February 9, 2005

Links for Feb 9/05

Evolution in the Blackboard Jungle (Reason)
Ronald Bailey offers an intelligent design for a solution to the debate:
So what to do? It is not the role of public schools to confirm the religious beliefs of their students. Parents who want their children to benefit from the latest findings of science would reasonably be irked if evolutionary biology were expunged from the public school curriculum. There is another way around this conundrum. Get rid of public schools. Give parents vouchers and let them choose the schools to which to send their children. Fundamentalists can send their kids to schools that teach that the earth was created on Sunday, October 23, 4004 BC. Science geeks can send their kids to technoschools that teach them how to splice genes to make purple mice. This proposal lowers political and social conflict, and eventually those made fitter in the struggle for life by better education will win. At least that's my theory.
Can We Live to Be 1,000? (Wired)
Nobody lives forever—but we're about to get a whole lot closer, says biogerontologist Aubrey de Grey. In this Wired interview, de Grey explains how mainstream research has veered off course.

Robot Wars (Nature)
Technology guru Ray Kurzweil offers a vision of future fighting machines.

Neal Stephenson’s Past, Present, and Future (Reason)
The author of the widely praised Baroque Cycle on science, markets, and post-9/11 America

Cell Out (The American Prospect)
Bush’s stances on stem cells and cloning drift ever further from scientific reality.

Martian Methane Mystery (Astrobiology)
In this excerpt from the new Forward to the paperback edition of "Lonely Planets", planetary scientist David Grinspoon ponders what the recent discovery of methane on Mars could mean for the possibility for life on the Red Planet. I can't recommend Grinspoon enough--"Longely Planets" was probably the best book I read last year.

Director James Cameron Works with NASA on Future Mars Mission (Space)
The maker of legendary movies "Titanic," "Aliens" and "The Terminator" is no longer limiting his zest for extracurricular exploration to the depths of the ocean.

The High Risk Frontier (The Space Review)
Space colonies located in L5 were all the rage in the 1970s, but today a more incremental approach starting on the Moon may make more sense.

Impossible becomes conceivable... same-sex couples may one day have genetic offspring (Cape Times)

New blog:
Extropian Brandon Reinhart has launched a personal blog, Extropica, covering such topics as transhumanism and bioethics.

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