Darwinism Evolution Intelligent Design Origin Of Life

Researcher asks, Is pre-Darwinian evolution plausible?

At Biology Direct: Abstract: This essay highlights critical aspects of the plausibility of pre-Darwinian evolution. It is based on a critical review of some better-known open, far-from-equilibrium system-based scenarios supposed to explain processes that took place before Darwinian evolution had emerged and that resulted in the origin of the first systems capable of Darwinian evolution. Read More…

Fine tuning Intelligent Design

Early sun’s rotation rate was just right for us, it turns out

A science writer explains, Our early Sun’s rate of rotation may be one reason we’re here to talk about it, astrobiologists now say. The key likely lies in the fact that between the first hundred million to the first billion years of its life, our G-dwarf star likely had a ‘Goldilocks’ rotation rate; neither too Read More…

Animal minds Intelligent Design Mind

Michael Egnor: Apes can be generous. Are they just like humans then?

Reading the claims for ape generosity in The New York Times, neurosurgeon Michael Egnor offers a clarification: There is a fallacy about the human mind that regularly appears in research on animal behavior, and this fallacy is related to the pervasive misunderstanding about machine “intelligence.” It is a misunderstanding about the most basic characteristic of Read More…

Artificial Intelligence Intelligent Design Mind

Jeffrey Shallit takes on Mike Egnor: Machines really CAN learn!

Neurosurgeon Michael Egnor tells us that computer engineer Jeffrey Shallit, known for attacking ID, has responded to his recent parable explaining why machines can’t learn. According to Shallit, a computer is not just a machine, but something quite special: Computer scientist Jeffrey Shallit takes issue with my parable (September 8, 2018) about “machine learning.” The Read More…

Artificial Intelligence Information Intelligent Design

Computer engineer Eric Holloway: Artificial intelligence is impossible

Holloway distinguishes between meaningful information and artificial intelligence: What is meaningful information, and how does it relate to the artificial intelligence question? First, let’s start with Claude Shannon’s definition of information. Shannon (1916–2001), a mathematician and computer scientist, stated that an event’s information content is the negative logarithm* of its probability. So, if I flip Read More…

Cell biology Intelligent Design

Neutron scattering to help with study of cell membranes

At one time, the cell membrane was thought of as something like a building block made of lipids. Suzan Mazur interviews Swedish physical chemist Tommy Nylander about the study of living cells through neutron scattering (to avoid contamination, the Swedes do the studies without nuclear power or mercury) at Oscillations: Tommy Nylander:I’m very interested in Read More…

Books of interest Cell biology Culture Darwinism Evolution horizontal gene transfer Intelligent Design

Jerry Coyne continues to be unhappy over David Quammen’s book on Carl Woese

Readers will remember science writer David Quammen’s new book, The Tangled Tree:A Radical New History of Life, a biography of Carl Woese, who first identified the Archaea (and doubted Darwinism). They will also doubtless remember Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, who does not life Tangled Tree, and… Well, he still doesn’t like it and has Read More…

Ediacaran Evolution Intelligent Design

Rob Sheldon: How we know the 558 mya animal Dickinsonia remains really contained fats

Recently, some readers asked whether the recent Dickinsonia fossil “fats” find from 558 mya featured cholesterol. Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon explains further: Cholesterol was not found by these researchers, nor did they make announcements of soft tissue in a fossil. What they did find were the breakdown products of cholesterol called “sterols”. Plants make Read More…

Genomics speciation

World’s simplest animals as different from each other as humans and mice

The world’s simplest animal is trichoplax adhaerens. It is so simple that researchers wisely decided to forego the venerable Biological Species Concept that depends on an animal’s form (tricoplax doesn’t have much of a form) and just use genetics. But when evolutionary biologist Michael Eitel sequenced the genomes of several thousand of them, he was Read More…

Fine tuning Intelligent Design Naturalism

Evolutionary psychologist slams the fine-tuning of the universe

“Claims that the Universe is designed for humans raise far more troubling questions than they can possibly answer,” says evolutionary psychologist David P. Barash: Welcome to the ‘anthropic principle’, a kind of Goldilocks phenomenon or ‘intelligent design’ for the whole Universe. It’s easy to describe, but difficult to categorise: it might be a scientific question, Read More…

Atheism Culture Ethics Intellectual freedom Intelligent Design

Is there an atheist value system, at odds with traditional ones?

We are told so at Commentary, using the Soviet Union by way of demonstration: Bolshevik ethics began and ended with atheism. Only someone who rejected all religious or quasi-religious morals could be a Bolshevik because, as Lenin, Trotsky, Stalin, and countless other Bolshevik leaders insisted, success for the Party was the only standard of right Read More…

academic freedom Culture Darwinism Science

Darwin’s vigilantes: Fred Reed on why Darwinism persists

He had promised, he says, not to touch the subject again but… Looking back on what’s happened (and hasn’t happened) in the last fifteen years: A prime example is Richard Sternberg, a Ph.D. in biology (Molecular Evolution) from Florida International University and a Ph.D. in Systems Science (Theoretical Biology) from Binghamton University. He is not Read More…