C. S. Lewis and J. R.R. Tolkien on science and authoritarianism

From Mike Kugler in Northwestern Review: Long before Tolkien began writing The Lord of the Rings and Lewis converted to “mere Christianity,” their suspicions of modern science, the heart of the modern worldview, and anxiety about Europe’s future were latent. The Great War illustrated terribly how well-grounded were their concerns. Later, in the 1930s, Europeans […]

If You are Going to Be an Atheist, at Least be a Courageous Atheist

As I have often written in these pages, the puerile, happy-faced unbelief of the New Atheists is disgusting.  You are a cosmic accident with no more intrinsic value than a grub worm.  There is no meaning.  There is no foundation for ethics.  Everything you do is utterly determined by impersonal natural forces, so free will […]

Researchers: Our new theory is that humans domesticated themselves

From ScienceDaily: Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans selected their companions depending on who had a more pro-social behavior. Researchers have found new genetic evidence for this evolutionary process. Human ‘self-domestication’ is a hypothesis that states that among the driving forces of human evolution, humans […]

Americans don’t fear the discovery of alien life. So why do some commentators insist they do?

From Maria Temming at Science News: If alien microbes crash-land on Earth, they may get a warm welcome. When people were asked how they would react to the discovery of extraterrestrial microbial life, they give generally positive responses, researchers reported at a news conference February 16 at the annual meeting of the American Association for […]

A theology question you may never have thought of: Is God an android?

From theologian Norman Geisler at Jonh Ankerberg Show: Persons have mind, will, and feelings. Androids have only mind and will, but no feelings. Open theists and others sometimes object to the classical view of God by claiming that if God is impassible then He cannot experience feelings like love and joy. In short, it makes […]

Max Planck Institute: Neanderthals thought like we do

From the Max Planck Institute: At least 70,000 years ago Homo sapiens used perforated marine shells and colour pigments. From around 40,000 years ago he created decorative items, jewellery and cave art in Europe. Using Uranium-Thorium dating an international team of researchers co-directed by Dirk Hoffmann of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in […]

Theistic evolutionist: Neanderthals “not members of our own species,” despite evidence of Neanderthal ancestry

Theology can lead us to some weird places. From Evolution News and Science Today, in a continuing series on Adam and the Genome, As if on cue, science news today reports a remarkable discovery: cave art in Spain from upwards of 64,000 years ago, apparently by Neanderthals. The Wall Street Journal aptly summarizes the takeaway: […]

Panpsychism: The cosmic mind debuts at YouTube

From Robert Wright and Galen Strawson at Meaning of Life TV: 0:30 Why scientific materialism is harder to define than you think 14:42 Galen explains panpsychism 27:36 What does “mind is all there is to reality” mean? 32:48 Is human consciousness epiphenomenal? 40:35 Do physical laws come from somewhere? 44:35 Is it like something to […]

Jonathan McLatchie vs. Keith Fox: Has ID stood the test of time?

Saturday 24th February 2018 – 02:30 pm Seems to be up now in EST. Audio:Premier Christian Radio: A bacterial flagellum acts as the outboard motor on a bacteria. But is the complex arrangement of parts that enable it to do its job a result of design or evolution? Michael Behe first opened the debate on […]

Lactose tolerance: Human ancestors evolved “far more quickly than was originally thought”

From George Busby, offering five examples, at the Conversation: 3. Our ancestors evolved surprisingly quickly Interbreeding accounts only for a tiny amount of human adaptation around the world. Analyses of DNA are showing us that, as our ancestors moved around the world, they evolved to different environments and diets far more quickly than was originally […]

Study: Crime prediction algorithms do no better than a crowd of volunteers

From Maria Temming at Science News: Computers get a say in these life-changing decisions because their crime forecasts are supposedly less biased and more accurate than human guesswork. A comparison of the volunteers’ answers with COMPAS’ predictions for the same 1,000 defendants found that both were about 65 percent accurate. “We were like, ‘Holy crap, […]

CSS Annual Meeting April 2018: Quantum Mechanics and Religion

From David Snoke at the Christian Scientific Society: Quantum mechanics is a strange theory, and it has been used to justify all manner of religious claims such as extra-sensory perception. This year we bring together five experts on the physics of quantum mechanics to discuss what we know and what we don’t know. We will […]

Making human brain evolution look gradual by ignoring enough data…

From U Wisconsin paleoanthropologist John Hawks: Bernard Wood’s research group has a new paper on brain size evolution in hominins, led by Andrew Du in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B: “Pattern and process in hominin brain size evolution are scale-dependent”. In this paper, I notice that the researchers have done a really weird […]

At Buzzfeed: Serious sexual assault allegations against celebrity physicist Lawrence Krauss

From Peter Aldhous: BuzzFeed News has learned that the incident with Hensley is one of many wide-ranging allegations of Krauss’s inappropriate behavior over the last decade — including groping women, ogling and making sexist jokes to undergrads, and telling an employee at Arizona State University, where he is a tenured professor, that he was going […]

Is the term “dinosaur” becoming essentially arbitrary?

Culturally that’s a big one. From Carolyn Gramling at ScienceNews: The once-lengthy list of “definitely a dinosaur” features had already been dwindling over the past few decades thanks to new discoveries of close dino relatives such as Teleocrater. With an April 2017 report of Teleocrater’s skull depression (SN Online: 4/17/17), yet another feature was knocked […]

Language could not have evolved in a Darwinian social world

From a 2016 paper by University College’s Chris Knight: Highlights • Language emerged in only one species, H. sapiens. • Such a system cannot evolve in a Darwinian social world. • Language emerged for reasons which no currently accepted theoretical framework can explain. Abstract: Language evolved in no species other than humans, suggesting a deep-going obstacle […]

Does reliability of published works decrease with journal rank?

From neuroscientist (zoology) Björn Brembs at Frontier in Human Neuroscience: In which journal a scientist publishes is considered one of the most crucial factors determining their career. The underlying common assumption is that only the best scientists manage to publish in a highly selective tier of the most prestigious journals. However, data from several lines […]

Comment of the week: Pan-Darwinian orthodoxy affirms any kind of madness

From Scuzzaman, commenting at “Fine-tuning is easy to explain: The universe itself is conscious and somewhat like a human: The thing I find most amusing and dismaying is that, as long as one affirms some kind of pan-darwinian orthodoxy vis-a-vis common descent by modification, literally ANY kind of madness is back on the menu. It […]

Rev Dr Billy Graham has died

. . . at age 99 years. Condolences to those who mourn. Thoughts? END

At Aeon: Fine-tuning is easy to explain: The universe itself is conscious, and somewhat like a human

That’s “cosmopanpsychism.” An earlier version is rocks have minds. From Philip Goff at Aeon: In the past 40 or so years, a strange fact about our Universe gradually made itself known to scientists: the laws of physics, and the initial conditions of our Universe, are fine-tuned for the possibility of life. It turns out that, […]

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