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Can We Solve the Mystery of the Origin of Life by Creating Life in the Lab?

Origin-of-life projects continue to head off in dozens of directions to nowhere. Denyse O'Leary
Categories: Anti-Science News

Congratulations to Zack Kopplin

Zack Kopplin

NCSE is delighted to congratulate Zack Kopplin, recently named as the winner of the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology's 2014 Howard K. Schachman Public Service Award.

Categories: Pro-Science News

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 18:14
Post by Richardthughes
Quote (damitall @ Mar. 27 2014,11:20) Quote (Learned Hand @ Mar. 27 2014,17:06)Now you're just ducking the issue.
There's a joke in there somewhere about the bill, but I can't be bothered to think of it.
How do you make a duck into a great soul singer?



....



Put him in the microwave until his bill whithers.
Categories: AE Public BB

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 16:20
Post by damitall
Quote (Learned Hand @ Mar. 27 2014,17:06)Now you're just ducking the issue.
There's a joke in there somewhere about the bill, but I can't be bothered to think of it.
Categories: AE Public BB

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 16:06
Post by Learned Hand
Now you're just ducking the issue.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 15:51
Post by Jim_Wynne
The funny and/or frightening thing about all of this AI stuff is that GG, at some point way up the thread, claimed that his program is creating *actual* intelligence and not simulated or artificial intelligence.  

Paraphrasing Charles Babbage, I am not able rightly to apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke that sort of thinking.
Categories: AE Public BB

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:04
Post by k.e..
Quote (Learned Hand @ Mar. 27 2014,16:54)I think that's what they call a "typical turnabout accusation," with a side of straw man dipped in the oil of red herring and set alight with the flame of persecution.
If it walks like a canard and talks like a canard its a canard.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 14:02
Post by k.e..
N. Wells said Quote More importantly, you need to document the existence of molecular intelligence, to show that your bug has any relevance to real animals and the origins of intelligence, and so forth.

Gary has failed on all those counts AND KEEPS MOVING THE GOALPOSTS.

Gary's Goalpost moving Galloping Gibberish.
Categories: AE Public BB

Uncommonly Dense Thread 5

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:54
Post by Learned Hand
I think that's what they call a "typical turnabout accusation," with a side of straw man dipped in the oil of red herring and set alight with the flame of persecution.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:34
Post by k.e..
Quote (NoName @ Mar. 27 2014,16:26)Exactly like his 'theory' that fails to explain or even to address how theories are generated by acts of intelligence.

So the question of the day is "Is Gary too stupid to see this, or too blinded by his prejudices or simply performing 'sit down effluent comedy?"
He's performing Identity Politics à la Autism.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:31
Post by N.Wells
Quote (GaryGaulin @ Mar. 26 2014,21:55) Quote (N.Wells @ Mar. 26 2014,21:09)We aren't arguing over whether it works in your model, or whether Heiserman's definitions work for creating AI algorithms.
No we are not arguing that because David Heiserman's pertained to the underlying process that produces REAL intelligence, not ARTIFICIAL Intelligence.

Stop moving the goalposts, please.
Non-responsive, again.

You said, "In either case though, an unintelligent grid network still adds a remarkable ability to the IDLab critter, that can use either to add to its intelligent behavior. My David Heiserman based operational definitions for intelligence are now a Robotics101 sort of thing, not a controversial concept ......."

I agreed, saying "we aren't arguing over whether it works in your model, or whether Heiserman's definitions work for creating AI algorithms."  

You responded, "No we are not arguing that because David Heiserman's pertained to the underlying process that produces REAL intelligence, not ARTIFICIAL Intelligence.  Stop moving the goalposts, please."

I'm not shifting goalposts there: I'm agreeing with you.  We aren't arguing those matters, so your harping on my agreeing with you constitutes a rather looney shifting of goalposts on your part relative to our principal issues over your larger claims about the origin of intelligence, supposed "molecular intelligence", and so on

Heiserman viewed his robot AI solely as artificial intelligence.  He referred to it as evolutionary because it was a bottom-up style of learning about the environment by exploring it, and starting with simple behaviors that become more complex, rather than a top-down approach to AI.  As far as I know, he didn't claim to have shown how animal evolution worked or evolved (although it is reasonable to assume that it developed from simple to complex).   You are once again asserting without demonstration that his type of AI is exactly the same as all real biological intelligence, but you need to demonstrate that organisms work the way you are claiming.  More importantly, you need to document the existence of molecular intelligence, to show that your bug has any relevance to real animals and the origins of intelligence, and so forth.
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:26
Post by NoName
Exactly like his 'theory' that fails to explain or even to address how theories are generated by acts of intelligence.

So the question of the day is "Is Gary too stupid to see this, or too blinded by his prejudices or simply performing 'sit down effluent comedy?"
Categories: AE Public BB

A Separate Thread for Gary Gaulin

AE Public Forum - Thu, 2014-03-27 13:05
Post by k.e..
Noname said Quote Arguably, your central error here, as in your "theory" is your refusal to deal with goals.  Without the concept of 'goal' in your "models", you cannot account for why things behave nor can you account for any aspect of how they behave.

Precisely.
Ironically Gary's claim is that goal posts have been moved.
Why? IDists can't tolerate a natural world without their Overlord in Heaven. If intelligence arose by Evolution which CAN be computer modeled by GAs (and Intelligence  itself by Neural Networks) where does that leave their Overlord in Heaven? Well it leaves Her back in church as a belief system not the cause of everything. In his own little mind his goals are the same old ID tropes. God in Heaven or the Intelligent Designer, take your pick, made the world and Evolution is wrong.
Categories: AE Public BB

Jay Richards take on Cosmos and Newton

ARN ID Update - Thu, 2014-03-27 02:20

In ENV, Jay Richards opines that "host Neil deGrasse Tyson and the Cosmos producers have enshrouded this basic science with the same materialist narrative we've come to expect. Pre-modern peoples universally see false patterns and portents in the heavens, and invariably see the irregular specter of comets as portents of doom. We get the stereotypical contrast between a "prescientific world ruled by fear" - signaled by a cartoon drawing of a malevolent figure wearing a bishop's miter - and the emergence of modern science, which finally delivered us from such obscurantism."

"This way of framing the history of science, however, requires a great deal of distortion and misrepresentation, especially when it comes to the figure of Isaac Newton. With Newton, the Cosmos writers encountered a dilemma: Either ignore his frankly religious and theistic view of reality, or misrepresent and compartmentalize it. They chose the latter course.

More...

Categories: Anti-Science News

Shock-absorbing 'goo' discovered in bone

ARN ID Update - Thu, 2014-03-27 02:13

ScienceDaily reports "New findings show that much of the mineral from which bone is made consists of 'goo' trapped between tiny crystals, allowing movement between them. It is this flexibility that stops bones from shattering."

"Latest research shows that the chemical citrate - a by-product of natural cell metabolism - is mixed with water to create a viscous fluid that is trapped between the nano-scale crystals that form our bones. This fluid allows enough movement, or 'slip', between these crystals so that bones are flexible, and don't shatter under pressure. It is the inbuilt shock absorber in bone that, until now, was unknown."

More (hard to believe this wasn't designed)...

Categories: Anti-Science News

Cosmos with Neil deGrasse Tyson: Same Old Product, Bright New Packaging

ARN ID Update - Wed, 2014-03-26 03:25

Here is the review of the first episode of Cosmos by Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute. The next two episodes have not been much better.

"If there was any doubt that the rebooted Cosmos series...would be politically charged and have a materialistic ideological message, consider what viewers saw in its first 60 seconds. The initial opening featured President Obama, with the Presidential Seal in the background, giving a statement endorsing the new series praising "the spirit of discovery that Carl Sagan captured in the original Cosmos." That's not necessarily bad, except for what happened next. Immediately following President Obama's endorsement, the show replayed Carl Sagan's famous materialistic credo from the opening of the original Cosmos series, stating: "The cosmos is all that is, or ever was, or ever will be." Does it violate the separation of church and state for the President of the United States to be portrayed seemingly officially endorsing Sagan's materialistic philosophy? Is this what President Obama intended when he promised in his first inaugural address to "restore science to its rightful place..."

More...

Categories: Anti-Science News

All Is Fair in Novels About Evolution and Intelligent Design?

ARN ID Update - Wed, 2014-03-26 03:09

I bought and read "The Explanation for Everything" by Lauren Grodstein a few months ago. I hoped it would be a balanced approach to the debate. I was sorely disappointed.

Now, Kelley J. Unger of Discovery Institute has read the book, and provides a great review: "I've just read a new fiction book that has won praise from critics, Lauren Grodstein's The Explanation for Everything. In the marketing materials provided by Algonquin Books, the author is lauded for not taking sides in the evolution debate. She says herself that she wants to "figure out why people believe what they believe." But as one reads the book it's evident that she is indeed taking sides, doesn't fully develop why her characters believe what they believe, and certainly hasn't fully investigated the theory of intelligent design."

More...

Categories: Anti-Science News

NCSE's next webinar for activists

NCSE is pleased to announce the next of a new series of on-line workshops aimed at broadening and deepening the networks that make our work possible. The next workshop focuses on building coalitions to support science education, especially evolution and climate education, which include religious leaders and members of religious communities.

 

 

Categories: Pro-Science News

Back to 1981 in Louisiana again?

Louisiana's Senate Bill 70 (PDF). which if enacted would repeal the state's Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science Act, was rejected on a 5-32 vote by the senate on March 24, 2014, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune (March 24, 2014). 

Categories: Pro-Science News

Intelligent Design Basics

ARN ID Update - Sun, 2014-03-23 13:42

In this post in Uncommon Descent I (Eric Anderson) want to consider a fundamental aspect of intelligent design theory: the concept of "information'.

This is centrally relevant to the intelligent design concept of "complex specified information". Attempts have been made by ID critics to derail ID by critiquing each of these three words: complexity, specification and information. Indeed, it is not uncommon to see long, drawn-out, battles over these terms in an attempt to avoid getting to the central issue of whether design can be detected.

More...

Categories: Anti-Science News
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