Peer review: Troubled from the start

From Nature: Today, with the debate about the future of peer review more fraught than ever, it is crucial to understand the youth of this institution. What’s more, its workings and its imagined goals have evolved continually, and its current tensions bear the marks of this. The referee system has become a mishmash of practices, […]

“Here we report a new cell”

. Cells are the fundamental units of life. The genome sequence of a cell may be thought of as its operating system. It carries the code that specifies all of the genetic functions of the cell, which in turn determine the cellular chemistry, structure, replication, and other characteristics. Each genome contains instructions for universal functions […]

If math is not real, BS stats are okay. Right?

Why do people who think math is just something humans evolved to relate to our world (and ha only an accidental relationship with correctness) think it is important if statistics are just made up? Clearly they do care (language warning), as is evident from an interview with stats critic Tim Harford More or Less at […]

Breaking: Carnivores ate humans 500k ago

From ScienceDaily: Early humans may have been food for carnivores 500,000 years ago Tooth-marks on a 500,000-year-old hominin femur bone found in a Moroccan cave indicate that it was consumed by large carnivores, likely hyenas, according to a study published April 27, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Camille Daujeard from the Muséum […]

Climate Hustle: Armageddon-free look at climate change

From Paul Driessen at Townhall: I saw Climate Hustle April 14, at its U.S. premiere on Capitol Hill in Washington. The film is informative and entertaining, pointed and humorous. As meteorologist Anthony Watts says, it is wickedly effective in its using slapstick humor and the words and deeds of climate alarmists to make you laugh […]

New Scientist tells us what human gene traits conquered world

Here: Dozens of genes found in humans today have been traced to Neanderthals and Denisovans. They made their way into the human species when some of our direct ancestors mated with ancient lineages that are now extinct. Interbreeding like this happened in Africa and in Eurasia, producing many human hybrids – you can read more […]

Denton: Vast majority of taxa defined without ancestral forms

From Michael Denton, in Evolution: Still a Theory in Crisis (2016): Incongruous thought it might seem (in the context of the evolutionary propaganda machine and especially to a reader outside of academia), it remains true, as I point out in Evolution: A Theory in Crisis (1985), that the vast majority of all taxa are indeed […]

Science: The Victim of Ideology ‘Uber Alles’

Here’s a link to an article from American Thinker that details how, in Ohio, the Univ. of Cincinnati did a three year study on the effects of oil-well “fracking,” the results of which demonstrate no contamination of ground water had occurred because of “fracking.” And then the study was quashed.

Poached Egg’s common sense cosmology

Take two of these: 4) We cannot appeal to the singularity as the cause of the universe. If the big bang singularity is precisely nothing, we are left with the question of how the universe then came into existence out of nothing. Others have argued that a big bang singularity would be a real physical […]

Horizontal gene transfer: Mapping antibiotic resistance

From ScienceDaily: Bacteria possess the ability to take up DNA from their environment, a skill that enables them to acquire new genes for antibiotic resistance or to escape the immune response. Scientists have now mapped the core set of genes that are consistently controlled during DNA uptake in strep bacteria, and they hope the finding […]

Why AI won’t wipe out humanity?

  Possibly because naturalists will be there ahead of it: At CNBC, futurist Michio Kaku explains that we are still the cavemen of 100,000 years ago (his “caveman principle”), so we just aren’t comfortable with brain implants and machines as persons. He goes on to say, “I think the ‘Terminator’ idea is a reasonable one […]

Insects have minds?

From UK Independent: Insects have a form of consciousness, according to a new paper that might show us how our own began. Brain scans of insects appear to indicate that they have the capacity to be conscious and show egocentric behaviour, apparently indicating that they have such a thing as subjective experience. … Clearly, the […]

Parallel development in crocodile eyes

From ScienceDaily: Long-snouted crocodylians in South America, India evolved separately to adopt river-dwelling lifestyle, protruding eyes The 13-million-year-old fossils of an extinct crocodylian, named ‘the storyteller,’ suggest that South American and Indian species evolved separately to acquire protruding, ‘telescoped’ eyes for river-dwelling, according to a study published April 20, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS […]

Whence Intelligence?

Scientists have discovered that the tiny, single cells show the hallmarks of intelligence. At Phys.Org they report on a study conducted by a Belgian and French team. Here’s a snippet from Phys.Org: A slime made up of independent, single cells, they found, can “learn” to avoid irritants despite having no central nervous system. “Tantalizing results […]

Michael Behe online webinar May 7

Via Jonathan McLatchie, ID theorist Michael Behe, author of Darwin’s Black Box and Edge of Evolution is going to be presenting an interactive online webinar on May 7th (8pm GMT / 3pm Eastern / 2pm Central / 12noon Pacific) to my group, the Apologetics Academy ( Behe will present on the biochemical evidence for design […]

Study: Ravens, crows as smart as chimps

From ScienceDaily: A new study suggests that ravens can be as clever as chimpanzees, despite having much smaller brains, indicating that rather than the size of the brain, the neuronal density and the structure of the birds’ brains play an important role in terms of their intelligence. … The large-scale study concluded that great apes […]

Either science or naturalism will win

The response to Barry’s recent post, How Did Mathematics Come to be Woven Into the Fabric of Reality? pretty much lays bare the issues: “Why is the universe we live in connected by an unreasonably beautiful, elegant and effective mathematical structure?” The naturalist says we just evolved to see the world as making sense, but […]

Saving science from its fanboys

From Joseph Bottum, a review of David Wootton’s The Invention of Science at Weekly Standard, David Wootton has written a long book to save science from something, even if he’s not quite sure what that something is. The demystification, deconstruction, and doubt of post-modernity, maybe. Or revitalized religious faith, from Radical Islam to Protestant Fundamentalism. […]

Reproducibility problem making science extinct?

From Deborah Berry at The Conversation: In 2012, the biopharmaceutical company Amgen reported that it had been unable to reproduce 47 of 53 “landmark” cancer papers. For confidentiality reasons, however, the company did not release which papers it could not replicate and thus did not provide details about how it repeated the experiments. As with the […]

How men evolved to wear cufflinks

Further to “Men probably evolved beards for intimidation … ”* at Real Clear Science philosopher and photographer Laszlo Bencze fills us in on the breakiest story in evo psych: The Cornull University “Evolution in Action” study group headed by Dr. Davidson Petney has just released an abstract of their latest results. They have discovered a gene-linked trait […]

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