Texas textbooks: the creation side

The Texas State Board of Education will vote this fall on new biology textbooks for government high schools in Texas. Texas schools buy more textbooks than do most States, so as goes Texas, so goes the rest of the country. Yesterday The New York Times ran a piece about a controversy about the process. Six of twenty-eight members of a panel reviewing biology textbooks are, according to that article’s headline, “creationists.” Continue reading

Curiosity rover: life on Mars?

Yesterday, the journal Science published several provocative reports about new geological findings on Mars. These findings come from the Mars Science Laboratory, that the world called “the Curiosity rover.” In swift sequence, the world heard of methane and methane-like compounds on Mars, and then of water on Mars – a lot of it. This excited anew the debate on whether Mars harbors life, or was an origin of life. At least one scientist, after reading the reports, makes a remarkable suggestion: yes, Mars might harbor life. If it does, that life did not spring forth from Mars. Instead, that life, and the water, might have come from earth – and not as recent contaminants, either. Continue reading