Skip to comments.Project on the origins of life launched; Harvard joining debate on evolution
Posted on 08/14/2005 8:06:45 AM PDT by CarlEOlsoniii
Harvard University is launching a broad initiative to discover how life began, joining an ambitious scientific assault on age-old questions that are central to the debate over the theory of evolution.
The Harvard project, which is likely to start with about $1 million annually from the university, will bring together scientists from fields as disparate as astronomy and biology, to understand how life emerged from the chemical soup of early Earth, and how this might have happened on distant planets.
Known as the ''Origins of Life in the Universe Initiative," the project is still in its early stages, and fund-raising has not begun, the scientists said.
But the university has promised the researchers several years of seed money, and has asked the team to make much grander plans, including new faculty and a collection of multimillion-dollar facilities.
The initiative begins amid increasing controversy over the teaching of evolution, prompted by proponents of ''intelligent design," who argue that even the most modest cell is too complex, too finely tuned, to have come about without unseen intelligence.
President Bush recently said intelligent design should be discussed in schools, along with evolution. Like intelligent design, the Harvard project begins with awe at the nature of life, and with an admission that, almost 150 years after Charles Darwin outlined his theory of evolution in the Origin of Species, scientists cannot explain how the process began.
Now, encouraged by a confluence of scientific advances -- such as the discovery of water on Mars and an increased understanding of the chemistry of early Earth -- the Harvard scientists hope to help change that.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
Oh boy...another free for all!
The people who put their faith in macro-evolution seem to be getting nervous.
If I didn't know better, I'd think the Discovery Institute's attack on evolution was actually a cynical method to increase funding for evolution research. Such research will be increased, dramatically. And there's zero reason to think that there will be any difference in the outcome of this generations fight vs. evolution than the outcome of the "monkey trials" in the 30's.
The creationists will be embarrassed. Badly.
The Harvard president makes a simple statement that said that we should look beyond discrimination to explain why there are relatively few women in the sciences.
The Harvard faculty goes nuts and is still bouncing off walls, the president says he did a bad thing. "I deeply regret the impact of my comments and apologize for not having weighed them more carefully. . .[I will do better including] carefully avoiding stereotypes, being alert to forms of subtle discrimination, and doing everything we can to remove obstacles to success."
Is Harvard mature enough, the origins of life is nuclear compared to how many women are in the sciences.
(BTW, after his confession the two heavily armed guards that flanked him on the flatbed truck allowed him to hold his head up and removed the hand-lettered sign hanging from his neck. He was forced off the truck and had to walk the several blocks to his home as jeering, threatening faculty members surrounded him.)
More politics disguised as "Science".
Why don't all you evolution fanatics admit you want to attack religion and "Evolution" is just a handy stick?
E=mc2; thats science. No one debates it. People dont call it each other names other it. It can be proved; hence it is science.
The Big Bang Theory - unprovable vapor. Belongs in a philosphy class.
Well now, there's a conspiracy theory that predates the existence of tin foil. Almost 200 years of conspiracy involving scientists falsifying evidence in the fields of antroplogy to DNA, with no wistle blowers to expose their anti-christian agenda.
That's got to be the mother of all conspiracy theories.
Completely unrelated to evolution.
The first proposal for a "Big Bang", before Hubbel, was from a jesuit scientist, who thought it would scientifically demonstrate God's creation.
What does the Big Bang theory have to do with Evolution?
"What does the Big Bang theory have to do with Evolution?"
What does the creation of life have to do with evolution??
Why have a universe with NO life?
What genetic matter was present before Life?
Why is a Theory treated as fact??
The Harvard project, which is likely to start with about $1 million annually from the university, will bring together scientists from fields as disparate as astronomy and biology, to understand how life emerged from the chemical soup of early Earth, and how this might have happened on distant planets. (emphasis mine)
Seems to me they've already concluded how life began.
Whatever this endeaver is, it certainly isn't science.
One million bucks? What is that these days with Harvard overhead rate, about one and a half professors?
Shoulda stuck with Newton. Those were God's Laws. Not this new age quantum hocus-pocus.
INTREP - I sense a rising panic amongst the Disciples of Darwin
The theory of evolution, or more precisely natural selection, presupposes that life already exists.
Theories about the origin of life are a separate matter, and are generally considered by scientists to be on shakier ground than evolution.
In short, evolution is not a "theory of everything".
Let's not let research get in the way of the real science of astrology.
I do believe this line of reserach will make some people hold their breath until they turn blue.
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