But who says today’s philosophers must make sense?

A friend can’t make sense of this, from philosopher Keith Frankish in Aeon: Consciousness is a life-transforming illusion So, again, what is consciousness for? In his 2011 book Soul Dust, Humphrey proposes a novel idea. He argues that consciousness enriches life. It doesn’t add information; it adds interests and goals. Qualia are wonderful, magical things, […]

Answering Popperian’s challenge: “why doesn’t someone start out by explaining how human beings generate emotions, then point out how the universality of computation does not fit that explanation . . .”

There are some key motifs that often come up in discussions of design theory and linked ideas. Popperian, as captioned, has posed one of these. Notice, his view, that we GENERATE emotions, suggesting a dynamo churning away and generating electricity. That is, the motif that would reduce explanations to mechanisms is here revealed.  I think […]

It’s Official: Lamarckism has Now Joined the Narrative, July 1, 2015 !

It is often said that all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. Yesterday with the publishing of a new paper out of Israel, and two centuries later, Lamarck’s pre Darwinian theory of evolution, sometimes referred to as the inheritance of […]

Independent journalism, please speak up

We can’t hear you, and we need to. In 2008, Suzan Mazur published The Altenberg 16: An Exposé of the Evolution Industry That is, “Will the real theory of evolution please stand up?” The book revealed what we all sensed, that many evolutionary biologists and colleagues in allied disciplines doubted that Darwinism (natural selection acting on […]

Eric lets the amoral cat out of the bag: “It may be ‘so what’ to you (and me) that morality is ultimately subjective . . .”

It is instructive to see this inadvertently revealing comment on a blog post by Jason Rosenhouse. But first, let’s remind ourselves of a very important visually made point: And now: >>eric April 15, 2015 Of course, you can challenge my definition. You can say that it’s just a product of my own subjective judgment that […]

Try thinking harder about supporting National Public Radio

From NPR: Don’t Believe In Evolution? Try Thinking Harder … The theory of evolution by natural selection is among the best established in science, yet also among the most controversial for subsets of the American public. It’s appalling that this pysch prof can get away with misinforming the public about the fact that evolution by […]

PBS asks, must we rewrite general relativity?

Because we just haven’t found the dark matter that the theory seems to require. Further to Human languages must be irreducibly complex (Can someone help us understand what this translation from German means?)—maybe it was something about how cosmology needs to change, which Neil Turok of the Perimeter Institute in Canada said plainly earlier this […]

Human languages are irreducibly complex?

Says this German mag, in translation: Farewell to the World Formula The laws of nature are ephemeral Natural laws are in line with established opinion to immutable component of the natural sciences. A physicist and a philosopher now say goodbye to the idea. by Edu Why so and not otherwise? Until recently was Lee Smolin, […]

Human eye sockets give wider view than “other apes”

Just so we know, from New Scientist: Primates have forward-facing eyes, and humans are no exception. But look closely, says Eric Denion at the French Institute of Health and Medical Research in Caen, and you’ll see that human eyes are different. … They found that the human eye sockets, or orbits, were much wider relative […]

Israeli researchers mull epigenetics vs. Darwinism

Over at Evolution News & Views, we are told that two Israeli researchers are “ flirting with Lamarck”: Lamarck? He was the much-ridiculed Frenchman (1744–1829) who was right about the inheritance of acquired characteristics. In other words, stuff that happened to our grandparents and parents could help shape our genome, and affect our health and […]

National Geographic’s fave 2015 photos

Mow lawn, have beer, see this: Here. Back soon. – O’Leary for News

A new take on prey who warn predators of danger

Alfred Russel Wallace’s take, explicitly. From ScienceDaily: Not every encounter between predator and prey results in death. A new study co-authored by a University of Tennessee, Knoxville, professor suggests that prey emit warning cues that can ultimately lead to both their survival and that of their predators. The hypothesis addresses a 150-year-old mystery of evolution […]

You: a trillion tiny random machines

In “How You Consist of Trillions of Tiny Machines,” a review of two books, Australian palaeontologist Tim Flannery encapsulates the problem facing origin of life studies. Assessing Paul Falkowski’s Life’s Engines: How Microbes Made Earth Habitable, he notes, Today, driven by ongoing technological innovations, the exploration of the “nanoverse,” as the realm of the minuscule […]

Buzz Aldrin hopes to ramp up space program

After SpaceX’s “loss of mission.” But are we missing something here? Aldrin, lunar module pilot for Apollo 11, the first manned lunar landing mission here: True, the ripple effects from SpaceX’s Falcon 9 booster going boom in the Florida skies are many. But the take-home message given the NASA-private sector bond is one of striving for reliability, […]

Convergent evolution: Distantly related birds, same crests

From ScienceDaily: A few years ago biologists found that a prominent change in pigeon plumage, head crests, could be traced to a mutation in a single gene. Now the research team has found an almost exact repeat in the evolutionary playbook in distantly related doves. Evolutionary playbook? Doesn’t that imply a strategy? Oh wait, that’s […]

ENCODE: The many uses of “junk DNA”

Two days ago, a big meeting in Maryland of researchers into non-coding DNA (alleged “junk DNA” ) wrapped up, and people have been writing to us about the various, so-far unofficially publicized findings that friends have told them about. One researcher whose specialty is orphan genes observed that although we have similar genes to mice, […]

Textbook distortion of effect of brain injuries: Phineas Gage

On the iconic lecture room psychopath, fFrom the British Psychological Society Research Digest: So the textbooks mostly won’t tell you about Gage’s rehabilitation, or provide you with the latest evidence on his injuries. Instead, you might hear how hear never worked again and became a vagrant, or that he became a circus freak for the […]

We are told: One gene may drive leap from single cell to multicellular life

A philosopher used to say, beware the man of one book. Today, we might say, be cautious considering the claims of the scientist of one gene. From New Scientist we hear,: The leap from single-celled life to multicellular creatures is easier than we ever thought. And it seems there’s more than one way it can […]

Bacteria created iron deposits by metabolizing iron?

Researchers: Half of iron atoms in some cores were processed by microbes 2.5 bya/Clark Johnson 2.5 billion years ago? That’s the theory here: These ancient deposits, up to 150 meters deep, were begging for explanation, says Johnson. Scientists thought the iron had entered the ocean from hot, mineral-rich water released at mid-ocean vents that then […]

Face it, your brain isn’t a computer

Though Gerard DuBois tells us it is, in “Face It, Your Brain Is a Computer”at the New York Times: … Finally, there is a popular argument that human brains are capable of generating emotions, whereas computers are not. But while computers as we know them clearly lack emotions, that fact itself doesn’t mean that emotions […]

Prehistoric human teeth found in Israel. From 400 kya?

From 400 kya? Here: Researchers found four teeth in the Qesem Cave near Rosh Ha’ayin (not far from Tel Aviv), and they were astonished at test results that conclude the fossils to be some 400,000-years-old. The significance of this is that it’s possible that the origin of prehistoric man is in Israel, and not in […]

Evolutionary biologist Will Provine vs genetic drift?

Friends write to say that Darwinian evolutionary biologist (retired) William B. Provine has written a book , The “Random Genetic Drift” Fallacy (2014): Much of my life has been devoted to the history of population genetics. My early book was my Ph.D. thesis still in print: The Origins of Theoretical Populations Genetics (1971, 2nd edition, […]

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