Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Thoughts on recent books on the intelligent design controversy: Some ways to spend your holiday cash

Excerpts from Denyse’s comments on some recent books: Of course, I have forgotten or omitted lots of worthy titles, but fundamentally it was much easier then [five years ago] than now to rhyme off the key titles you would need to read to really keep up with the ID controversy. Today, you need a library shelving cart and a budget to match. Publishers who might have avoided the ID controversy in the past do not seem as afraid to touch it any more. … (Note: Lots of dull rants have been published all across the board, but presumably you, gentle reader, are only interested in hearing about books that could conceivably be of interest to a lay public.) So where Read More ›

2006 Blog Efficiency Award Goes To…

PZ Myers! By removing all the irrelevant bloviation he’s succeeded in getting Pharyngula’s content compressed to its core essentials. A remarkable invention in blog efficiency. Follow this link to see how the invention works.

The Digital Evidence for Flagellar Evolution

When biological evidence fails to establish Darwinian evolution, go instead for digital evidence. Here at last digital proof positive for the Darwinian evolution of the bacterial flagellum (if Kitzmiller v. Dover wasn’t enough to sink ID, this surely will): For more on digital evolution, check out MSU’s Digital Evolution Lab. For the logic underlying digital evidence for evolution, see my piece Evolutionary Logic.

MacLaurin Institute Lecture Series

For a great, free, downloadable MP3 lecture series visit: http://www.maclaurin.org/mp3_group.php?type=MacLaurin+Campus+Lectures There’s lots of interesting stuff on ID, Darwinism and related topics by such people as Denyse O’Leary, Mustafa Akyol, Michael Behe, Del Ratzsch, John Angus Campbell, Alvin Plantinga, and more.

Flash Animation Contest: “There is no God and Richard is his prophet”

I’m considering offering $250 for the winning entry in a flash animation contest. I’d like the flash animation to incorporate the following elements: (1) Portray Richard Dawkins as a cult deprogrammer. (2) Portray a 7-year old Stephen Colbert as the theist he must convert to atheism. (See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UuXpysYEhgA and below) (3) Employ 10 classic Dawkins quotes. (4) No violence. (5) I’ll throw in an extra 100 bucks for a flatulent version of Dawkins (only for private use — maybe). This needs to be done cleverly and with a light touch. Right now I’m just soliciting ideas to flesh this out.

Don’t fire him . . . Just make his work-situation a living hell

The Scientist reports today on the unfolding Congressional probe into the Sternberg case. The following paragraph caught my attention: NCSE spokesman Nicholas Matzke said his group was not part of an effort to dismiss Sternberg. “A lot of people at the Smithsonian were mad because their journal was dragged into a political issue. We wanted them to focus on the science and not persecute or discriminate against Sternberg on religious grounds,” Matzke told The Scientist. “We advised them not to fire Sternberg,” he said, “and they eventually followed our advice.” My understanding is that the NCSE did everything just short of asking the Smithsonian to fire Sternberg (does the “S” in “NCSE” stand for sleazy?). But hey, let’s not beat Read More ›

The Vise Strategy Revisited

Barbara Forrest, the official historian for the anti-ID side, has a piece of revisionist history in the latest Skeptical Inquirer (see here). It is titled “The Vise Strategy Undone.” Since I’m the inventor of the Vise Strategy and one of the principal targets of her piece, let me offer a few corrections: (1) I wrote up the Vise Strategy for the Thomas More Law Center to assist them in interrogating the expert witnesses on the other side (for the full Vise Strategy go here; by the way, I gave this to the Thomas More people as a freebee). Forrest’s piece suggests that the Vise Strategy was tried and found wanting. In fact, the Thomas More attorneys never implemented it — Read More ›

ID is Dead?

They say ID is dead yet they just can’t stop talking about it on Panda’s Thumb. I counted 21 mentions of “ID” and “Intelligent Design” on just the home page without expansion of any articles or comments. If they believe ID is dead that means the thumbsters are necrophiliacs. Gross. I’ll add that to their growing list of character flaws; The Church Burnin’ Necrophiliac Ebola Boys. But hey, I just kid those fine folks. I understand that as chance worshippers they’re in the business of not letting go of dead ideas. Hey Wesley! Can you spell non sequitur? I knew you could. 😛

Beyond Belief: Ah, that’s the stuff…

YouTube Clips from the Beyond Belief Conference… Neil deGrasse Tyson tirade on Stupid Design Melvin Konner mocking Richard Dawkins Richard Dawkins on Religious Child Abuse Sam Harris replies to Scott Atran Steven Weinberg’s Crazy Old Aunt Analogy of Religion Sam Harris—Religion is only for lunatics and idiots

Parthenogenesis in Komodo Dragons

I blogged about the possibility of parthenogenesis in mammals a month or so ago. Here’s another newly discovered case of it in a higher animal. Virgin Dragon Prepares to Give Birth Dec 20, 1:36 PM (ET) By MARIA CHENG CHESTER, England (AP) – In an evolutionary twist, Flora the Komodo dragon has managed to become pregnant all on her own without any male help. She is carrying seven baby Komodo dragons. “We were blown away when we realized what she’d done,” said Kevin Buley, a reptile expert at Flora’s home at the Chester Zoo in this town in northern England. “But we certainly won’t be naming any of the hatchlings Jesus.” Other reptile species reproduce asexually in a process known Read More ›

Sea Urchin Design

A colleague wrote [my emphasis]: The S. purpuratus genome will help us “understand on sight the logic functions they execute in response to the sets of transcription factors in given cells at given times.” “The sea urchin genome will directly contribute to solving the principles of design of gene regulatory networks for embryonic development.” “Such principles can only be obtained by comparing network architecture in different animals developing in similar or different ways.” “The genome will not only provide the ‘code’ for development but will also contribute to linkage between gene regulatory networks and the actual realization of developmental events.” “It remains to connect the genes that execute these functions to the control circuitry that specifies their occurrence.”[1] 1. All Read More ›

Godless chic: Brought to you by spineless wonders

A friend pointed me to an article in the Los Angeles Times, extolling the current “godless chic,” which has attracted the attention of other bloggers here. There is the “your God is a fraud” thing (Jesus never existed; men stupider than him made him up) or Blasphemy Challenge thing (deny the Holy Spirit on YouTube and see if Anyone cares).

This isn’t surprising, of course. Given who is behind blasphemy chic, etc., the atheism in question is materialist atheism*, of which Darwinism is the creation story.

And Darwinism is itself a failing god. The intelligentsia believe with all their hearts but  Read More ›