Sewell: I cannot think of anything in all of science that can be stated with more confidence than that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone could not have rearranged the basic particles of physics into Apple iPhones.
First response: Stuff it. Absolutely. Stuff it. Given the way governments goofed big time throughout the pandemic, doubt about vaccines is a reasonable reaction, if not a correct one. A recent poll shows that nearly half of the vaccine doubters are worried about side effects.
This is a problem, all right. But really, why do these, or any life/quasi-life forms, have a “genetic alphabet” (an alphabet of life, not learning) at all if everything happened by natural selection acting on random mutation, as the textbooks claim? Let alone an alphabet of life they can just substitute some other letters for? Is there anyone out there who can do the math?
Fahsing point outs that criminal investigations are generally abductive rather than deductive. “Try to eliminate as many explanations or lines of inquiry as you can. Just like in science, theories can be truly tested only through falsification.”
Also: “The work revealed that the last surviving kākāpō population, isolated on an island off New Zealand for the last 10,000 years, has somehow purged deleterious mutations, despite the species’ low genetic diversity.” Hmm.
Before we worry too much about the fate of the Standard Model of the universe, it’s worth noting that we are also told that it would be “extremely difficult” to prove that a star is really an anti-star. It’s mainly just an intriguing idea at this point.
As more of this type of information becomes available, expect the topic of irreducible complexity to be no longer discussable. When it can’t be debunked, it can be ruled undiscussable.
And of course it had to be XKCD. Here’s that page (don’t miss the rest)!
The problem with Whittle’s long, thoughtful, and informative piece is that he seems determined to be reasonable and make sense. In the age of the war on math and the war on science, the Twitter mob is the new sanity and acting out is evidence of Virtue.
Laszlo Bencze: “If you say, “Most people prefer vanilla ice cream,” you’ve just made a trivial claim of no great significance. But if you say, “People have evolved to prefer vanilla ice cream,” well now you’ve made an insightful and fascinating statement backed by years of scientific research, no doubt about it.” Well, if they can’t have the cattle, they are going to insist on the Big Hat, right?
Researchers: We find that two particular mutation rates, G →U and C →U, are similarly elevated and considerably higher than all other mutation rates, causing the majority of mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome, and are possibly the result of APOBEC and ROS activity.
This is a far cry from Stephen Hawking’s famous denunciation of philosophy in 2011 as “dead” because it was out of step with theoretical physics.
Sheldon: Dawkins was part of the cancel culture 30 years ago “Christianity is like smallpox only harder to eradicate”. So the fact that the cancel culture turns on its own, is not surprising.
Cancel Culture is basically fascism, tweeted. But the way Darwinism and Social Darwinism sponsored racism — because in that scheme of things, someone always needs to be the lesser human — should have been dealt with a long time ago. There are certainly plenty of other reasons for doubting Darwin and denouncing Sanger today.
Egnor: The intellect and will depend on but are not created by bodily functions, senses, and memory. They are, however, affected by deficits in these areas.