Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Yes, Lizzie, Chance is Very Often an Explanation

Over at The Skeptical Zone Elizabeth Liddle has weighed in on the “coins on the table” issue I raised in this post. Readers will remember the simple question I asked: If you came across a table on which was set 500 coins (no tossing involved) and all 500 coins displayed the “heads” side of the coin, how on earth would you test “chance” as a hypothesis to explain this particular configuration of coins on a table? Dr. Liddle’s answer: Chance is not an explanation, and therefore cannot be rejected, or supported, as a hypothesis. Staggering. Gobsmacking. Astounding. Superlatives fail me. Not only is Dr. Liddle’s statement false, it is the exact opposite of the truth. Indeed, pharmaceutical companies, to name Read More ›

More Fossil Failures: New Mammalian Fossils “Change Everything”

Earlier this year two different mammalian fossils, discovered in China, have revealed yet more problems for evolution. The problem is that, as with the existing evidence, the new findings point to “radically different,” as one evolutionistadmitted, models of the origin of mammals. One of the new fossil findings, as with most of the molecular data, points to a much earlier origin of mammals, going back more than 200 million years ago. The other new finding is closer to the traditional, fossil-based, dating, closer to 150 million years ago.  Read more

The paradox of almost definite knowledge in the face of maximum uncertainty — the basis of ID

When facing maximum uncertainty, it seems paradoxical that one can have great assurance about certain things. This has enormous relevance to ID because Darwinists will argue, “how can you be so certain of something when it is apparent there is great uncertainty in the system.” I will respond by saying, “when we have maximum uncertainty about what specific configuration 500 fair coins is in (by randomizing the coins in some vigorous fashion), we simultaneously have almost near certainty about which configurations it cannot be in — such as all-coins heads or a pre-specified sequence….” When a process like a biotic soup maximizes uncertainty about possible polymer sequences that can evolve, it gives us near certainty life will not evolve by Read More ›

Birds of a Feather, Adapt Together

Today, Phys.Org reports on the following research item concerning bird feather evolution: Research by Cambridge PhD candidate Thanh-Lan Gluckman, published today in the Biological Journal of the Linnean Society, looks afresh at similarities and differences in plumage in almost 300 members of the Anseriformes and Galiformes orders . . . /blockquote> It seems that the idea that sexual selection determines this kind of plumage dates well before the time of Darwin (Charles, that is, since his grandfather, Erasmus, was very big on evolution, and very big on sexual selection as a conduit of said evolution.) The Phys.Org articles tells us: As early as 1780, the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London published a paper by John Hunter proposing Read More ›

EPA’s top paid fraudster, ahem, climate expert, could go to jail

The EPA’s highest-paid employee and a leading expert on climate change deserves to go to prison for at least 30 months for lying to his bosses and saying he was a CIA spy working in Pakistan so he could avoid doing his real job, say federal prosecutors. John C. Beale, who pled guilty in September to bilking the government out of nearly $1 million in salary and other benefits over a decade, will be sentenced in a Washington, D.C., federal court on Wednesday. In a newly filed sentencing memo, prosecutors said that his lies were a “crime of massive proportion” and “offensive” to those who actually do dangerous work for the CIA. …. “With the help of his therapist,” wrote Read More ›

How the zebra got its stripes, maybe

If the zebra is one of the few grazers to actually find loud stripes an advantage, there must be something specific to its own environment that makes them an advantage. Otherwise, more grazers would surely display such strategies. Optical illusions involving stripes can be powerful. Read More ›


I know nothing about Karl Pierson, the Arapahoe High School shooter, other than the brief sketches I have seen in the paper the last few days.  I have neither read nor heard about his writings (other than the Latin tag he wrote on his arm).  In fact, I do not know if any such writings exist, but I suspect they do.  It seems that people like Pierson always want other people, at least the ones they don’t kill, to have the benefit of their erudition. That said, I am going to go out on a limb and make a prediction.  I predict that if he did leave behind writings, those writings will indicate that he was a committed Darwinist.  I Read More ›

Can Chaos Create?

Or does the observed biochemical complexity imply design? Dr. Granville Sewell finds: Intelligent design theories gaining steam in scientific circles “The debut at #7 on the New York Times best seller list last July of Stephen Meyer’s new book Darwin’s Doubt is evidence that the scientific theory of intelligent design (ID) continues to gain momentum. . . .

Coyne et al cheer on censorship — it is time to take notice . . .

Yesterday, UD News  headlined a case of radical secularist censorship in Los Angeles being cheered on by Jerry Coyne et al. The case concerns the removal of the following sign (shown under fair use) that was formerly present at a Museum of Natural History in that city: Notice, what Coyne says in exultation over the removal of the sign: If I get any other information I’ll convey it, but for now I’m pleased that God is out of the Museum and no longer gets credit for “creatures.”  It’s a victory for secularism, for sure. Something is blatantly, deeply wrong. Wrong with the push to censor. Wrong with the willingness of the museum’s leadership to be intimidated by Darwinist thuggery — Read More ›