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Great errors in science: Highlighting the importance of academic freedom

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A Brazilian friend advises me that Great Errors in Science , which highlights the importance of academic freedom in the sciences, is available in Portuguese. He explains more at his Portuguese-language blog. Apparently, three articles were written by Brazilian “Ivy league equivalent” professors that my friend has the good fortune to know.

My friend, who has a copy, quotes,

Science is not only a vital activity for the survival and development of humanity. It is also one of the most beautiful productions of human intelligence. But only the acceptance of its limited character, partial and uncertain can avoid that it transforms itself into a fossilized belief system

But that, of course, is precisely what Darwinism has become, complete with ridiculous hagiography.

By the way, here is an interesting essay on the decline of academic freedom in the United States (in English), featuring Wendy Kaminer. She notes the curious – and worriesome – morph of college students into “young authoritarians.”

Come to think of it, the only really vast change I have ever personally seen in a species over time has been the evolution of the rules-challenged college student into the sullen young authoritarian, who aims at suppressing any idea that challenges him.

The Darwinists can have them all, in my view. Every one. I will take the rest.

Note: My friend has asked me to note that Darwin’s Lamarckist tendencies are discussed in the puiblication.

The late Cornell astrophysicist Thomas Gold on why he didn't like geologists:
They're so enormously fashion-conscious. It was very unfashionable to think that the continents had moved. And then from one year to the next it was declared that it was all right, that the continents had moved. And then if you had any difficulty with the details of how the continents had moved, you were a crackpot. They just follow a leader.
Miller is STILL making that argument? Patrick
I went fromridiculous hagiography to “Hiram Caton - has commented” to the blog on his comment. It’s a bit disconcerting—utter ignorance, complete confusion—I had thought maybe the folks, however they stood on the matter, were at least beginning to understand it. But no—just clichés, feelings, fog. Makes one appreciate this blog. Rude
Speaking of suppressing dangerous ideas and errors in science, here is an excerpt from an article I just read on “LiveScience” (a website I consider to be the bastion of evolutionary psychology). It’s called “ID: The Death of Science” Turns out Behe has been refuted once again – with the same old failed refutation: “Darwin himself admitted that if an example of irreducible complexity were ever found, his theory of natural selection would crumble. "If it could be demonstrated that any complex organ existed, which could not possibly have been formed by numerous, successive, slight modifications, my theory would absolutely break down," Darwin wrote. Yet no true examples of irreducible complexity have ever been found. The concept is rejected by the majority of the scientific community. To understand why, it is important to remember that Behe's main argument is that in an irreducibly complex system, every part is vital to the system's overall operation. A necessary—and often unstated—flipside to this is that if an irreducibly complex system contains within it a smaller set of parts that could be used for some other function, then the system was never really irreducibly complex to begin with. It's like saying in physics that atoms are the fundamental building blocks of matter only to discover, as physicists have, that atoms are themselves made up of even smaller and more fundamental components. This flipside makes the concept of irreducible complexity testable, giving it a scientific virtue that other aspects of ID lack. "The logic of their argument is you have these multipart systems, and that the parts within them are useless on their own," said Kenneth Miller, a biologist at Brown University in Rhode Island. "The instant that I or anybody else finds a subset of parts that has a function, that argument is destroyed." Viewed this way, all of the systems that Behe claims to be irreducibly complex really aren't. A subset of the bacterial flagellum proteins, for example, are used by other bacteria to inject toxins into other cells and several of the proteins in the human blood-clotting system are believed to be modified forms of proteins found in the digestive system. Evolution takes pieces and parts and re-uses them.” So I guess it’s just obvious that if a bicycle has a method of movement and some tires, then my car isn’t designed. That seems to be what this article is saying. shaner74

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