My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads, and I’d like to point to some more stories, this time from February 2014, that explain why:
1. The origin of life field was going nowhere so fast that just the February news dump shows that it must be gradually dawning on many people (who may not be free to admit it). We can’t talk about life without talking about information theory. We are currently told: Life originated only fifteen million years after the Big Bang? Or at 9.7 billion years ago? Of course, there are various avoid-the-Big-Bang theories like iceball universe, in the same month’s dump. And then again, some claim the early universe warmed up later than needed for Big Bang life. Others that Earth’s crust cooled only 160 million years after the solar system formed. Also, a new No-Bang theory posits an infinite very cold past. (But others say no, impossible. ) OOL researchers sounded glum about progress this year. Can’t think why.
Okay, good news: Origin of life will be understood better when information is accepted as the critical driver of life and information does not just “happen.” Research should be directed at researching information, not lucky accidents. See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (origin of life)
2. Cosmologist Sean Carroll, seeking support for the multiverse, suggested that we all just retire falsifiability as a science idea. So it has come to that, has it? The news has started slowly seeping out: Cosmology has filed for divorce from science. This month, that suggestion led to a rebuke in Nature. Meanwhile, a multiverse advocate defended himself in Scientific American against charges that his claims are “unscientific nonsense”. Columbia mathematician Peter Woit has called the whole business a religious enterprise, which of course it is.
But the squabble provokes a concern: If the multiverse is addressed in the same way Darwinism has been, it can be ruled true from the bench. And if cosmologists must get such a ruling to entrench their claims, what does that tell us about their claims? See also: The Science Fictions series at your fingertips (cosmology).
3. Online media started banning discussions and comments on ID-related issues.For example, a moderator for a science mag article on how DNA studies shake the tree of life banned discussion of “whether evolution is true.” Yet at the same time, another journalist wondered why the Creation Museum inspires rage but whole foods scams don’t. Ah, understand that, and you understand the pop science culture pretty well. The remarkable thing is that anyone asked.
The key problem is: How did such a clueless piece as Meredith’s ever get into First Things? Steve Meyer is STILL #2 in paleontology (with many of his “reviewers” now doubtless wishing they had actually read Darwin’s Doubt first).
And First Things – which once argued out serious issues in the history of life – is reduced to printing an emitter of feeble pseudo-Thomist drivel, instead of delving into what an information approach to the history of life even means.
It’s going to take more to resolve this than printing someone who is kind enough to merely correct misrepresentations that should never have aired in FT in the first place.
Yes, my response (O’Leary for News) is less generous than Barry’s in the OP. Indeed, mine is encapsulated in Elizabeth Bennet’s reply to Lady Catherine de Bourgh in Pride and Prejudice: “You can now have nothing further to say. You have insulted me by every possible method and I must beg to return to the house.”
Design in nature is becoming more apparent by the year, as are the evasions of Christian scholars who have sought to make their reputations by helping Christians adjust, without despondency, to the idea that there really is no design in nature (also, God is so great he need not exist, but don’t worry about that; worry is a sin).
Take home point: The ID community is rapidly getting beyond the need to even care what such persons think.
5. Researchers began to acknowledge that epigenetics should lead to revisions in textbooks, and indeed one textbook did increase its coverage. (It turned out there was a shrine to Darwin left vacant… ?) Meanwhile, a microbiologist admitted Darwinism’s shortcomings, but recommended we stick with it for now anyway because … well … That guy actually hung on for some time at BigThink despite a serious assault by Darwin’s followers.
The hairline fractures just keep growing. March is up next
See also: January 2014: Events that made a difference to ID (My sense is that we are making some headway against what Leon Wieseltier has referred to as Darwinist dittoheads.)
March 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Old, taken-for-granted “truths” are collapsing; an information theory approach may help us forward.
April 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Despite these developments, naturalists would prefer chaos and nonsense to signals that point away from naturalism.
May 2014: Events that made a difference to ID BUT then things took a really odd turn: It turned out that everyone who doubts Wade’s race theories is a creationist. Hey, is “creationist” the new “think for yourself”?
July 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Among many other events, a UD Post where a famous chemist says no scientist understands “macroevolution” passed 200,000 views.
August 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Famous Darwin follower, Jerry “Why evolution is true” Coyne, was really mad that information theorist William Dembski is allowed to speak at his fort, Fort Chicago University
September 2014: Events that made a difference to ID It was becoming obvious that no one who knows the facts need be defensive about doubting the naturalist spin.
October 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Even establishment science media are now moving to recognize the problems with Darwinian evolution theory.
November 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Not only has the kill-ID bomb not exploded, but lots of people besides us are beginning to notice that fact.
December 2014: Events that made a difference to ID Fake Facebook pages started in an attempt to discredit ID theorists. (People fake Rolexes, not Timexes.)