Stephen Hawking Should Visit Elfland

Some people say that Stephen Hawking is the smartest man in the world, and doubtless he is a brilliant physicist. But when it comes to metaphysics he has said some silly things. Consider his famous universe-from-nothing quote: “Because there is a law such as gravity, the universe can and will create itself from nothing.” Read […]

Rob Sheldon tries to help Darwin follower get over ENCODE findings

PZ Myers whiffles here re little junk DNA. (The world yawns and marches on.) Rob Sheldon responds, Thomas Kuhn gave a name to this phenomenon, he called it a “paradigm shift”. And it is essentially unresolvable for reasons that haven’t changed in 100 years, which is why I’m partial to Max Planck’s version: “Science progresses […]

Free speech shouldn’t need defending

Spread the news. From News’ compatriot Mark Steyn: Free speech shouldn’t need “defending”. It’s the shut-uppers who should be on the defensive, who should be made to explain why only their side of the argument can be heard. Before Mann launched his suit, I was broadly familiar with the corruption of the scientific process that […]

Okay, we promise to get back to serious science coverage soon, but

… can’t resist this first – evolution of metabolizing booze: From The Scientist: How we are able to metabolize booze: A mutation in an ethanol-metabolizing enzyme arose around the time that arboreal primates shifted to a more terrestrial lifestyle, perhaps as an adaptation to eating fermented fruit. Why are humans so attracted to alcohol, and […]

Darwin’s defender PZ Myers remains unhappy with the ENCODE findings

Not much “junk DNA.” From him: Dan Graur has snarled at the authors of a paper defending ENCODE. How could I then resist? I read the offending paper, and I have to say something that will weaken my own reputation as a snarling attack dog myself: it does make a few good points. But it’s […]

Cornell University now happy to front terror?

Well, that’s way better than fronting design in nature, right? Remember the conference on the source of biological information at Cornell? Where the papers couldn’t be published at first , due to a publisher’s disgraceful retreat in the face of a campaign by Darwin’s rags and tatters? The Cornell conference was most enlightening. And so is […]

Human evolution: Well, this IS a new take on “genetically modified organisms” (GMOs)

From the Economist: Alastair Crisp and Chiara Boschetti of Cambridge University, and their colleagues, have been investigating the matter. Their results, just published in Genome Biology, suggest human beings have at least 145 genes picked up from other species by their forebears. Admittedly, that is less than 1% of the 20,000 or so humans have […]

Cosmologists engage in natural philosophy without admitting it?

 Except in this case?: Philosopher of science Massimo Pigliucci (defender of falsifiability*) offers a thoughtful review of The Singular Universe and the Reality of Time by by Roberto Mangabeira Unger and Lee Smolin: Before we get to what the authors set out to accomplish, it is worth discussing a more basic premise of the book: […]

Physicist Rob Sheldon’s somewhat different take on New York Times’ science writing

Yesterday, we asked, “Should the dying Gray Lady stop writing about science?” That got started because the Real Clear Science founding editor wondered about it, based on recent coverage he deems faulty. (It would be no surprise to us.*) Anyway, Sheldon here: Fascinating blog on NYT! It is exactly what Paul Johnson said would happen […]

AS vs eyewitness experience, “non-testimonial” evidence and the reasonableness of Ethical Theism

In a recent UD thread on evidence vs selectively hyperskeptical dismissal, AS has been challenging that “religious” belief [= theism as worldview, worked into way of life]  is ill founded, lacks evidence beyond testimonials, and the like. (Such is not new, already at UD I have had occasion to rebut his blanket dismissals of religious […]

Rupert Sheldrake talks about herd mentality in science

Sheldrake, author of Science Set Free, is a Cambridge-trained biochemist and plant physiologist, is a prominent public intellectual critical of the authoritarianism and closed-mindedness that he finds increasingly typical of mainstream science. But we will let him tell it to philosopher James Barham here: The Best Schools: On p. 93 of your new book, Science […]

Finally, retiring the term “living fossil” is hot?

How does a life form that is still around get to be called a fossil at all? On what terms exactly? We human beings aren’t “living fossils” just because someone can dig up the bones of our ancestors and find out that they looked and lived a lot like us! So what is the term […]

Should the dying Gray Lady stop writing about science?

From Alex Berezow, founding editor at Real Clear Science: What has gone so wrong for the NYT? Many things are to blame. The paper’s leftish editorial page is out of step with a large portion of the American public. A high-profile scandal, in which journalist Jayson Blair was caught fabricating articles, damaged its credibility. The […]

Bateson on common descent: No evidence but no alternative

A friend writes to offer this excerpt from British biologist William Bateson (1861–1926): In what follows it will be assumed that the Doctrine of Descent is true. It should be admitted from the first that the truth of the doctrine has never been proved. There is nevertheless a great balance of evidence in his favor, […]

John West at Heritage Foundation on science used to curtail freedoms

In his first inaugural address, President Obama pledged to “restore science to its rightful place.” But has the Obama Administration restored science or abused it? In this talk based on the expanded paperback edition of his book Darwin Day in America (ISI Books, 2015), political scientist John G. West will examine how the Obama Administration […]

New at MercatorNet: Smartphone? Should we call it the dumbphone instead?

(O’Leary for News’ other desk) Smartphone? Should we call it the dumbphone instead? Maybe, if we go by some recent studies. Is there still religious freedom at universities? Not if you go by this story. Should we or someone we love go into debt for university? Let’s look at some decision factors. Who is Edward Snowden and why […]

Origin of life researcher on why evolution theory needs revision

Readers will recall that I (O’Leary for News) have been recommending Suzan Mazur’s recent book, The Origin of Life Circus, an indepth look at what is and isn’t working in origin of life research. Much recommended is her interview with Paul Davies’ collaborator at Arizona State University, physicist Sara Walker, who emphasizes the need to […]

Existential Comics breaks a fundamental rule of jokes

And remains fun! If you “didn’t get” a given sendup of a famous philosopher, produced by software guy Corey Mohler of Portland, Oregon (here too), you  get a brief explanation of the joke – but it works. See, for example, Turing Test Peter Singer investigates a basement flood Philosophy zombie The funniest one must be the […]

The human brain doesn’t make sense?

That is a classic cultural argument for Darwinism, as here : In trying to make sense of the world around us, our brains have evolved to do some very odd things. The more we learn about our cognitive processes, the more it seems we have inherited a very weird wetware set, filled with bizarre and […]

Brit mid-market tabloid says Large Hadron Collider within days of discovering parallel universe

Daily Express: The staggeringly complex LHC ‘atom smasher’ at the CERN centre in Geneva, Switzerland, will be fired up to its highest energy levels ever in a bid to detect – or even create – miniature black holes. If successful a completely new universe will be revealed – rewriting not only the physics books but […]

« Previous PageNext Page »