- Human-like lifespan 100,000–200,000 years ago?
Teeth from the upper jaw of a child (the Xujiayao child) of about 6 and a half, who died between 100,000-200,000 years ago were examined by X-ray: But the ancient child’s overall dental growth and development falls within the range observed among kids today, paleoanthropologist Song Xing of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Beijing […]
- Intelligent design as “rube-bait” and David Klinghoffer’s response
Klinghoffer offers his vid, The Information Enigma by way of rebuttal. But rebuttal almost misses the point. Today’s Darwinism is a snipe on Twitter, a swipe in passing, a slogan on a whiteboard, a well-practiced rant - not something it would make sense to ask anyone to support with reference to facts or coherent ideas. Williamson’s got that right. No arguing with fashion.
- Why did an evolutionary biology prof imply world-famous chemist James Tour was “stupid”?
A writer encountered this all-too-common type of behavior recently and was, well, surprised. To see why it feels normal to many of us, it is helpful to understand a bit about Darwinism as a social phenomenon. Faithful readers of various vintages will, of course, remember University of Toronto evolutionary biologist Larry Moran, best known publicly […]
- How can consciousness be a material thing?
Maybe it can’t. But materialist philosophers face starkly limited choices in how to view consciousness. Galen Strawson argues for materiality.
- Rob Sheldon responds to cosmologist Sean Carroll’s 19 True Facts of Cosmology
Sean Carroll, an avowed atheist in the "scientism" camp of Bill Nye and Jerry Coyne, has made a list of apologia for the Big Bang (hereafter BB). You might wonder why there needs to be any apology at all if, as he himself says, "We have overwhelming evidence that it is true."
- How do cells in a body know where they are supposed to be?
Is it just imagination or do people increasingly write in such a way as to simply abandon the pretense that there is no design, without wanting to discuss it?
- A science journal’s editors resign en masse over open access foot-dragging
They’ve heard lots of noise but also seen lots of foot-dragging, about making research reports available publicly for free: The board told Nature that given the journal’s subject matter — the assessment and dissemination of science — it felt it needed to be at the forefront of open publishing practices, which it says includes making […]
- One reason some scientists choose low-quality predatory journals- government money
But always remember, doubts about science - as practiced - are always because the public is narrow and stupid, according to pundits, and doesn’t “trust science. ”
- We’re NOT easily fooled by fake news
And the science paper that claimed so has been retracted. A team from the Shanghai Institute of Technology sought to study whether accuracy made any difference to whether a post goes viral on social media. They cited a concern about “the digital misinformation that threatens our democracy”: “The paper found that even though individuals may […]
- Did Neanderthals create the first Spanish cave paintings?
If they did, that’ll be even less reason to think of them as some kind of “missing link”: What if, long before Leonardo da Vinci or Michelangelo, the Neanderthals were humanity’s first artists? At any rate, this is the hypothesis raised by new dating of Spanish rock paintings published in February 2018 in the journal […]
- Trying to have a discussion when others want a diversion
Douglas Axe talks about a long-running dialogue he has had as a result of his 2016 book, Undeniable , where he can’t seem to get his dialogue partner to focus on what he is saying in his book and not what someone else is saying and what a fourth party is saying about them: But […]
- Sabine Hossenfelder: Physics problems that lead to breakthroughs arise from inconsistencies in data, not beautiful math
And afterwards, we find the math works. Sabine Hossenfelder author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray, asks us to consider what distinguishes a good problem in physics, hence in cosmology, from a trip through some interesting weeds.
- Worm blobs behave like both fluids and solids
Now that mechanobiology is becoming a bigger topic, the worms’ ability to easily behave according to two states may help us understand life forms better.
- Ancient cataclysms and modern conflicts in origin of life studies
The main topic of a recent Science article is a claim that life on Earth was jumpstarted by a very early hit by a moon-size object that precipitated a metallic hailstorm. But while sketching that scenario, which wowed a 2018 conference in Atlanta in October, Robert F. Service also recounts some of the more interesting […]
- Women’s March falling apart before the anti-Semitism gets to science?
They're all busting up, quarrelling.
- Can DNA survival change the meaning of extinction?
Actually, it is widely suspected that the red wolf is, generally, a hybrid of wolf and coyote that appears from time to time and thus can’t go extinct unless one of the two parent groups does.
- Researchers: Termites protect their ecosystem against drought
You’d almost think the system was designed to be stable over a range of climate conditions while slowly changing over time.
- Social science hoax papers: Putting a respectable face on persecuting the hoaxers
Sexton: Similarly, the experts Singal contacted said the use of fake data still counts as data fabrication even if the dataset was obviously meant to be part of a satirical hoax. So there may be two grounds on which this IRB could decide to punish Boghossian.
- Some Indian scientists nix Newton and Einstein
The BBC is now reporting on a trend in India to identity politics in science: The 106th Indian Science Congress, which was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, runs from 3-7 January. The head of a southern Indian university cited an old Hindu text as proof that stem cell research was discovered in India thousands […]
- Eric Holloway: Atheists, agnostics more skeptical of evolution now
The editors of the new journal, Communications of the Blyth Institute, are looking for contributors with expertise in the relevant areas.
- Evangelicals waving goodbye to Adam and Eve?
It is a sign of significant loss of cultural confidence when people are willing to reconfigure their “deepest convictions” even when the evidence against them isn’t “compelling.” Almost always that’s because what they call their faith is not actually among their deepest convictions.
- Historian: Darwinists kept the “flat earth” myth going, to attack opponents of their views
From Mike Keas's new book: “The reason for promoting both the specific like about the sphericity of earth and the general lie that religion and science are in natural and eternal conflict in Western society is to defend Darwinism.”
- Site was down for some hours overnight
Technical issues. Sorry for inconvenience. – News
- Heard at The Conversation: Enough with the “war on science” rhetoric!
A group of communications profs says it has the opposite of its intended effect: National Geographic’s March 2015 cover story provided a thoughtful discussion around the question of “Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?” The actual cover, however, simply said “The War on Science.” That article never actually uses the term “war on science” […]
- Worms challenge idea that complexity just arises from simplicity
Maybe it’s the other way around in many cases.
- Mike Behe’s new book, Darwin Devolves: “Absolutely convincing” or “omits contrary examples”
From two people, from very different perspectives. First, German biologist Wolf-Ekkehard Lönnig and Nathan Lents, author of a “bad design” book.
- Jerry Coyne: Just sign Chicago “Statement on Principles of Free Expression”
Good for him but what will be really interesting to see now is how many of his fellow Darwinian evolutionary biologists join him in protest. People tend to think the mob is coming for someone else, someone who “deserves” it.
- The amoeba that might be smarter than your computer
Nature is full of intelligence but mostly it does not resemble human intelligence. In some ways it works better than computer intelligence.
- Be more afraid of the hype vendors than of the AI
The release of the Top Ten over hyped AI stories of 2019 has led the way for further promising ones, including this one, says engineer and philosopher Jonathan Bartlett: Was the machine cleverand sneaky or was it just programmed wrong? You decide. First, just to be clear, at Mind Matters we have nothing against AI. […]
- Dark matter puzzle depends in part on whether our galaxy is an “outlier”
Twenty years ago, astronomers couldn’t find enough satellite galaxies orbiting the Milky Way. Now there seem to be too many. Some information seems to be missing. A possible solution is that many of these galaxies are dwarfs formed by dark matter: Most cosmologists believe that dark-matter particles are “cold,” meaning that they move slowly. Because […]
- Did fatness rule the Stone Age?
Not all Stone Age Venus figurines, of which 200 have been found, were fat. It doesn’t seem as though much has changed over 25 millennia except that many more people have much more to eat. So fatness wouldn’t signify success in more modern cultures.
- NYT: Beauty in nature acknowledged — but only as “Darwin’s neglected brainchild”
The biggest problem, which Jabr discusses, is whether beauty really exists or is it just an illusion that promotes our genes’ survival, as a naturalist (nature is all there is) must insist. Yet, despite the stale “Darwin himself” creedal statements, the long piece ends on a curiously tolerant, ecumenical note.
- Physicist: Is Darwinian natural selection a “force of nature” like gravity?
What, the “single best idea anyone ever had” (philosopher Daniel Dennett on Darwin ) is now comparable to gravity? Experimental physicist Rob Sheldon would take issue with that. Yes, a psychologist seems to think Darwinian natural selection is indeed a force of nature like gravity: Natural selection, one of the fundamental processes of evolution, has […]
- Darwinian Jerry Coyne as free speech warrior
Retired biologist Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne, author of Why Evolution Is True, has begun to understand what it means to say that university campuses are no longer a home for ideas, but for grievances: Many universities, including public ones, have created “bias response teams,” in which speech considered hateful or offensive is reported to […]
- Green darner dragonflies migrate over several generations
Like monarch butterflies. Apparently, the shimmering dragonfly migrates like the Monarch butterfly, taking three generations to loop across North America: At least three generations make up the annual migration of common green darner dragonflies. The first generation emerges in the southern United States, Mexico and the Caribbean starting around February and flies north. There, those […]
- Physicists: A mirror universe might explain dark matter
Says a team of three Canadian physicists.
- The multiverse has become a talking point on Capitol Hill
You can’t ground a discussion in basic reality, says one commentator, “without somebody, sooner rather than later, confidently pronouncing something like “our universe is just one of many universes that are constantly evolving and forever changing.” He offers a response, courtesy Regis Nicoll: Everett imagined that each split created a parallel universe in which particles […]
- Steve Meyer on the future of ID research: ID 3.0
Starting at the 38-minute mark: Steve Meyer is the author of Darwin’s Doubt See also: StTeve Meyer on the information enigma in evolution Follow UD News at Twitter! Hat tip: Philip Cunningham
- Some hatching mechanisms unchanged from 130 mya
One wonders whether the larval tubes (as opposed to clubs or bumps) relates to different plant species providing the camouflage, hence different portage methods used. Otherwise, this is a lovely example of stasis (for very long periods of time, evolution doesn’t seem to happen), trapped in amber
- Embattled “social sciences hoax” prof is not a hero, he’s a canary
Even the fact that Boghossian is an evangelistic atheist banging the drum for “science,” won’t save him from the consequences of exposing ridiculous social sciences.
- Can a computer simulation show that helium compounds exist on Earth?
That could impact our understanding of early Earth. Helium is the second most abundant element in the universe but finding it on Earth is tricky. So researchers resorted to a computer simulation and found a promising possible compound: Helium-bearing compounds have, until very recently, been considered unlikely to exist under the physical conditions on or […]
- Artificial intelligence: Machines do not see objects as wholes
Mistaking a teapot shape for a golf ball, due to surface features, is one striking example from a recent open-access paper: The networks did “a poor job of identifying such items as a butterfly, an airplane and a banana,” according to the researchers. The explanation they propose is that “Humans see the entire object, while […]
- Universal formula for “turning on” monogamy: Common descent or common design?
From ScienceDaily: According to a new study led by researchers at The University of Texas at Austin that looked at 10 species of vertebrates, evolution used a kind of universal formula for turning non-monogamous species into monogamous species — turning up the activity of some genes and turning down others in the brain. “Our study […]
- Social science hoaxer’s job at risk for revealing “bias”
Boghossian’s breach of ethics was that he was supposed to get the consent of the journal editors before hoaxing them because they are human subjects. No, really. That is the explanation.
- Evolutionary biologist tries to gather shards of truth
When the battle for the idea was lost a generation ago.
- But if humans are meat machines, how do ethics come into the picture?
Montanez: The AI and ML systems we have in place today are not sentient, but they are still dangerous. I am not worried about the future of AI, but I am concerned about the dangers artificial learning systems currently pose.
- Denmark: Perhaps not so rotten after all
Says Karsten Pultz, author of Exit Evolution: Recently, I wrote a piece for UD describing how a Danish Christian newspaper, Kristeligt Dagblad, is obviously biased in favour of evolution whenever it covers the creation vs. Evolution issue. In the article “Something Is Rotten In The State Of Denmark” I aired my frustration over the fact […]
- Are synthetic chemicals altering the fabric of our bodies?
It’s certainly worth reflecting on: It’s fair to say that PCBs and fluorocarbons have altered the biochemical composition of the food web and the interior of the human body, and in the case of the PFASs, the water we drink. (Some PFASs can even fall with rain.) These have been swift, sweeping changes over the […]
- Nautilus changes article to credit Suzan Mazur for interview re neo-Darwinism challenges
The interview is with Denis Noble. Recently, we passed along some info about an item, It’s the End of the Gene As We Know It” at Nautilus. Readers here might recall Is the age of the gene finally over? Someone has drawn to our attention that the author, Ken Richardson, had quoted rather generously from […]
- Researcher: Virus sequences in human genome implicated in ALS
The genome isn't what it used to be.