Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Origin of life as a chemical Eden?

Requarth: "Russell’s conception of our species, along with every other living thing, as mere energy patterns, ultimately born of rogue fluctuations in the Universe’s infancy, might make us feel a little less special." Maybe that's the point of many origin of life theories... Read More ›

Tour deals with the rhetorical tactics of a critic

HT Q, here is Dr Tour’s response to a critic’s rhetoric (with some addressing of substantial matters through interacting with an expert caught in the cross fire): It is sad to see that this had to be dealt with. As a point of reference, let us highlight first duties and principles of right reason, extending to those connected with the logic of cause and so too inductive reasoning — which includes inference to the best explanation (i.e. abduction). I trust, this will be useful. END PS, as the critic attacked Dr Tour personally as allegedly lying for Jesus (which does not seem to be warranted on the circumstances), it is relevant to add this on Dr Tour’s response to anti-Christian Read More ›

At Phys.org: Ancient source of oxygen for life hidden deep in the Earth’s crust

Scientists at Newcastle University have uncovered a source of oxygen that may have influenced the evolution of life before the advent of photosynthesis. The pioneering research project, led by Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences and published today in Nature Communications, uncovered a mechanism that can generate hydrogen peroxide from rocks during the movement of geological faults. While in high concentrations hydrogen peroxide can be harmful to life, it can also provide a useful source of oxygen to microbes. This additional source of oxygen may have influenced the early evolution, and feasibly even origin, of life in hot environments on the early Earth prior to the evolution of photosynthesis. In tectonically active regions, the movement of the Earth’s crust not only generates earthquakes but riddles the Read More ›

Found: The ‘holy grail of catalysis’—turning methane into methanol under ambient conditions using light

An international team of researchers has developed a fast and economical method of converting methane, or natural gas, into liquid methanol at ambient temperature and pressure. 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