- Now Steve Pinker is getting #MeToo’d, at Inside Higher Ed over Jeffrey Epstein
The rap against cognitive psychologist Pinker, who always seemed ready with a Darwinian explanation for everything, is that he offered some interpretation of language to Epstein’s lawyer, Alan Dershowitz.
- Ethan Siegel: Don’t trust experiments that claim there are parallel universes
This sounds so sensible, we thought theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder would say it. But astrophysicist Ethan Siegel said it. A sober position for him.
- New measurement keeps the discrepancy around the Hubble constant alive
So if there is something fundamentally wrong with our picture of the universe, there still is, more or less, and we will have to live with it for now.
- Paleoanthropologist: Climate change will cause us to grow webbed feet
What we need right now is an earnest, just-published study offering convoluted neuroscience theories as to why so many people don’t trust science.
- Why are scientists “terrified” to do SETI research?
We need more “speculative work”? No, we don’t. It seems as though the enthusiasts don’t understand that people can just lose confidence in a failing program and there is nothing wrong with them on that account.
- AI will save Gaia, says James Lovelock at nearly 100 years of age
The Gaia hypothesis started out as science, then discovered weed. But a digital Gaia movement for the 21st century will not, one suspects, be hippies. Maybe not as nice.
- Behe vindicated by goldfish? But of course!
We see devolution all the time with unintelligent causes. Animals gnaw a hole in the bottom of a jug of water and they get some water but the rest is wasted. They destroy the feedhouse door trying to get into the feed because they don’t know how to use the doorhandle. They do get fed but the feed is scattered and much is wasted. *That’s what an unintelligent cause is typically like.* Put another way, the animals won’t learn to use the doorhandle or the jug cap. But just to survive and reproduce, they might not need to.
- Epigenetics silences cancer-linked genes from 400 million years ago
The main thing we’re learning these days is that epigenetics is much more important than we used to think. Which means that purely Darwinian evolution must be much less so.
- What elements of fine-tuning of our universe (vs. the multiverse) would pass this test of science truth?
Ethan Siegel: Even the most successful scientific theories imaginable will, by their very nature, have a limited range of validity. But we can theorize whatever we like, and when a new theory meets the following three criteria...
- Study: Psychiatric diagnoses are “scientifically meaningless”
People can certainly derive help from their relationship with a psychiatrist but that is an entirely different matter from saying that the science is sound. As science buckles under the strain of trying to be a secular religion, it pays to get things like this straight.
- Tom Gilson: Psychology almost never gets religion right
Some of us remember back when religious figures were urged to make some sort of accommodation with psychology. Now that psychology has largely become one big Sokal hoax, it’s hard to see why anyone would bother.
- Religious Nones drawn to the occult (what did you expect?)
This predilection for occultism over philosophically argued religion will of course impact sciences. Indeed, it already does. Look at the number of stories we’ve been running here lately about science journals slowly making social justice warrior concerns equivalent to research.
- Philosopher: Morality is merely community norms
Why is it that the people most likely to be attracted to this sort of naturalism (nature is all there is), often called “materialism,” also appear to be full of rage against what they perceive to be injustice, smashing stuff and people? And none of their theories about how they’ll make anything better sound very convincing.
- Claim: ET, if discovered, would change our morality
Funny how all road leads in the same direction, isn’t it? If we don’t find extraterrestrial life, humans are just a cosmic blip. And if we do find extraterrestrial life, humans are just a cosmic blip.
- J. P. Moreland: Anxiety and depression are largely habit
Moreland: If you are suffering from anxiety and depression, I want you to know that you can change. I want you to have hope because there are things you can do to get better.
- Carnivorous plants: Darwinian evolution would have to be a miracle worker to explain them
Marcos Eberlin: Maybe one could grant the evolutionary miracle a single time, but six times?
- Guardian axed science blog, spreads sciencey rumors instead
It's difficult for popular science media to be more interested in facts than the public or the science establishment is. If the Guardian readers would really rather hear about "toxic America," the paper doesn't need a science section.
- Research into Neanderthal toolmaking suggests that most were right-handed
And customized their tools to the user. These are not the Neanderthals of the late twentieth century. Those were incredibly stupid brutes. Funny how much Neanderthals have learned in only a couple of decades...
- A black hole that just shouldn’t exist
Researcher: "We cannot understand the data unless we include the theories of relativity." …
- Is human cloning possible? Neurosurgeon and philosopher spar
Human cloning: It can't happen vs. It can but wouldn't matter much.
- New Scientist: Our understanding of the cosmos is “seriously wrong”
But don’t fret that a better understanding of the universe will leave entertaining crackpots out in the cold. Won’t happen. Can’t. Ethan Siegel explains why, in part.
- Could “quasiparticles” reveal dark matter?
One group of physicists proposes an experiment to try to trick dark matter into revealing itself, involving a unit of energy called a “magnon.”
- Researchers: Humans are much more sensitive to pitch than monkeys are
"This finding suggests that speech and music may have fundamentally changed the way our brain processes pitch," said Dr. Conway. "It may also help explain why it has been so hard for scientists to train monkeys to perform auditory tasks that humans find relatively effortless."
- Yet another new type of intercellular communication discovered
Amazing how often so many life forms have just gotten lucky and tumbled into exactly what they needed via pure randomness.
- Computer sim universe: An escape from the facts of fine-tuning?
Walter Bradley Center fellows weigh in: The idea that we are a simulation by space aliens is a staple of science fiction, of course (think The Matrix, 1999). But some scientists take this simulation hypothesis seriously. Serious discussion started with a paper by philosopher Nick Bostrom in 2003, “Are you living in a computer simulation?” […]
- Jeff Epstein’s cultural dumpster fire spreads to ID vs. evo controversies
Just because people are in the news doesn’t mean they did anything. It rather shows how a bad actor can change the news picture.
- Mike Behe’s book party for Darwin Devolves live-streamed from Seattle tonight
Darwin Devolves is currently #8 in Developmental Biology at Amazon.
- Are our political views coded in DNA? Jerry Coyne is not really convinced
As well he shouldn’t be. An op-ed in the Deep Statesville Intelligence claims, Given how natural selection works, it’s entirely possible that an aversion to evolutionary explanations is in itself a product of evolution. In a hostile environment, wouldn’t a belief in selfdetermination be adaptive? But no matter, the point is that anti-evolutionary bias makes […]
- The multiverse is just religion, theoretical physicist charges
Of course she’s right about the religion part. Much that is going wrong with science today is the tendency to use various science ideas as secular religions. The multiverse happens to be a particularly devastating one because it strikes at the very idea of evidence.
- Researchers: Parents’ memory of avoiding danger can be inherited
The memory only lasted about five generations but the fact that it happens at all is significant. ... It might help in understanding why many families seem to replay “addiction tapes” into the third and fourth generation.
- Researchers: Body plan evolution not so simple as once thought
The Hox genes are not the big answer many thought.
- Why should science need evidence anyway? Why isn’t speculation good enough?
Reviewer Kumar’s thought seems to be, as long as the speculation is rooted in the two great theories, it’s science. A need for evidence is an unreasonable burden.
- Is spacetime granular on the smallest of scales?
At Physics Central: "a recent Physical Review Letter hints that granular spacetime could—just maybe—solve two of the most pressing problems in astronomy today."
- How many “types of human” “coexisted with our ancestors”?
But what if these “Homo species”were never sharply differentiated groups? Cutting edge techniques might turn up many more such “species”/groups in the near future, comprising a sort of “United Nations” of deceased cultures.
- Hoover Institution interview with David Berlinski
In 1996. David Berlinski published an article in Commentary, skewering the vast public nonsense that Darwinism had become - and remained for roughly two decades, only now beginning to totter under a variety of assaults. Time to reminisce a bit.
- Researcher: “Environmental crisis” spurs some scientists to believe plants are conscious
He worries that their concern is "clouding their objectivity." But isn't objectivity the next two-minute hate?
- We are invited to consider a simpler perspective on the laws of physics
Kowacs: In other words, the book explains how electromagnetic fields comprise the electron mass.
- Why do plant scientists need to tell the world that plants are NOT conscious?
You didn’t think plants were conscious, did you? Did you really think salad is murder? Yet telling us that plants are not conscious is the gist of a recently published major paper in Trends in Plant Science. (open access) Part of the background to the “plants think like people” movement in science, which they oppose, […]
- Alleged sex trafficker Jeffrey Epstein pledged $30 million for Harvard evolution program
Some of these areas would seem to be science issues and others only questionably so. It is much easier to get general, evidence-based agreement on what constitutes cancer and its remedies, for example, than on what constitutes selfishness and its remedies.
- Why SETI is asking the public for help in dealing with ET
At the Royal Society summer exhibition. They are trying to create a legal framework that assumes ET’s existence without evidence.
- Ideologies that devalue human life – with historian Richard Weikart
You can go away screaming I suck! at an uncaring universe if you like or else you can look at evidence-based alternative views.
- J.P. Moreland on the reality of the mind tested by psychiatric disorder
Moreland: We are a unity of body, mind, spirit, emotions, and will and they all affect one another. And so, if my brain is damaged and it’s not producing the kinds of chemicals that it needs to help me have a good mood, then medication feels like oiling the engine or vitamins for your brain.
- Was Orwell a better techno-prophet in 1984 than Huxley was in Brave New World?
Generally, the materialist constructors of brave new worlds entirely believe in design in nature, as long as they design it themselves. Anything else is a botch or else it sucks, right?
- Well, if Neanderthal history is as complex as other human histories…
That's bad for "evolutionary theory." Actual histories of the Neanderthals are like actual histories of the Navaho or the Welsh. What they “would have” done doesn’t matter; only what they apparently did. Enter historical interpretation from a variety of schools of thought.
- Design inference: What do these Stone Age markings on beads mean?
When “evolution” becomes history, it knocks a lot of nonsense off its pedestal. Remember when people couldn’t think that way back then?
- Revealing things scientists told media about our “simulated” universe
Falk is careful to say, above, that experiments to test the idea have been proposed. Maybe we should all say nothing about the matter until they have been done and the results announced.
- Researchers: A big change in ocean life occurred in the mid-Jurassic
It would be an interesting thought experiment to consider what the oceans would be like if the formation of shells was difficult. It’s still hard to picture the idea that predation wasn't as important as dissolution.
- Origin of life has not been explained
World famous chemist James Tour explains.
- Eric Holloway: How ID can help business
ID theory, he says, offers a way around false positives in interpretation of information.
- Mirror universe: Now some media market science fiction as science news
This appears in a tech and science section of a major network: Could 2019 be the year humans open the first portal to a shadowy dimension which mirrors our own world?