Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Understanding the engineering of living systems requires acceptance of the design of life

After a while, expecting randomness to develop exquisite machinery within a fixed time frame becomes ridiculous. The big question is, how much more might we learn if we assume it isn’t random? Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: New AI learns to simulate common sense

The GPT-3 program can get through grammatical issues on which others stumble, says Robert J. Marks. It is a simulation because the AI can perform the task but does not “understand” what the concepts mean: The classic test for AI common sense is resolution of Winograd schema. Winograd schema contain vague, ambiguous pronouns. Common sense resolves the ambiguity. An example is: “John is afraid to get in a fight with Bob because he is so tall, muscular and ill-tempered.” Does the vague pronoun “he” refer to John or Bob? Common sense says Bob is the tough guy and John is the scared dude. Another Winograd schema example is “John did not ask Bob to join him in prayer because he Read More ›

Will science media’s slow descent into the Woke crazy empower competition?

In a still-free society, Wokeness will create a space for a new popular science magazine. Lots of Woke-weary folk who value evidence over ideology would likely support it. That magazine should allow evidence-based criticism of Darwinian theory — which is treated with considerable skepticism anyway once you get outside the venue of the people who blew up SciAm with their Wokeness. Read More ›

Michael Egnor at Mind Matters News: Political website’s Christmas gift to readers: promoting abortion

Egnor: I do a fair amount of prenatal counseling. While I always tell the families the truth about their baby’s prognosis, most of the patients I evaluate are essentially normal babies who have prenatal ultrasound/MRI findings that show minor brain variants that don’t impact their lives. Even for children with serious diagnoses, the outlook is often much better than the abortion-happy medical profession tells families in crisis. Read More ›

Why is it claimed that the Neanderthals were “not fully human”?

In a Smithsonian Magazine yearender offering seven new things we are thought to have learned about human evolution in 2021, we read: Modern humans, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa and eventually made it to every corner of the world. That is not news. However, we are still understanding how and when the earliest human migrations occurred. We also know that our ancestors interacted with other species of humans at the time, including Neanderthals, based on genetic evidence of Neanderthal DNA in modern humans alive today—an average of 1.9 percent in Europeans. Remains of some of the earliest humans in Europe were described this year by multiple teams, except they were not fully human. All three of the earliest Homo sapiens Read More ›

Jerry Coyne on the war on math, science, in New Zealand – and falling scores

Darwinian evolutionary biologist Coyne doesn’t dispute teaching Indigenous beliefs in a cultural class. But he may be at a major disadvantage because - if many years of his blogging are any guide - he wants science taught as a branch of naturalist atheism. Thus, the question arises, why shouldn’t we teach naturalist atheism too as an outcropping of Western culture? Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Are the brain cells in a dish that learned Pong conscious?

Eric Holloway: A couple other interesting results from the research. First, human-derived organoids always outperform mouse-derived organoids in terms of volley length. Second, even without negative feedback, when the paddle missed the pong ball, the organoids still learn to increase volley length. Read More ›

At Mind Matters News: Does superdeterminism resolve dilemmas around free will?

Michael Egnor: If we lack free will, we have no justification whatsoever to even believe that we lack free will. In a timeless block however, the future exists simultaneously with the past and present — but that does not mean that the future determines the past and present. Read More ›