Despite all the amazing scientific advances of the past few centuries there is still a heck of a lot that we don't know, especially about ourselves. First up is a really remarkable new study that has completely revolutionized our understanding of genetics.
The discovery has astonished scientists studying the human genome - the genetic recipe of man. Until now it was believed the variation between people was due largely to differences in the sequences of the individual " letters" of the genome.
It now appears much of the variation is explained instead by people having multiple copies of some key genes that make up the human genome.
Until now it was assumed that the human genome, or "book of life", is largely the same for everyone, save for a few spelling differences in some of the words. Instead, the findings suggest that the book contains entire sentences, paragraphs or even whole pages that are repeated any number of times.
The findings mean that instead of humanity being 99.9 per cent identical, as previously believed, we are at least 10 times more different between one another than once thought - which could explain why some people are prone to serious diseases.
One consequence that the article underplays is that this discovery now makes it possible, for the first time, to determine a person's "race" or "ethnicity" based on their DNA. What's more,
Another implication of the finding is that we are more different to our closest living relative, the chimpanzee, than previously assumed from earlier studies. Instead of being 99 per cent similar, we are more likely to be about 96 per cent similar.
Thereby striking another blow against evolution (which will probably go completely unnoticed until the entire edifice crumbles). As I said, there's a lot we don't know, and it's continually surprising how much of what we think we know turns out to be wrong or only partially right. Makes life interesting!
Secondly, some high-definition pictures of animals in the womb.
An unborn elephant, tiny but perfect in every way. A dolphin swimming in the womb, just as it will have to swim in the ocean the moment it is born. An unborn dog panting. Each one amazing and now, thanks to these remarkable pictures, they can be seen for the first time.
Using an array of technology, the images reveal what until now has been a secret - exactly how animals develop in the womb. They were created by the same team who in 2004 showed how human embryos "walk in the womb".
Using a combination of three-dimensional ultrasound scans, computer graphics and tiny cameras, the team were able to show the entire process from conception to birth.
"These kind of images from inside animals have never been seen before," said Jeremy Dear of Pioneer Productions, who made the film.
These sorts of pictures will eventually overcome the ocean of blood money that keeps the abortion industry afloat.
"Animals were trained to sit still near the scanners and we also inserted cameras into the womb via the elephant's rectum-But it has been worth it. It one sequence we follow an elephant developing. When it is finally born, there is not a dry eye in the house.
Wait for the same movie to be made of a human baby. The whole debate on abortion is undergoing a sea-change as our scientific knowledge of what goes on in the womb advances. Those of our children who survive will likely live in a world that recognizes abortion as the barbarity it is.
I like James Taranto's take on the in utero pictures:
The unborn elephant, shown at the link, is quite something to see. By contrast, as we all know from reading the newspapers, there is no such thing as an unborn human being. We develop by a little-understood process in which a clump of cells, similar to a tumor or a fingernail, miraculously becomes a baby at the moment the entire clump is exposed to air.
That humans and animals come into the world in such radically different ways pretty much demolishes the notion that we are the product of Darwinian evolution, doesn't it?