Uncommon Descent Serving The Intelligent Design Community


Uncommon Descent Contest

How can we make low-energy concrete for the Moon or Mars — or, Earth?

The C18 rediscovery/ re-invention of concrete . . . it had apparently been made by the Romans, Greeks and Egyptians [–> earlier, the Nabataeans] (and many natural, volcanic or sedimentary rocks are concrete-like) . . . opened up a world of new building possibilities; especially, when it is reinforced by steel. As, we can see all around us. But, concrete here uses a high energy process based on limestone, so how can we break through such barriers for the Moon or Mars? And, how could this be relevant to our home world, Earth? We could look at bones and teeth. For: >>The minerals found in human teeth and bones that give them their hardness and strength belong to a group Read More ›

Uncommon Descent Contest: What should we call the reviewer of a book on evolution who seems to be shouting Amen! fifty times? — judged

Here. Years ago, we pioneered the term noviewer, to describe people who review books without reading them. Now a friend has written to ask for a contest to come up with term to describe the reviewer who is the author’s public relations specialist. For example, the book is called Darwin was right and the reviewer is shouting Amen! fifty times. Or anyway, that is what it sounds like. Sounds like fun. Judged October 15. Free shipping [of a copy of J. Scott Turner’s Purpose and Desire:What Makes Something “Alive” and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It,] to postal address provided by winner. Here are the entries we received: At 1 full bore reviewer At 3 cheer-reader At 6 Read More ›

Uncommon Descent Contest: What should we call the reviewer of a book on evolution who seems to be shouting Amen! fifty times?

Prize: A hardback copy of J. Scott Turner’s Purpose and Desire: What Makes Something Alive and Why Modern Darwinism Has Failed to Explain It Recently, a friend linked us to the fact that Amazon had deleted 900 reviews of US 2016 presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s new book, What Happened: Books get reviewed badly, and people leave reviews for books they didn’t read or products they’ve never used. These things happen. But of the book’s 1,600 or so reviews as of this morning, only 338 were from users with verified purchases of the book—that is, those who actually bought the item on Amazon.com. A person could conceivably buy a book in a store and then hate it so much she runs Read More ›

Contest: If humans originated as a chimp-pig hybrid (recent claim) — Judged

Therefore, to properly name this hybrid, we’d need to come up with a portmanteau that combines the first part of the male parent’s name (pig) and the second part of the female parent’s name (chimp), so ... Read More ›

Uncommon Descent contest List the five books that most helped ID – judged

Here’s the contest: “Uncommon Descent contest: List the five books that helped ID most – written by non-ID researchers.” It riffs off an earlier contest: “List the ten most significant ID books of the last 25 years,” judged here. Briefly: Lots of books whose authors are looking for any solution other than ID have actually helped ID, and entrants were asked to pick the five most significant, with explanation. (Apologies, as usual, for judging delay. In part not all my fault – we just underwent a site redesign. And the management team still likes each other. Therefore, the age of miracles is not over. The age of wonders is not done. Proven.) First prize, a copy of The Nature of Nature Read More ›

Student essay contest: What difference does intelligent design make to science?

Ribbon Clip Art

Thanks to a kind donor, we can sponsor an essay contest this summer.

We’ve all heard what the effect would be of accepting design as a cause in nature alongside of law and chance: Science hurtles back to the dark ages, fascism wipes out democracy, Armageddon arrives, and – worst of all – people who question Darwinism keep their jobs. Change the channel, and that’s just not happening.

So let’s look at real-world consequences. Here’s the question: How would acceptance of design, alongside law and chance, as a fundamental cause in nature change the way we do science?

Eligible entrants: High school, college, or university undergrads, worldwide.

Prizes: $200 first prize, $100 second prize

Read More ›

Uncommon Descent Contest: Why do people refuse to read books they are attacking? First award – judged

The contest is here.

The question was, for a free copy of The Nature of Nature , why would a scientist or scholar actually volunteer to trash books unread?

It seems to happen frequently to books arguing for design in nature. And the winner is CannuckianYankee at 20 for

To inform the public on what I haven’t read,

To inform the public on what I don’t like,

To inform myself on why I’m such an ignoramus – but that usually doesn’t work.  :lol:

It’s simple enough to write on the blackboard or put on a sign on an office door – if you are a teacher who takes the formation of students’ minds seriously. Or in any setting where an ignoramus is volubly demonstrating his talent, unobstructed.

CannuckianYankee needs to be in touch with me at denyseoleary@gmail.com, to make arrangements for shipping.

He offers some hints for detecting these noviews at 18, for example: Read More ›

Impress your friends with a piece of Mars – contest judged

Sorry for judging delay. The contest, you’ll recall, riffed off New Scientist’s offer of a Mars rock: Tell New Scientist what the first person to set foot on Mars should say. The winner gets a copy of The Nature of Nature , where Guillermo Gonzalez discusses the constraints of the galactic habitable zone.

(Note: That New Scientist contest is still open until June 15. )

There were lots of good, fun entries. The winner is:

14 MedsRex
“hold on, i’ll start collecting bacterium samples in a bit…let my update my, facebook status first!” Read More ›

Uncommon Descent Contest: Is there any progress in the study of human evolution? – judged

Thumbnail for version as of 09:38, 22 December 2009Here’s the intro to the contest, riffing off the bewildering soap opera of claims about the relationship between modern humans and Neanderthals, followed by the question, for a free copy of The Nature of Nature , tell us: Do you think we understand the human-Neanderthal relationship better than we did twenty-five years ago? In what ways?

The responses here went down a range of paths, only some being on topic, perhaps due to the specificity of the question.

Two book prizes are awarded, Read More ›

Look, you can win a Mars rock. Why risk slambo for trying to sell a Moon rock?

moon rocks/NASA Not the same ones

Yup. In other news: “Woman is detained in NASA moon rock sting,”according to MSNBC (5/20/2011):

Tried to sell treasure for $1.7 million in Southern California, authorities say

It is illegal to sell moon rocks, which are considered national treasures. Read More ›

Uncommon Descent Contest: Is there any progress in the study of human evolution?

[Contest now judged. here. “Impress your friends with a piece of Mars is open until Saturday, May 28, 2011. The “Why do people refuse to read books they are attacking?” contest is open till Saturday June 4.] In this version of the very long-running human evolution soap opera (Ewen Callaway, Nature News, 9 May 2011), we didn’t kill the Neanderthals; they died before we got there. (Episode 4440). In a different episode, they were our squeezes and in-laws – which is probably why we killed them. Anyway, they weren’t as stupid as they pretended, either. Some folk, looking at all this, say “Science, unlike religion, changes its mind in the light of new evidence.” That may be so (the evidence Read More ›