Culture Intelligent Design Philosophy Physics Religion

Sabine Hossenfelder asks at her blog “How do you prove that Earth is older than 10,000 years?”

Hmmm. In practice, that depends in part on what people would consider evidence and whether or not they would be convinced by the evidence offered. Here: Planet Earth formed around 4.5 billion years ago. The first primitive forms of life appeared about 4 billion years ago. Natural selection did the rest, giving rise to species increasingly […]

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New Theistic Evolution book doing quite well at Amazon

Approx noon EST, Theistic Evolution: Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,915 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #2 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Theology > Creationism #13 in Books > Christian Books & Bibles > Theology > Apologetics #46 in Books > Religion & Spirituality > Religious Studies > Theology From the editorial reviews: — “This volume fills a wide and expanding gap for Christians who continue to struggle with the relationship of evangelical Christianity to the […]

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If the mind is an illusion, how can amputees control robotic arms?

Maybe the arms are an illusion too… From ScienceDaily: Neuroscientists have shown how amputees can learn to control a robotic arm through electrodes implanted in the brain. The research details changes that take place in both sides of the brain used to control the amputated limb and the remaining, intact limb. The results show both […]

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Epigenetic researchers: Touching infants frequently affects their genetic expression

This sort of finding, assuming it holds up, is killing Darwinism. From ScienceDaily: The amount of close and comforting contact between infants and their caregivers can affect children at the molecular level, an effect detectable four years later, according to new research from the University of British Columbia and BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. The […]

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Retraction world: If this is science, yes we do hate it

From Stephanie M. Lee at Buzzfeed: … It’s not the first time Cornell has looked into Wansink: In April, after critics publicly questioned four of Wansink’s papers related to pizza consumption, the university said it had found no scientific misconduct related to those papers. Wansink did not immediately return a request for comment about the […]

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Researchers: New developments in physics required to model biological complexity

Abstract: Biological systems reach organizational complexity that far exceeds the complexity of any known inanimate objects. Biological entities undoubtedly obey the laws of quantum physics and statistical mechanics. However, is modern physics sufficient to adequately describe, model and explain the evolution of biological complexity? Detailed parallels have been drawn between statistical thermodynamics and the population-genetic […]

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Human evolution: Does compassion set humans apart?

Recently, a claim whistled through the pop science media: Bonobos help strangers without being asked, therefore human are not special. The claim is noteworthy only for the authors’ apparent assumption that most readers don’t realize that many animals help without being asked, provided they have any idea what to do. Usually, they don’t. The animals-are-just-fuzzy-people […]

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Rob Sheldon: Supersymmetry is dead but its ghost still haunts particle physics

A reluctant physics student wrote to our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon for help recently. What, he asks, is this paper all about: — Journal of High Energy Physics May 2017, 2017:136 Supersymmetric many-body systems from partial symmetries — integrability, localization and scrambling Authors Pramod Padmanabhan, Soo-Jong Rey, Daniel Teixeira, Diego Trancanelli Email author Open […]

Cosmology Intelligent Design Naturalism Physics

Does “naturalness” make sense as a physics term?

Via Wuthrich at philosophy of physics blog Taking Up Spacetime, Workshop: “Naturalness, Hierarchy, and Fine-Tuning” Workshop Description: The requirement of naturalness has long served as an influential constraint on model-building in elementary particle physics. Yet there are many ways of understanding what, precisely, this requirement amounts to, from restrictions on the amount of fine-tuning that […]

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Researchers: Junk DNA may have affected human uniqueness

From ScienceDaily: Duplications of large segments of noncoding [junk] DNA in the human genome may have contributed to the emergence of differences between humans and nonhuman primates, according to results presented at the American Society of Human Genetics (ASHG) 2017 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Fla. Identifying these duplications, which include regulatory sequences, and their effect […]