SCIENCE IN THE NEWS DAILY
Before Darwin: How the Earth Went from Lifeless to Life
from the Scientist (Registration Required)
Even as political rhetoric and court battles reflect a public struggle over Darwin's theory of evolution as an explanation for the origin of humans, a different struggle is unfolding within science about the adequacy of evolution as a theoretical foundation for biology.
On the surface, the two debates seem to have little to do with one another, but in a subtle way both reflect the need for a richer theoretical biology. The perception of evolution among the wider public might even be improved by better communication of scientific concerns about the limitations of evolutionary theory, and how those concerns are being addressed.
A sympathetic reading of public distrust over evolution would be that a simple theory of change seems too bare to account for the richness of structure we see in the world around us, and for how that structure first came to form.
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PODCASTS: From Balloons to Space Stations: Studying Cosmic Rays
Cosmic rays have mysterious qualities about them that scientists continue to research in order to better understand their origins and composition. Dr. Eun-Suk Seo, a professor of physics at the University of Maryland, and her colleagues, fly enormous balloons as large as a football stadium and a volume of 40-million-cubic feet for extended periods over Antarctica to study particles coming from cosmic rays before they break up in the atmosphere.
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