Templeton funds evolution rethink (more links)

Were we talking nearly $9 million? From beneficiary Evolution Institute: My interest in the EES arose in the aftermath of the Altenberg meeting. It was clear that the notion of an extended synthesis divided the evolutionary biology community, generating both enormous excitement and strong negative responses. However, I held the view that the negativity arose […]

Templeton funding evolution rethink

From Elizabeth Pennisi at Science: For many evolutionary biologists, nothing gets their dander up faster than suggesting evolution is anything other than the process of natural selection, acting on random mutations. So some are uneasy that the John Templeton Foundation has awarded $8.7 million to U.K., Swedish, and U.S. researchers for experimental and theoretical work […]

What next? Buying peer reviews?

From Adam Marcus at Stat News: What do Henry Kissinger and Martin Scorsese have in common? Fun fact: Both evidently review scientific manuscripts for money. … The EditPub site (which seemed on Thursday to be no longer up and running), is almost entirely in Chinese, but its homepage bills it as a “service center for […]

Pop science TV: “Exists” = “evolved”

Note to self: Toss out dictionary Recently, we looked at the way Richard Dawkins made Darwinian evolution sound so easy that people who don’t want to do much thinking—but do want to feel up-to-date—embraced it. And it has been easy for them to persecute dissenters with a good conscience because, in fairness, most of them […]

Why Einstein didn’t get a Nobel for relativity?

It was Henri Bergson’s fault, and the issue was time, says Jimena Canales at Nautilus: According to Einstein, philosophy had been used to explain the relation between psychology and physics. “The time of the philosopher, I believe, is a psychological and physical time at the same time,” he explained in Paris. But relativity, by focusing […]

Legal workplace accommodation of pastafarianism as a religion?

Start your day with pasta: Further to Pastafarians not giving up their claim to be a religion, we hear lawyers seeking clients are asking: Do You Have To Accommodate An Employee Who Worships The Flying Spaghetti Monster? JD Supra: Employers are generally aware of their duty to accommodate an employee’s religious beliefs. Whether that means rearranging […]

First Things has noticed science is broken

Yes, even First Things. From software engineer William A. Wilson at First Things: If science was unprepared for the influx of careerists, it was even less prepared for the blossoming of the Cult of Science. The Cult is related to the phenomenon described as “scientism”; both have a tendency to treat the body of scientific […]

PLOS: Tree of life “problematic”

Open access paper, too, from PLOS: A universal Tree of Life (TOL) has long been a goal of molecular phylogeneticists, but reticulation at the level of genes and possibly at the levels of cells and species renders any simple interpretation of such a TOL, especially as applied to prokaryotes, problematic. … So, even a tree […]

Something else everyone should know about climate alarmism

A thought re Barry Arrington’s thread, MIT Atmospheric Physicist Explains What Everyone Should Know about Climate Alarmism: Maybe we are missing the real problem: In itself, global warming is just the latest a-crock-alypse by which green daycare moms compete in the middle class virtue stakes. And swindlers get rich. But what’s new there? We can […]

Dino diminuendo

The dinosaurs, we are now told, were dying out before the asteroid hit. From Ed Yong at the Atlantic: Manabu Sakamoto from the University of Reading has shown that dinosaur species were going extinct faster than new ones were appearing, for at least 40 million years before the end of the Cretaceous. The dinosaur opera […]

Do zoologists own evolution? Should they?

Physicist Geoffrey West in an Suzan Mazur at Huffington Post: Suzan Mazur: Do zoologists own the evolution discussion? Geoffrey West: To a large extent the answer is yes they do own it, and they have to some extent cornered the market. They believe, perhaps rightly so, that they have all of the expertise. But clearly, […]

Venter: Missing a third of essential biology

Word is, in the “mystery function” fraction of the minimal cell Syn 3.0 genome—149 genes of the 473 essential set do not have any known associated functions, but they are demonstrably needed for Syn 3.0’s viability. That’s nearly a third of the essential hardware. From Geekwire: Because the functions of the genes are unknown, the […]

MIT Atmospheric Physicist Explains What Everyone Should Know about Climate Alarmism

Richard Lindzen, an MIT atmospheric physicist and one of the world’s leading climatologists, summarizes the science behind climate change. Here.  

Name It / Claim It: Epigenetics Now Just Another Evolutionary Mechanism

It is often said that all truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. And so it is with epigenetics which evolutionists opposed and blackballed for a century before finally appropriating it as just another mode of evolutionary change. (see here, here, […]

Theoretical Physicist On the Implausibility of the Multiverse

Barbara Drossell is a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Darmstadt in Germany.  In this article she talks about the origin of the universe, the fine tuning argument and the implausibility of the multiverse theory. The fine-tuning argument is not proof. It is not science to conclude that God exists because the Universe […]

CLAVDIVS: “Design as a cause is compatible with materialism” — is that so?

While I am busy locally, I think it is important to discuss the issue as just headlined here at UD. Let me clip from the “Materialism makes you stupid” thread: >>27 CLAVDIVSApril 18, 2016 at 7:52 pm Design as a cause is compatible with materialism. Where’s the beef?>> and >>28 kairosfocusApril 19, 2016 at 5:14 […]

Neuroscience and psychology can’t be integrated

But thrive better separately, says philosopher of science Eric Hochstein. From Stud Hist Philos Sci: Abstract There is a long-standing debate in the philosophy of mind and philosophy of science regarding how best to interpret the relationship between neuroscience and psychology. It has traditionally been argued that either the two domains will evolve and change over […]

Dawkins made it all sound so easy

For example, the emergence of segmentation in body plans in his 1988 article “The evolution of Evolvability”: I suspect that the first segmented animal was not a dramatically successful individual. It was a freak, with a double (or multiple) body where its parents had a single body. Its parentś single body plan was at least […]

Why is the space alien science?

Riffing off Barry Arrington’s comment in Funny Shaped Rocks and the Design Inference, “It is amusing to watch some scientists insist on design inferences with respect to a relatively simple specification, while others refuse to countenance even the bare possibility of the same inference for a far more complex and intricate specification”: One thing that […]

Pastafarians not giving up their claim to be a religion

The claim was recently dismissed by a judge. From Atlas Obscura: Since its introduction in 2005, the mythology of Pastafarianism has grown to encompass pirates, an afterlife with a beer volcano, and more. There is, of course, a snazzy orientation video to welcome you into the Flying Spaghetti Monster’s noodly arms: Spaghetti, Wenches & Metaphysics: […]

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