Anti-science liberals

Democrats are reviving the notion that “conservatives are anti-science!”  But what about the anti-science stance of liberals when it comes to abortion, genetically-modified foods, fracking, and environmental apocalypse?  And did you know that far more Democrats than Republicans believe in astrology, flying saucers, fortune telling, and New Age medicine?  David Harsanyi and Ian Tuttle both make that case, after the jump. [Read more…]

Marijuana without the high

Lots of people have been hailing the medical uses of marijuana, leading a number of states to legalize the drug if you have a prescription.  Now Israeli researchers (Israel being the world’s leader in research into medical marijuana) has developed a strain that gives the medical benefits without that unfortunate side effect of the “high.”

Do you think this product will catch on in medical marijuana circles?  I say, NO, are you kidding?  Except, perhaps, as a medicine for children that doctors might prescribe, I’m pretty sure that the high is what users find so thereapeutic. [Read more…]

Two more planets in our Solar System?

Pluto has been demoted from its planet status, though some dispute that.  But astronomers have found evidence that there may be two actual planets beyond Pluto.

If they are definitively discovered, what should we call them?  The names should be classical to fit with the others.  I say name one Athena, after the goddess of wisdom, since wisdom is also elusive and hard to detect.  And let’s  name the other one Pluto, so that we’ll once again have a planet named Pluto. [Read more…]

Where does water come from?

That’s not just a little kid question but a genuine scientific mystery.  In the early days of earth’s existence, according to scientists, the planet was just too hot for there to be water.  After things cooled down, there still would have been no water.  Comets have been discovered that have water vapor, so the leading theory has been that comets bombarded the earth and gave us the oceans.

But now a study has found that comet water is, for the most part, very different from earth water.  Another candidate now is asteroids.  But it’s hard to imagine how many comets or asteroids–which may have some water, but not all that much–it would take to create earth’s vast oceans. [Read more…]

Humanized mice

Researchers have injected brain cells from human fetuses into baby mice, giving them brains that are half human.  Those “humanized mice” are much more intelligent than regular mice.  Read the report, which is breezily free of moral judgment, and contemplate just how many things are wrong with this. [Read more…]

Royal blood without royal DNA

We’ve blogged about the discovery of a skeleton with a deformed back found where Richard III was supposed to have been buried.  Studies have confirmed that the skeleton is that of Richard III, the Plantagenet king and Shakespearean villain, who was overthrown by Henry Tudor (father of Henry VIII and grandfather of Queen Elizabeth I).

The studies further show a significant problem with a hereditary monarchy:   DNA from the skeleton does not match known male ancestors, suggesting that some queen must have committed adultery and borne a son who became king of England without really being the previous king’s son.  This would also cast doubt on the legitimacy of his successors.  And since the contending families were intermarried and intertwined, this casts doubt  on the Yorks, the Lancasters, and the Tudors.  (The current royal family, the Windsors, would not be affected.)  This raises the question of whether Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I, and Elizabeth I were rightful monarchs whose laws had authority. [Read more…]