Darwinian Debating Devices Darwinism Darwinist rhetorical tactics Evolution

Darwinian Debating Device #19: How to Trick Yourself: The Darwinian Thought Process

One of the primary things keeping traditional evolutionary theory afloat is not the mountain of evidence supposedly existing in its favor, but the way in which the evidence is interpreted in the context of the pre-existing Darwinian paradigm. The key is the way evolutionary theorists tend to proceed from an observation to a series of Read More…

Darwinism Evolution Genetics Natural selection speciation

Real Time Evolution “Happening Under Our Nose”

A couple of weeks ago a friend forwarded me a link to this recent article about “ongoing research to record the interaction of environment and evolution” by University of California, Riverside biologist David Reznick. Reznick’s team has been studying adaptive changes in guppies. Reznick’s work focuses on tracking what happens in real-world situations in the Read More…

Astronomy Exoplanets Extraterrestrial life Origin Of Life

Oxygen Does Not Equal Life – Implications for Abiogenesis?

The Japanese National Institutes of Natural Sciences (NINS) are reporting about new research that throws a small wrinkle into the search for life on planets outside our solar system. Such bodies, known as “exoplanets,” have emerged as one of the more exciting areas of astronomical study — an entire new field of research having essentially Read More…

Exoplanets Extraterrestrial life

Renewed Search for ET – $100M Initiative

Today, Yuri Milner and Stephen Hawking announced a $100M initiative to seek extraterrestrial life, injecting renewed energy (and funds) into the hunt for life (specifically, intelligent life) beyond our fair planet. Although this has been a decades-long area of research and interest, with the SETI institute playing perhaps the most important role in recent years, Read More…

Darwinist rhetorical tactics Evolution Functionally Specified Complex Information & Organization Irreducible Complexity Origin Of Life Self-Org. Theory

Emergence as an Explanation for Living Systems

Yesterday I watched a re-run of a Star Trek: The Next Generation episode. There. I said it. I love Star Trek. Notwithstanding the many absurd evolution-based plotlines. In this specific episode, Data referred to a particular characteristic of a newly-developing lifeform as an “emergent property.” I’ve looked into the “emergence” ideas in the past, and Read More…

'Junk DNA'

Tossing Out the Junk

Over at the ID The Future podcast, Casey Luskin has been doing a series on “the top 10 problems with biological and chemical evolution.” Some of the problems he discusses will no doubt be of more interest to certain listeners than to others. However, the segment on junk DNA is particularly worth hearing (about 13 Read More…

Origin Of Life thermodynamics and information

Second Thoughts on the Second Law: Extending an Olive Branch

Recently on niwrad’s thread we have had a lively discussion about the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics and its potential application to the question of a materialistic abiogenesis scenario. kairosfocus has followed up with another useful post. In the present thread I provide a high level view of some of the key issues and misconceptions surrounding Read More…

Extraterrestrial life Media Origin Of Life

Scientists Create Methane-Based Life: Science Reporting Stoops to a New Low

Yesterday a friend sent me a link to a news article with the exciting headline: “No water needed: Methane-based life possible on Saturn’s moon Titan, study says.” Quite remarkable! Amazing enough to immediately attract my friend’s attention and to get him to shoot an email to me with the link, as he knows I am Read More…

Irreducible Complexity

Evolution of an Irreducibly Complex System – Lenski’s E. Coli

On another thread we have been discussing abiogenesis in particular, but there was also some discussion about the evolution of an irreducibly complex system. Commenter CHartsil indicated that “we actually watched an IC system evolve” in reference to Lenski’s E. coli research. At my request, he has posted a brief summary of the research and Read More…

Design inference Naturalism Origin Of Life

Abiogenesis – Highlighting the Spectrum

Recently I have been thinking a lot about one of the most interesting topics: the origin of life. Specifically, the state of research on abiogenesis, the idea that life arose through purely natural processes without any intelligent guidance or intervention. I have also been thinking about the various viewpoints I have encountered over the years Read More…