Life should be classified not as a tree but as a dependency graph, says researcher

Winston Ewert, one of the authors of Introduction to Evolutionary Informatics has a new paper at BIO-Complexity: Abstract: The hierarchical classification of life has been claimed as compelling evidence for universal common ancestry. However, research has uncovered much data which is not congruent with the hierarchical pattern. Nevertheless, biological data resembles a nested hierarchy sufficiently […]

What’s wrong with social psychology, in a nutshell

From Ben Shapiro at Daily Wire: You’ve undoubtedly seen those preening headlines from major outlets about how conservatives are more “authoritarian” by nature than Leftists. See, for example, here and here and here and here and here and here. But it turns out that this is nonsense. Such studies are generally vague and deliberately constructed to make it appear that conservatives are more “authoritarian” than Leftists. […]



At the BBC: Still working on that ol’ time machine…

From the BBC: Albert Einstein thought the three dimensions of space were linked to time – which serves as a fourth dimension. He called this system space-time, and it’s the model of the Universe that we use today. But Einstein also thought it was possible to fold space-time, creating a shortcut between two distant locations. […]

Tiny pieces of bread found from 14,500 years ago, predating known agriculture

From Tobias Richter and Amaia Arranz-Otaegui at Sapiens: The Natufian, dated to 11,700–15,000 years ago, is often described as an important cultural precursor to the Neolithic era. During the Natufian, the world’s earliest stone houses, grinding tools, and sickle blades appear in large numbers in the Levant, suggesting that the hunter-gatherers here included plants, cereals […]

Different psychiatric disorders linked to the same genes?

From Mark Fischetti at Scientific American: Bipolar disorder, for example, was more similar to schizophrenia than to major depression even though clinicians may link bipolar disorder and depression, based on their symptoms. These insights could possibly reveal new treatments, says neurogeneticist Daniel Geschwind of the University of California, Los Angeles, one of the investigators. More. […]

So, 25 years later, whatever became of the Hard Science of mind?

The one that was supposed to waste traditional philosophy? At Mind Matters Today, Back in 1992, philosopher of mind Jerry Fodor said, “…we’re all materialists for much the reason that Churchill gave for being a democrat: the alternatives seem even worse. The new research project [science of mind] is therefore to reconcile our materialism to […]

Interview with W.E.Loennig, now with English subtitles

Wolf-Ekkehard Loennig, who worked for 25 years as a research scientist at the Max Planck Institute for Plant Breeding Research in Cologne, Germany, is now retired but still writes often on the topic of Darwinism and Intelligent Design. You can find links to his CV and many of his research publications here, and Beautiful Facts […]

New Paper Demonstrates Superiority of Design Model

Did you know Mars is going backwards? For the past few weeks, and for several weeks to come, Mars is in its retrograde motion phase. If you chart its position each night against the background stars, you will see it pause, reverse direction, pause again, and then get going again in its normal direction. And […]

At Science: Maybe the transition from single cells to multicellular life wasn’t that hard?

From Elizabeth Pennisi at Science: The evolutionary histories of some groups of organisms record repeated transitions from single-celled to multicellular forms, suggesting the hurdles could not have been so high. Genetic comparisons between simple multicellular organisms and their single-celled relatives have revealed that much of the molecular equipment needed for cells to band together and […]

Science writer complains, everyone claim to be a scientist these days

With some justification. The question arises, who has the right to say so? From Alex Berezow at ACSH: The topic came up on Twitter, the world’s foremost outlet for intellectual discourse. Writer and historian Audra Wolfe, who holds a PhD in the history of science, posted this bizarre tweet: Actually, no, it hasn’t, no matter […]

Teilhard de Chardin: The “evolution” priest’s legacy included racism and social Darwinism, says theologian

From John P. Slattery at Religion Dispatches: In fact, a movement has been underway to resurrect, as it were, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin as a renewed foundation for theological reflection. According to a November report in America magazine, Pope Francis is already considering removing the “warning” attached to Teilhard’s historical writings, and more recently the […]

Gravitational waves: Scientific revolutions can take decades, science editor says

From John Timmer at Ars Technica: LIGO’s detection of gravitational waves came almost exactly a century after Einstein had formulated his general theory of relativity and an ensuing paper mathematically describing the possibility of gravitational waves. Or at least that’s the story as it was presented to the public (including by yours truly). And in […]

SETI reacts to the new study that says not to wait up for extraterrestrials

From SETI’s Seth Shostak, who surely doesn’t welcome this news, at NBC: A recent paper by three researchers at the University of Oxford is throwing shade on those who feel confident that the cosmos is thick with extraterrestrials. … If we own up to the true extent of these uncertainties and do the requisite math, […]

Vid: Fisher’s Darwinian theorem disproved in conference paper

William Basener writes to say, I posted a conference presentation I gave on my work with John Sanford on the Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection with Mutations, posted on YouTube here. The talk was the keynote address at the International Conference on Ecology, Ecosystems, and Conservation Biology, in Toronto Canada (a fairly small but fully […]

Neurosurgeon outlines why machines can’t think

From Michael Egnor at Mind Matters Today: The hallmark of human thought is meaning, and the hallmark of computation is indifference to meaning. That is, in fact, what makes thought so remarkable and also what makes computation so useful. You can think about anything, and you can use the same computer to express your entire […]

Bill Dembski: Descartes (1596—1650) could tell you why “smart machines” are stalled

From design theorist William Dembski at Mind Matters Today: The computational literature on No Free Lunch theorems and Conservation of Information (see the work of David Wolpert and Bill Macready on the former as well as that of Robert J. Marks and myself on the latter) imply that all problem-solving algorithms, including such a master […]

The minimal cell: How is research coming on a simple, self-replicating “artificial” cell?

Such acell might shed some light on the origin of life, researchers hope. From Suzan Mazur at Oscillations: Not to be outdone by Dutch, German and other Europeans now officially dabbling in synthetic cell research, America’s National Science Foundation has thrown its hat into the ring on funding synthetic cell development, per its April 18, […]

Can science be the only source of truth?

From Ruth M. Bancewicz at Science + Belief, on key points offered by Dutch philosopher Professor René van Woudenberg at a recent Faraday workshop, including: There are all sorts of ways in which scientists find some theories more satisfying than others, but science itself is not always a deciding factor in the decision. Logic, reason, […]

Science and miracles: The Carl Sagan edition

From Carl Sagan: Consider this claim: as I walk along, time – as measured by my wristwatch or my ageing process – slows down. Also, I shrink in the direction of motion. Also, I get more massive. Who has ever witnessed such a thing? It’s easy to dismiss it out of hand. Here’s another: matter […]

WJM Throws Down the Gauntlet

All that follows is WJM’s: Modern physics has long ago disproved the idea that “matter” exists at all. Timothy’s position might as well be that because we all perceive the sun moving through the sky from east to west, it is a fact that it is the sun that is doing the moving. Just because […]

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