Philosopher: We cannot ignore the fact that science is not value-free

From Daniel J. McKaughan at Big Questions Online: The idea that science is a “value-free” enterprise is deeply entrenched. “Under standard conditions, water boils at 100°C.” This and countless other facts about nature are mind-independent; that is, they do not depend on what you or I think or feel. And the procedures by which we […]

Cannibalism love: We do get some odd-seeming messages from science these days…

Could just be the air we breathe. From Rachel Newer, a Valentine’s Day riff, at Smithsonian: Fall in Love With Cannibalism This Valentine’s Day We “civilized” folk tend to write off cannibalism as a freak phenomenon reserved for psychopaths, starvation and weird animals (I’m looking at you, praying mantis). In fact, eating others of your […]

Geneticists track the evolution of parenting

In a beetle species. From ScienceDaily: The burying beetle is intimately involved in raising its children, including regurgitating food to its begging offspring. … Behavioral scientists predicted that genetic changes occur over time to develop parenting in a species. Based on this hypothesis, Moore’s team sequenced and assembled the genome of the burying beetle and […]

New book on sloppy science highlights false hopes

Our johnnyb writes to note a new book, Rigor Mortis: How Sloppy Science Creates Worthless Cures, Crushes Hope, and Wastes Billions, by science journalist Richard Harris: American taxpayers spend $30 billion annually funding biomedical research. By some estimates, half of the results from these studies can’t be replicated elsewhere—the science is simply wrong. Often, research institutes […]

Slower-spinning galaxy bars new evidence for dark matter?

From ScienceDaily: Why do the majority of astronomers believe in dark matter: matter whose composition is unknown but which seems to make up 80% of the mass of the galaxies? The concept was invented in the 1930’s by Fritz Zwicky who used it to explain why the galaxies in the Coma cluster are moving much […]

Transparency in science? Getting rid of the “closely held embargo” was a good start

From Heather Zeiger at MercatorNet: Politics is not the only place to look for ‘fake news” Jason Young, the US Food and Drug Administration’s acting assistant commissioner for media affairs, made sure before leaving that the agency will no longer use “close-hold embargoes.” This is a practice under which reporters are given advance access to […]

Sign Up for the AM-Nat Biology Online Conference

The second Alternatives to Methodological Naturalism online conference is right around the corner! On February 25th, we will convene AM-Nat Biology, focusing on biological applications for alternatives to methodological naturalism.

When genome mapper Craig Venter made clear he doubted universal common descent…

We’d heard about Craig Venter’s dissent before but you should read the whole story: From Tom Bethell in Darwin’s House of Cards: A Journalist’s Odyssey Through the Darwin Debates, This was publicized in a science forum held at Arizona State University in February 2011, a little over a year after Dawkins’s Greatest Show was published. […]

The Big Bang as a theory no one really wanted. Except nature maybe?

From John Farrell, author of The Day Without Yesterday: Lemaiître, Einstein and the Birth of Modern Cosmology, at Nautilus: But Lemaître wasn’t satisfied. By 1931, he had come to believe that Einstein’s “initial condition” state could not be stable. Reaching back to Friedmann, he proposed his Primeval Atom hypothesis, essentially the Big Bang 1.0, that […]

Search for dark matter “reaching the end of its tether”?

From Joseph Silk at Nautilus: Dark matter is as tangible as stars and planets to most astronomers. We routinely map it out. We conceive of galaxies as lumps of dark matter with dabs of luminous material. We understand the formation of cosmic structure, as well as the evolution of the universe as a whole, in […]

UB Hammers a Darwinbot

In a comment to another post that deserves its own post, the venerable Upright Biped hammers rvb8 and in the process gives us one of the most succinct and pithy summaries of the information issue I have seen: Pierce’s 1860’s model of signification (i.e. the ability to specify something among alternatives) suggested that all representation […]

Can horses help solve a big evolution mystery?

From Luke Dunning at Conversation: Now a new study published in Science has looked at the last 18m years of horse evolution to ask whether the origin of new horse species was linked with rapid physical changes. As you would expect, horse evolution has seen bursts of diversification when there have been new ecological opportunities. […]

Larry Krauss on why it is silly to teach both sides of evolution

From Jerry Coyne at Why Evolution Is True: From Big Think we have physicist Lawrence Krauss showing why the “teach both sides” argument for evolution—and science in general—is fallacious. This argument is now being inserted into school standards by religionists who have lost repeated court battles trying to get creationism and intelligent design taught explicitly […]

Retraction Watch: Scientists fear speaking out due to loss of funding

From Adam Marcus and Ivan Oransky (of Retraction Watch fame) at the Scientist: “We have too often been reluctant to voice our protest, for fear of incurring the [National Institute of Mental Health’s] displeasure (and losing whatever opportunities we still have for funding),” wrote neuroscientist John Markowitz in The New York Times last fall. In […]

You “Fascist”! (Really? What is a true “fascist”?)

One of the ugliest agit prop, street theatre tactics now being commonly used is the accusation: fascist, in effect, outlaw beyond the pale of civil protection. It is therefore appropriate to pause and seek clarification on what fascism really is about. But first, let us draw attention to a disturbing historical parallel to what we […]

Michael Keas: Stephen Hawking among worst offenders for science vs. religion myths

 From Michael Keas at Salvo: The truth is that science and biblical religion have been friends for a long time. Judeo-Christian theology has contributed in a friendly manner to such science-promoting ideas as discoverable natural history, experimental inquiry, universal natural laws, mathematical physics, and investigative confidence that is balanced with humility. Christian institutions, especially since […]

Design Disquisitions: Critic’s Corner-Kenneth Miller

This week’s post at Design Disquisitions is the first in a series of articles entitled ‘Critic’s Corner’ where I focus on a critic of ID. The main purpose of these posts is to document their work relevant to ID and also to document the direct responses to the particular critic in question, by those sympathetic to […]

Thinkers quarrel over Christopher Hitchens’ legacy

Hitchens (1949–2011) was one of the four New Atheist horsemen.  From Larry Alex Taunton at First Things: In December 15, 2011, Christopher Hitchens died of esophageal cancer. Some remember him as a man of the left who, after 9/11, converted to a kind of neoconservatism; others remember him as an atheist provocateur and serial blasphemer. […]

Memo to Nature’s editors: Scientists should march carefully, and not in lock step

From the editors of Nature, on science and the new US admin: Scientists must fight for the facts Trump threw a bone to scientists with a pledge to explore space and to battle disease, but one of the first documents posted on the White House website was a bare-bones energy plan that emphasizes fossil-fuel development […]

Hey, it’s Darwin Day again…

By now, fulsome comparisons of Darwin to Lincoln as a “great liberator” should be tumbling down the byteway once again. The push for a national Darwin Day in the United States may have lost a little of its oomph! recently, due to changes in personnel in elected office. At the same time, there is a new […]

« Previous PageNext Page »