“String theory” charter schools?

Something new every day. From Columbia mathematician Peter Woit’s Not Even Wrong blog: Among the many oddities associated with string theory is the decision of a group in Philadelphia to name a group of charter schools there the String Theory Schools. I don’t think they teach string theory, just liked the name. The financing of […]

Creation-Evolution Headlines on natural selection

Time to ditch natural selection? If NS were a law of nature, we would see every organism trending along the same trajectory: for instance, bearing more offspring. But NS explains opposite outcomes with equal ease (see Oct 1 entry for examples). It explains why the sloth is slow and the cheetah is fast. It explains […]

More on selective hyperskepticism — answering the “Jesus never existed” historical fallacy

It is important, as we go on to deal with understanding the deadlock on discussions about design theory, to understand how many evolutionary materialists and fellow travellers address evidence and reasoning. For example, in recent weeks, here at UD, we have had to address how not even self-evident first principles of reason are regarded by […]

Reality Check Courtesy of James Tour

They just stare at me.  See more

MSN Lies About the Oregon Shootings

In this story.   Here is the headline: Probe in college slayings peers into Web rants and possible religious rage Here is the lede: The gunman who cut a deadly path through a college campus appeared armed for an extended siege, a report said Friday, as investigators probed deeper into suspicions the shooter may have […]

New at MercatorNet

O’Leary for News’ other blog Defamation law must catch up with internet age. Any blogger who linked to a website held to contain defamatory material—whether the blogger knew the fact or not—could be at risk. Android apps to control your teen’s brain? This’ll never beat the bicycle Ban the cell phone monster from normal conversation […]

What IS information, when so many sciences disagree?

From the Christian Scientific Society: We will be having a regional meeting again this year, November 13-14 in Seattle, at the Discovery Institute. This year’s meeting in on the topic “What is Information?” This question seems to keep coming up. At the annual meeting in Pittsburgh, J.P. Moreland argued that information must have a spiritual/non-physical […]

Claim: Crows fear death

From BBC News, reporting on an interesting experiment: These results show that crows will avoid an area or thing that is deemed dangerous to their own species. In other words, they know what death is and know to fear it. No. Crows are smart birds and learn quickly to avoid danger. But they don’t “know […]

Review of Peter Harrison’s The Territories of Science and Religion

We’ve been short on religion news recently, due to many new atheists seemingly going to relationship counselling instead of going to law with each other or having rows in elevators , and Richard Dawkins deciding to rant constructively for once (about the decline of intellectual freedom at universities) 😉 But here’s a review worth reading […]

Is there a smallest unit of length?

Interesting discussion from NOVA: Zeno’s paradox is solved, but the question of whether there is a smallest unit of length hasn’t gone away. Today, some physicists think that the existence of an absolute minimum length could help avoid another kind of logical nonsense; the infinities that arise when physicists make attempts at a quantum version […]

Filmmaker: Science as storytelling

Interesting new book by scientist/filmmaker Randy Olson from U Chicago Press: Ask a scientist about Hollywood, and you’ll probably get eye rolls. But ask someone in Hollywood about science, and they’ll see dollar signs: moviemakers know that science can be the source of great stories, with all the drama and action that blockbusters require. That’s […]

Science needs metaphysics?

So then Hawking’s attack on philosophy was misguided? From Nautilus: Science can’t tell us whether science explains everything. … Even the greatest scientists have seen that the intelligibility of the world is a mystery. Actually, it is generally the greatest scientists who do get that. It’s the talk show poseurs who don’t. The logical independence […]

He said it: Fitness in biology is elusive

Here: “Yes, fitness is the central concept of biology, but it is an elusive concept. Almost everyone who looks at it seriously comes out in a different place. There are literally dozens of genuinely different definitions, which I won’t review here. At least two people have called fitness indefinable, a biological primitive. (A primitive is […]

Dawkins and Maher on intellectual freedom

Here: Dawkins worries about the way US university campuses are becoming places for unlearning liberty. Well yes, but neither Dawkins nor Maher seems able or willing to understand that progressivism is not about liberty; it is about control of an increasingly subject and dependent population. They congratulate themselves on being “liberals,” but might find out […]

“Living fossil” nautilus sighted again

From New Scientist: Living fossil nautilus re-emerges after 30 years of hiding Ward, who is a biologist at the University of Washington in Seattle, and his colleague Bruce Saunders first described A. scrobiculatus in 1984. Its shell shape looks unwieldy compared with the more streamlined shells of other animals in the Nautilidae family, but it […]

Larry Krauss on Ben Carson’s “scientific ignorance”

Here: Perhaps his silliest statements have to do with our own solar system. Carson claims that our solar system is perfectly ordered—but, in fact, the motion of the planets is chaotic in the long term, and, although we can predict the motion of comets over the seventy-year period he discusses, for longer time horizons, such […]

Barry, in response to “MSN Lies About the Oregon Shootings”

Where you write, Later in the story we learn that no one believes the shooter was motivated by religious rage. Rather, he was motivated by anti-religious rage and singled out Christians for death. MSN’s writers and editors are shameless, utterly shameless. I’ve tried to get cred to say this in Canada on the eve of […]

Homo Naledi as new species now questioned at Berkeley

Here: Bones of Contention: Why Cal Paleo Expert is So Skeptical That Homo Naledi Is New Species … Amid all the hoopla and confetti, however, a growing number of scientists are advising caution. They’re not denying the importance of the find; the fossils, they say, are invaluable. But they contend that the bones may not […]

The problem with Tayler’s, “Make them shut up about God . . . “

Dr Torley has recently responded to Tayler’s Article as headlined. On a day when news is still somewhat emerging about a mass murder on a community College campus where those who affirmed that they were Christians were shot in the head, it is important to take up the issue, especially in light of the underlying, […]

Further to: There are millions of habitable planets… no

Here. But now this: It is most likely that we are the only living beings in our galaxy, according to an esteemed former Nasa scientist. William Borucki, who played a large part in finding other potentially hospitable planets during his role as chief investigator for the US space agency’s Kepler mission until his retirement in […]

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