Dawkins and the Devil

Stephen M. Barr offers a hilarious review of Richard Dawkins’s latest, A Devil’s Chaplain in the August/September issue of First Things . He chides Dawkins for getting his facts wrong and for pervasive, stubborn superficiality. He concludes that there are several Dawkinses, and that his . . . . Continue Reading »

Adult Stem Cell Research

Nigel Cameron, director of a Wilberforce Forum council on biotechnology includes the following in his recent email update: “I gave a presentation at the Experimental Biology conference in Washington, D.C. a few weeks ago, where I was surveying the ethical pros and cons of stem cell research. . . . . Continue Reading »

Prenatal Screening

Agnes Howard reports in The Weekly Standard on new developments in prenatal screening. Last winter, it was reported that scientists had put together a “combination of maternal blood tests and ultrasounds to detect Down syndrome at 10-13 weeks,” and a more recent report in Lancet argued . . . . Continue Reading »

Darwin’s Worms

The Winter 2004 issue of The Wilson Quarterly also has an article on Darwin’s studies of earthworms, in which Darwin made innovative contributions. Darwin was inspired to study works after a visit to his uncle, Josiah Wedgewood: “Upon arriving, he scarcely had time to put down his hat . . . . Continue Reading »

Rats

A recent issue of Science News reports that rats live longer if they are constantly stimulated by novelty. Rats that have nothing to look forward to but another day in the maze or on the wheel die sooner. That may say something about human beings, but it certainly gives us help for getting rid of . . . . Continue Reading »

Nicolaus Steno

The November 21 TLS has a review of a biography of Nicolaus Steno (1638-86), a Danish physician, theologian, and convert to Roman Catholicism who was beatified in 1988. The reviewer gives this account of Steno’s contribution to medicine: “Between 1663 and 1665, he discovered the cheek . . . . Continue Reading »

The Sense of Being Stared At

Rupert Sheldrake’s latest book, The Sense of Being Stared At , is full of amusing and entertaining oddities, as Sheldrake continues his assault on reductionistic modern science. At the outset of a treatment of “paranormal” phenomena, Sheldrake points out that such things as . . . . Continue Reading »

Peppered Moth

Phillip Johnson reports on the scandal concerning the peppered moth in the December 2003 issue of Touchstone . It’s a pretty grim story, recently told by Judith Hooper in Of Moths and Men . What Johnson calls the “juiciest” scandal “is that the moths, which are nocturnal, do . . . . Continue Reading »

How Children Learn

The November 15 Science News has a brief review of a multi-author book entitled Einstein Never Used Flash Cards: How Our Children Really Learn and Why They Need to Play More and Memorize Less . The review states that the authors “encourage parents to allow children to learn problem solving . . . . Continue Reading »

Pawan Sinha

The November 22 Science News reports on the work of Pawan Sinha, a neuroscientist at MIT who has observed the effects of cataract surgery on youngsters born blind. One of the interesting findings is that correcting the cataracts does not immediately mean that the children are capable of what we . . . . Continue Reading »