Origins News Briefs-July 2005

“The Politics of Academic Scientists: Democrats Vastly Outnumber Republicans,” Creation-Evolution Headlines, 12-02-2004; downloaded 12/3/04 from

“A news item in Science entitled “Academia as a ‘One Party’ System” will probably attract the attention of conservative talk show hosts:

Universities in the United States are very keen on fostering “diversity” as long as it’s not ideological diversity, according to the National Association of Scholars (NAS), a conservative group of academics. Last year NAS surveyed members of scholarly societies in six fields in the social sciences, asking which political party they identified with. About 30% of the 5486 people polled responded; of these, 80% were Democrat. ‘… it appears that “lopsidedness has become more extreme over the past decades, and…unless we believe that current professors occasionally mature into Republicans, it will become even more extreme in the future.’ (emphasis added in all quotes)

“The ratios of Democrats to Republicans varied from 3 to 1 in Economics to 30 to 1 in Anthropology, with Political Science, History, Philosophy, and Sociology scaling in between.”

“Klein and Andrew [the authors of the above mentioned study] …have a working paper from their survey of Stanford and Berkeley. The Democratic-Republican (D:R) ratios for the hard sciences track those for the social sciences: Biology 21:0 (Berkeley) and 29:2 (Stanford); Chemistry 32:4 (Berkeley) and 10:5 (Stanford); Mathematics 23:6 (Berkeley) and 12:3 (Stanford); Neurology/Neurobiology 55:4 (Berkeley) and 13:2 (Stanford); Physics 28:2 (Berkeley) and 14:3 (Stanford).”

I will leave the reader to draw their own conclusions from this article.

“Fossils show dinosaur transformed into vegetarian,” Peter N. Sports, The Christian Science Monitor, downloaded from USA, 05/06/05,

“…Grateful indeed. A team of paleontologists led by Kirkland [Dr. James Kirkland, Utah’s state paleontologist] announced Wednesday the discovery of a new dinosaur caught in the evolutionary act of shifting from a meat eater to a vegetarian.”

“We estimate that there are well over a million bones here, and 99% are from this animal,’ he [Dr. Kirkland] says. ‘This animal will be a hallmark dinosaur one day.

“In its heyday, Falcarius [Falcarius utahensis] measured 13 feet from beak to tail. It stood 4 ½ feet tall and boasted talons four inches long. To the uninitiated, it resembles its Velociraptor cousin in many ways. But on closer inspection, the creature is clearly demoting itself on the food chain, the researchers say. Its teeth are losing their meat-eating edge. Its pelvis is broadening to accommodate a digestive system large enough to handle a plant-based diet. Its neck is growing longer, its legs stubbier, and its head smaller. In all, Falcarius displays 20 features of plant-eating dinosaurs that it appears to have evolved independently from other herbivores, according to Lindsay Zanno of the University of Utah, who is working on the project.”

“Finding its ancestors clustered in the Utah desert will provide a goldmine of information,’ -she says. ‘This will allow us to conduct biological and population studies for a species that went extinct 125 million years ago.”

“How so many creatures came to be clustered in one place is a mystery.. .And why would a creature begin to slide down the food chain? …125 million years ago, Earth was undergoing an extended warming period and lacked ice caps  …And plant forms were expanding from ferns and conifers to flowering plants. This explosion in plant life gave animals a ‘whole new set of fodder,’ he [Zanno] says. ‘Falcarius may have eased its way into an unfilled ecological niche that allowed its lineage to survive for some 50 million years.”

The presuppositions involved in this article are too numerous to address. “If I hadn’t believed it, I wouldn’t have seen it.”

“Human Populations are tightly interwoven,” Michael Hopkin, News @, 29 September 2004; downloaded 10/22/04 from 040927/full/040927- 10.html

“The most recent common ancestor of all humanity lived just a few thousand years ago, according to a computer model of our family tree. Researchers have calculated that the mystery person, from whom everyone alive today is directly descended, probably lived around 1,500 BC in eastern Asia.

The figure of 1,500 BC might sound surprisingly recent. But, think how wide your own family tree would be if you extended it back that far… In fact, if it were not for the fact that the oceans helped to keep populations apart, the human race would have mingled even more freely, the researchers argue. ‘The most recent common ancestor for a randomly mating population would have lived in the very recent past,’ they write in this week’s Nature.

The fact that the person probably lived in Asia is down to its prime position along the most commonly used migration routes, Rohde (Douglas Rohde, MIT) suggests. ‘East Asia is at a crossroads,’ he says. ‘it’s close to the Bering Strait and the Pacific.’

Besides dating our most recent common ancestor, Rohde’s team also calculates that in 5,400 BC everyone alive was either an ancestor of all of humanity, or of nobody alive today.

Nonetheless, the results show that we are one big family, Rohde’s says.”

They are really getting close!

“Genetic Factors Influence Female Infidelity Study,” London (Reuters; Nov. 24, 2004); downloaded 11/25/04 from

“Genetic factors influence female infidelity and the number of partners women have, British scientists said on Wednesday.

They studied the responses of 1,600 pairs of identical and non-identical twins in a confidential survey to look at the impact of genes on behavior.

‘We found that around 40 percent of the influence on the number of partners and infidelity was due to genetic factors,’ Professor Tim Spector, director of the Twin Research Unit at St. Thomas’ Hospital in London, told a news conference. But he added that environment and upbringing also play a part in explaining the variation in infidelity between women.

The average age of the women was 50. A quarter were divorced. Women who had been faithful had about four partners [what?], compared to eight in the infidelity group.

The scientists suspect that many genes could be associated with behavior. They believe genes on chromosomes 3, 7 and 20 could be involved.

In a separate study in the journal, involving nearly 2,000 sets of female twins, Spector and his team said genes also played a role in common sleep disorders.”

Am I to understand that because there is evidence of genetic impact in sleep disorders, an organic disease, that this is the “proof” there must be a like connection with moral behavior? Only to an evolutionist.

“Fossil solidifies T. rex link to birds, Bones suggests female was about to lay avian-like eggs.” (Reuters, June 2, 2005), downloaded from www.msnbc .msn .comJidJ8O723 96 6/3/ 2005

“A Tyrannosaurus rex dinosaur that died 68 million years ago has provided some of the strongest evidence yet that birds are the closest-living relatives of dinosaurs, scientists said Thursday. Soft tissue found in the animal’s thighbone strongly suggests it was a female, and just about to lay eggs, the researchers report in Friday’s issue of Science.

The bone tissue is strongly similar to that made inside the bones of female birds — and no other living type of animal — when they are producing the hard shells of eggs just before they lay them, said Mary Higby Schweitzer of North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

This particular T. rex fossil made headlines in March when the same team of paleontologists reported it contained preserved soft tissue — the first ever found in a dinosaur bone.

Horner [Jack Homer of the Museum of the Rockies and Montana State University] said most experts are convinced the two-legged dinosaurs known as theropods were closely related to living birds. ‘This is another piece to the puzzle, and there are a lot of them,’ he said. ‘Anyone who would argue that birds and dinosaurs are not related — frankly, I’d put them in the Flat Earth Society.”

We told you this was coming! While I have not included the entire article (look it up and read it), you can see from my “condensed” version that they have done a great job in beginning to spin this find. Did you see how deftly and how subtly they deflected the real issue here: How did soft tissue exist for 68 million years? With all the hoopla surrounding the ID vs. Evolution debate, this “find” is a much-needed prop to bring back credibility to neo-Darwinism. Rest assured, you have not heard the last of this.

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