Is belief in God rational? Or has science shown the existence of God to be so unlikely as to make belief irrational?
Two physicists, a skeptic and a scholar tried to answer those questions in the latest Intelligence Squared U.S. debate. They faced off two against two (with one physicist on each side) on the motion "Science Refutes God."
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 8:04 am
The barbs on porcupine quills make it easier from them to penetrate the skin.
Credit National Park Service
Pulling out a porcupine quill is painful and slow, as many a dog discovers to its dismay after tangling with the big rodent. But those tenacious quills are inspiring efforts to develop better medical devices, including less painful needles.
It turns out that no one had really picked apart why it's so hard to remove a porcupine quill. Barbs, sure. But the barbs not only stick like mad. They also make it much easier for the quill to pierce skin and flesh.
Originally published on Wed December 12, 2012 8:06 am
<em>Clostridium difficile</em> bacteria produce a toxin that damages the intestine and causes severe diarrhea.
Credit Courtesy of David Goudling/Nature Genetics.
Just as the name implies, Clostridium difficile is a difficult pathogen to beat. It causes a nasty infection in your gut, and it's often resistant to many antibiotics.
But C. difficile got even more troublesome about 10 years ago when a particularly virulent form of the bug cropped up in hospitals across the U.S and was no longer vulnerable to one of the most common classes of antibiotics.
It may have something to do with all those Brontosaurus burgers everyone's favorite modern stone-age family ate, but when you think of a giant dinosaur with a tiny head and long, swooping tail, the Brontosaurus is probably what you're seeing in your mind.
Well hold on: Scientifically speaking, there's no such thing as a Brontosaurus.
Even if you knew that, you may not know how the fictional dinosaur came to star in the prehistoric landscape of popular imagination for so long.