover of Nature

Marrellomorph Arthropod, as shown on the cover of Nature, the premier weekly science news magazine. 
Soft bodied fossils are the rarest of fossils and this on fills in a thirty million year gap, previously thought to have died of at the end of the Cambrian era.
This fossil was found in southeastern Morocco at the Fezouata Formations.

May 9, 2010

National Day of Prayer: still we fumble forward.

I get emails;
The emails have, over time dwindled with the mighty help of Snopes. Yet I still have a few die hards telling me our President is really a Muslim, A certain senator is demanding a bigger plane, so on and so on. Sometimes politely sometimes not so politely I inform the sender and all CC, that the contents of there email is mistaken.
 Now comes the onslaught of "National Day of Prayer", and the recent court ruling against it. All I can think of is an echo chamber and the words "sunday sunday sunday".

There's the email of the Senator praying on the steps of Congress, can you say Matthew 6: 5-6?

Then there's the email telling me "our country has never gone with out a "National Day of Prayer", Sorry it was started in the 50's to help fend off the godless Communists.

The latest quoting President Reagan, (full disclosure I liked Reagan allot) the email goes on to tell a false history of the National Day of Prayer.

So what do all of these emails have in common, start theme to Jeperdy? Alix, what is prayer?
My question is what does science say about prayer? Change game show to "The $64,000 Question"

Lets look at the latest study of prayer funded by the very questionable Templeton Foundation.  Here is an excellent article on the study. This study took a common type of heart surgery, and did a blind study on what happen to those who were prayed for and those who were not. For an idea on how blind study works try my post on Scotch
The results showed there was no difference in post surgery complications in either the group who were prayed for and didn't know it and the group who were not prayed for and didn't know they were prayed for. The group who was prayed for and knew they were prayed for had an increase in post op complications. Prayer didn't seam to work, in a positive way.

Conclusions? Being prayed for behind the curtain doesn't seam to do any thing, however expectations of being prayed for seemed to decrease the amount of help. So prayer, like esp, divining rods, and holy water only seam to work "Post Hoc".

How about a National Day of No Prayer, and lets see if we are better off.