News From Around The Blogosphere 1.7.10

1. The awesome Ben Radford talks vampires

That a significant community of people believe that human vampires (psychic or otherwise) actually exist is not unusual; after all, many people also believe in the existence of angels, ghosts, Bigfoot, aliens, and other entities never proven real. Vampires, thankfully, remain safely between the covers of books.

And speaking of Ben Radford. . .

2. Ben Radford reviews The Education of Shelby Knox – This is a film about a Texas high school student trying to get a real sex education taught in Lubbock’s public schools instead of the ineffectual abstinence-only sex ed that was being taught there. There’s a lot more about the film in his review. It’s a great read.

3. Tetrapods are older than we thought – We’ve found fossil trackways in Poland that suggest tetrapods are older than we thought. Ironically, the first time I heard this story it was from a Young Earth Creationist touting this as more proof that evolution is wrong. Clearly, they didn’t bother to read a single fact about this story other than this new finding overturns previous ideas in evolution. They certainly must have missed the part where the tracks are 395 million years old. And for those keeping track, that’s 394,400,000 years before the existence of the whole universe, according to Young Earth Creationists. The creationist was claiming that this somehow debunked Tiktaalik as a transitional species even though creationists prior to this found already rejected Tiktaalik and every other transitional species. Of course, however, this does no such thing. Tiktaalik is still a legitimate transitional species from 375 million years. But now we’ve simply got evidence of older tetrapods. Sorry Young Earth Creationists, but this only makes your case infinitely worse, not better.

4.  From you, alright! I learned it from watching you! – Parents who do religion have children who do religion. A class was going on a school trip to study geology and sent home a permission slip. The creationist parents’ response is just epic.

Note: Just to let you it is not that we don't believe in things like that, it is just misleading when you talk about it being billions of years old, when we all know that the world is only about 6,000 years old. So why would I pay so that you can misslead my children, your world is just a revolving(?), ours has a start and an end. God created the world. He created animals and man all in the same week. It was also Adam who named all the animals, they will do the essay 'Rock and Minerals' but it might not be 5 pages long, and about billions of years, it will be according to the Bible.

5. Golden ration in the quantum world too?

Researchers from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin für Materialien und Energie (HZB), in cooperation with colleagues from Oxford and Bristol Universities, as well as the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK, have for the first time observed a nanoscale symmetry hidden in solid state matter. They have measured the signatures of a symmetry showing the same attributes as the golden ratio famous from art and architecture.

Wow! I hope this story turns out to be accurate because that is just freakin’ awesome!

6. Eight percent of human genetic material comes from a virus –

The research showed that the genomes of humans and other mammals contain DNA derived from the insertion of bornaviruses, RNA viruses whose replication and transcription takes place in the nucleus. Feschotte wrote on recent research led by Professor Keizo Tomonaga at Osaka University in Japan. Feschotte said this virally transmitted DNA may be a cause of mutation and psychiatric disorders such as schizophrenia and mood disorders.

Same response. I love the thought of being part virus.

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