Over at Heather’s Homilies, Heather Hastie has written a post titled, Is New Atheism a Cult?, in which she argues convincingly for the negative position. Cults tend to share certain characteristics which, by and large, don’t apply to New Atheism: The group members display an excessively zealous, unquestioning commitment to an individual. The group members […]
From the National Association of Scholars: The Pressure of Group Thought Academic “consensus” is in the news. Stetson University professor of psychology Christopher Ferguson, writing in the Chronicle of Higher Education, recently gave a run-down on how the American Psychological Association supposedly compromised itself by manipulating a task force into endorsing harsh interrogations of prisoners. […]
Someone else has noticed: Benedict Carey describes a University of Virginia-led effort to reproduce the findings of 100 key psychological studies published in top journals. Over 250 researchers chose some of the most often cited findings in their field and tried to replicate the results with their own experiments. The outcomes, published in the journal, […]
It is time to get back to basics (BTB henceforth) on ID, but as step zero, we have to set first principles of right reason straight. For instance, it seems that — once we are certain that we can be certain of nothing falls apart in absurdity — the fallback position on the issue of […]
Further to Roll dice twice, see what turns up (One game changer, however, is this: As more is discovered about the past of life on Earth, evolution becomes less a grand theory (cf Darwinism) and more a history (cf World War II)): Evolution and dispersal of the genus Homo: A landscape approach Here’s the abstract: […]
Interesting new approach to evolution studies: Rolling the Dice Twice: Evolving Reconstructed Ancient Proteins in Extant Organisms (Betul Kacar) Scientists have access to artifacts of evolutionary history (namely, the fossil record and genomic sequences of living organisms) but they have limited means with which to infer the exact evolutionary events that occurred to produce today s […]
From Real Clear Science: Not only are bonobos liberal in their lovemaking, they also aren’t shy about requesting it. Researchers report in the journal Scientific Reports that wild female bonobos will make blatant gestures asking for genital-on-genital rubbing. Subtlety is not their specialty. The two moves the scientists observed were foot-pointing, in which the female […]
From Evolution News & Views: The technical paper, “Homo naledi, a new species of the genus Homo from the Dinaledi Chamber, South Africa,” appeared in a lesser-known journal, eLife. It’s a great find due to the sheer number of bones that were find, but to my mind its publication in eLife is immediate hint that […]
“A Disgrace to the Profession”: The World’s Scientists on Michael E Mann, his Hockey Stick and their Damage to Science by Mark Steyn Defend Free Speech September 18, 2015 One of the most malodorous and disreputable aspects of American jurisprudence is the way laws intended to have very narrow application metastasize to target almost anyone […]
… by viewing Wikipedia edits via this handy new tool: Friend says, “Enter any controversial topic and enjoy.” Possible last-ditch therapy for any who take Wikipedia seriously. See also: How Wikipedia can turn fiction into fact Follow UD News at Twitter!
Further to “Water’s unique sense of time” (amazing, these accidental freaks of nature,) we also learn, this time from Aeon, about the conundrum of universal constants, like the speed of light: Light travels at around 300,000 km per second. Why not faster? Why not slower? A new theory inches us closer to an answer Electromagnetic theory […]
From ScienceDaily: Using innovative ultrafast vibrational spectroscopies, the researchers show why liquid water is unique when compared to most other molecular liquids. (Actually, usage note: To be unique, water must survive comparison with all other molecular liquids. But let’s get on with the story.) Water is a very special liquid with extremely fast dynamics. Water […]
From ScienceDaily: ‘Tree of life’ for 2.3 million species released Presumably, “tree of life” is placed in quotation marks because it so little resembles a tree. Didn’t it used to be capped, as Tree of Life? 😉 The new style is probably a good sign. The first draft of the tree of life for […]
From New Scientist: The ways in which climate affected human evolution have been hotly debated for over a century. A persistent idea is that the challenging climate of southern Africa – a sparsely vegetated, dry savannah – drove humans to walk on two legs, grow large brains and develop technology. “I was hooked on the […]
A friend recommends this fun vid about the scale of our solar system, made by self-described “highly intelligent goofballs.” Follow UD News at Twitter!