Accompanying the Sun in its 250 million year journey around the center of the Milky Way is a retinue of small worlds. Some are planets, some are moons, some asteroids, some comets. We humans are one of the 50 billion species that have grown up and evolved on a small planet, third from the Sun, that we call the Earth.
We have sent spacecraft to examine seventy of the other worlds in our system, and to enter the atmospheres or land on the surfaces of four of them….We have been engaged in a mythic endeavor.
Lipids are not technically macromolecules, because they’re not built in the same way—though they are formed through dehydration reactions, they’re not polymers made up of individual subunits called monomers. But they are sometimes considered as part of that family, and…
Scientists who decode the genetic history of humans by tracking how genes mutate have applied the same technique to one of the Western world’s most ancient and celebrated texts to uncover the date it was first written.
As a biology and classics buff, I loved this approach to dating the Iliad.
So basically some scientists reinvented historical linguistics.
A 2008 University of Texas study found that 25 percent of public school biology teachers believe that humans and dinosaurs inhabited the earth simultaneously.
“This level of scientific illiteracy provides fertile soil for political appeals based on sheer ignorance,” writes Susan Jacoby in The Age of American Unreason.
Christian fundamentalism is based on the conviction that every word in the Bible is literally true and was handed down by God himself. In most Western developed nations, Christian fundamentalists represent a minority, loopy fringe. In America, however, one third believe in the literal interpretation of the Bible, while nearly 60 percent believe the Armageddon predictions in the Book of Revelation will come true.
Amusingly, fundamentalist Christians are evidently as ignorant of the Bible as they are of science, given a majority of Americans cannot name the first book of the Bible. “How can citizens understand what creationism means, or make an informed decision about whether it belongs in classrooms, if they cannot even locate the source of the creation story,” asks Jacoby.