UD’s Aglet Budget

Everyone has heard of a “shoestring budget.”  But did you know that UD gets by on an “aglet budget”?  What is an aglet? you ask.  An aglet is that little plastic sheath at the end of a shoestring.  That’s right.  Our budget is so small that we only wish we could get by on a […]

Logic & First Principles, 4: The logic of being, causality and science

We live as beings in a world full of other concrete entities, and to do science we must routinely rely on mathematics and so on numbers and other abstract objects. We observe how — as just one example — a fire demonstrates causality (and see that across time causality has been the subject of hot […]

Information flow in rocks and brains: Your mug may have a message for you

If we equate information flow in rocks with information flow in minds, we are probably looking at a naturalist (materialist) view of consciousness: Nature is all there is and everything is conscious. There is a certain simplicity to it; there is no hard problem of consciousness; it’s an illusion.

Soil microorganisms are twice the estimated volume of oceans, raise questions

Presumably, these millennia-old subsurface organisms don’t reproduce much, as it is more economical to just stay alive and do nothing. What then of evolution? If the millennial organism changes a fair bit over the centuries, is that evolution?

About the facts of life, Darwinian Jerry Coyne is still being stubborn …

Earlier today, in A Man is a Woman, Winston, Barry Arrington asks us to imagine the reprogramming of people who think that words like “male” and “female” represent biological realities, which is somewhat like Winston’s mistake in imagining that 2 and 2 could make 4 even if the party needs them to make 5. In […]

Is it easier than ever to be a mad scientist?

Fraser’s and Rees’s basic point seems sound: New information, digitization, and affordable advanced machinery have crashed entry costs for many fields, including tinkering with people. So we can expect more of this.

So what’s this about “Little Foot”?

If you read the science news, you’ve probably been hearing about Little Foot alot: The first of a raft of papers about ‘Little Foot’ suggests that the fossil is a female who showed some of the earliest signs of human-like bipedal walking around 3.67 million years ago. She may also belong to a distinct species […]

A Man is a Woman, Winston

Leftists frequently bash ID proponents and climate change hysteria skeptics as science “deniers.”  This is ironic, because these same leftists insist that a man can be a woman by simply wanting to be badly enough.  This would be amusing if they did not often employ the levers of political power to force compliance with their […]

How does human language differ from animal signals?

How is “To be or not to be?” different from Bow wow wow!? Both animals and humans use signs. A sign points to something other than itself. For example, when you point with your finger at a tree, you are making a sign. You want people to look at the tree, not at your finger. […]

Our solar system is a lot rarer than it was a quarter century ago

Two independent teams of astronomers recently looked into the matter: Astronomers have detected and measured the mass and/or orbital features of 3,869 planets in 2,887 planetary systems beyond the solar system. This ranks as a staggering rate of discovery, given that the first confirmed detection of a planet orbiting another hydrogen-fusion-burning star was as recent […]

Do female rats depend in part on their uterus for memory?

That’s the surprising conclusion of a recent study that required rats who had had their ovaries or their uterus removed or both and then had to negotiate a water maze six weeks later: As compared with the other rats, animals who had only their uterus removed struggled more as the test became increasingly difficult. The […]

At Oscillations: How we go from a sphere to a torus

At her blog, Oscillations, Suzan Mazur reports on the lecture series Simons Center for Geometry and Physics has been hosting at Stony Brook University, on Nonequilibrium Physics in Biology: Among the more interesting presenters is Kim Sneppen, a professor of complex systems and biophysics at Neils Bohr Institute in Copenhagen, who addresses the diversity of […]

A gene that sets primates (apes and humans) apart from other mammals

From ScienceDaily: University of Otago researchers have discovered information about a gene that sets primates — great apes and humans — apart from other mammals, through the study of a rare developmental brain disorder. … Dr O’Neill and research collaborators from Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Germany, then set forth to test the point that […]

We look for planets differently now

It turns out that other solar systems are not shedding much light on how ours came to be: But as the menagerie of young planetary systems grows, researchers are struggling to square their observations with current theories on how our Solar System and others formed. Such ideas have been in turmoil ever since astronomers started […]

Quillette: Young scholar denounced as “racist” by mob of 300 elders; evidence not cited

Probably not wanted either: The latest victim of an academic mobbing is 28-year-old social scientist Noah Carl who has been awarded a Toby Jackman Newton Trust Research Fellowship at St Edmund’s College at the University of Cambridge. Rarely has the power asymmetry between the academic mob and its victim been so stark. Dr Carl is […]

Biologist Wayne Rossiter on non-religious doubts about universal common ancestry

Wayne Rossiter, author of Shadow of Oz: Theistic Evolution and the Absent God, talks about predictable claims from theistic evolution: To catch people up to speed, in a facebook conversation, [Jim] Stump made the statements, “Common ancestry [here he means Universal Common Ancestry] is a multiply confirmed theory that explains the observable data in detail. […]

Compassion director dumped at prominent science institute

No, we don’t sit around here, making stuff up: Tania Singer, 48 , had achieved prominence outside the scientific world in recent years. She caused a sensation with her interdisciplinary studies on the foundations of social emotions such as empathy, envy, fairness or revenge. Since 2013 , she has headed the ReSource project at the […]

Nancy Pearcey at More Than Cake, on how Darwin really triumphed

Nancy Pearcey is the author of Love Thy Body: Answering Hard Questions about Life and Sexuality. More than Cake is the blog of J. R. Miller: “You Guys Lost!” Is Design a Closed Issue? – Part 1: It is commonly assumed that the battle over Darwinism was waged in the nineteenth century, and that Darwin […]

Science as Priestcraft and Hypocrisy Among the Clerisy

At the risk of appearing to engage in unseemly schadenfreude, I am going to discuss Neil deGrasse Tyson in this post.  Tyson, whom one wag labeled “the dumbest smart person on Twitter,” famously tweeted that we need a virtual country called “Rationalia,” with a one-line constitution – “All policy shall be based on the weight […]

Bots are to blame for science credibility issues!

At least, if you credit a National Academy of Sciences study on the subject: Iyengar and Massey (hereafter I & M) are convinced, in any event, that the revolution in media over the last three decades means that the world is sinking into abject falsehood. In the 1970s, as they relate, media were controlled by […]

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