Fringe Science!

Weird scientific facts that sound unbelievable but that are, in actuality, true.

1. South Korean scientists put a jelly-fish gene into cloned puppies and made them glow in the dark.

2. Although we share 95% of our DNA with Chimpanzees we actually share 50% of our genetic code with a banana.

3. In the U.S.A. cloned animal food products passed FDA inspection and are FDA approved.

4. Denisova homini is a third species of humanoid after Neanderthals and Humans.

5. Black holes are real!

6. The human embryo goes through quite a surprising metamorphosis including developing gills, a tail, webbed fingers and toes, and a full coat of fur, among other traits, which it then sheds to become a fetus.

7. Traveling at the speed of light slows time down to a halt. It's also known as Einstein's special theory of relativity.

8. Using high intensity lasers physicists are bending space-time and attempting to send messages into the future, perchance to receive a message from the future! Great Scott! Back from the future!

9. The Large Hadron Collider at CERN, in Geneva, needs to be cooled to absolute zero, colder than the vacuum of space, in order to work properly.

10. Lead particle physicist of the ATLAS division of the LHC at CERN, Dr. Brian Cox, was a chart topping English rock musician with three number one singles before he became a leading theoretical physicist.

11. Real T-Rex DNA was successfully acquired by Jack Horner and his associate. Jurassic Park here I come!

12. Bumble bees have been tested by the U.S. military as laser guided missile destroyers.

13. The mass of a proton, 90% of which is empty space, was measures using quantum electrodynamics which detected and was able to accurately measure the random fluctuations which are going on at the quantum level.

14. Life comes from non-life. Living cells arose from non-living stuff such as amino acids, nucleotides, and lipids.

15. The Universe came from nothing!

16. Life in the universe is almost assuredly not rare! With the recent discovery of the amino acid glycine, a key building block in the formation of life, recovered from the tail of the comet Wild 2 by the NASA spacecraft Stardust from deep within our solar system, we can be sure this evidence strengthens the argument that life in the universe may be common rather than rare.

17. Exoplanets, large Earth-like planets, are surprisingly common. More are being found every day.

18. Human brains do not feel pain, but all the pain the body feels is stimuli registered by the brain!

19. The part of the brain that controls motor function and tool development is also necessary for speech--and these important key features distinguish us from other intelligent animals, our ability utilize language and develop tools, in a strange turn it also gives us the human spark, or essence, which people describe as the human soul.

20. You can still get an erection even after you're dead. Hallelujah!

These are just a few interesting scientific facts which I have come across in my readings.


  1. The human embryo goes through quite a surprising metamorphosis including developing gills, a tail, webbed fingers and toes, and a full coat of fur, among other traits, which it then sheds to become a fetus.

    This is one I never fell for for 1 minute. Link

    How many different ways are there to compare chimp DNA with that of humans?

  2. In reference to the Chimp/DNA reference that you cite, I recall Thomas Woodward mentioning it in a presentation that he gave a couple of months ago. I don't have my notes from that presentation with me right now but in the meantime, I found this link that gives you somewhat of an idea of what he discussed. Your thoughts TV? (whenever you get around to it).

  3. JD-

    First off that is a Christian apologetics website, and not science oriented. I don’t mean to sound snooty, but that’s a big demerit in my book.

    Secondly, it begins with a preconceived bias against evolution. I mean, to disagree with a theory because you have evidence it may be wrong is one thing, but to assume it is wrong without the proper evidence is another matter entirely. This article doesn’t bring any new evidence to light, it just rehashes old rhetoric and uses people’s scientific ignorance to try and bolster its claims. That I find to be a little dishonest. It should be making things as clear as possible, or else offer hard tangible refutations, rather than shaky reasons with little to no support.

    This first article only uses three outdated scientific references. (Three is better than none, I suppose. Which are also taken out of context--another example of apologetical quote mining). I didn't go into detail about these traits, mostly because I don’t feel I have to, but Jerry Coyne discusses them in full (with photos!) in his book "Why Evolution is True."

    Did I mention that Coyne uses real life photos as well as scientifically realistic drawings, drawn by a real scientist, not a crude undetailed and vague etching in this article which looks like its from the 70s.

    I'm sorry, but the articles biased stance and lack of support, as a refutations for the reasons why these vestigial traits aren't part of evolutionary ancestry isn't even discussed, just quotes forced to make it sound unbelievable, makes this article completely a waist of time.

    No offense, I enjoyed reading it. But if you want to convince me that these "left over" traits aren't a stamp of our evolutionary lineage you'll have to do far better than a biased, outdated, propagandist, right wing, agenda driven, opinion piece on a Christian apologetics website.

    Did I mention that Coyne also uses real photographs? His website also have interesting information, photos, and up to date scientific details regarding the evolutionary process.

    You can view a list of Coyne's scientific articles here (you can download most of them in PDF format):

  4. Don Batten's article has the wrong ideas about evolution. We did not evolve from apes. This misconception shows me he doesn't understand the first thing about evolution. We’re all primates with a common ancestor and there was a genetic divergence.

    Throwing around "evolutionary terminology" doesn't make his assumptions correct any more so than Deepak Chopra's throwing around "quantum terminology" makes his 'Law of Attraction' valid.

    Theoretical physicists have corrected Chopra's misapplications of quantum mechanics numerous times, yet he doesn't correct his misusage of the terminology, because his goal isn't to prove himself right scientifically. It's to convert believers.

    Much like this article by Batten, and in the words of Michael Shermer, there is a lot of "woo-woo" being thrown around without a correct understanding of the science.

    I'm not an evolutionary biologist, so I wouldn't presume to correct all of the errors here, but I am confident in what I know is valid and what is said in these articles is mainly just trying to sound authentic, but mostly isn't. For example, it would be better to use references to the field it talks about with the current knowledge, especially since it is arguing from a position which denies the evidence found with the decoding of the human genome. Why cite sources that predate the genomic sequencing as evidence against shared genetic code? That’s like trying to prove the holocaust didn’t happen by citing sources which all predate the holocaust! It’s not even rational.

    If you noticed, all the references in Batten’s piece are from 1985 and 1987 with one exception of a 1993 reference which isn’t even a science reference, it’s a Creationist conjecture book. So as far as I can tell there is really no argument against the 95% shared genetic code mention, because the piece only cites pre-genomic sources without the relevant information and poor sources, none of which actually have to do with genomics. In other words, it doesn’t even try to support its argument, it just asserts it, and then tries to sound scientific—but fails. Woo-woo all the way around.

    Again, I would caution, trying to be scientific sounding is not the same as being scientifically accurate. Also, none of the anti-evolution articles ever meet or pass peer review standards, and that says a lot right there.

    It's not that "evolution believers" are denying these good old fashioned Christian facts of life, it is just that the misrepresentation and misunderstanding of science is so stupendous, so superfluous, so stunning that these sorts of things never get taken seriously by serious scientists.

    If you want my best scientific advice, do what I do, and consult the professionals and there findings. I have emailed professors numerous times asking for their scientific insights and many have replied. Further more, I beseech you, read the up to date science journals. This is where the tested and reliable answers are found, not on propaganda websites that have nothing to do with science but often times have anti-science agendas.

    Instead, please try and consult the popular science texts of today to balance the older ones and see what theories are acceptable and which ones have gone out of fashion. Try not to balance a scientific text against a radical religious theory. Science is science, and religion is religion. They are different disciplines entirely. So it seems rather strained to be referencing religious apologists for your scientific know how. I am not denying there aren’t any smart scientifically savvy Christians, Ken Miller comes to mind, but these links you gave me are completely sub par, unscientific, unprofessional, and don’t pass muster.

    Again, you can find many of Coyne’s articles in PDF form here:  

  5. Haeckel

    Humans and chimps

    JD won't listen though. His mind is made up and he knows the Bible is right and all those scientists that have evidence on their side are lying through their teeth because they hate god and Jesus and they are just trying to tempt him so that he'll go to hell.

    Tons of evidence has already been given to him. His response was to simply not read it and then dismiss it as wrong or not worth looking at and continue to claim that no evidence has been given him, that evolution is wrong, etc.

  6. GCT

    W'dup yo, It's not just JD, but there are still like 15% of scientists that would agree with him. And maybe JD don't think that their lying, maybe like me he thinks that there just wrong because of their starting point? Are you going to church on Easter to make someone you love happy? Peace and hair grease, feeno


    'Sup Holmes? I do love lists like these and fascinating little tid bits of info. But you can't just print anything and think you can get away with it. What's up with #15? Says who? And I'm not sure about 14 either.

    And before I'm suppose to be convinced I evolved from a monkey because our DNA matches up to 95%, I'd be curios to know how close it is to other animals. probably 90-95%. You said yourself we're already 50% banana.

    About #20, I'm gonna request an open casket at my funeral and I'll be wearing my gray sweat pants and will be keeping my fingers crossed?

    Late, feeno

  7. GCT-
    The thing I like about JD is that he sites his sources, even though many times the sources aren’t actually very good, or else they are secondary sources and not primary ones.

    One of the things I had to learn when I was a Bible thumping evangelical was to stop consulting secondary sources and go straight to the primary source, get involved with the material itself instead of just using others as my mouth piece. I don’t believe in evolution! Why? Because some Joe-Schmoe with an MDiV in Theology says it’s all hokum! Well that’s nice, but what does Mr. Theologian know about real science really? Probably not very much, even if he has credible sources, it’s still a good rule of thumb to check out the sources for yourself, as any person trained in critical writing will know.

    Instead of quoting a Christian apologist with a degree in Theology on the theory of evolution, as I was accustomed to doing, eventually I had to make the effort to go to the evolutionary biologists, psychologists, and geneticists who understood and specialized in those fields to get the clearest and best answers available. And that meant I had to actually start reading their papers in scientific journals and in their published works as to get a better handle on things. When I quote my sources, I try to make sure they’re from the readings I have done and not the readings other people have done. I keep a plethora of notes in my carry bag as I fill two or three notebooks on a monthly basis just jotting down the key points in the science and religious history books I read. It’s demanding, but it helps me retain what I’ve learned, and I can always go back and quote from that directly, the primary source, instead of relying on a poorly referenced websites with second hand information written by people who don’t know the first thing about the field they are criticizing.

    So JD isn’t wrong in his method… he’s just putting more emphasis on secondary sources and neglecting to consult the primary sources first, this is why many of his opinions seem skewed toward the authors who are quoting (often misquoting) scientists and misrepresenting science. JDs technique works to prove his points, insofar as it is a form of support, and works well for a blog, but it wouldn’t pass muster for an academic paper.

    And as long as he seeks answers, then eventually he’s going to find himself at an impasse, because although others may have valid opinions, you won’t know whether those opinions are valid until you check their sources! So either way, JD will eventually have to look at the works in detail instead of just referring to others who have. I think JD is on the right track. My criticism is simply in regards to his being short of primary sources for his approach to supporting the reasons for his arguments. For example, I read his links above but found them lacking in more ways than one. So instead of spending time refuting all the errors and mistakes someone else made I simply directed JD to a genuine scientific source so he can check it out for himself. If, however, I directed him to an new age naturalist slash theology of yoga page to tell him why I feel evolution is true, because some zen yoga master believes it is, that wouldn’t be a very good source of information to go by. I wouldn’t expect him to take the yoga instructors word for it and that’s why it’s always important, indeed necessary, to include primary source along with your secondary sources.

  8. Feeno-

    I’m sorry, but this has gotta’ be long…

    What’s great about these factoids is that they are all either based on evidence we have or have been tested. For example, we have observational astrophotography taken by astronomers, and actual recorded readings and measurements of stellar bodies by astrophysicists, which all align with the proper equations to tell us that there is, in fact, evidence for black holes. This is what I mean by having tangible evidence for the items in this list. And all of the items in the list have evidence, mind you.

    As for number 15, this again is supported by masses of ocular evidence, recording of background radiation, and imagery taken by the WMAP, among numerous other corresponding finds, which all suggest the universe came from a zero sate energy fluctuation. I have talked about this in depth in my blog “A Case for Frozen Accidents.”

    All our current cosmological data points to the universe suddenly coming into existence from an initial state of zero energy, the physics predicted it, and the readings taken by the WMAP confirms the theory is valid since it aligns with the prediction and the recorded data. Admittedly, testing it is another matter entirely… but the evidence so far is pretty substantial. I can’t just say the evidence is all wrong without first having a better theory to fall back on.

  9. I may have to write a simple explanation on evolution since I get that monkey thing all the time.

    You wouldn’t believe how many people bring this up, but it’s like my aunt thinking that eating microwave popcorn will give you brain cancer—b’cuz of all the radiation.

    That’s not technically how it works. The whole “we didn’t come from monkeys” bit sounds just as ridiculous as “eating microwave popcorn will give you brain cancer!” Somewhere, someone has misunderstood the science behind the processes being talked about.

    In that sense, you’re completely right, humans didn’t evolve from monkeys! We didn’t evolve from monkeys any more than a tiger evolved from an octopus.

    But what tigers, octopuses, monkeys, and humans all have in common is that, according to our DNA, if you go back far enough in the chain of events we all share common ancestors where genetic divergence occurred.

    Richard Dawkin’s book “The Ancestors Tale” goes into detail on some of these things and explains the process of how we branched off into different species with the aid of natural selection process, this is known as *speciation.

    So we didn’t evolve from anything really, we are, however, simply evolving.

    The theory of evolution has been so thoroughly tested with vast evidence so in depth as it’s more of a fact than gravity. However, for the average person, gravity is so much less time consuming and easier to test!

    Anyone can go up to the top of the highest bridge and take a flying leap—test it out for themselves—they’ll get their answers promptly! But not many are willing to sit down and jot all the information pertinent to watching mice for 23 years to see if they change their color. Most people just would find it a huge waste of time, especially if it didn’t work! That’s why evolution is having a hard time being accepted by the lay person, because it’s not as intuitive as gravity—it requires a level of scientific understanding most just don’t posses—and getting results extremely (agonizingly) slow.

    But we do have answers which, fittingly enough, confirm that the theory of evolution is, in point of fact, true. That is to say I know nobody who jumps off a bridge and survives the painful experience only to doubt the theory of gravity. ;) It's unbelievable that people still deny evolution.

    Peace out!

  10. feeno,
    "W'dup yo, It's not just JD, but there are still like 15% of scientists that would agree with him."

    I'm sorry, but where did you get this idea of 15% of scientists agreeing that evolution is wrong? Are they biologists? Are they YECs that have gone about the process all wrong and aren't using their scientific opinion and are speaking about things they know absolutely nothing about?

    When the DI tried to put together a list of scientists who dissent from Darwin, they put forth an innocuous statement (one that most scientists would agree with BTW because it didn't say evolution is wrong) and tried to claim that they had all these scientists that proclaimed evolution to be wrong...therefore there was a controversy and a sizeable majority. Problem is they accepted anyone who had anything even tangentially to do with any type of science (including philosophers who pontificate on science). They weren't going to the experts.

    Then, project Steve came along and a list was formed to show how stupid the DI list is. The project Steve list only allows people who are actual scientists and actually working in the field of evolution and named "Steve" (or some variant of that name) to sign....guess which list has more signatures.

    The idea that 15% of scientists think evolution is bunk is itself bunk.

    Of course, science isn't done by counting how many agree or disagree with a given theory. It's done by carrying out the experiments, which leads us to be even more solidly in favor of evolution.

    "And maybe JD don't think that their lying, maybe like me he thinks that there just wrong because of their starting point?"

    The starting point of those who deny evolution is to first conclude that the Bible (or some other religious idea) is correct and therefore any findings that contradict their pre-conceived conclusions must be thrown out, ignored, or in error. This is not how science is done. The starting point for those who accept evolution is to perform experiments and build a theory around the empirical evidence and data and see where the data actually leads. This is how science is done. Evolution is science, creationism is not. Evolution is the only game in town.

    And, yes, JD must believe that scientists are lying since there are Xians who accept evolution. Are we to assume that those Xian scientists are really atheists that are lying about being Xians and therefore their starting points are wrong? Either way, he'd be claiming they are lying.

    "Are you going to church on Easter to make someone you love happy?"

    No, why should I? Why should someone else's happiness hinge on making me unhappy and why would I want to feed such an unhealthy desire?

  11. Tristan,
    "So JD isn’t wrong in his method..."

    Yes, actually he is. He selectively picks and chooses information that is in accord with what he already believes to be true, and ignores or denigrates (sometimes with racist and sexist remarks) anything else, including empirical data that doesn't align with his preconceptions. This is not the correct method to use to investigate the world or to debate.

    "And as long as he seeks answers, then eventually he’s going to find himself at an impasse, because although others may have valid opinions, you won’t know whether those opinions are valid until you check their sources!"

    No, he won't. There's already an industry based around the dissemination of lies that ensures that people like JD don't ever have to go to the primary sources to find out how wrong they are, since these charlatans are telling them they are right. Whether it is Faux News or lying creationists, so long as people like JD can have their egos and their flaccid minds stroked by being told that they don't have to think and that they can be lazy and just trust in Jesus, they'll do it. Just because you found yourself at an impasse doesn't mean that it will work for everyone...else there would be more atheists out there.


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