The Scientific Event of the Year: Debate: Darwin vs. God: Part 2


Dawkins and Williams after the debate

Dawkins and Williams after the debate

Yesterday, people from all around the world were able to watch one of the most important events of the year at Oxford University or by the Internet.

At Sheldonian Theatre, zoologist Richard Dawkins debated about the origin of human nature and the universe with Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams. The debate, considered as a battle between science and religion, was calm and polite, but with some sense of humour of the debaters.

Each debater respected and admired each other’s arguments, although after they had to argue it.

Anthony Kenny

The debate started with the philosopher Anthony Kenny asking for no applauses, and continued with the funny comment ‘I come representing ignorance’.

He actively collaborated in the debate, sometimes looking as a third debater. He gave the debate a relaxed but formal atmosphere, and asked new discussions to both debators.

Rowan Williams

One of the head of the Anglican Church’s arguments debated about conscience, and of the need of God to explain it. He also had to admit that the Bible didn’t explain scientifically the creation of the Universe, but he argued that the Bible’s authors just wrote what God told them to.

Richard Dawkins

The biologist occupied the major part of the debate, defending Darwin’s ideas about evolutionism and stating that humans are a product of only evolution, with no intervention by God.

He was sarcastic about the existence of God, but had to admit he can’t disprove the existence of God, and once, he even had to admit he did not disbelief in God totally, but thought the chances of it existing were very, very low.

If you weren’t able to see the debate, you can watch it again at http://fsmevents.com/sophiaeuropa/

The Scientific Event of the Year: Debate: Darwin vs. God


Today’s special report is dedicated to Richard Dawkins and the archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams.

Richard Dawkins is one of the world’s most known biologists and one of the major supporters of Darwinism. Studying zoology at Oxford, he then moved to teaching at California University. His known books, The Selfish Genes and The Extended Phenotype, have given him the title of Darwin’s Bulldog, due to its fierce defence of Darwin’s ideas.

On the other side, there is the Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams. He is also worldwide known as one of the most passionate teologists, defender of the Anglican Church, and is the 104th Archbishop of Canterbury. As Dawkins, he studied at Oxford, but theology. He’s done lectures in numerous universities, specially in Cambridge, where he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Divinity, in 1989.

Returning to the news, today, Thursday the 23rd, Oxford University holds one of the most interesting and passionate debate of the year, the eternal debate of Darwin and God, at the Sheldonian Theatre.

In this debate, being the theme the nature of human beings and their origin, the biologist will defend Darwin’s ideas of evolutionism and natural selection, whilst the Archbishop will state the Church’s point of view, debating about creationism and Adam and Eve.

The tickets to this outstanding event, organised by the University Of Oxford Theology Department have already been sold out, being chaired by philosopher Anthony Kenny.

At 16:00 and until 17:30 (London UTC), people without tickets will be able to watch it live at www.originsofnature.com

Anti-Cancer Nano-Robot Invented


Picture taken from the nano-robot

Picture taken from the nano-robot

This week, Harvard University’s team, lead by Shawn Douglas, announced the invention of a new American nano-robot, based on a sequence of human DNA, designed to transmit information and instructions to cells. This robot is inspired in the model of the human immune system.

With its nanometric scale, and its ability to program cells, it can open new doors in biomedical therapies. Researchers say it can be a new option to fight cancer, as it can reprogram cells so that they auto-destroy themselves.

In the experiments carried out by the American scientists, they used the nano-robot to transmit instructions to two types of cells: a leukaemia and a lymphoma cell. The robot activated the apoptosis function (cellular suicide) used by the body to kill old or faulty cells.

The scientists gave it a hexagonal shape using a special technique called DNA origami  used to change the DNA’s shape. This can be done with DNA as it can be easily sinthesized and manipulated to change it to several forms.

The robot’s objectives are to improve the use of certain medicines and transmit molecular signals.

Although the program is quite advanced, it stills has some problems to be solved.

For example, scientists have to figure out which structure and shape to use to increase the robot’s capacity, They also have to find an appropriate method that can manipulate the robot (open, insert instructions, transport it…) at nanoscale in the body.

To find more details about this new invention, visit  www.sciencemag.org

This method differs from the last attempt of using a nanoscopic robot to cure illnesses in many ways.

The latest model, also a nano-robot, didn’t carry instructions that activated the cells suicide. It used an RNA Interference therapy, which targeted the virus’ messenger RNA that stopped protein production in intruder cells, causing death of these cells by starvation. Its designers, Andrew Fine and Craig Mello, won the 2006 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine because of this robot.

Both of this known anti-cancer treatments are very efficient, but still need testing to become more widely used. Nowadays, we still use radiotherapy and anti-cancer drugs, which have much more problems than the use of nano-robots. The biggest being the death of other benevolent cells and not just cancer cells.

Hello world!


Hi everybody!

Welcome to Science for Scientists. In this new blog, I will show any one interested in science, the weekly news of this subject,  followed by a small discussion on the topic the news is about. You can always add any of your own ideas to these discussion via comments that I will gladly read.

I hope everyone continues interested, as I will soon start publishing some articles.

Hope you like it!

Daniel C.N.