Category: Self-Org. Theory

Eugene V. Koonin’s Darwin-free book free on Kindle! – No. 1 in Biology

UD News staff are booting up the Kindle now. more

Study of ants shows some much better informed than others, questions self-organization

It also leads to a promising question: How do some ants get to be more informed than others, and why do the others listen to them? more

Biomathematics: Sixth great revolution in science?

According to Ian Stewart (“The formula of life,” New Statesman, 27 April 2011), Biology is undergoing a renaissance as scientists apply mathematical ideas to old theory. Welcome to the discipline of biomathematics, with its visions of spherical cows, football-shaped viruses and equations that can predict the pattern of a zebra’s stripes. Biology used to be […] more

PZ Myers “repositioning” himself? Also, the French discover Yankee Darwinists

And the French react the way they do to British cuisine … New Zealand journalist Suzan Mazur interviews French scientist Vincent Fleury, who investigates origin of form with experiments involving cellular flow. The topic of P.Z. Myers, dean of American Darwinism and darling of Nature, came up: Suzan Mazur: PZ Myers, the Howard Stern of […] more

But then, if you shoot yourself repeatedly in the foot, why do you think you SHOULD get cheap health insurance?

Reading further into Suzan Mazur’s Altenberg 16: An Expose of the Evolution Industry, I learned something interesting: Scientists and philosophers who explore self-organization in evolution  also battle the armies of Fortress Tenure (trolls commanded by tax burdens). Mazur notes that zoologist and natural philosopher Stan Salthe, visiting scholar at Binghamton University says “his skepticism about […] more

The Limits of Self Organisation

I’m writing to tell people about a paper of mine that was published in Synthese last month, titled:  “Self-organisation in dynamical systems: a limiting result”.  While the paper doesn’t address intelligent design as such, it indirectly establishes strict limits to what such evolutionary mechanisms as natural selection can accomplish.  In particular, it shows that physical […] more

I didn’t know about this conference – and it features Michael Denton too

Tom Heneghan advises, “As Darwin Year ends, some seek to go ‘beyond Darwin,’” (Reuters Faith World: Religion and Ethics, December 14, 2009). So I was intrigued by a conference held at UNESCO here in Paris recently about scientists who believe in evolution but want to go “beyond Darwin.” Organised by French philosopher of science Jean […] more

Biosemiotics and Intelligent Design

Semiotix – Stephen Pain The distinction between “theorising” and “belief” is extremely important because our attitude differs towards them. In a theory the reified concept of the sign does not have an ontological status but an epistemological one. While in belief, the concept has often a clear ontological one. Uexküll believed in his concept of […] more

G.K. Chesterton’s Doubts about Darwinism

Following are some insightful extracts from G.K.Chesterton that still ring true. Doubts About Darwinism by G. K. Chesterton, 17th July 1920 . . .I am confronted with a very reasonable retort that I know nothing about the subject. . .it would be equally true if I ventured to throw out the suggestion that the Kaiser […] more

Human DNA repair process video – by chance?

More details of DNA repair have been revealed. See: Human DNA repair process recorded in action (Video) (PhysOrg.com) — A key phase in the repair process of damaged human DNA has been observed and visually recorded by a team of researchers at the University of California, Davis. The recordings provide new information about the role […] more

RNA Getting Lengthy

ScienceDaily reports on an interesting experiment relevant to OOL scenarios. With the aid of a straightforward experiment, researchers have provided some clues to one of biology’s most complex questions: how ancient organic molecules came together to form the basis of life. Specifically, this study demonstrated how ancient RNA joined together to reach a biologically relevant […] more

Life From Chiral Crystals . . . Really?

The other day I made an offhand comment that the chirality problem was nowhere being solved. Yellow Shark was nice enough to provide a link to new research published in November, 2008. Now I was referring to scenarios which could occur in nature, not in lab conditions, and so I contacted some friends to see […] more

Origin of life: A meatier theory?” Or just another theory?

Over at Access Research Network, British physicist David Tyler asks, “Did meteorite impacts help to spawn life?”, as per the theory of the week: The Scientific American report emphasized the tentative nature of the research: meteorites “may have helped spawn life” and “Did heat, pressure and carbon from meteorite impacts create biological precursors?” An astrobiologist […] more

David Deamer’s “Poof” Theory of Information

David Deamer, a distinguished professor of zoology at UCSC, in an interview with Susan Mazur gives us his theory of information as it relates to genetics. Deamer: I think genetic information more or less came out of nowhere by chance assemblages of short polymers. Am I being unfair in interpreting the phrase “more or less […] more

OOL is a Sticky Situation

Experimenters have recently found that genes–whereby they mean particular sequences of DNA–can “find” one another without the intervention of proteins or other factors. It appears to be strictly an effect caused by electrical charges along the DNA strand; the longer the ‘gene’ (that is, sequence length), the greater theapparent ease in ‘finding’ one another. The […] more

Are ATP energy cycles essential for life?

“The energy in the ATP molecule powers all biological processes. Thus, the synthesis of ATP is essential for life.” Sir. John Walker, The ATP Synthase Group, MRC Dunn Human Nutrition Unit ATP Synthase has been frequently discussed at Uncommon Descent including Intelligent Engineering or Natural Selection 15 July 2006 “Our job is to follow the […] more

Irreducible Complexity in Mathematics, Physics and Biology

There is a new paper on Irreducible Complexity by renowned mathematician Gregory Chaitin: The Halting Probability Omega: Irreducible Complexity in Pure Mathematics Milan Journal of Mathematics, Vol. 75, 2007. Ω is an extreme case of total lawlessness; in effect, it shows that God plays dice in pure mathematics. On the surface Chaitin’s notion of Irreducible […] more

William Dembski and 3 IDers cited in a significant OOL peer-reviewed article by Trevors and Abel

Accepted July 2006 Physics of Life Reviews [Update: thanks to Todd for a link to the full paper:] Self-organization vs. self-ordering events in life-origin models [Update: IDers Charles Thaxton, Walter Bradley, and R.L. Olsen were cited as well!! They wrote the book in 1984 which is considered the beginning of the modern ID movement. Also, […] more

Putting the Cart Before the Horse

When it comes to discussing open systems aren’t we getting a little ahead of ourselves here? There are still some very basic problems to solve before getting into hand-waving over the evolution of computers and human minds. http://www.pnas.org/cgi/content/abstract/0605863103v1 Solutions with as little as 1% enantiomeric excess (ee) of D- or L-phenylalanine are amplified to 90% […] more

The Definition of Life

http://www.ffame.org/sbenner/cochembiol8.672-689.pdf The opening discussion: To decide whether life has a common chemical plan, we must decide what life is. A panel assembled by NASA in 1994 was one of many groups to ponder this question. The panel defined life as a ‘chemical system capable of Darwinian evolution’ [16]. This definition, which follows an earlier definition […] more

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