Archive for Biology

2nd Law of Thermodynamics Permits Evolution

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Creationists repeatedly claim that the Second Law of Thermodynamics prohibits evolution. Buzz. Wrong. False. Incorrect. This claim has been around at least back to when I was in college, back when disco was popular. It was wrong then and it’s still wrong.

Pittsburgh’s Day of Giving

Pittsburgh Day of Giving October 3, 2013

Tomorrow, October 3, 2013 is Pittsburgh’s Day of Giving. This is the 5th year for the Day of Giving. As the PittsburghGives.Org website says, PittsburghGives is an initiative of The Pittsburgh Foundation.  The aim of this initiative is to: Increase the level of knowledge about nonprofits in our region Leverage or…

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Water, Martian Dirt and Life

The water molecules absorbed by a hygroscopic salt are not called "The Solvation Army" They should be.

In a paper just released, “Mars soil contains a huge amount of water, reports NASA’s Curiosity rover.” (1) If you’re interested in making drinking water, check out this video: So Mars Has Water. Could We Drink It? Unfortunately, getting potable water out of the soil will be difficult, especially with…

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@realscientists Features David Schiffman This Week

@RealScientists David Schiffman

Every week, @RealScientists on Twitter has a “real scientist” talk about what they’re doing as a way of showing the public what “real scientists” do. This week features David Schiffman (@WhySharksMatter), “…a Ph.D. student at the Abess Center for Ecosystem Science and Policy at the University of Miami…“. David grew…

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What Penguins Tell Us About Ocean Warming

Two African Penguins swimming at the National Aviary

One of the featured attractions at the National Aviary is the Penguin Point exhibit. The African penguins on display are used to a warmer climate. (1) In the winter, the Pittsburgh National Aviary provides them with heated areas. The penguins hate having to walk across any snow that accumulates in…

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Cambrian Explosion Caused by Many Pieces

Dalmanites limulurus trilobite

Before ~541 million years ago, animals were relatively simple and similar. Beginning with the Cambrian period (541-485.4 million years ago), animal life suddenly became abundant and varied. This was called the “Cambrian Explosion.” It was during this sudden (“sudden” in evolutionary terms) change that many modern lineages began, including mollusks,…

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No Methane on Mars

No Methane Detected on Mars

The Curiosity Rover did not detect any methane on Mars during multiple tests. Previously, methane was detected by earthbound telescopes and the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter and should have been detected by Curiosity (which can detect down to 1.6 parts per billion).

Dealing with Feral Cats

Our neighborhood has two feral cats that we know of. (1) The question is, what should we do with them? Whether they’re truly feral or strays that have learned to survive in the wild, I don’t know. [↩]

Creationists vs. Christians

Evolution vs. God: Shaking the foundations of faith.

Once again, the creationists are attempting to destroy people’s faith in God. There’s a “movie” (available on YouTube) titled Evolution Vs. God. I think the movie  attempts to prove that evolution is a “plot” against God. In one of their promotional icons, it says “Shaking the foundations of faith.” They…

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The Problems with Computer Models (Part 1)

Dr. Katharine Hayhoe (@KHayhoe on Twitter) repeatedly pointed out in a recent excellent Infrastructure and Climate Network webinar (1), that climate models can’t predict what will happen on a particular day in the future. Well, living here in Pittsburgh, where the weather forecast for much of this summer was “Possibility…

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