Culture Naturalism Science

Quotes to ponder: Steve Fuller and the cult of the expert

From Steve Fuller, who has studied the intelligent design controversy, “Brexit as the unlikely leading edge of the anti-expert revolution,” European Management Journal: At this point, we confront one of the big canards perpetrated by defenders of expertise, namely that anti-experts are anti-intellectuals who privilege ignorance over knowledge and would treat all opinions as equally […]

Culture Education Intelligent Design Naturalism science education

Quotes to ponder: Education does not determine acceptance of science consensus

From Caitlin Drummond and Baruch Fischhoff, Individuals with greater science literacy and education have more polarized beliefs on controversial science topics at PNAS: Prior research has found that political and religious polarization over science and technology issues in the United States can be greater among individuals with more education and science knowledge. We examine that […]

Mind Naturalism

Are split-brain people really two half-persons? No, and that deepens the “mystery of consciousness”

From cognitive psychologist and physicist Yaïr Pinto at Aeon: We’ve got to admit that split-brain patients feel and behave normally. If a split-brain patient walks into the room, you would not notice anything unusual. And they themselves claim to be completely unchanged, other than being rid of terrible epileptic seizures. If the person was really […]

Culture Darwinism Epigenetics

Smithsonian: Childhood experiences can permanently change DNA

From Lorena Infante Lara at The Smithsonian: But we’re finding out that our DNA isn’t always set in stone. Now, a team of researchers from Northwestern University led by anthropology professor Thom McDade have shown that DNA can also be modified by your environment during childhood. What’s more, the authors conclude in the journal Proceedings […]

Cosmology Physics

Model: Quantum wave collapse creates gravitational fields, may be testable

Uniting quantum mechanics and gravity at last. From Anil Ananthaswamy at New Scientist One approach towards reconciling gravity with quantum mechanics has been to show that gravity at its most fundamental comes in indivisible parcels called quanta, much like the electromagnetic force comes in quanta called photons. But this road to a theory of quantum […]

Cosmology Intelligent Design Philosophy Science

Physicist at Forbes: The inflationary universe is not science any more

From theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder at Forbes: The problem with inflation isn’t the idea per se, but the overproduction of useless inflationary models. There are literally hundreds of these models, and they are – as the philosophers say – severely underdetermined. This means if one extrapolates the models that fit current data to regimes which […]

Animal minds Intelligent Design

Chimps can learn to uses tools on their own, without being taught

From ScienceDaily: New observations have led researchers to believe that chimpanzees can use tools spontaneously to solve a task, without needing to watch others first. The evidence of chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) spontaneously using sticks to scoop food from water surfaces is published in the open-access journal PeerJ. … The results challenge the accepted belief that chimpanzees […]

Human evolution Intelligent Design stasis

Humans 250k years older than thought? Arose in multiple places?

From Will Dunham at Reuters, Genetic data from the skeletal remains of seven people who lived centuries ago in South Africa’s KwaZulu-Natal Province is offering intriguing new evidence that our species, Homo sapiens, is older than previously believed. Scientists said on Thursday they sequenced the genomes of the seven individuals including a boy who lived […]

Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

Post-modern science: The illusion of consciousness sees through itself

From Denyse O’Leary at Evolution News & Views: We know almost nothing about the human consciousness but naturalism must treat it as evolved from unconscious elements. Much confusion is avoided by recognizing that that is a core assumption, not a discovery. Naturalist theories of consciousness currently proliferate with abandon because there is no basis for […]

Animal minds Evolution Intelligent Design Mind

If evolution were repeated, would jellyfish be intelligent?

From Douglas Fox at Aeon: The ctenophore was already known for having a relatively advanced nervous system; but these first experiments by Moroz showed that its nerves were constructed from a different set of molecular building blocks – different from any other animal – using ‘a different chemical language’, says Moroz: these animals are ‘aliens […]

Ediacaran Evolution Intelligent Design

Researchers: First Ediacaran animal identified

Mysterious Ediacaran Dickinsonia, from 550 mya was definitely an animal, they say. [pic] From ScienceDaily: ‘Dickinsonia belongs to the Ediacaran biota — a collection of mostly soft-bodied organisms that lived in the global oceans between roughly 580 and 540 million years ago. They are mysterious because despite there being around 200 different species, very few […]