Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community

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 ›

Researchers: Many published psych studies lack validity

ScienceDaily: Chester and Lasko investigated 348 psychological manipulations included in peer-reviewed studies. They found that roughly 42% of the experiments were paired with no validity evidence, and that the remaining psychological manipulations were validated in ways that were extremely limited. Read More ›

Smithsonian Magazine: Nearest black hole’s position can be seen without a telescope

If you are in the southern hemisphere, as were the ESO (European Southern Observatory) astronomers: The pair of stars in a system called HR 6819 is so close to us that on a clear night in the Southern Hemisphere, a person might be able to spot them without a telescope. What that stargazer wouldn’t see, though, is the black hole hiding right there in the constellation Telescopium. At just 1,000 light-years away, it is the closest black hole to Earth ever discovered, and it could help scientists find the rest of the Milky Way’s missing black holes. Megan Gannon, “Astronomers Discover the Closest Known Black Hole” at Smithsonian Magazine It was discovered by accident: The scientists originally became interested in Read More ›

Chemist Marcos Eberlin on the molecules: They say “Design!”

Marcos Eberlin, the bad boy chemist from Brazil who says, yes, it’s design—but is too productive to just be fired—talks about why he thinks molecules demonstrate design: Biology, cosmology, physics, mathematics, computer engineering, chemistry… You could have an interesting argument among proponents of intelligent design about which field of science will ultimately clinch the argument for ID. Famed chemist Marcos Eberlin claims the honor will go to chemistry. Chauvinism, you say? Perhaps. You could take that up with the three Nobel laureates who endorsed his recent book, Foresight: How the Chemistry of Life Reveals Planning and Purpose. For a lighter moment, see Jerry Coyne is already mad at Marcos Eberlin

Business prof argues: Journals these days are obsessed by theory

Marinetto: The fetishisation of theory does have practical payoffs for editors. For one Swedish academic, Pär J. Ågerfalk, the charge of “insufficient theoretical contribution” can be employed as a neat rhetorical brush-off for submissions that editors do not like the look of but “cannot quite put their finger on why”. Read More ›

Sociology of science prof: Philosophers have given up distingushing science, in principle, from other types of pursuits

From Daniel Sarewitz at the Weekly Standard, reflecting on Sabine Hossenfelder’s Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, … What, then, joins Hossenfelder’s field of theoretical physics to ecology, epidemiology, cultural anthropology, cognitive psychology, biochemistry, macroeconomics, computer science, and geology? Why do they all get to be called science? Certainly it is not similarity of method. The methods used to search for the subatomic components of the universe have nothing at all in common with the field geology methods in which I was trained in graduate school. Nor is something as apparently obvious as a commitment to empiricism a part of every scientific field. Many areas of theory development, in disciplines as disparate as physics and economics, have little contact Read More ›

Why climate activist scientist won’t debate the science

From climate scientist Kate Marvel at Scientific American: Once you put established facts about the world up for argument, you’ve already lost In fact, as a general rule, I refuse to debate basic science in public. There are two reasons for this: first, I’m a terrible debater and would almost certainly lose. The skills necessary to be a good scientist (coding, caring about things like “moist static energy”, drinking massive amounts of coffee) aren’t necessarily the same skills that will convince an audience in a debate format. It is very fortunate that things like the atomic model of matter do not rest on my ability to be charming or persuasive. But second, and maybe more importantly: once you put facts Read More ›