A Materialist Gets It (Almost)

A recent exchange with Allan Keith illustrates how materialists have allowed their intellect to become literally enslaved to their metaphysical commitments.  Allan proves one can understand the logic fully and even accept the logic.  And then turn right around and deny the conclusions compelled by the logic.  Let’s see how: We will pick up the […]

How Some Materialists are Blinded by Their Faith Commitments

Every once in a while we get one of those “aha moments” when everything comes together.  Phillip Johnson helped me to one of those moments over 20 years ago when I read this passage from an article in First Things (when that journal still permitted dissenting voices to be heard): For scientific materialists the materialism […]

Early life experiences influence DNA in adult brain

From Salk News: “We are taught that our DNA is something stable and unchanging which makes us who we are, but in reality it’s much more dynamic,” says Rusty Gage, a professor in Salk’s Laboratory of Genetics. “It turns out there are genes in your cells that are capable of copying themselves and moving around, […]

Astrobiology Magazine: So intelligent design WAS necessary for life to get started

Well, they do not quite say it. But get this: From Charles Q. Choi at Astrobiology: Assuming that early life adapted to survive in a checkerboard of many different kinds of environments, “the complex ecological relationships between different species may have been a part of life on Earth since very near its beginning, and LUCA […]

Maverick theory: Cambrian animals remade the environment by generating oxygen

From Jordana Cepelewicz at Quanta: For decades, researchers have commonly assumed that higher oxygen levels led to the sudden diversification of animal life 540 million years ago. But one iconoclast argues the opposite: that new animal behaviors raised oxygen levels and remade the environment. … n a paper published in the January issue of Geobiology, […]

The “difficult birth” of science’s assisted suicide, the multiverse

From Adam Becker at Scientific American: Quantum physics, Everett pointed out, didn’t really reduce to classical physics for large numbers of particles. According to quantum physics, even normal-sized objects like chairs could be located in two totally separate places at once—a Schrödinger’s-cat–like situation known as a “quantum superposition.” And, Everett continued, it wasn’t right to […]

Comparing human and chimp DNA, using a software analogy

From Walter Myers III at ENST: While much of the DNA code may be the same, the parts that are not the same have significant differences. The programs I described above, such as Facebook, Instagram, or Snapchat, have different purposes, yet they all depend on the same OS that consists of tens of millions of […]

In what sense is Stephen Hawking equivalent to Isaac Newton?

Pos-Darwinista writes to say that Stephen Hawking’s ashes are to be interred beside those of Isaac Newton at Westminster Abby, as reported at BBC: The Dean of Westminster, the Very Reverend Dr John Hall, said: “It is entirely fitting that the remains of Professor Stephen Hawking are to be buried in the Abbey, near those […]

Sixth mass extinction, but no news on defining “species”?

From Phoebe Weston at the Daily Mail, who offers a convenient bullet point format: Revealed: The worrying state of Earth’s species in numbers as scientists warn the sixth mass extinction is here and wildlife is in a ‘global crisis’ Two species of vertebrate, animals with a backbone, have gone extinct each year Currently more than […]

More rubbish on consciousness: “not a nonphysical phenomenon”

From Harriet Hall, in a review of Daniel Dennett’s book, Bacteria to Bach and Back, at CSICOP: Consciousness is not a nonphysical phenomenon. It is an evolved user-illusion, “a system of virtual machines that evolved, genetically and memetically, to play very special roles in the ‘cognitive niche’ our ancestors have constructed over the millennia.” There […]

Neanderthal gene flow was mostly one way

From ScienceDaily: The team also compared these Neandertal genomes to the genomes of people living today, and showed that all of the late Neandertals were more similar to the Neandertals that contributed DNA to present-day people living outside Africa than an older Neandertal from Siberia. Intriguingly, even though four of the Neandertals lived at a […]

Researchers: Modern humans “interbred with” Denisovans twice

From ScienceDaily: Modern humans co-existed and interbred not only with Neanderthals, but also with another species of archaic humans, the mysterious Denisovans. Research now describes how, while developing a new genome-analysis method for comparing whole genomes between modern human and Denisovan populations, researchers unexpectedly discovered two distinct episodes of Denisovan genetic intermixing, or admixing, between […]

God’s perfect proofs? Are there such things?

From Erica Klarreich at Quanta: In January, Ziegler traveled to San Diego for the Joint Mathematics Meetings, where he received (on his and Aigner’s behalf) the 2018 Steele Prize for Mathematical Exposition. “The density of elegant ideas per page [in the book] is extraordinarily high,” the prize citation reads. The 2014 book is Proofs from […]

Sabine Hossenfelder: Hawking’s final theory is just one of “some thousand” speculations

From Sabine Hossenfelder at Back(Re)Action: Yesterday, the media buzzed with the revelation that Stephen Hawking had completed a paper two weeks before his death. This paper supposedly contains some breathtaking insight. About the multiverse (parallel universes). The paper is based on an old idea by Stephen Hawking and Jim Hartle called the “no-boundary” proposal. In […]

Strawson Attacks the Great Silliness

BA77 points us to Galen Strawson’s brilliant The Consciousness Deniers in the New York Review of Books.  Strawson takes to task his fellow materialists, especially Daniel Dennett, for espousing what he calls the Great Silliness.  The Great Silliness is, of course, denying what I have called “the primordial datum” — each person’s subjective experience of  […]

Researchers: Humans traded with distant groups by 320,000 years ago

From ScienceDaily: Anthropologists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History and an international team of collaborators have discovered that early humans in East Africa had — by about 320,000 years ago — begun trading with distant groups, using color pigments and manufacturing more sophisticated tools than those of the Early Stone Age. These newly […]

At PNAS: Reproducibility problems in science are slammed as fake news

From Daniel Fanelli at PNAS: Ultimately, the debate over the existence of a reproducibility crisis should have been closed by recent large-scale assessments of reproducibility. Their results, however, are either reassuring or inconclusive. A “Many labs” project reported that 10 of 13 studies taken from the psychological literature had been consistently replicated multiple times across […]

Evolution: Mice change when humans feed them

From ScienceDaily: Many tame domesticated animals have a different appearance compared to their relatives in the wild, for example white patches in their fur or shorter snouts. Researchers have now for the first time shown that wild house mice develop the same visible changes — without selection, as a result of exposure to humans alone. […]

Polite request to stop cyberbullying scientists falls, of course, on deaf ears

From Alex Berezow at ACSH: Their first coordinated campaign against Mr. Neidenbach targeted his Facebook page. Facebook capitulated, temporarily blocking his page and banning Mr. Neidenbach – for the “crime” of promoting biotechnology. His page was soon reinstated, but their success only served to embolden the activists. Their most recent tactic is to try to […]

Admitted? We may never know for sure how everything began?

From Ross Pomeroy at RealClearScience, on understanding the Big Bang: “It certainly looks like the universe that we observe around us… definitely had a beginning,” MIT cosmologist Alan Guth, the originator of the theory of cosmic inflation, said in an interview for the PBS show Closer to Truth. “That doesn’t mean that that beginning was […]

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