Lots of people, including us folk at Uncommon Descent are accused of “undermining science.” Dennis Prager, reflecting on last weekend’s “Prepare to Meet Thy Doom“-fest observes that secular apocalypses (that never really happen) have done our work for us: There is one major difference between leftist and religious doomsday scenarios. The religious readily acknowledge that […]
One of philosopher Robert Pennock’s arguments for methodological naturalism (which rules out evidence for design in nature in principle, because it cannot be considered) is that “we cannot control the supernatural:” Experimentation requires observation and control of the variables. We confirm causal laws by performing controlled experiments in whichthe hypothesized independent variable is made to […]
… and physicist Rob Sheldon will reply on: Could the universe be infinite in space, and how would that affect the design argument? Dr. Sheldon has notified us that he has ordered Dr. Monton’s book, Seeking God in Science: An Atheist Defends Intelligent Design (Broadview Press, 2009), which argues that case. Further details later.
Dave Ullmer at Beyond the Information Age asks for critics for his e-book summarized here: Beyond the Information Age discusses a new way of thinking about computers, knowledge and understanding. He’d like to know if it relates to the ID controversy.
Moving beyond (at last, one hopes) “The day we left the Darwin lobby in charge of the office”, the journal Synthese has a great new issue on scientific realism, dedicated to Peter Lipton (d. 2007): Scientific Realism Quo Vadis? Theories, Structures, Underdetermination and Reference here. It includes
… and, despite best intentions, this doesn’t feel like an exception. The effort to meld developmental biology and fashion statements may be doomed in the chrysalis: Helen and Kate collaborated in 1997 to create a series of fashion/textile designs, spanning the first 1,000 hours of human life. Producing these at London College of Fashion, Helen […]
Liechtenstein’s Daily Bell features Vedic (Hindu) creationist Michael Cremo on “Forbidden Archeology, Our Billion-Year-Old Human History and the Spiritual Satisfaction of the Vedas” (Sunday, May 22, 2011 – with Anthony Wile): Daily Bell: Tell us about your book, Forbidden Archeology , and why it is so controversial in the West. Give us its main thesis.[ […]
Further to “Recent Uncommon Descent posts reveal starkly different standards of evidence out there” (Uncommon Descent, 18 May 2011), this ScienceDaily story (May 18, 2011) about a trapped spider is instructive: Imaging Technology Reveals Intricate Details of 49-Million-Year-Old SpiderScientists have used the latest computer-imaging technology to produce stunning three-dimensional pictures of a 49 million-year-old spider […]
He sniffs that he might, in the end, review it, as time permits. One hopes he’ll read it first. Some readers of reviews like that sort of thing, and there is simply no accounting for tastes. PZ Myers, however, has threatened to read the book. Farrell (“Jonathan Wells’s “The Myth … of the Myth of […]
From paleontologist R. Glenn Northcutt’s “Evolving Large and Complex Brains”(Science, 20 May 2011) we learn: During the Mesozoic (~250 million to 65 million years ago), two distantly related groups of reptiles—the cynodont (or mammal-like) reptiles and the coelurosaurian theropod dinosaurs—gave rise to mammals and birds, respectively. Both mammals and birds evolved brains some 10 times […]
The term “Goldilocks zone” sometimes references Earth’s position, as just right for carbon-based life. The number, as it happens, is a phantom, but a powerful force in shaping opinion nonetheless. Marvelous fun fromBrooke Gladstone at Slate(May 19, 2011) about the Goldilocks number, 50,000, used in media to gin up scare stories. Here’s an interesting item […]
From “Young Graphite in Old Rocks Challenges the Earliest Signs of Life” (ScienceDaily, May 21, 2011) we learn: The team — which includes researchers from Boston College, the Carnegie Institution of Washington, NASA’s Johnson Space Center and the Naval Research Laboratory — says new evidence from Canada’s Hudson Bay region shows carbonaceous particles are millions […]
Over at AITSE, headed by Expelled’s Caroline Crocker, author of Free to Think, we learn (May 20, 2011) something that should not surprise us: Freeing students to think is an aid to learning: Do students learn better when taught by experienced lecturers in the traditional method or when given specific problems to solve in a […]
Let us imagine a strange alien race that sets out to learn about humanity. By chance they have encountered a single Scrabble tile imprinted with the letter “e”. Because these aliens are extremely thorough materialists, they undertake to study the tile as deeply as possible. Not only do they subject it to chemical analysis but, […]
The story “Lizard Fossil Provides Missing Link to Show Body Shapes of Snakes and Limbless Lizards Evolved Independently” starts off on the right foot (ScienceDaily, May 19, 2011): Until a recent discovery, theories about the origins and evolutionary relationships of snakes barely had a leg to stand on. Not that we ever heard that then, […]