On Thursday night on American television, ABC News included a segment in its nightly news broadcast (World News Tonight with Charles Gibson) covering the National Academy of Sciences’ newly released book, Science, Evolution and Creationism, described as “a strongly-worded answer to the Creationist movement and the doubts about Darwin that many people express in polls and elsewhere.”
The giraffe, the world’s tallest animal, may not be a single species but instead may contain several species, according to a report in BMC Biology.
In another example of technology inspired by nature, a honeybee dance has helped scientists design a new model for Internet server technology.
4. BBC News: “Beetles and Dinos Living Together”
Most of the beetles that exist today lived among the dinosaurs, according to new research published in the journal Science, extending the supposed beetle history to 110 million years previous to what was once believed.
While prevailing theory once held that beetles arose along with flowering plants, said by secular scientists to have been approximately 140 million years ago, researchers have dated over 100 beetle families to before that time.
Lauding the survivability of beetles—of which there are more than 300,000 species—study coauthor Johannes Bergsten of Imperial College London said scientists have yet to find the answer to what causes high speciation rates in beetles.
Here is something that is abundantly clear, however: despite the dating game, beetles in the fossil record and beetles today are all plainly beetles! They have speciated as different beetle populations naturally adapt to different environments, but what we have not seen is beetles giving rise to anything other than beetles, even over the alleged millions of years!
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5.ScienceNOW: “A Baby Planet’s First Steps?”
Finding extrasolar planets (exoplanets) is increasingly frequent news these days, but more unique is finding a “baby” exoplanet, as was reported on in this week’s issue of Nature.
Astronomers have already identified some 270 exoplanets, but a new wobble in the motion of the star TW Hydrae indicates a newly discovered exoplanet, probably about 10 times the mass of Jupiter and orbiting TW Hydrae every four days.
The team that discovered the planet, from the Heidelberg, Germany, Max Plank Institute for Astronomy, believes the planet is less than 10 million years old, far younger than other calculated ages for exoplanets. Lead study author Johny Setiawan explained, “Before this discovery, it was not clear what the real time scale of planet formation was. . . . [The discovery] shows us that what we call protoplanetary disks are indeed protoplanetary.” Setiawan is referring to large discs of dust and gas surrounding young stars that, some have theorized, coalesce into planets over long periods of time. The process has not been observed, and this new exoplanet has some hoping for final validation of the idea.
One problem, however, is that some scientists, such as planet expert Jack Lissauer of the NASA Ames Research Center, aren’t convinced that the object orbiting TW Hydrae is a planet. There’s a possibility that it is, rather, a brown dwarf. This highlights the fact that exoplanet “observations” are all merely analyses and interpretations of fairly impersonal data.
Another problem, quite obviously, is that the “observation” is being made in one instance in time, not over the alleged 10 million years since the planet formed. Rather than making the hypothesis fit the evidence, are Setiawan and others making scant data “fit” their preferred hypothesis?
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