Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Fisher’s Proof of Darwinism Flipped: William Basener replies to Bob O’Hara

The paper, by William Basener and John Sanford, shows that the continuous flow of new mutations that would continuously replenish a population’s genetic variability and enable Darwinian evolution does not really happen.  (Paper.) Much discussion has followed here and here. Basener has replied to Bob O’H, and for reader convenience, we are reproducing the comments here: First, Bob O’H: tjguy – The maths isn’t troubling (except that I’ sure they could have gone further). The simulation section shows that fitness can decrease, but we already knew this. Basener & Sanford don’t say what mutation rate they use though. It’s obvious, I think, that the paper will be used to claim that mutations mean that evolution can’t work, so it’s a shame they Read More ›

The New York Times’ boffo article on UFO sightings: Skeptical thoughts from New York Magazine

From Jeff Wise at New York Magazine: The main article is decidedly short on specifics. There’s a brief reference to “footage from a Navy F/A-18 Super Hornet showing an aircraft surrounded by some kind of glowing aura traveling at high speed and rotating as it moves.” A more detailed account is provided in an accompanying sidebar entitled “2 Navy Airmen and an Object That ‘Accelerated Like Nothing I’ve Ever Seen.’” In it, former Navy F/A-18 pilot David Fravor relates his experience during a flight from the aircraft carrier Nimitz on November 14, 2004. While en route to a training mission he was vectored toward an unknown radar contact. Arriving on the scene, he witnessed a lozenge-shaped craft that moved over Read More ›

Thought for the New Year: Does suffering help us be more human?

From Ken Francis, journalist and author of The Little Book of God, Mind, Cosmos and Truth, at New English Review: Isn’t it odd that the enormous volume of highly artistic works—from movies, drama, literature, poetry to music—are invariably bleak but give us immense joy? (This is especially evident in the yesteryear world of popular music, but I’ll come to that later.) One wonders are we better off living in a fallen world after all, as a perfect one without strife would lack in artistic excellence. But does a world with immense suffering justify moments of optimism through the transient pleasures of the arts, despite their dark themes? After all, one can’t have Shakespeare’s work without its tragedy, or W.B. Yeats without a Read More ›

UD Community: New Year greetings and thoughts

One wishes as happy a new year as possible to one and all. It falls to insomnia power to open the innings for 2018 for UD. Let us use this open thread to share new year’s day thoughts. END PS: My own general thought is one of grave concern for our civilisation (per Machiavelli of all people), but not entirely without hope: And, like unto it, here is a generic form of Lance Wallnau’s seven mountain framework:Let us ponder: Whence have we come? What are we? Whither are we going? Why? Let’s add the famous painting: Let’s clip Wiki: >>Where Do We Come From? What Are We? Where Are We Going? is a painting by French artist Paul Gauguin. Gauguin Read More ›