Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design

Has New Scientist returned abjectly to Darwin’s fold?

New Scientist: “Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection is arguably the most important scientific idea ever” … Thing is, last year (was it only last year?), New Scientist published a thirteen-part serious that would make you think they’d sworn off all that Darwin stuff. Maybe readers missed it too much. Or they need to reassure readers that nothing has changed…

Artificial Intelligence Culture Intelligent Design Mind Naturalism

At Scientific American: Why we live in a simulation

This is likely intended as a spoof: “There is nothing in philosophy or science, no postulates, theories or laws, that would predict the emergence of this experience we call consciousness. Natural laws do not call for its existence, and it certainly does not seem to offer us any evolutionary advantages.” But it happens to be true.

Culture Intelligent Design Naturalism Physics

Is this the beginning of deplatforming Stephen Hawking or of an honest evaluation?

Seife: Hawking managed to convince the public that his opinion always mattered. “[H]is comments attracted exaggerated attention even on topics where he had no special expertise,” wrote Martin Rees, a close friend and colleague of his, “for instance philosophy, or the dangers from aliens or from intelligent machines.” His overweening confidence—and his stubbornness—cost him respect from many of his colleagues, especially late in his career.

Cosmology Culture Intelligent Design Physics

Stan Robertson’s paper on black holes is free for download

One factor that one needn’t be a physicist to see is that black holes became a “thing” in popular culture, in a way that “red dwarfs” and “white dwarfs” never did. No one says that red dwarfs, for example, are a gateway to another universe. That sort of thing may affect people’s willingness to evaluate the evidence base critically. Cf Darwinism.

Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design

Is late stage Darwinism benefiting from the “Semmelweis effect”?

Ignaz Semmelweis’s story about handwashing helps us understand a culture in which — when the news coming back from paleontology doesn’t favor Darwinism, the proposed solution in many quarters is — more emphatic Darwinism! It’s part of the real story of science: Many scientists are just hangers-on, demanding that the system confirm their prejudices, for the well-being of their careers. As long as we can talk about it, things aren’t hopeless.

Books of interest Culture Darwinism Intelligent Design

How Darwinism wound its way into various schemes for improving American society

Scambray: Hofstadter softened Darwin, making his a “conservative” force, supporting the laissez-faire status quo. Others classified Darwin as a change agent, a precursor to social planning. These intermural quarrels aside, Watson demonstrates that progressivism “aimed a dagger at the heart of the Constitution.” …