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No “Footprint,” No Life

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No “Footprint,” No Life

As environmentalism continues to grow in prominence, more and more of us are trying to live a “greener” lifestyle. But the more “eco-friendly” you try to become, likely the more you find yourself confused and frustrated by the green message. Have you tried giving up your bright and cheery incandescent light bulbs to save energy–only […]

Averting a Crisis or Causing One?

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Averting a Crisis or Causing One?

In early December of 2008, the California State legislature passed a measure that would attempt to decrease the level of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. Tied together with, and following California’s “landmark” Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006, the measure calls for a 15% reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 2020 (1990 levels). Among the codes […]

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A Tribute to Darwin

Renowned geneticist Theodosius Dobzhansky once said, “Nothing in biology makes sense, except in the light of evolution.” Though remarkable advances have been made in the 36 years since he made this observation, it still rings true. In the 150 years following Charles Darwin’s publication of On the Origin of Species, evolutionary thinking has been fundamental […]

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Death and Carbon Taxes

In the early 1960s, President Kennedy challenged America to make what would be a giant leap for mankind by putting a man on the moon within the decade. Offering his own version of this challenge in a recent speech, former Vice President Al Gore called on America to transition all electricity production to “renewable” energy […]

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Science and Faith: Enemies

Billionaire investor Sir John Templeton passed away last month. A devout Presbyterian, Templeton devoted much of his fortune to the study of the relationship between religion and science. He believed that faith and the scientific method could work harmoniously to advance knowledge about the world. Such a position may seem plausible at first. After all, […]

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Bad Science for Worse Philosophy: The “Ruthlessness” Gene

Hebrew University recently completed a study on the genetic basis for “ruthlessness,” and it’s getting some media coverage.Nature included it on their news page, with the flattering headline, “Ruthlessness gene discovered.”The story even made it to the Drudge Report for a day or two, assuring wide-spread attention. All of this sensational coverage, for a study […]

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Defining Life: The Moral Case for Stem Cell Research

In a recent political move, Republican Presidential candidate John McCain voiced his opposition to embryonic stem cell research (ESC). Yet, even as the controversy rages on, the real reasons for opposition to embryonic stem cell research are increasingly obscured. Stem cells are, in simplest terms, the basic cells that replicate and change into the various […]

A Little Change Means a Lot

Opponents of embryonic stem cell research often highlight the similarities between babies, fetuses, and embryos, and dismiss the obvious difference between them. Their arguments almost invariably rely on the difficulty of marking precise dividing lines between them, and offer this difficulty as a reason to dismiss the distinctions outright. According to these proponents, there is […]

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Scrap Scrabulous

Scrabulous, a virtual knockoff of the board game Scrabble, has become one of the most popular Facebook games. According to the New York Times, the makers of Scrabble have denounced Scrabulous as piracy and are threatening legal action against its creators. Scrabulous fans are crying foul: The threat of legal action has not gained the […]

How Not to Lie with Statistics: The Good, the Bad, and the Average

The formula is painfully familiar— “According to a recent survey by X from the University of Y,” followed by a statement about married couples’ tendency to get bored with their sex lives (ABC News), or thin women’s tendency to think themselves fat (Psychology Today), or older people’s tendency to become increasingly religious (Harris Poll, 2006)—or […]

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