The Adam-and-Eve war continues at Bryan College

Why Evolution Is True

To those who claim that there’s no incompatibility between science and religion, read this:

Bryan College is a small, conservative Christian school in Dayton, Tennessee, deliberately placed in the town that hosted the 1925 Scopes Trial, and where the school’s namesake, William Jennings Bryan (who was one of those testifying against Scopes for teaching human evolution), died shortly after the trial.

As I’ve posted before (here and here), the College is in a ferment over a topic close to my heart: the historicity of Adam and Eve.  It turns out that the college’s recent insistence that faculty and staff swear to an oath affirming that historicity is tearing the college apart. Even conservative Christians, it seems, have trouble believing that Adam and Eve were the literal ancestors of humanity.  That historicity has become increasingly problematic since the appearance of new papers in population genetics, showing that over the last few…

View original post 1,265 more words

Google doodle celebrates Nobel Laureate

Why Evolution Is True

When I saw today’s Google Doodle, which looks like this:

Screen shot 2014-05-12 at 2.27.10 PM

I knew instantly that it had something to do with Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin (1910-1994), who won the Nobel Prize in 1964. In fact, she would have been 104 today had she lived. And you should know that this Doodle was about her, too, because I’ve posted about Hodgkin before, showing the model of penicillin that she made from X-ray crystallography, a field she helped found. Here’s that model, which I showed in my previous post, and which appears in the Doodle:

800px-molecular_model_of_penicillin_by_dorothy_hodgkin_9663803982

It was for determining this structure, and that of vitamin B12, that Hodgkin got The Big Prize. You can read more about her at the link above. She remains the only British woman to ever get a Nobel Prize in science.

The attitude toward women scientists of her era, and her persistence in ignoring it, is expressed by a nice article in this January’s 

View original post 291 more words

The world’s prettiest fossil

opal!

Why Evolution Is True

And it’s now missing, thanks to thieves who stole it from a private collection. Reader Ant called it to my attention from a post on ZME Science‘s “Fossil Friday”:

It’s the fossil of a giant ammonite, an ancient and prolific group of mollusks that has gone extinct without leaving descendants.

I have one (not opalized!) about a foot wide, polished and encased in its stone matrix, but this one is far better. For it’s become opalized: the mineral matrix that replaced the animal was a form of hydrated silica—the type that makes what is in my view the world’s most beautiful gem, the opal.

And what better combination than to have a fossil in opal! You can buy smaller ones on Etsy, but not like this one, said to be worth half a million dollars (or was worth, since it’s now missing):

RKE2nLs

As the website says, stuff like…

View original post 36 more words

Was Ayaan Hirsi Ali censored?

Why Evolution Is True

I’m always amused by those readers who, because I’ve blocked them on one ground or another, send me angry emails accusing me of censoring them.  But that’s not really censorship; it’s my website and I have the right to determine what appears on it. Those people have every right to start their own website, and, to be sure, it doesn’t cost much! Nor is it censorship for a magazine to reject an article, no matter what it says.

Similarly, the Discovery Institute, when it gave me the huge honor of being “Censor of the Year,” did so mainly because I complained to Ball State University (and the Freedom from Religion Foundation) that Professor Eric Hedin was teaching intelligent design and promoting Christianity in a science class at Ball State University: a double whammy of pushing discredited science and violating the First Amendment. Those people, too, have no idea what “censorship” means…

View original post 1,661 more words