News From Around The Blogosphere 11.3.09

1. Atheist wins NC City Council seat – The other day, I blogged about Cecil Bothwell, the Asheville, NC City Council candidate who was being attack by his opponent because of his atheism and his scathing attacks on Rev. Billy Graham. Well, he won. Congratulations!

2. Dark Matter, Dark Energy: 95% Of Universe

A detailed picture of the seeds of structures in the universe has been unveiled by an international team co-led by Sarah Church of the Kavli Institute for Particle Astrophysics and Cosmology, jointly located at the Department of Energy’s SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory and Stanford University, and by Walter Gear, of Cardiff University in the United Kingdom. These measurements of the cosmic microwave background — a faintly glowing relic of the hot, dense, young universe — put limits on proposed alternatives to the standard model of cosmology and provide further support for the standard cosmological model, confirming that dark matter and dark energy make up 95% of everything in existence, while ordinary matter makes up just 5%.

scientist-use-in-case-of-emergency3. Speed Limit To The Pace Of Evolution?

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania have developed a theoretical model that informs the understanding of evolution and determines how quickly an organism will evolve using a catalogue of “evolutionary speed limits.” The model provides quantitative predictions for the speed of evolution on various “fitness landscapes,” the dynamic and varied conditions under which bacteria, viruses and even humans adapt.



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