The agit prop, spreading lie/slander well-poisoning game

Just now, I responded to a point JM made in the current James Tour thread. I think the comment chain is worth headlining: KF, 14: >> why debate someone when instead: [a] you can ignore, marginalise and rob of publicity? [b] you can caricature, smear, slander and poison the well? [c] you dominate institutions and […]

A Conversation With a TE

UD Editors:  This is an update from an article originally posted in 2014.  We are posting it again in honor of the publication of “Theistic Evolution.”   Preliminary Note:  I have put words in the TE’s mouth based on my understanding of what he would in fact say.  If I have gotten it wrong, I trust […]

Darwin, Marx, and Freud: Now Freud is the “triumph of pseudoscience”?

Last year it was… oh, never mind. From Harriet Hall at Science-Based Medicine, a review of Frederick Crews’s Freud: The Making of an Illusion: He treated pampered, rich socialites. His attitude towards them was cynical; they provided a steady source of income by not being cured, and in one case he rushed back to see […]

Darwinism is toast. But what will replace it?

A friend draws our attention to this piece by Brian Miller at Evolution News & Views: Intelligent Design and the Advancement of Science DNA was expected to be the primary source of causality behind the operation and development of life. Such beliefs have previously raised concerns from leading scientists and mathematicians. For instance, physicist Walter […]

Rob Sheldon: NASA’s big announcement about exoplanets”underwhelming”

A mere desire to support the notion that we are nothing special. At 1:00 pm ET, December 14 (yesterday), we were told by NASA: NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST Thursday, Dec. 14, to announce the latest discovery made by its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The discovery was made by researchers using machine […]

Stake in heart of school Darwinism lesson: Bilaterian nerve cords probably evolved many times

“This puts a stake in the heart of the idea of an ancestor with a central nerve cord,” says Greg Wray, an evolutionary developmental biologist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. “That opens up a lot of questions we don’t have answers to — like, if central nerve cords evolved independently in different lineages, […]

Guest Post — Template-Assisted Ligation: A New OOL Model

Dr E. Selensky occasionally requests that UD posts an article on his behalf. What follows is his latest: ______________ Arguably, the RNA world model is excessively complex: it operates too complex structures and involves too complex interactions. The origin of life, some researchers believe, must have been simpler.In an attempt to close the gap between […]

Synthetic chemist James Tour wonders why “everyone is lying” about the origin of life

From James Tour at Inference Review: Life requires carbohydrates, nucleic acids, lipids, and proteins. What is the chemistry behind their origin? Biologists seem to think that there are well-understood prebiotic molecular mechanisms for their synthesis. They have been grossly misinformed. And no wonder: few biologists have ever synthesized a complex molecule ab initio. If they […]

New butterfly has 46 chromosomes, like a human, not the expected 68, like a close relative

From ScienceDaily: Finding a new species is a rare event in easy-to-see and well-studied organisms like butterflies, especially if they inhabit well-explored areas such as Europe. Researchers have now discovered the previously unknown South-Russian blue using an array of modern research techniques. Furthermore, the new species was found to possess 46 chromosomes, just like a […]

A look at earliest human ancestors so far known (350 kya), found in modern-day Morocco

From Zach Zorich at Archaeology: The Jebel Irhoud hominins apparently lived 350,000 years after Neanderthals and Homo sapiens last shared a common ancestor, long enough for the two lineages to develop some obvious differences. The people of Jebel Irhoud had flat and short faces like modern humans, but their brains were more elongated and their […]

God as a necessary, maximally great, endless being vs. the challenge to an actual infinity

In a recent thread, the Kalam Cosmological argument family was challenged on the issue: can an actual infinity exist? If not (presumably due to Hilbert’s Hotel-like absurdities), then God could not be an infinite being as such is impossible of being. A thread of discussion developed, and I thought a summary intervention may be helpful. […]

New Yorker on the late Jerry Fodor, a careful thinker who took on the “natural selection” cult

From Stephen Metcalf at the New Yorker: Jerry Fodor’s Enduring Critique of Neo-Darwinism … But nothing inspired his skepticism more than the current vogue for Charles Darwin—specifically, the fusion of evolutionary biology, Mendelian genetics, and cognitive neuroscience known as neo-Darwinism. “Neo-Darwinism is taken as axiomatic,” he wrote in “What Darwin Got Wrong,” co-written with Massimo […]

Peter Woit on what’s wrong with Jerry Coyne’s argument for a multiverse

Facebook and YouTube, he says. Columbia mathematician and string theory skeptic Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong: The Youtube video he found makes the standard tenuous argument that the CMB provides evidence for inflation, inflation should be eternal, thus there should be a multiverse. As I explained in detail here, the models of inflation one […]

Viruses hijack “junk” (non-coding) RNA, turns out many non-coding functions “have not been identified”

From Nicholas S. Heaton & Bryan R. Cullen at Nature: Long non-coding RNAs (non-coding RNAs more than 200 nucleotides long) have roles in many aspects of cell biology4,5. In the nucleus, they are involved in transcriptional regulation and remodelling of chromosomes, and in the cytoplasm, they regulate microRNA function as well as the translation of mRNAs […]

Notes from Wikipedia, the information age’s public landfill: Cofounder thinks ID article “appallingly biased”

Yes. But so? Any topic you didn’t know much about could be handled in an “appallingly biased” way on Wikipedia. From David Klinghoffer at Evolution News & Views: Wikipedia Co-Founder Blasts “Appallingly Biased” Wikipedia Entry on Intelligent Design When it comes to intelligent design, Wikipedia and its axe-grinding editors are ridiculously biased and unfair. And […]

Our First Duty

Further to “Will Your Conscience be a Casualty in the Progressive’s War on Science?” Please see below and be reminded of Orwell’s famous aphorism:  “we have now sunk to a depth at which the restatement of the obvious is the first duty of intelligent men.”   Pediatrician Shuts Down Leftists on Puberty Blockers Many children with gender […]

Austin Ruse: Post-modern science hits the streets

Running and throwing projectiles. From O’Leary for News at Salvo: Family values activist Austin Ruse’s new book, Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data (Regnery, 2017), offers a look at a world growing increasingly hostile to evidence-based reasoning. We have not discovered better reasoning methods; rather, many people seem to […]

From an expert walled up behind the 30-metre Oblivion Wall, we learn the causes of “science denial” …

Neurologist Steven Novella tells us, A recent publication of a series of studies looking at the roots of science rejection is a nice cap on this research: Not All Skepticism Is Equal: Exploring the Ideological Antecedents of Science Acceptance and Rejection. The researchers looked primarily at three forms of rejection of science: climate change denial, vaccine […]

What is “information”?

Information, of course, is notoriously a concept that has many senses of meaning. As it is central to the design inference, let us look (again) at defining it. We can dispose of one sense right off, Shannon was not directly interested in information but in information-carrying capacity; that is why his metric will peak for […]

PLOS’s top five human evolution discoveries of 2017

Here, their top house picks: 1) A new Homo naledi fossil nicknamed Neo 2) Ancient human DNA discovered in dirt 3) Homo sapiens fossils from Morocco that are over 300,000 years old! 4) Humans arrived in Australia 65,000 years ago 5) A new species of ancient ape, Nyanzapithecus alesi More. Reasons for rankings, of course, provided. […]

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