- The Behe vs Swamidass debate (quality vid)
If you liked the raw feed from the debate, you’ll love this cleaned-up version.
- American physicist Freeman Dyson (1923–2020)
Freeman Dyson comments on ID: “My opinion is that most people believe in intelligent design as a reasonable explanation of the universe, and this belief is entirely compatible with science. So it is unwise for scientists to make a big fight against the idea of intelligent design.” (2007)
- Huge discordance between gene trees in a new phylogenetic study
"Deep phylogenetic incongruence" sounds like journalspeak for "our current phylogenetic tree is a hot mess."
- At Oscillations: “Natural selection” issue stirs again at College Boards
It goes on and gets way better. You’ll be amazed at the idiocracy that the testing establishment takes for granted and promotes. Read at her site about how one testcrat even administered the same test twice, a fact advertised on the internet… and more. By the way, why don't we hear much about this from other science writers?
- Michael Egnor: Pioneer neuroscientists believed the mind is more than the brain
neurosurgeon Michael Egnor talks about how many famous neuroscientist became dualists—that is, they concluded that there is something about human beings that goes beyond matter—based on observations they made during their work.
- Deaf moths frustrate bats by absorbing their sonar calls
Schoolbook evolution stories would tell us that the bats evolved that ruse as a random mutation acted on by natural selection—as if it were some kind of a lucky number they might have come up with in 65 million years. Not so fast. It’s a hitherto unknown system that will need a considerably more detailed explanation than that. Evoking "natural selection" as a mantra won't work like it used to, back when we knew so much less.
- Thousands of Denisovan tools found, also bracelets and tiaras?
From 50,000 years ago? We didn’t even know Denisovans existed before 2010.
- Snakes get their venom from some surprising sources
Snake species didn’t necessarily evolve venom by a long, slow, process of natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism). Some get their venom from a variety of sources and sometimes they change sources (whatever works?) So unfolds a curious tale of a snake that switched suppliers.
- Mike Behe looks at the actual gears in bugs
In relation to claims about Darwinian natural selection just happening to find that solution
- Mysterious link between physics and math?
Involving quantum mechanics: In an enormously complicated 165-page paper, computer scientist Zhengfeng Ji and colleagues present a result that penetrates to the heart of deep questions about math, computing and their connection to reality. It’s about a procedure for verifying the solutions to very complex mathematical propositions, even some that are believed to be impossible Read More...
- What? New discoveries in human anatomy?
Sure, these are micro or distributed systems. But micro and distributed don’t mean unimportant. If we are still making new discoveries in human anatomy, many questions that we are told are settled are probably not settled. Many lecterns are splintered in vain. Much science education policy is Bad.
- Epigenetics: Researchers say separation stress may alter small children’s genes
Raised cortisol levels have been found in children separated from family for thirty or more hours a week, especially those in substandard care.
- Michael Egnor: How can we study consciousness scientifically?
Egnor tells us that Tam Hunt offers some good ideas at Scientific American but his dismissal of objectivity is cause for concern.
- First known animal that doesn’t breathe
That’s called devolution, when life forms simply junk complex equipment they never use. One wonders if there is any characteristic of live that some life form or other has not devolved to get rid of. But they will, of course, likely be parasites like salminicola.
- Michael Egnor: The mind’s reality is consistent with neuroscience
Egnor: I think the best explanation of the relationship of the mind to the brain is Aristotelian hylomorphism which is the viewpoint that the soul is the form of the body and that certain powers of the soul, particularly the intellect and will, are not generated by matter but are immaterial things.
- Green plants discovered in China dated at a billion years ago
It’s not “land” vs. “sea” that’s really significant here. It’s how much time was available for the development of photosynthesis. If the claim is that photosynthesis developed via natural selection acting on random mutations (Darwinism), then it must have somehow randomly happened in that billion years. Was there enough time? becomes an unavoidable question.
- Science writer dons sandwich board: Ask me anything about evolution!
But why on earth did she think that such a strategy would ever be an aid to effective communication? Wasn’t she, at bottom, just trying to put the supposedly stupid mid-Western rubes on display for the supposedly sophisticated Brits? That stuff is wearing thinner all the time though the targeted Brit demographic might be the last to know.
- Forbes’ physics columnist Ethan Siegel can’t wait to get beyond the Big Bang
But doesn’t seem to have a ticket. So a mechanism that caused the Universe to come into existence with these properties already in place? But then what caused that mechanism? If a mechanism caused that mechanism, what in turn caused the previous mechanism? Siegel obviously wants to get past the idea of an actual beginning but orthodox science does not seem to allow that. Some religious propositions might suffice, of course, but he does not want to go there. Advice from readers?
- At Texas & M last week: Theistic evolutionist Joshua Swamidass vs. ID proponent Michael Behe
Here’s vid from the Ratio Christi Facebook page of Joshua Swamidass vs. Michael Behe. at the LIVE Veritas Forum 2020: God and/or Evolution.
- Spoof alert!: Jerry Coyne is interviewed at Dissociated News
Coyne has been a frequent topic on our page in recent months and a reader dug this out from 2013 and sent it in. Michael Egnor imagines an interview with Jerry Coyne on deplatforming opponents: They're still talking about it. After I told them not to.
- Straw in the wind? Get a load of the insightful review of a string theorist’s Big Book at Nature
In sharp contrast with the classic slobbering review at Time of string theorist Brian Greene’s new book, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Penguin 2020), , which resurrects mid-twentieth century attempts to undermine traditional religions via schlock science religion, the Nature reviewer is not impressed. (Kiddos, that was back when Time Magazine mattered, as did newsprint in general.) By contrast, Philip Ball at nature appears appropriately skeptical.
- String theorist’s philosophy of life – Time’s reviewer laps it up
Some reviewers almost make us forget that string theory was supposed to be science, not religion. Get a load of this review of string theorist Brian Greene’s new book, Until the End of Time: Mind, Matter, and Our Search for Meaning in an Evolving Universe (Penguin 2020)
- One explanation for the matter-antimatter discrepancy in the universe is ruled out
We are told that thousands of anti-hydrogen atoms have now been captured and stored, though it isn’t easy.
- Researchers: Neanderthals really did bury their dead
Other researchers dispute it.
- Karsten Pultz: A motorhead looks at design in nature
Karsten Pultz: I’m sure if Behe had asked any of the mechanics there at the garage, what they thought about the neoDarwinian hypothesis that complex machinery can be produced by random processes, they would have answered that such an idea is extremely silly, if not right out ludicrous.
- Astronomers: Earth formed within 5 million years
Nothing seems to happen slower than previously thought. And the random collisions aren't even in this version.
- At Areo: How universities cover up science fraud – the details
A pretty hard-hitting article. Is it partly the secular god-like status that these “scientists” assume? The tax funding they receive? Whatever fixes all this will need to be pretty far-reaching.
- Anti-ID neuroscientist is totally onboard with SETI. But whoops!
Only trolls truly disagree that the design inference is worth pursuing—as Dr. Novella demonstrates by not truly disagreeing, when it is something he cares about.
- Eric Holloway: A philosopher explains why thinking matter is impossible
Holloway: Richard Johns's' argument is deeper version of Captain Kirk’s scheme to defeat enemy robots in I, Mudd, a 1967 episode of Star Trek. Kirk posed a paradox that led to circuit meltdown.
- Michael Egnor: Why the mind cannot just emerge from the brain
Egnor: Thoughts have emotional states; matter doesn’t have emotional states, just matter. So it’s not clear that you can get an emergent property when there is no connection whatsoever between that property and the thing it supposedly emerges from.
- Michael Egnor: Why eliminative materialism cannot be a good theory of the mind
Thinking that the mind is simply the brain, no more and no less, involves a hopeless contradiction.
- New layer of complexity of the month: Epitranscriptomics
Layers on layers, systems on systems. Puts one in mind of Darwin’s Warm Little Pond, doesn’t it? Legacy science media should ramp up those Pond graphics. And keep the speculation about random events accidentally producing life coming. Speculate HARDER!
- Mike Egnor offers to help Darwinist PZ Myers tell boys from girls
For a person who believes so strongly in the power of natural selection, yes, how the genes get together would be a good thing to know. Myers recently asserted that when he meets people, he infers nothing about their sexual identity. Egnor responds to the general question and the particular one in two parts.
- Yes, genes from nowhere ARE an “evolutionary problem.”
Glad we are talking about this… No need to believe us (though we did warn you). What's this about “rampant” order in the genome? “Rampant” is a word we associate with disease; it’s not a word we commonly associate with “order.” On the other hand, an order that frustrates the outworkings of Darwinian evolution in favor of an orderly system that produces needed innovations must seem a lot like a disease to some. 😉
- Expert contra Dawkins, why eugenics wouldn’t really work
David Curtis: We can now measure genetic potential directly from genetic markers and what we know from this is that these genetic predictors perform extremely badly. We can also tell that there are many important, very rare genetic variants which we will never be able to identify.
- Harvard astronomer is back: Radio bursts could be aliens
The reader who sent this tip notes, “Consider me skeptical but it’s interesting that design inferences are fine so long as it’s just aliens…” Actually, reader, some science personalities will believe darn near anything about anything as long as it IS aliens.
- Science media have strange standards for assessing corruption…
Berezow goes on to add something very significant: “The scientific publishing industry is thoroughly corrupt, and AAAS and Science are now also a part of the problem. If and when all government-funded research is mandated to be released free of charge upon publication, journals like Science may go out of business. Good riddance.”
- At MercatorNet: For once, a woke “ethicist” gets shut down by people with disabilities
Message to activists for persons with disabilities: Please fight for Peter Singer’s freedom of speech to display his agenda to the world while there is still a slight chance you can legally fight it. Leave the defense of censorship to those well-heeled woke who would also deprive you of your lives. So many of them will be only too happy to oblige in both cases.
- Jerry Coyne jumps into the Dawkins eugenics row
Contrary to Coyne's and Dawkin's claims, dog breeding is DEvolution for dogs. It usually works that way, as Michael Behe points out in Darwin Devolves. Dogs are bred by humans at the expense of their genetic health.
- Richard Dawkins says eugenics works because he assumes we are just like animals
At one fell swoop, Dawkins exposes another frequent weakness of naturalist atheism: direct conflict with facts. Eugenics does not work for humans. Unlike animals, we make personal choices, which could be based on reason and free will or on the apparent lack thereof. And those choices confound the ambitions of others.
- At upcoming CSS conference: “Does anyone come to Christian faith by a rational process?”
For example, Günter Bechly: “Altogether, I suggest that the cumulative evidence against materialism and for theism is simply overwhelming. I became a Christian theist not in spite of being a scientist but because of it.”
- Jerry Coyne takes a stand: Sex is binary
Jerry may well be brought down by this. Increasingly, “wokeness” rather than correct factual description, will confer academic esteem in science—thanks principally due to the progressivism (that Jerry has always supported) taking hold.
- At National Review: There is no “Party of Science”
Now that James mentions it, the war on math and the war on science both got started at universities and the Sokal hoaxes are perpetrated on academic journals, not popular media outlets. It’s a good question whether, today, being the “party of science” is even likely to be a selling point.
- Evolution Weekend downplays Darwin, morphs into climate concern, muffles racism issue
Remember, anyone can be a racist if all he must say is: My ancestors were gods, yours were gobs of clay. Absent evidence, he might prevail by force of arms and entrench his view. Darwinism led to racial theories with the trappings of science. That matters and it has never been dealt with honestly because dealing with it honestly endangers the basic ideas of Darwinism.
- Was Sagan wrong about “Extraordinary Claims Require Extraordinary Evidence”? UPDATED!
Deming: Claims that are merely novel or those which violate human consensus are not properly characterized as extraordinary. Science does not contemplate two types of evidence. The misuse of ECREE to suppress innovation and maintain orthodoxy should be avoided as it must inevitably retard the scientific goal of establishing reliable knowledge.
- Reformers of evolutionary biology publish book of essays, exploring views, disagreements
It’s encouraging that the reformers are allowed to disagree on some matters. That makes biology seem more like a discipline and less like a fanatical religion. Which brings us to the “more traditionalist camp in evolutionary biology” (the heirs of Darwin). It would be remarkable indeed if, as reviewer Svensson hopes, they could acknowledge disagreements candidly. Wouldn’t they end up having to try to get each others’ publishers to reject journal articles and cancel book contracts?
- No, those fast radio bursts are not aliens
For one thing, as Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI)’s Seth Shostak points out, the bursts are from widely varying locations, which is unlikely unless the aliens inhabited the whole universe.
- Kastrup responds to Coyne: No, consciousness CANNOT be just a byproduct
Kastrup, as readers will see, hasn’t a whole lot of patience with Coyne. One can only wonder why. 😉
- Were all dinosaurs warmblooded?
If these researchers are right, then mechanisms for warmbloodedness (endothermy) date back much earlier than we used to think. Maybe one hundred million years less for some kind of Darwinian evolution of the trait?
- A bee from 100 million years ago
Just another bee, generally, but possibly thrown off course by parasites, it seems to have landed in resin. You’d almost think time didn’t happen the way they say. In terms of how much it changes.