We are fond of ridiculing our ancestors for belief in phlogiston but a more accurate description of combustion, we are told, involves many uncertainties.
Sources say there is a cub too that hasn’t yet been announced. Researchers are confident that they can extract readable DNA. Too bad we don’t have dinosaurs like that. Just think of all the speculation that would be circumvented.
Most interesting: “Our results provide an intriguing example of inter-kingdom convergent evolution of animal and plant venoms with shared modes of delivery, molecular structure, and pharmacology.” Plants and animals are not so different after all.
Okay, the editor said it: “there is no apolitical science.” We are not now dealing in the world of accusations but of admissions. He is admitting that opposition to “creationism,” however they define it is political. Fine. We all knew that but we did not have it in writing before. Getting things put in writing is a genuine help.
I was a devoted SciAm fan growing up. I collected other people’s old copies and had a collection going back to the 60’s. Then SciAm was bought out by some big publishing firm. And my favorite column, the Amateur Scientist by Forrest M. Mims III , was cancelled because Mims was a Christian.
How does life come to want to keep on existing—whether it succeeds or not? If a drive to survive is “programmed” into life, how did that come to be? Most of nature has no such drive.
Funny that the brain would be organized just as if it were the work of a skilled programmer or something …
Researchers: Beaked birds had the advantage that they could live on seeds from destroyed forests until new vegetation grew again.
Researchers: Exoplanets around stars with a higher carbon to oxygen ratio than our sun are more likely to be carbon-rich. They hypothesize that these carbon-rich exoplanets could convert to diamond and silicate, if water (which is abundant in the universe) were present, creating a diamond-rich composition.
They can break with tradition in this way if they want, of course. But then they will no longer be able to say that their science is not tainted with (drenched in?) politics. Which is why, no matter what the crisis, no one did it in the past. The outcome, no matter who wins the U.S. election, will be reduced public trust in science. Scientific American could well find itself down there with “media” generally, in terms of public trust.
Alternatively, it may become possible to have a discussion about what, exactly, science is. For example, in the case of the ATP turbine, “Natural selection did it” has the same explicit explanatory value as “God did it.” But natural selection is somehow science and God is not. Why? How?
Ask a Darwinist and he’ll tell you that “natural selection, acting on random mutation” caused all that to just swish into existence. As if. If it took so much intelligence to understand the intricacy of the system, it should be no surprise if it took some intelligence to create it.
A friend notes that, to judge from the Abstract, the way they reasoned the matter sounds like design theorist William Dembski’s explanatory filter.
A paper by well-known thinkers like Carlo Rovelli and Elliott Sober offers instances of the way that philosophers can clarify problems for science. Citing Jerry Fodor, it seems like they’ve almost forgotten that Jerry Fodor also wrote What Darwin Got Wrong (2010).
Imagine, all that information in there doesn’t weigh anything. But it matters.