Mind Philosophy Science

Oxford Dictionaries: The term post-truth “sky-rocketed” in popularity in 2016

Maybe that explains the buzz re post-truth in science, blowing through recently. From sociologist Frank Furedi at Spiked: Consider the recently invented phrase, ‘post-truth’. It has been selected as word of the year by Oxford Dictionaries. According to the Oxford University Press, after the Brexit referendum and the US presidential election, the use of ‘post-truth’ sky-rocketed. Read More…

Culture Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design

Science writer asks, Would it make any difference if Darwin had never existed?

Could have done without him, maybe. Part of a long form article on the “great man” theory in science, by Philip Ball at Nautilus: So I asked historian and philosopher of science James Lennox of the University of Pittsburgh, an expert on the history of Darwinian theory, who might have done the job in place Read More…

Climate change Mind Naturalism

Analyst: Climate change crusade as faith, not science.

From political analyst Michael Barone at TownHall: Liberal elites tell us that “the science is settled” and that people must have faith in their predictions. But science is never settled. Scientists produce theories and test them against observations. When Albert Einstein announced his relativity theory in 1905, he didn’t ask people to have faith. He Read More…

Climate change Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

Why does climate change “denial” matter in a “post-truth” society?

From Clare Foran at Atlantic: The entrenchment of climate-science denial is one of the ways the United States appears to be exceptional relative to the rest of the world. A comparative 2015 study of nine conservative political parties in countries such as Canada, Germany, and Spain concluded that “the U.S. Republican Party is an anomaly Read More…

Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

Naturalism at the end of its tether: New Scientist on “outsmarting evolution”

From Joshua Howgego at New Scientist: Evolution has built bias into our brains – here are the best ways to overrule your instincts and make better decisions about everything (paywall) More. What? To the folk at New Scientist, we are merely products of evolution who probably cannot grasp reality (it is unclear that there is Read More…

'Junk DNA' Intelligent Design

“Junk” RNA plays key role in helping cells respond to stress

From ScienceDaily: A study from Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has found a surprising role for what had been considered a nonfunctional “junk” RNA molecule: controlling the cellular response to stress. In their report in the Dec. 15 issue of Cell, the researchers describe finding that a highly specific interaction between two elements previously known Read More…

Evolution Intelligent Design News Origin Of Life

Animal life evolution held back by lack of simple nutrients?

Phosphorus accumulation changed that, according to a new study. From Ben Brumfield at Georgia Tech News Center: For three billion years or more, the evolution of the first animal life on Earth was ready to happen, practically waiting in the wings. But the breathable oxygen it likely required wasn’t there, and a lack of simple Read More…

Design inference Evolution News Tree of life

Cartilaginous skeleton not necessarily more “primitive”

A friend writes to tell us of an insightful article in Nature: It emerges that a dogfish shark’s spine becomes stiffer as the fish swims faster, enabling the animal to swim efficiently at different speeds. The finding could also provide inspiration for the design of robotic biomaterials. (paywall) – Biomaterials: Sharks shift their spine into Read More…

Astronomy Cosmology News Physics

Astrophysicist: Knowledge of the cosmos has increased rapidly but understanding very little

Thanu Padmanabhan asks: Our knowledge about the universe has increased tremendously in the last three decades or so — thanks to the progress in observations — but our understanding has improved very little. There are several fundamental questions about our universe for which we have no answers within the current, operationally very successful, approach to Read More…

Evolution Intelligent Design

Royal Society Evolution Summit presentations: Audio now available

Q & A to follow on main page. That’s what we are all waiting for. Received this, this morning: (Note that authors may redact some materials – highlighted in red in body of letter below.) Scientific Meetings <scientific.meetings@royalsociety.org> 6:47 AM (1 hour ago) to Scientific Dear Participant, Thank you for attending the recent Discussion Meeting ‘New Read More…