April 27, 2011
I got several wonderful responses to the question, two posts down, about why the chimp genome is 11.5 percent "higher" than ours, and whether evolution has done anything to enhance human well-being. Yesterday, I heard from a prominent Philadelphia area developmental biologist who was reluctant to let me use his name because, as he put it, "too many people are e-mailing their ministers' remarks and praying for my soul. " His answer was downright inspirational: "1. Size doesn't matter much.
February 6, 2009 |
In his inaugural speech, President Obama challenged us to "restore science to its rightful place" in our schools and public policy. In the same week, the Texas state school board had yet another discussion about teaching the "strengths and weaknesses" of the theory of evolution - a euphemism for introducing creationist views into biology classes. The time has come for our country to decide: Will we continue to refight debates settled in the 19th and early 20th centuries? Or will we look to science and technology to help us solve the problems of the 21st century?
June 21, 1987 |
Stuart Kauffman is thinking these days about how he might improve upon nothing less than a billion years of evolution. A developmental and theoretical biologist at the University of Pennsylvania, Kauffman has spent a dozen years developing ideas about evolution and the origin of life. But his latest idea now may begin to evolve more rapidly. On Monday, Kauffman was awarded a $290,000 so-called "genius" grant from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, which in its sixth year gave out 32 prizes to people working in diverse fields.
January 2, 2005 |
The Board of Education in Cobb County, Ga., recently required that stickers be placed inside the front cover of biology textbooks in the county reminding students that "evolution is only a theory. " The board insisted on equal classroom time for evolution and creationism. Recently, I suggested to the rector of my Episcopal church in Richmond, Va., that we should place stickers inside all prayer books in the pews to remind the faithful that "God is only a theory" and give equal pulpit time to Jesus and Darwin.
May 9, 2011 |
On Easter, Pope Benedict XVI spoke out against both creationism and evolution, or so it looked anyway. About the biblical account of Genesis, he said, "It is not information about the external processes by which the cosmos and man himself came into being. " So much for literal creationism. But then he seemed to take a swipe at science, proposing that mankind cannot be just another product of evolution. "It is not the case that in the expanding universe, at a late stage, in some tiny corner of the cosmos, there evolved randomly some species of living being capable of reasoning and of trying to find rationality within creation, or to bring rationality into it. " Many biologists beg to differ: Evolution isn't completely random, they say, and neither is it geared to produce humans.
March 22, 2013 |
Comcast Corp. chief executive Brian Roberts, speaking at the Economic Club of Washington on Thursday, said he believes that TV evolved more in the last five years than it did in the prior 50 years. He also said the number of Comcast Internet customers should exceed the number of Comcast TV customers over the next couple years. Comcast currently serves about 20 million Internet subscribers and 22 million TV customers.
September 22, 1986
I must reply to the Sept. 15 letter of George W. Dunham 3d, which contains a number of misunderstandings and misstatements of facts concerning the nature of science. The attempt to label science a "religion" must be strongly resisted at all times. It is part of the legal effort being mounted by religious fundamentalists aimed at requiring "creation science" to be taught in schools on the same level as the principle of evolution. The question at hand is whether school science curriculums are to be designed by professional scientists or whether they are to be dictated by laypersons untutored in the most elementary fundamentals of the subject.
October 7, 2012 |
ATHENS, Ga. - Rep. Paul Broun (R., Ga.) said in videotaped remarks that evolution, embryology, and the big-bang theory are "lies straight from the pit of hell" meant to convince people that they do not need a savior. The Republican lawmaker made those comments during a speech Sept. 27 at a sportsman's banquet at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell. Broun, a medical doctor, is running for reelection in November unopposed by Democrats. He sits on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.
September 15, 1986
The editorial of Sept. 2 concerning creationism and science is built upon fallacies so common as to sadden the heart of anyone whose faith would be in God, the creator. The terms of derision heaped upon "creation science" cry out for a sane voice to add a counter opinion. The greatest fallacy in the science versus creationism war is the assumption that science is science and creationism is faith and therefore religion. The whole basis of science, concerning beginnings, is the theory of evolution, which is based on opinions that have failed scientific tests.
August 26, 1993 |
The recent death of the Heintz Corp. plant in the Far Northeast - following hard upon After Six, Mrs. Paul's and Whitman's Chocolates - adds yet another familiar name to the post-industrial litany in Philadelphia this Labor Day. Some commentators assure us that new companies are cropping up even as old ones die. New companies and new jobs are being created, but this argument is an oversimplification in implying that somehow a new equilibrium can...