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Intelligent Design Is the Backdrop for a Dan Brown-Style Thriller -- Bruce Buff's The Soul of the Matter
In a pretty effective and tense new novel, an MIT geneticist believes he has found evidence, codes within codes, for intelligent programming behind evolution. David Klinghoffer http://www.discovery.org/p/209
Categories: Anti-Science News
I grew up listening to Walter Cronkite giving the evening news. The feeling of trust that some version of what had happened in the country and the world had been delivered was definitely there. I’m stuck in O’Hare and listening to CNN now. Wolf Blitzer interviewed a pair of Trump supporters trying to bolster Trump’s… Read More »
Photograph by Paul Burnett. Photography contest, finalist. Charadrius vociferus – killdeer standing her ground, protecting her eggs from a vicious photographer three feet away.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Advocates for canonizing Marguerite d’Youville hired a hematologist to decide why a woman had recovered from incurable leukemia after praying to the aforementioned d’Youville. The hematologist, Jacalyn Duffin, warned the investigators that she was an atheist. The investigators reasoned that if an atheist could not figure out why the woman had recovered, then obviously the recovery must have been a miracle. The hematologist went further and investigated hundreds of “miracles” in the archives of the... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Photograph by Richard Meiss. Photography contest, finalist. Scudderia sp. – Scudder’s bush katydid nymph, bedded down for the night in the flower of a lily (Lilium maculatum [?]). Not shown in this view are the several species of ants that have also found this refuge to be congenial. For (temporarily) flightless insects, such cover must have some survival value.... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Photograph by Dan Moore. Photography contest, finalist. Macaca fuscata – snow monkey, or Japanese macaque, mountains of Nagano, Japan, due west of Tokyo, March, 2016. These monkeys have adapted to the cold more than any other subspecies, and they have adapted to almost totally ignoring humans (which is good for photography).... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
I just saw my colleague Paul Strode, with whom I wrote a book a few years ago. Knowing my interest in pseudoscience, Mr. Dr. Science Teacher (the name of his blog) directed me to his article Acupuncture Study as a Cure for Pseudoscientific Thinking. The article is, I think, really two articles. The first describes an experiment that his students perform, but he sets it up so that they generally overlook one important variable. The... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Photograph by Neil Taylor. Photography contest, finalist. A group of (shortly to be long distance running*) Homo sapiens enjoying the sunset at Chapman’s Peak, Capetown. Chapman’s Peak is an offshoot to Table Mountain and hence has the same geology. There is a famous and very beautiful road between Noordhoek and Hout Bay which has been cut right into the vertical cliff which makes up the southern side of the peak. The photo is at one... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Photograph by Al Denelsbeck. Photography contest, runner-up. Lyssomanes viridis – magnolia green jumping spider, juvenile female. All jumping spiders have excellent binocular vision for use in obtaining food, but since the cornea is a fixed part of the exoskeleton, the eyes must move internally. With the magnolia green jumpers, the exoskeleton is translucent enough to allow the internal movement of the eyes to be seen, and they can move independently. I had captured this one... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Guest post by David MacMillan. David MacMillan is an author, engineer, and researcher who formerly wrote for Answers in Genesis before obtaining his degree in physics. He now writes about science and culture for Panda’s Thumb, the Huffington Post, and several other blogs. In the buzz of excitement surrounding Opening Day at the Ark Encounter, the team of writers at Answers in Genesis continues their struggle to explain how all terrestrial life could have been... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
2016 Contest Winner. Bentonite clay, by Alan Rice. Slot canyon in soft bentonite clay – Panaca formation, Cathedral Gorge State Park, Nevada... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
And the 1st of August is his birthday. I will list some of his real biological achievements below the fold, and dispell some myths. We've discussed this every year, so I will keep this short. Suffice it to say that the inscription on his statue in the Jardin des Plantes in Paris declares that he was the "Fondateur de la doctrine de l'évolution", and there is a good argument that he really was.... Joe Felsenstein http://evolution.gs.washington.edu/felsenstein.html
Rob Asher of the University of Cambridge Department of Zoology has an interesting post up at HuffPo on “Did Arabic Scholars Discover Evolution in the Ninth Century?” Here’s the beginning: One thousand years ago, when the United States of America did not exist and Oxford and Cambridge were backwaters of ignorance, the light of human reason shone brightly in places like Tunis, Cairo, and Baghdad. During the Abbasid caliphate for much of the 8th through... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
Curious article Is scientific research flawed? on the AIG website. The author, Callie Joubert, is identified only by name and has no bio. The article correctly enumerates some of the problems with science, particularly medicine, and blames conflict of interest, competition, and so on – the usual suspects. The author also notes two papers in physics, the Bicep2 experiment in Antarctica and the “superluminal neutrinos at the Swiss-Italian border.” Both papers apparently had drawn erroneous... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Here are the finalists of the 2016 photography contest. We received 38 photographs from 14 photographers. We had considerable difficulty choosing a half-dozen finalists – most of the pictures were excellent, as you will no doubt see during the coming months. We finally enlisted our wife to help with the choices, which are displayed below the proverbial fold. Unfortunately, the submissions did not lend themselves to being divided into categories, so we present one general... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
One thing I’ve loved about living in Australia this past year is how much more generally pro-science the culture seems to be (PT blogmeister Reed Cartwright was just in Canberra to visit collaborators, but sadly he forgot Prof. Steve Steve). We have the annual Australian National Science Week coming up next month – can you even imagine having a National Science Week in the United States? Another thing I’ve loved is how there seem to... Nick Matzke http://www.talkdesign.org
… and Ark Park responds predictably. More specifically, the Freedom from Religion Foundation sent a “warning” to more than 1000 school districts in Kentucky and neighboring states, advising them against field trips to the Ark Park. The Ark Park, says FFRF, is a Christian ministry (as opposed to an educational museum), and they quote Ken Ham as having penned a letter, “Our Real Motive for Building Ark Encounter,” in which he writes: Our motive is... Matt Young http://www.mines.edu/~mmyoung
Martin Shkreli, pharmaceutical patent scavenger, did an interview with CBS and defended Mylan Corp’s inflated pricing of their EpiPen product. “This particular drug is a necessity for some people,” Nair said. “Yeah sure, that’s great – but I think important medicine should be expensive because they’re valuable,” said Martin Shkreli. The former pharmaceutical chief gained… Read More »
Added October 31, 2006:A discussion of the main models on the spontaneous origin of life that aims to show how cellular complexity could have gradually emerged from simple systems - in contrast to the sudden appearance of complexity that creationists claim to have been necessary at the beginning of life. Central issues like the composition of the early atmosphere of the Earth and the origin of the homochirality of amino acids and sugars are reviewed as well.
Antievolutionists Say the Darndest Things
Antievolutionists often express outrage over alleged incivility from those who oppose their efforts to evade the establishment clause of the First Amendment. But they have no difficulty in dishing out the abuse themselves. Here is a sample from the Invidious Comparisons thread that documents egregious behavior on the part of the religious antievolution advocates.
One thing that Jack Krebs and I agree with is that Pratt can be likened to an outpost under siege in a cultural war.
My wife and I just returned from a trip to Belgium. We visited Bastogne where a few brave Americans of the 101st Airborne Division were surrounded by the German Army during the battle of the bulge. The German attack was led by a crack SS unit that took no prisoners.
What were we fighting against in Bastogne? We were fighting against a Nazi regime that used the philosophy of Naturalism to justify a eugenics program of terrifying proportions. Naturalism is the belief that all phenomena result only from the laws of chemistry and physics and that teleological or design explanations are not valid. Naturalism is not science. It is a belief system.
In the same manner, the defenders in Pratt are fighting against Naturalism, although they may not realize it. Rather than fighting against science, they are actually fighting for science. They are fighting for science that is driven by logic and critical thinking rather than by a philosophy that teaches to the exclusion of all other teachings that we are the products of only chance and necessity. They are fighting for science that is driven by the scientific method rather than science that is driven by a philosophy of Naturalism.
Rather than using logic and good science to support its assault on the brave contingent in Pratt, the KCFS is using tactics one would expect from those that besieged Bastogne: scare tactics, misinformation and no substantive discussion of the real issues.
So, we are back looking at Pratt as the bombs fall. The question is whether the Board and the Community will be supported by the rest of us as they have had the guts that General McAullife and the other brave Americans had that cold winter day in Bastogne 54 years ago. McAullife's reply was very simple when asked to surrender: "Nuts!" McAullife and the 101st were subsequently relieved by elements of Patton's Third Army. In the same way we all need to rise up and put our hands together for the Pratt Board and Pratt Citizens that have just characterized the outrageous censorship by the science establishment as "Nuts!"