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Creationism Is Simpleminded

By | January 12, 1987

The statements on creationism (The Scientist, November 17, 1986, pp.10-11), have stimulated me to write. I believe they all missed the main point. Fundamentally, the difference between creationism and science is that the former is simpler. Thus, it is more likely to be espoused by the uninformed, the simpleminded, the intellectually idle. Comprehension and evaluation of scientific evidence about something like evolution is really very hard work, and is unlikely to be done at the highest level by

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WASHINGTON—The National Institute on Drug Abuse will award more than $155 million in research funds this year. The 77 percent increase over last year is due largely to the President's initiative on drug abuse, and the drug-AIDS connection. Officials said $31 million will be directed toward AIDS research, a 340 percent increase over last year. The administration's $1.5 billion program to combat drugs, which includes funds for military interdiction and anti-crime measures, contains $27 milli

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EEC Budget at Impasse

By | January 12, 1987

LONDON—"Agriculture has a lobby. Research and development does not." That comment last month from Karl-Heinz Narjes, vice president of the European Economic Community, summarized the problems facing the 12 nations in the Community as they struggled to agree on a new budget for collaborative research during the next five years. West Germany, France and Britain, joined in December by the Netherlands, have been calling for a major reduction in the European Commission's ambitious proposal for

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ESA Nations Ask What Comes After Ariane

By | January 12, 1987

LONDON—Competing schemes to take Western Europe into a new era in extraterrestrial transportation are posing a conundrum for the continent's space planners. At the heart of the debate is just how ambitious Western Europe wants to be in its next generation of space launchers, together with whether the countries involved can put aside their contrasting approaches and agree on a common goal. At issue is the next big transportation project for the 13-nation European Space Agency (ESA), the Par

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Experts Debate NSF Pre-College Program

By | January 12, 1987

WASHINGTON—A recommendation that Congress look into taking responsibility for pre-college education programs away from the National Science Foundation has caught the attention of the science community. But the suggestion from retiring Rep. Donald Fuqua (D-Fla.) that the Department of Education could better handle the job is viewed more as an attempt to stir up science educators than to take the Foundation out of the business of elementary and secondary school science. In a brief discussion

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Gene Expression: Complicated Molecules Made to Seem Simple

By | January 12, 1987

A Genetic Switch: Gene Control and Phage A. Mark Ptashne. Cell Press, Cambridge, MA, and Blackwell Scientific, Palo Alto, CA, 1986. 138 pp., illus. $16.95 PB. A small, easily digestible new textbook, A Genetic Switch, is destined to become an essential primer for novices in molecular biology and a rewarding recapitulation for old hands. The book builds from the basic relationship between promoters, operators and repressors that is at the heart of the decision between bacteriophage lambda's two

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Japan Slowly Permits Foreign Faculty

By | January 12, 1987

TOKYO—It was, admits American seismologist Robert Geller, a simple task: to complete a requisition to repair the departmental roof. But the fact that a nonnative member of the Tokyo University faculty was given this duty indicates the change in Japanese attitudes toward foreign scientists. A 1982 law allows foreign nationals to teach at public universities. The law changed an interpretation of the Japanese constitution that required faculty, as government employees, to be "persons of Japan

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Mathematics Has No Gender

By | January 12, 1987

Girls and Mathematics. A Report by the Joint Mathematical Education Committee of the Royal Society and the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, the Royal Society, London, 1986. 37 pp. £3. It is heartening that girls' needs have been accorded recognition and status through the publication of a report such as this by the Royal Society. Several important themes are brought to light: there is ample evidence of girls' and womens' underachievement and under-representation in mathematics

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New Law Allows Drug Export

January 12, 1987

WASHINGTON—President Reagan has signed a controversial health bill that allows U.S. firms to export drugs prior to approval by the Food and Drug Administration and provides a federal no-fault compensation system for children injured by vaccines. The drug export provision was strongly supported by pharmaceutical manufacturers who can now export prescription drugs to 21 foreign countries providing the drug has been approved for use in that country and the manufacturer is actively seeking app

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No Mea Culpas Here

By | January 12, 1987

The article by Gregory Byrne (The Scientist, November 17, p.2) contains the statement"… was the exception that proves the rule" (my emphasis). It is surprising that a newspaper for the science professional should use a phrase which is the antithesis of scientific thought. The original Latin expression exceptio probat regulam means "the exception probes the rule"—a principle that we would all agree should be basic to the thinking of the science professional. -Martin Freundlich Departm

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