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Video Presentation: Why the Debate Over Intelligent Design Really Matters

I have recently posted a new video presentation on my YouTube channel. In the video I talk about some of the reasons why I think the debate over Intelligent Design and biological origins is of great significance. Aside from just being a fascinating area, it has many implications in several areas of life. This video, while far from perfect, is a big step up from my last few videos. I’ve done a fair amount of editing on this one, and took time to make it a little more professional, with music, slides, and photos. I hope you enjoy it, and it gets you thinking a little about why this topic is of importance to you also. Why the Question of Read More ›

A reminder (or two) to our civilisation from Plato:

First, the Parable of the Cave: Second, the Ship of State: >>[Soc.] I perceive, I said, that you are vastly amused at having plunged me into such a hopeless discussion; but now hear the parable, and then you will be still more amused at the meagreness of my imagination: for the manner in which the best men are treated in their own States is so grievous that no single thing on earth is comparable to it; and therefore, if I am to plead their cause, I must have recourse to fiction, and put together a figure made up of many things, like the fabulous unions of goats and stags which are found in pictures. Imagine then a fleet or a Read More ›

Thinking More Deeply About Causation

Most people (including experts) tend to have a one-level view of causation. That is, they have a static idea of what the subject matter is, and then they look to see how the pieces bounce around within that static structure. That more or less works for physics. It totally fails everywhere else. Read More ›

The science-based arguments against Copernicus and Galileo

Pop science writing typically misleads us by portraying the conflict as if the rightness of the Copernican universe were self-evident. For sure not at the time. Read More ›

Silenced! Selectivity too close to truth?

Should science pursue truth regardless of consequences? Or must we succumb to political correctness? Must selectivity of females always equal males? Consider:
Academic Activists Send a Published Paper Down the Memory Hole – by Theodore P. Hill
“In the highly controversial area of human intelligence, the ‘Greater Male Variability Hypothesis’ (GMVH) asserts that there are more idiots and more geniuses among men than among women. Darwin’s research on evolution in the nineteenth century found that, although there are many exceptions for specific traits and species, there is generally more variability in males than in females of the same species throughout the animal kingdom.” . . . Read More ›

Origenes vs CR on the challenge of criticism

Sometimes, a blog comment is so cogent that it desrerves headline billing. In the following case, Origenes brilliantly rises to that level in responding to frequent critic, CR. So, from the moral grounding thread: Origenes, 268:>>CR @ CR: My point was and has continues to be: how does a proposition obtain the status of being “already true” before reason has its say? No, that is not your point at all. Your “point” is that every proposition is fallible. According to you, it can never be settled whether a proposition is true or false — “no proposition is immune to criticism.” One problem with this is that certain propositions are obviously immune to criticism. Here you apply a little trick: by Read More ›

ID conference in Portugal, October 23, 2017

Here: The event will essentially consist of debates about the Theory of Intelligent Design (TDI) and Evolution Theory highlighting points and counterpoints about its theoretical assumptions, the development of Science and implications for society, promoting the scientific debate between the naturalist worldview and the advances of physics, chemistry and modern biochemistry on the origin of life and the universe. And to know that Intelligent Design is not necessarily opposed to the idea of evolution, evolution can mean several things: change over time, common ancestry, and it may mean that non-directed processes have produced all changes over time. Design is not challenging the idea of change over time, but is challenging the idea that these changes that have occurred over time Read More ›

Douglas Axe on science and public opinion

From Douglas Axe, author of Undeniable, in response to Atul Gawande (“Scientific explanation stands in contrast to the wisdom of divinity and experience and common sense”), who was complaining about lack of public confidence in science. At Evolution News & Views: Maybe the better way to restore public confidence is to abandon the condescending mindset and embrace a much more radically inclusive view of science. Maybe the moms Gawande referred to — the ones who jumped to the conclusion that vaccines were dangerous — aren’t all that different from professional scientists who jump to the conclusion that public dissent is dangerous. Gawande gave five handy tips for writing people off as pseudoscientists, but instead of alienating people by dismissing them Read More ›

Not just science journals… plagiarism at Wired too

From RetractionWatch: Last Friday, WIRED editor Adam Rogers got a direct message on Twitter that no journalist wants to see. Christina Larson, a freelance writer in China, told him she had seen overlap with her own work in a few WIRED stories, and included links to the relevant pieces. “She was gracious, just asking for a link back in the future, said she loved WIRED,” Rogers told Retraction Watch by phone this afternoon. It was early morning in San Francisco, so Rogers thanked her for bringing the issue to his attention, and said he’d look at it more closely when he arrived at his desk some 45 minutes later. It was the start of an episode that would lead to Read More ›

ID and the Overton Window/ BATNA/ March of Folly issue . . .

The parable of Plato’s Cave in The Republic — vid: [youtube d2afuTvUzBQ] . . . is a classic point of departure for discussions of true vs false enlightenment, education, worldviews, liberty and manipulative sociocultural agendas or power games that open up marches of folly. ( I think Acts 27 still has the best classical case study on how democratic polities and/or decision makers can all too easily be led into such ill advised marches.) March of folly? Yes: Of course, with a US Election cycle in full swing as the number one media story for the year, such is obviously highly relevant to anyone interested in public policy or geostrategic issues. But, these issues are also highly relevant to the Read More ›

Babble on, pop neuroscience. The crowd is listening.

From The Register: Neurobabble makes nonsense brain ‘science’ more believable Neuroscientific explanations of human behaviour appeal to people because we’re suckers for simplified, mechanistic brain-centred explanations – even if they’re rubbish or don’t make sense. A droll study by four psychologists tested psychological statements and placed them alongside “irrelevant” information from neuroimaging fMRI scans, to “ask whether such superfluous neuroscience information increases the perceived quality of psychological explanations and begin to explore the possible mechanisms underlying this effect”. They also tested participants’ analytical skills. Some of the psychological insights were well founded, while some were rubbish. Did the inclusion of neuroimaging fMRI make the rubbish sound more authoritative? Apparently so. “Across four experiments, the presence of irrelevant neuroscience information made Read More ›

VIDEO: Sharyl Attkisson (in a TEDx) cautions on Astroturfing and pseudo-consensus

Here: [youtube -bYAQ-ZZtEU] And while one may have reservations or quibbles about particular cases, the overall point is well taken. In her article on a “top ten” list of astro-turfers, she comments, soberingly: What’s most successful when it appears to be something it’s not? Astroturf. As in fake grassroots. The many ways that corporations, special interests and political interests of all stripes exploit media and the Internet to perpetuate astroturf is ever-expanding. Surreptitious astroturf methods are now more important to these interests than traditional lobbying of Congress. There’s an entire PR industry built around it in Washington . . . . Astroturfers often disguise themselves and publish blogs, write letters to the editor, produce ads, start non-profits, establish Facebook and Read More ›