Sewell: In reality, to be really self-replicating like living things, it would have to go get its own cardboard, so maybe it would need wheels and an axe to cut down trees and a small sawmill to make cardboard out of wood…
Math prof Granville Sewell suggests how to respond when you don’t have time to offer a 30-minute answer on all the meanings of the term and, chance are, the yob who is asking is just trying to get you anyway
Sewell: I cannot think of anything in all of science that can be stated with more confidence than that a few unintelligent forces of physics alone could not have rearranged the basic particles of physics into Apple iPhones.
Sewell: Most non-scientists intuitively understand that explaining how plants and animals, and intelligent, conscious humans, could have arisen from a lifeless, barren planet is a very different and much more difficult problem than others solved by science. But most scientists are still confident that nothing could possibly be beyond the reach of their science.
Sheldon: What hinders the field presently is an unstated reliance on materialism and its attendant mechanism, when information is manifestly non-material. What we need to make progress in OoL are matter-free tools for manipulating information: understanding its flow, its gradients, and its concentration.
Sheldon: Throughout history we have examples of these bad physics generalizations. For example, heat was once considered a fluid embedded in the oak log, absorbed from the sun, called phlogiston. As it turned out, heat is not a material substance.
Carnivorous plants construct “mousetraps” which are no use to the plant until they succeed. How then did they evolve randomly by chance?
Rob Sheldon: The location of the mass has to be “outside” the galaxy in order to account for the dark matter attraction. How does information occupy empty space? Landauer would have said it couldn’t.
In an age when objectivity is becoming science’s enemy in the United States and massive corruption is a norm in its former science competitor Russia, scientists can still make a virtue out of being true to Darwin. Wherever that lands them.
From Sarah Chaffee and Granville Sewell at The Spectator: Whether the standard neo-Darwinian mechanism fully explains the origins of biological novelties is a question that scientists themselves increasingly contest. Yet for the media, evolution is the holy Kaaba of science. Resistance verging on hysteria greets attempts to allow teachers to introduce mainstream controversies found in Read More…