Peer reviewers influenced by prestige? Say it ain’t so!

Well, Ben Andrew Henry is saying this at The Scientist: When a manuscript goes out for peer review, most medical journals inform their reviewers of the authors’ identities and affiliations, in what’s called a single-blind review. But new research suggests that concealing the identities of authors—double-blind review—could help reduce reviewer bias. In a study published […]

Brazilian chemist explains how intelligent design informs his science

We talk to Marcos Eberlin, Thomson Mass Spectrometry Lab, Brazil: 1. Enezio tells me you are interested in the concept of design in nature. Do you relate it to your work in mass spectrometry or to other, larger issues, or both? J. J. Thomson, the father of mass spectrometry—the man who discovered the electron and won the Nobel […]

Wayne Rossiter: Time is all in our heads?

From Wayne Rossiter,, author of Shadow of Oz: Theistic Evolution and the Absent God, on the recent claim that time is all in our heads: 1) Don’t a series of events have to pass in order to arrive at a state of the universe in which observers can exist? On atheistic naturalism, doesn’t intelligent life emerge from […]

Time is all in our heads? Then we can reverse time!

Reader Ilion Troas kindly writes to say, re the pop science of the week (Time is all in our heads:” “… In other words, if we do experience the future (which we might), we are not able to store the memories about such processes. You can’t go back in time without this information being erased […]

Lee Spetner answers his critics

Lee Spetner, author of The Evolution Revolution, responds to a Darwin-in-the-schools lobbyist at Evolution News & Views : In his review, David Levin seems to have set out to perform a hatchet job, and this required dispensing with truth. Before going into that, however, I must describe briefly the major point of my book, which […]

Scary climate predictions in the light of Earth’s history

From John Timmer at Ars Technica: Somewhere around a million years ago, the climate underwent a transition. Earlier, it was going through glacial cycles every 40,000 years, but it shifted to taking 100,000 years to cycle (this shift is termed the mid-Pleistocene transition). Snyder’s new record shows that the planet was getting slowly but progressively […]

Does Moore’s Law apply to origin of life?

What we know and don’t know about the origin of life Moore’s Law The observation made in 1965 by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable […]

Another smart crow, from Hawaii, distantly related to New Zealand smart crows

From ScienceDaily: An international team of scientists and conservation experts has discovered that the critically-endangered Hawaiian crow, or ‘Alalā, is a highly proficient tool user, according to a paper published today in the scientific journal Nature. … The discovery of a second tool-using crow species finally provides leverage for addressing long-standing questions about the evolution […]

Epigenetics: Smoking causes long-term gene damage

From ScienceDaily: Smoking leaves its “footprint” on the human genome in the form of DNA methylation, a process by which cells control gene activity, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Genetics, an American Heart Association journal. … “These results are important because methylation, as one of the mechanisms of the regulation of gene expression, […]

Time is all in our heads?

Of course. From Robert Lanza, Wake Forest U, at Discover Mag: So if the laws of physics should work just as well for events going forward or going backward in time, then why do we only experience growing older? All our scientific theories tell us that we should be able to experience the future just […]

Life was on Earth when it first formed?

From Ethan Siegel at Starts with a Bang: By finding graphite deposits in zircons that are 4.1 billion years old, graphite deposits that show this carbon-12 enhancement, we now have evidence that life on Earth goes back at least 90% of Earth’s history, and possibly even longer! After all, finding the remnants of organic matter […]

Materialist “Ethics” Show Their Colors

  For a materialist the term “ethics” is empty of objective meaning, and in a post from a couple of years ago I pointed out the absurdity of materialist “bioethics.” After all, when pushed to the wall to ground his ethical opinions in anything other than his personal opinion, the materialist ethicist has nothing to […]

Atheists Believe “Truth” Has Magical Properties

At comment 60 in this thread about self-described atheistic materialists who want portray themselves as being moral yet having no basis by which to be moral in any objective sense, Seversky says in response: “However, it is a choice between able to be good in a way that actually means something and actually matters,…” to […]

Objective fact is sexist?

From Tyler O’Neil at PJ Media: Real misogynists used to argue that women couldn’t understand things as well as men could. This patronizing view is both insulting and false, but now it has reemerged in a new way — so-called feminist professors arguing that science itself is misogynist because it deals in objective truth. That’s […]

Voynich manuscript may be a hoax after all

Now and then, we’ve talked about the Voynich manuscript, a strange mediaeval work whose baffling code seems undecipherable. From Libby Plummer and Abigail Beall at Daily Mail: Many experts argue that the text contains similar features to natural languages, suggesting that it may be a code. However, Gordon Rugg, a computing expert at Keele University […]

How the U.S. Food and Drug Administration controls science stories

From Charles Seife at Scientific American: The deal was this: NPR, along with a select group of media outlets, would get a briefing about an upcoming announcement by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration a day before anyone else. But in exchange for the scoop, NPR would have to abandon its reportorial independence. The FDA […]

Study results released under court order show patients misled

From British science writer Julie Rehmeyer at Stat News: How bad science misled chronic fatigue syndrome patients Under court order, the study’s authors for the first time released their raw data earlier this month. Patients and independent scientists collaborated to analyze it and posted their findings Wednesday on Virology Blog, a site hosted by Columbia […]

Astrophysicist warms to evolution “breeding” perception of reality out of us

As advanced by cognitive scientist Donald Hoffman, From. Adam Frank at NPR: To paraphrase the website Understanding Evolution, “fitness” is used to describe how good a particular organism is at getting its offspring into the next generation relative to the other organisms around it. When people study evolution using mathematics or computers, they imagine there […]

Moshe Averick: What’s keeping the Origin-of-Life Messiah?

From Moshe Averick, author of The Confused World of Modern Atheism, at Algemeiner: Atheists Still Waiting for the Origin-of-Life Messiah … In other words, despite the prodigious amounts of energy invested by people like Richard Dawkins in spreading propaganda to the contrary, Darwin provided exactly zero evidence to support an atheistic view of biology. Nothing […]

Fish as smart as primates?

So have fish entered the the Stone Age too? From Jonathan Balcombe at Nautilus:: Here’s an example of fish intelligence, courtesy of the frillfin goby, a small fish of intertidal zones of both eastern and western Atlantic shores. When the tide goes out, frillfins like to stay near shore, nestled in warm, isolated tide pools where […]

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