Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Ten (or so) Anti-Intelligent Design Books You Should Read

I have posted the second video in my two part book recommendation series on the YouTube channel. In the previous video I highlighted many books that argue for intelligent design. My view is that proponents of design should face the strongest criticisms possible, and not be afraid of doing so. In line with this philosophy, in this video I talk about just a handful of the many books that attempt to refute ID. Again, I would be interested to know what others think are the best books that attempt to show ID is wrong. Ten (or so) Anti-Intelligent Design Books You Should Read

Judge Amy Barrett and positivist “constitutional jurisprudence” as usurpation, vs., the natural law (and the natural/original sense of a Constitution)

One of the almost amusing features of UD is to observe threads largely dodged by inveterate objectors (given the known, intense hostile scrutiny we face). One of those threads, recently, has been the discussion of Judge Amy Barrett and the hearings she faces. However, in the course of some discussion some themes were sounded that are worth further focus, so, let us headline some of these. A good start point is with a Washington Post Op Ed by Brian Leiter, a professor at the University of Chicago Law School: Let’s start telling the truth about what the Supreme Court does Opinion by Brian LeiterMarch 19, 2017 Ordinary Americans may be understandably perplexed by the controversy over nominating a judge to Read More ›

Judge Amy Coney Barrett begins US Supreme Court nomination hearings

Judge Barrett has issued the text of her remarks ahead of the hearings. She is President Trump’s third nominee and the hearings are liable to be contentious, one hopes the sort of accusations raised against Mr Kavanaugh will not occur. It is to be noted that election year nominations to the Supreme Court have happened a significant number of times since the 1790’s. Over the past century and more, several times, nominees proposed by a president of one party with a Senate dominated by the other have failed, while same-party nominations have typically gone through. The US Constitution simply stipulates Presidential nomination and Senate “advice and consent.” In past decades, such were not contentious, but the Court has deteriorated into Read More ›

Study: Crime prediction algorithms do no better than a crowd of volunteers

From Maria Temming at Science News: Computers get a say in these life-changing decisions because their crime forecasts are supposedly less biased and more accurate than human guesswork. A comparison of the volunteers’ answers with COMPAS’ predictions for the same 1,000 defendants found that both were about 65 percent accurate. “We were like, ‘Holy crap, that’s amazing,’” says study coauthor Hany Farid, a computer scientist at Dartmouth. “You have this commercial software that’s been used for years in courts around the country — how is it that we just asked a bunch of people online and [the results] are the same?” There’s nothing inherently wrong with an algorithm that only performs as well as its human counterparts. But this finding, Read More ›

Can Wikipedia be fixed? (And, should we care? [Is it time to walk away and lock it out like a virus?])

By 2012, the longstanding Encyclopedia Britannica had published its last print edition. Microsoft’s Encarta has long since bitten the dust, and so has Collier’s notable effort. Wikipedia, like it or lump it — mostly the latter — seems to have taken over that go-to first source slot. Indeed, for a great many subjects a Wikipedia article will dominate a Google search (or the like), to the point where one gets the impression that if it is not in the top three or so references, that was programmed in by the search engine’s programmers. And yet, as PJ Media reports, co-founder and original author of Wikipedia’s “neutral point of view [NPOV]” policy, Larry Sanger has gone on record, regarding Wiki’s entrenched Read More ›

2018 March for Life in Washington, DC: 45th annual response to the 1973 Abortion on Demand US Supreme Court Decision

Today is the March for life in Washington DC. Speakers include: Rep. Paul Ryan, Pam Tebow, Matt Birk and others. We have someone on the ground from the UD family and will be giving updates as we get them across the day. Remember, globally, the abortion holocaust toll rises at a million or thereabouts per week, on Guttmacher-UN figures. The total since the early 1970’s exceeds 800 millions. For shame! So, developing: U/D No 1: I found a live stream here. (I won’t even try an embed with this one.) U/D 2: US Pres Trump is to address the MFL by satellite feed, 100,000 expected. A first. U/D 3: Live address is to be at 1 pm EST, and will Read More ›

Design Disquisitions: Updated YouTube Playlists

For the last year or so I have been accumulating quite a number of YouTube playlists. Recently I’ve been trying to get it a little more organised and cleaned up, so I thought I would point readers to it as a resource. At the moment I have just under 40 individual playlists. I have created playlists for the key individuals in the ID debate (pro and anti-ID) and also have playlists for different issues that come up (e.g. Irreducible complexity, methodological naturalism etc). There’s also one covering the Dover trial, and any lectures and debates on the subject. For any other videos that don’t readily fit into other categories, I have a playlist of miscellaneous videos: ID YouTube Playlists I’ll Read More ›

Going to the roots of lawfulness and justice (by way of King Alfred’s Book of Dooms)

Sometimes the name of a book is just waaaaay cool, and King Alfred’s Book of Dooms takes the prize. But that (while showing that I am not totally immune to the coolness factor  😉 ) is besides the main point. The main issue is that for several weeks now, we have been dealing with radical secularism and its agenda for law, the state and justice. Especially, in light of the triple challenge of state power, lawfulness and sound leadership: What is justice, what is its foundation, and — where Alfred the Great and his Book of Dooms come in — how was this emplaced at the historical root of the Common Law tradition that the law and state framework of Read More ›

In defence of Professor Brendan Bain of UWI Jamaica, Medical Doctor and Public Health expert fired by UWI (my alma mater . . . ) for giving a politically incorrect expert opinion on the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the Caribbean to the Belize Supreme Court . . .

In Jamaica, this distinguished professor — literally the man who led the Caribbean region’s medical fight against HIV/AIDS from the beginning in 1983 on — has been fired as at Tuesday afternoon by UWI’s Vice Chancellor for giving a politically incorrect expert testimony to The Supreme Court in Belize. This is a sign of how pressure group activism led by radicals of various stripes . . . it hardly matters that they all think they have cornered the market on the correct view on whatever bees are buzzing in their bonnets . . . is undermining the civilisation’s hard won consensus on freedom of inquiry, of expression and of educators and students around the world. Not to mention, just plain Read More ›

FYI-FTR, 5: A BA 77 update — Dr Jerry Bergman lectures on the longstanding career and reputation slaughter of Darwin doubters

BA 77 has found another vid on the Slaughter of the Dissidents that reminds us of what the sort of evo mat promotion stunts we see going on in and around UD can all too often end up as: [youtube T_nh0zDMwJA] A couple of stills can help us understand what Darwinist agit-prop enabling behaviour by spreading false accusations and willful misrepresentations, demanding a ‘right’ to defame as if that is a part of free speech and the like can all too easily end up as; through, creating a toxic and deeply polarised, destructive climate in our civilisation and especially in key institutions: Something to ponder, for those who imagine there is a ‘right’ to directly participate in or enable falsely Read More ›

The “ID is Creationism in a cheap tuxedo” smear championed by Eugenie Scott et al of NCSE is now Law School Textbook orthodoxy . . .

From ENV  — even as Dr Eugenie Scott of NCSE retires (having championed the ID is Creationism in a cheap tuxedo smear for years and years in the teeth of all correction . . . ) — we see a development, courtesy a whistle-blowing Law School student: The latest attempt to insert creationism into the classroom is what is known as the Theory of Intelligent Design. The theory is that all of the complex natural phenomena could not have happened randomly; there had to be a design and a designer. Since the concept of the designer does not require a biblical interpretation, its advocates believe that it could possibly pass constitutional muster. Some states have proposed that science standards be Read More ›

Slate.com in a Dither Over non-Repeal of LSEA

Slate.com is all upset that repeal of the Louisiana Science Education Act of 2008 was was rejected yet again in a 3-2 vote in the State Senate. 19 year old Rice University Student Zack Kopplin has been leading the charge to get this “outrage” done away with once and for all, with help from the usual suspects. What’s interesting to note is the reason that one Senator, Elbert Guillory, D-Obelousas, who essentially cast the deciding vote, gave for his vote against repeal. Sen. Elbert Guillory, D-Opelousas, said he had reservations with repealing the act after a spiritual healer correctly diagnosed a specific medical ailment he had. He said he thought repealing the act could “lock the door on being able Read More ›

Wiki’s F – – on ID, 5: Subtly distorting the truth on Discovery Institute’s policy on Education in public schools, multiplied by a failure of due disclosure on judge Jones’ Kitzmiller/ Dover ruling

( To comment, kindly go here) Last time, we showed how Wikipedia’s article on Intelligent Design flagrantly distorts the history of the origins of ID as a modern movement. Today, our focus is on a subtler distortion: From the mid-1990s, intelligent design proponents were supported by the Discovery Institute, which, together with its Center for Science and Culture, planned and funded the “intelligent design movement”.[16][n 1] They advocated inclusion of intelligent design in public school biology curricula, leading to the 2005 Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District trial, where U.S. District Judge John E. Jones III ruled that intelligent design is not science, that it “cannot uncouple itself from its creationist, and thus religious, antecedents”, and that the school district’s Read More ›

Wiki’s F – – on ID, 4: Correcting a widely circulated propagandistic false history of the origins of intelligent design as a scientific school of thought

(To comment cf. here) Just now, I see where an objector to ID was saying that I a am tilting at windmills to take time to take apart the introduction to Wikipedia’s anti-ID hit piece presented as a NPOV review of ID from significant and credible sources. It bears remembering, then, that by Wiki’s admission in a promotional and fund raising appeal, they are the number 5 most popular site in the world. Other evaluations vary, but it is quite plain that Wiki is arguably the most commonly resorted to popular reference and education site in the world. That is a lot of reach and influence, so they have an even more intense duty of care to truth, accuracy, credibility Read More ›