Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Study: God loves me, so I worry less …

To a religious person, guilt is an objective state, not a pathology. It’s no help to say, “You shouldn’t feel guilty ...” A justifiable response from the patient would be “How the hell do you know? I’m mainly interested in what God thinks.” Read More ›

Why Darwinian medicine is a dead loss

In “Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations,” at Evolution News & Views (June 25, 2011), neurosurgeon Mike Egnor makes a critical distinction between proximate explanations and evolutionary explanations,s they apply to medicine: Read More ›

“Natural selection selects for autism” thesis revisited

Remember, autism was – one author claims – a useful adaptation in “evolutionary history”?

Caroline Crocker at AITSE discusses that in the most recent newsletter, after addressing the theories of autism’s cause that are worth taking seriously:

Jared is writing his first paper as a doctoral candidate and so, should be given credit for a very imaginative hypothesis. But, his professors should be held accountable for their lamentable lack of guidance. The young man then goes on to bury himself even deeper in the evolutionary psychology mumbo jumbo and begins to compare the behavior of those with ASDs with that of orangutans and the behavior of non-autistics with that of chimpanzees. He does give a disclaimer on page 221, saying that “no offense is intended towards autistic individuals in this comparison with orangutans,” but by then the reader is finding it hard to focu on his meaning for laughing at this poor student’s politically correct squirming. 

[Most people looking for answers are pretty desperate, and don’t appreciate this kind of thing.] Read More ›

Tenured pundits: Modern medicine needs Darwinism

On the other hand, … modern medicine owes nothing to Darwinism. For one thing, mortality from infectious diseases in the West began declining before 1859, due in large part to public health measures such as the provision of sewage disposal systems and safe water supplies.10 It also included personal hygiene, as the story of Hungarian obstetrician Ignác Semmelweis illustrates.While working in an Austrian hospital in 1847, Semmelweis noticed that the death rate of mothers from puerperal fever was much higher in wards run by medical students than in wards run by midwives. He also noticed that the medical students would go directly from the morgue tothe obstetric ward without washing their hands. By simply requiring the medical students to wash Read More ›

Free download of Johns Hopkins medic’s book on “jumping genes”

Mobile DNA, Finding Treasure in Junk, by Haig H. Kazazian is available free for download at Barnes and Noble:

In Mobile DNA, leading geneticist Haig Kazazian thoroughly reviews our current understanding of the substantial role mobile genetic elements play in genome and organism evolution and function. He offers an accessible intellectual history of mobile DNA, rich and insightful perspectives on how investigators ask and answer research questions, and his predictions about future developments and research directions for this active field. Read More ›