Intelligent Design

Rescue Proteins Leave Evolutionists In The Ditch

Put intuition aside for a moment and imagine a scenario where E.coli knockout strains that have been deleted for conditionally essential genes are rescued by proteins taken from a protein library composed of >106 de novo designed sequences.  The prevailing assumption- that functional proteins are constrained to a very small subset of possible sequences- would […]

Evolutionary psychology Genetics

Thrifty gene is bankrupt science? Or, why you should always be suspicious when you hear …

As Globe & Mail medical reporter Carolyn Abraham tells it (February 25, 2011): Since James Van Gundia Neel proposed it almost 50 years ago, the thrifty-gene hypothesis has reigned as the dominant explanation for soaring rates of obesity and diabetes among many aboriginal groups. Native communities where diabetes didn’t exist in the first half of […]

Darwinism

Darwin and doomsday: Christian de Duve gets hold of the weeping prophet Jeremiah’s robes

I was just reading Warwick University sociologist Steve Fuller’s comment* on the evolutionary psychologist’s insistence on deriving all human characteristics from kinship with apes: Corresponding to this removal of metaphysical privilege is a tendency for Darwinists to treat the [128] most distinctive features of the human condition as by-products or pathologies, in either case implying […]

Evolutionary psychology

E. O. Wilson’s abandonment of evolutionary psychology theory is Discover’s #3 story of annual 100

Yes, the abandonment was recounted in “E.O. Wilson’s Theory of Altruism Shakes Up Understanding of Evolution” by Pamela Weintraub. Harvard biologist E. O. Wilson’s 1975 Sociobiology was thought to give evolutionary psychology some respectability. Wilson, who learned his trade studying social insects, promoted the idea of kin selection – that people are genetically programmed (“bred […]

Science

Reflections on the grossly intolerant

Re British science czar John “grossly intolerant” Beddington facing off against scholar and political correctness zapper Frank Furedi  – both angling off original science thinker Freeman Dyson: Set me thinking. When I was young (yes, forty years ago), two issues my paper explored were breastfeeding and palliative care. Fashionable? Haw.

Informatics

Freeman Dyson: ” … science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries”

In a review of a very interesting-sounding book on information systems through the ages, beginning with African drumming (James Gleick:  The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood), Freeman Dyson discusses information theory. The story of the drum language illustrates the central dogma of information theory. The central dogma says, “Meaning is irrelevant.” Information is […]

Science

Scholar warns: “Be grossly intolerant” is fast backward to the Middle Ages

Frank Furedi, author of On Tolerance: The Life Style Wars and foe of political correctness in academic life, replies powerfully to science czar “Intolerance” Beddington at Spiked (21 February 2011). Comparing Beddington’s protective views on homosexuality with the hostile ones shown by Ryszard Legutko, leader of Poland’s right-wing Law and Justice party, he writes, No […]

Science

More on Britain’s “be grossly intolerant” science czar’s demands of scientists

In “Beddington goes to war against bad science” (Research Fortnight , 14-02-2011), John Dwyer and Laura Hood advise us that Selective use of science ‘as bad as racism or homophobia,’ and Government Chief Scientific Adviser John Beddington is stepping up the war on pseudoscience with a call to his fellow government scientists to be “grossly […]

Books of interest

Sacred Cows? Just in time. Fire up the barbecue, folks

Norbert Smith, a.k.a. “Doc Gator”, author of Passive Fear and many children’s books has edited a collection of essays called Sacred Cows in Science, mostly on controversial issues in science: Science was at one time defined by its method. Carefully controlled experiments, provisional conclusions, and considered debate once defined the field. But those days have passed. Today, […]

Neuroscience

Neuroscience: Further to the dangers of heeding negative expert opinion uncritically …

Earlier, I had mentioned the problem created by negative expert opinion, when dealing with children who are missing all or parts of their brain. A friend kindly sent me this in response, from one of the Cambridge Journals. Note the line in the abstract below, “The relative rarity of manifest consciousness in congenitally decorticate children […]

Evolutionary psychology

Coffee!! But no more or you won’t sleep: More on madding (or not-so-madding) crowds

Here I commented on the reality of human crowds, as I have experienced them: Largely passive waves, moving along, but intelligently anxious to hurt no one. The harmlessly mentally ill are simply tolerated. Occasional boors (and couples who insist on airing private business in public) suffer social reproach. Given the multicultural diversity of the setting […]

Intelligent Design

The Magic Of The 100-billion-computer Organ

In his 1987 seminal work entitled Impossibility In Medicine  the American psychiatrist Jean Goodwin presented to the world the following acutely insightful vista of the brain: “Despite many assertions to the contrary, the brain is not “like a computer.” Yes, the brain has many electrical connections, just like a computer. But at each point in a […]