- What about claims that robots can become spiritual?
Merritt promptly converts the hypothetical question about salvatin for aliens—which depends, of course, on the assumption that Martians are beings much like ourselves—into: Are you there, God? It’s I, robot.
- Ed Feser on the delusion that computers are intelligent
”As Smith observes, a computer can be programmed to detect instances of the word “betrayal” in scanned texts, but it lacks the concept of betrayal."
- Ancient human group as a “cold case” nearly half a million years ago?
This would be a great murder mystery film, so long as someone other than Hollywood made it.
- New evidence found for the asteroid that deep-sixed the dinosaurs
It’s certainly valuable new information. The outstanding puzzle has always been, why were all dinosaurs killed off but not all mammals or reptiles?
- Is the universe two billion years younger than we think?
If that’s true, then the idea that Darwinism (purely random mutations that survive or not explain the awesomely complex life forms we are engulfed in) is even less plausible.
- Did the neural pattern that showed that there is no free will turn out to be noise?
If it was just noise, you may not hear that any time soon from the textbook mill.
- Natural philosopher insists, science is deeply imaginative
Okay but the multiverse crowd does not lack imagination. Nor do those who have convinced themselves of panpsychism. The thing about imagination in science is that it must be disciplined. If it isn’t, it ends up competing with fiction, without the style.
- Sean Carroll: Where quantum probability comes from
His universe is deterministic, presumably, because everything happens. End of story. Actually, end of all stories.
- At The Conversation: Why DO astronomers believe dark matter exists?
Is dark matter the Higgs boson, hard to find but eventually found, or the ether, once believed to pervade the universe? If twenty years pass with no dark matter, unfortunately, the needle will tilt a bit more toward the ether.
- Half-billion-year-old predator is the mother of all spiders?
Researcher: "Evidence is converging towards picturing the Cambrian explosion as even swifter than what we thought," says Aria. "Finding a fossil site like the Burgess Shale at the very beginning of the Cambrian would be like looking into the eye of the cyclone."
- Researchers: Exoplanet, 2x the size of Earth, has not only water but possible rain clouds
Most exoplanets, we are told, fall into this size range and it is not yet known if it has a rocky surface, considered important for life. Here's a roundup of some things we know.
- The Scientist: Exploding stars probably did not cause bipedalism
No? Does such a perfect pop culture anthropology theory even have a right not to be true? Let alone be called by a rival anthropologist “bizarre” and “weird,” as in the article at The Scientist?
- Sean Carroll: A multiverse is the price we pay for unifying physics
Carroll: “The price we pay for such a powerful and simple unification of quantum dynamics is a large number of separate worlds.” Right. And the price you pay for suicide is that nothing you do in this world afterward matters.
- Is this the best snake mimic caterpillar to date?
Wouldn’t structuralism (pre-existing patterns) make better sense than Darwinism (it somehow evolved by trial and error)?
- Why Thomas Huxley was wrong about monkeys, typing forever, producing Shakespeare
Russ White: It is not enough, as Turing proposed, to trick a person into thinking a computer is a person. Somewhere there must be a person who intends this result. If the artificial intelligence cannot provide that intent, then the person who designs the system must.
- Researchers: Biology’s optimal ‘molecular alphabet’ may be preordained
It sounds as though these researchers want to quietly abandon Darwinian randomness in favour of a structuralist approach to the unfolding of life but — understandably — do not want to hear from an army of Darwinian orcs.
- How are science journals changing?
Would these newer approaches to science publishing make it easier to discuss difficult topics? For example, if Gunter Bechly could have been evaluated only on his work and not on the fact that he switched sides in the Darwin wars, wouldn’t that be better for everyone but Darwin trolls?
- Sean Carroll: Physicists don’t even want to understand quantum mechanics
Carroll wants a multiverse out of any new findings, one suspects. One question many might have is, apart from the lack of a multiverse, how bad is the current situation in physics? What, besides that, is going wrong?
- Did you know that much of the diversity of the human brain results from epigenetics
Not from Darwinism? A technique to reveal cells’ epigenetic features is detailed
- Did some prominent Darwinists retire recently?
A new study seems to substantiate Max Planck’s quip that new paradigms arise when the supporters of the old ones die.
- How scientists slowly convert to the idea that the universe itself is alive
Remember as you read about Gaia and “life’s ability to shape the universe,” that this op-ed appeared in Scientific American, not Mystic Waters News. Listen carefully and, somewhere in the background, you will hear Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne crooning, “I fought Woo-WOO and woo-WOO won.” Some North American readers will recognize a musical snatch here. In fairness, we warned them. ID isn’t the big enemy. ID proposes to reform evolution studies along real-world lines, not to dump the canon of science.
- Darwinism IS a beautiful theory. but then so is astrology
The idea that natural selection acting on random mutation could fill the world with exquisitely complex life forms makes sense to fashionable intellectuals today and it doesn’t happen to be true.
- Gunter Bechly: Farewell, says the apeman
Why wave goodbye? Because if this skull is a guide, the transition from not-really-Lucy to a-bit-like-Lucy to almost-Lucy to Hi, Lucy!! never really happened.
- Financial Times claims that there is a coming boom in honesty
Given that political correctness is organized lying (usually for control and profit), a boom in political incorrectness is a boom in honesty.
- Accused sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein and the science world: Fallout
In the wake of Epstein’s apparent suicide in prison, his predilection for funding science organizations as a virtuous cover make for reading worthy of an airport potboiler. But from some of this, there may be something to be learned.
- Do genes that jump shake the tree of life?
Yes,but what hope is there that textbooks could start teaching reality when even the right to question the Darwinian [sheet] is still a big controversy in many places? Could science writers like Jabr and others agree that it is time to make textbooks about evolution sound like the reality and not like the 1925 Monkey Trial revisited?
- Demand for a ban on teaching creationism in Welsh schools
Tradejah! Let’s have a ban on teaching Darwinism too. Oh wait — is that what’s supposed to be introduced early and often, because the “Wales Humanists coordinator” and “Humanists UK” want it? Darwinism is an obvious intrusion of religion into the school system. A different religion from what many people follow, but still a religion. Otherwise, why would humanists care so much?
- Brit commentator Melanie Phillips weighs in on David Gelernter dumping Darwin
For many intellectuals, it must seem like an agonizing, nasty divorce but Phillips would be well placed to take it in stride.
- Did anyone predict this? Cloned cat looks nothing like the original
Take THAT! genetic determinism and blow it out your ear! The local animal welfare society has tons of live cats people can learn to like (or tolerate 😉 ).
- Some people hope we can just “evolve” inventions like self-driving cars
The other day at the DeepMind blog, someone came up with an idea for improving Waymo’s self-driving cars: Evolution
- Jonathan Bartlett: Does evolution mean computers will take over?
Elon Musk sees technology as taking over the human world and we’d best consider our options. Ma points out that humans build computers but no computer has ever built a human: For Musk, technology is not a tool to promote humanity. Rather, technology will take humanity’s place of leadership in the world. Humans will have […]
- The worm that was making those tracks 551–539 million years ago may be found
The claim that the worm challenges the Cambrian explosion which followed this Ediacaran period is weird because we knew there were worms in the Ediacaran on account of the tracks (and comb jellies too) but the explosion of multi-faceted life in the Cambrian is a unique event in any case.
- Lay Catholics questioning Darwinism?
For some years, it has not been the practice of many Catholics to question Darwinism. Most got sucked years ago into some muddle according to which the great theologian Thomas Aquinas didn’t supposedly think there could be such a thing as observable design in nature because that would make God a “tinkerer.” Some tinker. Anyway, […]
- Skeptics duped by fake prof
But look on the bright side. At least they care. In the social sciences, it’s the guy revealing flimflam who gets punished. But why, exactly, is a PhD so important? The Sokal hoax-ees all have PhDs, probably, and what good did that ever do?
- Three scholars of “biodiversity and biology” suggest ditching the Darwinian descent of man graphic
If these biodiversity profs really need to muddy the history as much as this, maybe things are even worse than we knew. Stay tuned.
- But how do frog dads know how to look after tadpoles?
It’s not enough to say that it benefits their offspring. What is the exact mechanism by which they learned to carry out this process? In this case, the researchers are honest enough not to just start emitting Darwinblather. They admit we don’t really know.
- At Nature: The “bizarre logic” of the multiverse is explored in a review
Crease writes as if he would very much like to buy into Carroll's ideas but still thinks that sanity has something to offer. Possibly, many establishment science figures teeter on that brink.
- The Manhattan Contrarian on David Gelernter abandoning Darwinism
What would an urban sophisticate make of doubts about Darwinism? Once the enforcement trolls have been banished below stairs, hasn’t Darwinism become something people patter at cocktail parties, so that others know that they are bicoastal and just deplore! their privilege? Instead of being genuine deplorables who might doubt?
- Does survival of the fittest not apply to frogs?
Well, it probably does over time but the story turns out to be more complex than that.
- What difference does Neanderthal ancestry make?
Researchers are not sure but the fact that we are even wondering shows how much has changed and helps us understand why doubts about textbook Darwinism are becoming respectable.
- Paper: Sperm cells take up genetic material from outside themselves
If the Weismann barrier is broken, that’s barbarians at the gates of textbook Darwinism, no? It turns out, all sorts of sources can contribute to inheritance.
- Is Nature needlessly annoying Dan Graur, the champion of junk DNA?
Hmmm. Does someone have Miss Manners’ private e-mail or some other discreet means to get in touch with her, perhaps through a friend? Possibly Dr. Graur might wish to consider luncheon at some point. She is his guest, of course... 😉
- Rational Religion’s conversations with Darwin skeptic David Berlinski
Philosopher and novelist David Berlinski is an early and interesting Darwin skeptic. His iconic 1996 Commentary essay, The Deniable Darwin, set thousands of people thinking.
- Intelligent design? Ray Kurzweil’s AI-driven Singularity would make the whole universe intelligent
If computers got that smart. Kurzweil’s critics believe that the superintelligent computers he needs can’t exist. If the critics are correct, we have misread the AI revolution.
- Rob Sheldon on why statisticians are in a panic
The panic in sociology, psychology, nutrition science, and pharmacology has been growing as >70% papers with "p-values" smaller than 0.05 are discovered to be unrepeatable.
- One of the biggest problems with Darwin’s theory may now be his supporters
Their unreflective belligerence advertises all the other problems. Barbara Kay talks about the fallout from David Gelernter's coming to doubt Darwin.
- Late stage materialism?: Panpsychism (your coffee mug is conscious) sounds crazy but…
If you believe that nature is all there is and you can’t otherwise explain the mind, the mind must be part of nature and therefore electrons are conscious. Unless you want to say that the mind is an illusion.
- Computers’ stupidity makes them dangerous
Statistician Gary Smith thinks the real danger today is not that computers are smarter than us, but that we think computers are smarter than us.
- Maybe the best defence of Darwinism is now ignorance of the problems
Gilson: They said things like, “I don’t need to read this to know it’s ignorant.” Which is a fine way to expose their own ignorance: They had no idea what they were talking about, and acted proud of it!
- If we can’t find aliens Out There, we can always declare local life forms to be aliens
The obvious problem the comb jelly (ctenophore) raises is that complex systems had to arise twice, not once, by alleged Darwinian chance. If you doubted chance before, you just doubled your chances of doubting it.