A cognitive scientist’s “evolutionary argument against reality”

From Douglas Hoffman, interviewed at Quanta: Quanta Magazine: People often use Darwinian evolution as an argument that our perceptions accurately reflect reality. They say, “Obviously we must be latching onto reality in some way because otherwise we would have been wiped out a long time ago. If I think I’m seeing a palm tree but […]

Study: Neanderthals made jewelry

From Lizzie Wade at Science: The “necklaces” are tiny: beads of animal teeth, shells, and ivory no more than a centimeter long. But they provoked an outsized debate that has raged for decades. Found in the Grotte du Renne cave at Arcy-sur-Cure in central France, they accompanied delicate bone tools and were found in the […]

Can the future shape the past?

From Huw Price and Ken Wharton at Aeon: Over the past forty years, a lot of ingenuity has gone into designing experiments to test the quantum predictions on which Bell’s result depends. Quantum mechanics has passed them all with flying colours. Just last year, three new experiments claimed to close almost all the remaining loopholes. […]

What is the Point of Even Trying? 

I know a young man.  Let’s call him John.  John’s father was a criminal and raised him to be one too.  John has five brothers, and every one of them is either currently in prison or on parole.  John dropped out of school and joined a gang where he began his criminal career in earnest, […]

Researchers: No, dolphins do not really have conversations

From Jason Bittel at National Geographic: This week, headlines have been swirling about a paper published in the St. Petersburg Polytechnical University Journal: Physics and Mathematics that seemed to offer tantalizing signs of dolphinese. Two Black Sea bottlenose dolphins were recorded exchanging a series of sounds that resembled “a conversation between two people.” The dolphins […]

Misunderstanding the scientific method, climate change special

From Peter Ellerton at RealClearScience: Claims that the “the science isn’t settled” with regard to climate change are symptomatic of a large body of ignorance about how science works. So what is the scientific method, and why do so many people, sometimes including those trained in science, get it so wrong? The first thing to […]

Trees, we are told, express emotions and make friends

From forester Peter Wohlleben at Daily Mail: There’s increasing evidence to show that trees are able to communicate with each other. More than that, trees can learn. If that’s true — and my experience as a forester convinces me it is — then they must be able to store and transmit information. And scientists are […]

Excerpts from new ID thriller: The Soul of the Matter

  Offered by author Bruce Buff via Evolution News & Views: For months, he and Alex Robertson had spent a nearly continuous stream of long nights toiling in secret, trying to crack what had to be the most extraordinary encryption ever devised. What they had encountered should have been unbreakable. It was remarkable that, through […]

Nature shows make people believe in God more?

We usually save these treats for Sunday but, oh well: From Daily Mail: TV shows designed to inspire awe at the natural world could make viewers less inclined to believe scientific theories about existence, a study suggests. It found religious people who watch programmes such as BBC’s Planet Earth, presented by Sir David Attenborough, are […]

We know the world isn’t right when Larry Krauss is unhappy

Apparently, the US House is on an anti-science rampage. From himself at New Yorker: From climate change and evolution to sex education and vaccination, there has always been tension between scientists and Congress. But Smith, who has been in Congress since 1987 and assumed the chairmanship of the Science Committee in 2013, has escalated that tension […]

Astrophysicist: What’s to choose between dark matter/energy and ghosts?

Adam Frank confronts the question at NPR: One difference, he says, is data: There are literally thousands of studies now of those rotating-too-fast galaxies out there — and they all get the same, quite noticeable result. In other words, data for the existence of dark matter is prevalent. It’s not like you see the effect […]

Ioannidis again, on misleading meta-analyses

Readers will surely remember Stanford’s John Ioannidis, scourge of bad data. Now, at Milbank Quarterly: The Mass Production of Redundant, Misleading, and Conflicted Systematic Reviews and Meta-analyses Currently, there is massive production of unnecessary, misleading, and conflicted systematic reviews and meta-analyses. Instead of promoting evidence-based medicine and health care, these instruments often serve mostly as […]

Study: Color vision works like colorizing a black-and white movie

From Tina Hesman Saey at ScienceNews: Color vision may actually work like a colorized version of a black-and-white movie, a new study suggests. Cone cells, which sense red, green or blue light, detect white more often than colors, researchers report September 14 in Science Advances. The textbook-rewriting discovery could change scientists’ thinking about how color […]

Paignton Zoo monkeys produce Notes to Shakespeare ‘s works

Fulfilling Thomas Huxley’s famous assertion, sort of. Hat tip Oliver Moody, for this item: Notes Towards the Complete Works of Shakespeare were produced in response to the familiar idea that if an infinite number of monkeys are given typewriters for an infinite amount of time, they will eventually produce the complete works of Shakespeare. It was […]

Dawkins: DNA is Encoded Digital Information in the “Strong Sense”

From time to time materialists come into these pages and argue that DNA is not a true “code.”  This proves nothing other than that materialists are often quite shameless in the arguments they make to prop up their religious views.  We would do well to remind that that arch-materialist Richard Dawkins did not get the […]

Protein-like structures found in the primordial soup?

From ScienceDaily: Experiments have shown that it is remarkably easy for protein-like, two-dimensional structures — amyloids — to form from basic building blocks. This discovery supports the researchers’ hypothesis that primal life could have evolved from amyloids such as these. But then we learn: The ETH scientists stress, however, that there is still an important […]

New species (genus?) of crab found at Chinese pet market?

From ScienceDaily: Shimmering carapaces and rattling claws make colourful freshwater crabs attractive to pet keepers. To answer the demand, fishermen are busy collecting and trading with the crustaceans, often not knowing what exactly they have handed over to their client. Luckily for science and nature alike, however, such ‘stock’ sometimes ends up in the hands […]

Formerly thought “junk DNA,” lncRNA guides development of heart muscle cells

From ScienceDaily: Several years ago, biologists discovered a new type of genetic material known as long noncoding RNA. This RNA does not code for proteins and is copied from sections of the genome once believed to be “junk DNA.” Since then, scientists have found evidence that long noncoding RNA, or lncRNA, plays roles in many […]

What? Robots can’t dance?

From Uri Bram at Nautilus: Human learning is always social, embodied, and occurs in specific practical situations. Mostly, you don’t learn to dance by reading a book or by doing experiments in a laboratory. You learn it by dancing with people who are more skilled than you. … Yes. In its first few decades, artificial […]

Attenborough attacked for opposing apes, monkeys used as lab rats – updated

Re nature broadcaster David Attenborough: From Adam Lusher at Independent: Researchers hit back after Sir David signed open letter to The Independent raising concern at the level of suffering involved in many neuroscience experiments on primates Sir David Attenborough has been accused of being seduced by “pseudoscience”, as researchers hit back at his demand for an […]

« Previous PageNext Page »