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Scientific American

Jerry Coyne on how Scientific American is departing from science

Darwinian evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne will likely never know how much is own attitudes over the years helped build, for him and his, the climate that once spelled trouble only for — for example — researchers who see design in nature. Read More ›

At Scientific American: “Denial of Evolution Is a Form of White Supremacy”

Wow. Has the Darwin lobby hired itself a PR firm that recommended getting someone on board to accuse everyone who doubts Darwin of being a “white supremacist”? Quite simply, Charles Darwin’s Descent of Man is surely by far the most racist iconic document ever to be lauded by all the Right People! And getting someone to holler about “white supremacy” among Darwin doubters is, ahem, just a cheap shot, not a response to the stark raving racism in print of the actual document. Guys, try another one. Read More ›

At Scientific American: Why we live in a simulation

This is likely intended as a spoof: "There is nothing in philosophy or science, no postulates, theories or laws, that would predict the emergence of this experience we call consciousness. Natural laws do not call for its existence, and it certainly does not seem to offer us any evolutionary advantages." But it happens to be true. Read More ›

The weirdness of the number 42

Here’s Scientific American in a more entertaining mode. Remember when Deep Thought, the computer in Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (1979) spit out the Answer to the great question of life? It was: 42 But 42 does have some interesting features. Read More ›

Scientific American doubles down on all politics, all the time

Mme Justice Ginsberg was eighty-seven years of age and suffered with pancreatic cancer. It is remarkable and commendable that she lived as long as she did; not at all a surprise that she died. Why is her death a “terrible blow” as opposed to a foreseen near-term event? Read More ›

The irony! Scientific American is holding forth on an algorithm that might solve “political paralysis”

Why should we now believe that SciAm’s account of Brett Hennig’s “alternative democracy” ideas is presented to us for any reason other than to sell SciAm’s chosen political candidate for US prez? The thing about sudden partisanship is that you can buy it but you can’t sell it. It’s almost like the folk at Scientific American don’t really get that. Read More ›

Rob Sheldon on Scientific American’s foray into politics, backing Joe Biden

I was a devoted SciAm fan growing up. I collected other people's old copies and had a collection going back to the 60's. Then SciAm was bought out by some big publishing firm. And my favorite column, the Amateur Scientist by Forrest M. Mims III , was cancelled because Mims was a Christian. Read More ›

Scientific American breaks with 175-year tradition, endorses Joe Biden for US President

They can break with tradition in this way if they want, of course. But then they will no longer be able to say that their science is not tainted with (drenched in?) politics. Which is why, no matter what the crisis, no one did it in the past. The outcome, no matter who wins the U.S. election, will be reduced public trust in science. Scientific American could well find itself down there with “media” generally, in terms of public trust. Read More ›

At Scientific American: Could we force the universe to crash?

Does anyone remember when science was distinct from science fiction? But in those days, great discoveries were made. Who needs great discoveries when an active imagination will do just as well? Read More ›

Could COVID-19 help us understand the current buzz in science media about space aliens?

It’s worth noting that we haven’t established that there are even fossil bacteria on Mars. But we are starting to hear more than ever that there are intelligent aliens out there, most recently from Ars Technica and Scientific American. Fundamentally, we have found nothing since the Sixties that truly suggests extraterrestrial civilizations. Nothing. If they want to keep looking, fine. Nobody’s stopping them. But spare us the dramatics. Read More ›