Darwin’s Dangerous Idea Invades the School Restroom

Nancy Pearcey, offers an article based on Finding Truth: 5 Principles for Unmasking Atheism, Secularism, and Other God Substitutes, her most recent book. The public has responded swiftly and strongly against the Obama administration’s demand that public schools admit transgender students into the showers, locker rooms, and sports teams of their choice. But to be […]

Claim: Monkeys understand irreversibility of death

From New Scientist: It’s a tear-jerker worthy of Hollywood – and one of the first examples of compassionate care and grief in a wild monkey. The alpha male of a group of snub-nosed monkeys and his dying partner spent a final, tender hour together beneath the tree from which she had fallen minutes earlier, cracking […]

New book on ID controversy from Routledge

By Erkki Vesa Rope Kojonen  Here: The controversy over Intelligent Design (ID) has now continued for over two decades, with no signs of ending. For its defenders, ID is revolutionary new science, and its opposition is merely ideological. For its critics, ID is both bad science and bad theology. But the polemical nature of the debate […]

Big Darwin will go down fighting

From Arizona State University, a classic in propaganda masquerading as research: In a first-of-its kind study, scientists from Arizona State University’s School of Life Sciences have found that a majority of professors teaching biology in Arizona universities do not believe that helping students accept the theory of evolution is an instructional goal. In fact, a […]

Will journals accept papers written by a … computer?

  They’ll even try to review them. Computer science prof Robert Marks writes at The Best Schools: Should we be surprised that phony papers generated by SCIgen have been accepted by conferences and journals? The pressure to publish has been applied to professors almost everywhere. Supply and demand dictates that journals and conferences be created […]

FYI-FTR: A plea for civilizational sanity

Overnight CF and Aleta threw down a gauntlet in WJM’s thread on subjectivism: CF, 148 : >>KairosFocus: “CF, again you are asserting when something you have consistently refused to address is on the table.” [CF:] the fact that you disagree with how I have repeatedly addressed the issue does not mean that I have “consistently […]

Research frontiers: The patients whose cancer just dies

From Gareth Cook at New York Times: Grace’s case became the subject of intense scientific scrutiny. How could such a notoriously recalcitrant cancer simply collapse? Why had she alone responded so extremely? Nobody was claiming that she was cured. But by the end of 2011, Grace felt this much was sure: Having asked for a […]

Is there a get-a-degree gene?

From Sharon Begley at Stat: Although such behavioral genetics studies might once have been trumpeted as “genes for going to college,” the international consortium of 253 researchers reached a more modest conclusion: Altogether, the 74 genes explain slightly less than one-half of 1 percent of the differences between people’s education levels. “The authors are pretty […]

Rutgers conference on multiverse, evil, and fine-tuning

June 10–11, 2016 From NY/NJ Philosophy of Science group: ===========ABSTRACTS================ Title: Everettian Quantum Mechanics and Evil Author: Jason Turner Abstract: The problem of evil has been around for a long time: How can an all-powerful and all-good God allow evil of the sorts we see in the world? If the Everettian interpretation of quantum mechanics […]

Supersymmetry now needed to “save physics”

But there is so little evidence to go on. From Columbia math prof Peter Woit at Not Even Wrong: Maybe this should have its own entry for This Week’s Hype, but I’ll just mention here that the June Scientific American has The Collider That Could Save Physics. It seems that SUSY [supersymmetry] is needed to […]

Liberal Fascists Strike Again

This time they are burning books in Portland. Read the last paragraph of this resolution adopted by the Portland School Board. Because the suppression of doubt or skepticism is the foundation of any good science education.  Right? As Robert Tracinski reports: Actually, the story is even worse than what conservative news sites have reported. It’s not […]

Royal Society to announce guest list for “rethink evolution” meeting – at last

From Suzan Mazur at Huffington Post: The Royal Society science office says the suspense will soon be over. It will announce presenter names/topics for the November evolution paradigm shift conference within two weeks — democratically, by email to all those registered to attend the public meeting. What’s more, it has added to its original list […]

Epigenetics is “dangerously fashionable”

Say Brian Boutwell and J.C. Barnes at Nautilus: That’s right, the most compelling evidence for transgenerational epigenetics is in rodents, not humans. We are fans of animal research, but as Pinker noted, the strengths of it (fast reproductive cycles allowing for the study of numerous generations in a short window of time) may also curtail […]

Free will as a convenient lie

More goodness brought to us by naturalism From philosopher Stephen Cave at the Atlantic: The sciences have grown steadily bolder in their claim that all human behavior can be explained through the clockwork laws of cause and effect. This shift in perception is the continuation of an intellectual revolution that began about 150 years ago, […]

Darwin, religion, and the blind cave fish

Only religion prevents us from seeing the Darwinian truth about evolution. Or at least that’s what one would think reading ScienceDaily: Generally seen as antithetical to one another, evolution and religion can hardly fit in a scientific discourse simultaneously. However, biologist Dr Aldemaro Romero Jr., Baruch College, USA, devotes his latest research article, now published […]

Nature tries to referee Horgan vs. the Skeptics

Readers may recall that unusually thoughtful science writer John Horgan recently told “Skeptics” Scientific American to do something useful with their lives. (Bash Bigfoot less, pop science more.) The Skeptics, of course, protested that soft targets are fun. (The multiverse can be science even if unfalsifiable…) The exchange identified the issue clearly. The Skeptical science […]

Forget nature: Redefining death to suit euthanasia

From Wesley J. Smith at First Things: Most people understand the word “death” to mean the end of biological life or, as Merriam-Webster defines it, “a permanent cessation of all vital functions.” But now an influential cadre of utilitarian bioethicists wants to redefine it to include a subjective and sociologically based meaning. Their purpose isn’t […]

Junk DNA back “with a vengeance”

From ScienceDaily: What used to be dismissed by many as “junk DNA” is back with a vengeance as growing data points to the importance of non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) — genome’s messages that do not code for proteins — in development and disease. But our progress in understanding these molecules has been slow because of the […]

Subjectivists Need to Check Their Moral Privilege

Many of our interlocutors here often complain about the lengthy comments KF often posts which frame the necessity of a cohesive and coherent worldview when it comes to moral views and arguments. With others, their arguments often hinge around the insistence that either morals simply are not objective in nature, or that there is no […]

Chimps filmed grieving for dead friend

From the BBC: It is clear the chimpanzees were aware something was wrong, and they gathered next to Thomas, lying on his back. What surprised the researchers most was the way the chimps sat quietly around their deceased friend for long periods. “Chimps never do that in other contexts,” says Dr van Leeuwen. “There is […]

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