Well then, how did a complex process like photosynthesis get the time to “evolve” by natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism)? Researchers (wisely, for now) state such findings without making any obvious inferences. But the number of these situations is building.
At The Scientist: With the potential moves against Marcy and Ayala, “We are watching social change happening in front of our eyes,” says Nancy Hopkins, an NAS member and emeritus biologist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. “It has been a long time coming.” …
Bencze: the “evolutionary hack” is … “the task of safely raising the next generation.” That is certainly an odd way of referring to parenting but, by alluding to evolution, the tone of the review rises to a more exalted scientific level thus confirming that reviewer Emily is no mere mommy but sort of a scientist herself.
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…
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.
ON Boghossian: A lifelong liberal and critic of former President Donald Trump, Boghossian believes describing people as left or right is losing utility. It’s those who demand you think a certain way who are on one side, while those who do not are on the other.
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.
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.
Readers might remember that Brian Keating recently interviewed Steve Meyer but here he himself is interviewed.
You know, Dawkins may be losing his shine. New Scientist was making similar types of noise last October. It’s now okay to say when there’s something wrong with this stuff.
The willingness of our pets to adopt other animals’ offspring — relative to that of the wild chimpanzees — is an argument for human exceptionalism. The real story is a reason that humans are not just animals.
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.
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.” …
It’s hard to see how all the Virtue that Krauss recounts will help young members of minority groups today make their way in science, as opposed to creating window dressing jobs for Wokesters. But maybe the window dressing jobs ARE the point of this sort of exercise.
Bethell practiced journalism when it meant telling people what the establishment did not want them to know.