Jerry Coyne, Darwin’s man, tries to think hard about free will

Yeah. Here. You wouldn’t even think the concept still existed, if Darwin were right: The fact is that we don’t “make” anything of our compulsions, or use them to “realize the self”. We have no ability to “realize” our self; all we can do is rationalize what we do and re-brand it as “freedom” so […]

In case anyone cares what Wired thinks about brontosaurus

Here. REMEMBER PLUTO? TINY lonely rock orbiting the sun at the edge of the solar system? And then, in 2006, researchers summarily defrocked the little world of its status as a planet. Poof! Gone. This kind of thing has happened before. Many decades ago, paleontologists similarly decided that there wasn’t enough evidence to support the […]

Design in nature winning?

Otherwise, what does this ngram mean?

Still time to register for Christian Scientific Society conference

The Christian Scientific Society: The Truth, Wherever It Leads Details for the Annual Meeting, April 17-18 in Pittsburgh here: J.P. Moreland, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Philosophy, Talbot School of Theology, Biola University “The irrelevance of neuroscience for formulating and addressing the fundamental problems in philosophy/theology of mind.” In the first part of my talk, I […]

What is Intelligent Design?

It is always good to go back to basics every once in a while. This piece is a short introduction to Intelligent Design for those reading about it or studying it.

Newsweek tells us, “aliens are enormous, science suggests,”

Newsweek tells us, “aliens are enormous, science suggests,” here: Aliens, if they exist, are likely huge. At least that’s the conclusion of a new paper by cosmologist Fergus Simpson, who has estimated that the average weight of intelligent extraterrestrials would be 650 pounds (300 kilograms) or more. ET would have paled in comparison to these […]

Everything You Believe Is Based on Personal Experience and Testimony

In other threads, certain people have claimed that personal experience and testimony are not as valid as other forms of evidence. In fact, some would dismiss thousands of years and the accumulation of perhaps billions of witness/experiencer testimonies because, in their view, personal experience and testimony is not really even evidence at all. The problem […]

Another prof not to go into debt for

Here: I’m often asked what I do for a living. My answer, that I am a professor at the University of Kentucky, inevitably prompts a second question: “What do you teach?” Responding to such a question should be easy and invite polite conversation, but I usually brace for a negative reaction. At least half the […]

Journal publishes attack on another journal

We thought that kind of thing only happened to us ID folk. We’re used to it. Any mediocrity can make his name in Tax-Funded Science attacking us. You pay, you enjoy. Or not. You pay anyway. But now this from Discover: A psychiatry journal, the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease (JNMD), has just published […]

Why do we know this is bound to be crap?

First, it isn’t about Nick Lane or his new book. It is more about the pop science culture in which this stuff originates: The Vital Question: Why is life the way it is? is a new book by Nick Lane that is due out on April 23rd. His question is not one for a static […]

Big Sokal hoax at Physics arxiv?

Not Even Wrong wonders, and he’s generally credible: There are rumors going around tonight that there’s been a hoax perpetrated on the arXiv, something like the Sokal hoax. This has to do with an hep-th posting entitled Riding Gravity Away from Doomsday, which has appeared under the name of a very prominent string theorist, Ashoke […]

New book: Psychology gone wrong?

From a review of Psychology gone wrong They show how study results can get distorted and changed in re-telling. Remember the Little Albert experiment? An infant was conditioned to develop a fear of white rats by exposing him simultaneously to a white rat and a loud noise. This confirmed a popular theory, so it was […]

We’ve discussed the work of Roger Scruton before,

Here’s another item of note: Readers of his columns and works of philosophy may wonder why he chose to tackle this through the medium of the novel. ‘I’ve always taken the view that works of art are not just things that we enjoy. They can convey truths about the world more vividly and to greater […]

Yes, we Earthlings are unique

From Starts with a Bang: The simple division of our solar system into rocky and gassy worlds is the result of a complex planetary dance that in many ways defies the odds, and lies on the outskirts of what’s “normal” or, at least, average. But the galaxy is a very large place, with somewhere around […]

Lots of brain studies, no comprehension of the mind?

From UT San Diego News We’ve put men on the moon, sequenced the human genome and connected most people on Earth with cellphones. Techno wizards. That’s what we are — except when it comes to deciphering the workings of the brain, an organ that seems to defy comprehension. And that is a surprise, why? See […]

Diverse genomes in a single person?

The Scientist asks, Diverse mammals, including humans, have been found to carry distinct genomes in their cells. What does such genetic chimerism mean for health and disease? … One common cause of such microchimerism is maternal-fetal trafficking of cells during pregnancy. The placenta is not an unbreachable barrier. Evidence of two-way cell transport across the […]

Language of science: Does medical science matter ?

Someone at the Guardian asked: But who cares what language science is in, especially – you or I might ask – when it’s one we speak? In 2001, an editorial in the journal Nature Cell Biology argued (in English): “The use of a universal language for communication in science is unavoidable, and resisting this concept for […]

Creationism? But the term doesn’t make sense any more …

Is there a new term we could use that would make more sense? John Harnett writes Science has become the new religion. Those who dare challenge the dictates of ‘science’ are often declared crackpots, pseudo-scientists or just plain crazy. If you deny or doubt evolution, or anthropogenic global warming (AGW), now called ‘climate change’, or […]

Language originated all at once?

From ScienceDaily: At some point, probably 50,000 to 100,000 years ago, humans began talking to one another in a uniquely complex form. It is easy to imagine this epochal change as cavemen grunting, or hunter-gatherers mumbling and pointing. But in a new paper, an MIT linguist contends that human language likely developed quite rapidly into […]

Neanderthal flute just bone chewed by animal?

That’s reasonable because if you look carefully, there are only two holes, which would be consistent with an animal biting down. They need to find one with three equally spaced holes. Or a hyena with three equally spaced fangs. See also: Human evolution at your fingertips

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