Basic Logic: are we behind where we were 2,000 years ago?

Three days ago, I put up a couple of comments that I think are worth headlining on what was a commonplace, common-sense understanding of Logic 101, all of 2,000 years ago. First, a tie-in from core distinct identity to the principle of induction: >>I feel inclined to start with this . . . to illustrate […]

FYI-FTR: JS, “sock[puppet]” troll persona — the unmasking (by Ab at a notorious objector site)

Over the past several days, JS has been self-unmasked as a troll at a notorious anti-UD forum site.  As a public service, to demonstrate the tactics and mentality we are up against, I now headline an exchange with a likely second “sock[puppet]” that popped up to try to project accusations: MK, 139: >>I have gone […]

Should NASA look for viruses in space?

From Alex Barash at Slate: The not-quite life forms have a bad rap. But they’re a reliable sign of life, and it would be exciting to find them in space. For one thing, viruses are an excellent indicator for life itself: Wherever there’s life on Earth, there are viruses, too, and almost invariably in far […]

In a world with no truth, fake news can somehow be false anyway

From the Babylon Bee: One Oregon man, who rejects the idea that humanity can even be sure the universe exists in any meaningful sense, was nonetheless disturbed by the idea that websites could publish completely false information, for anyone in the world to read. “It’s just absolutely wrong, in my opinion,” said the man who […]

Convergence: Fish develop a variety of strategies in order to eat other fishes’ scales

From ScienceDaily: A small group of fishes — possibly the world’s cleverest carnivorous grazers — feeds on the scales of other fish in the tropics. The different species’ approach differs: some ram their blunt noses into the sides of other fish to prey upon sloughed-off scales, while others open their jaws to gargantuan widths to […]

Darwinism as devolution: Killing Martin Luther King’s dream

Devolution means that a life form jettisons valuable qualities just to survive, often by becoming  parasite or “freeloader” (see below). From Nancy Pearcey at CNS: King’s vision of equal rights is no longer “self-evident” to many of America’s opinion makers in media, politics, and academia. Why not? Because they have embraced secular ideologies that sabotage King’s […]

At Aeon: Damage control attempted re the current evolution upheavals

By evolutionary biologist Kevin Laland, who seems to have adopted that role: Evolution unleashed: Is evolutionary science due for a major overhaul – or is talk of ‘revolution’ misguided? If you are not a biologist, you’d be forgiven for being confused about the state of evolutionary science. Modern evolutionary biology dates back to a synthesis […]

The Meltdown microprocessor architecture flaw vs control systems in industry

Let’s follow up our earlier Sci-Tech Newswatch on the Meltdown-Spectre MPU architecture flaw issue. (We see here just how hard it is to create a robust, complex design that can readily be adapted to changes in the environment. Besides, a heads up on a big but under-reported story is helpful.) In a new Jan 15, […]

Descartes Got it Wrong and that Leads to A-Mat Absurdity

Over at ENV Michael Egnor explains how Descartes blew it and why that has consequences. The foundation of epistemology is not self-awareness. This can be understood by considering Descartes’s maxim, “Cogito ergo sum.” Notice that we cannot conclude that we exist unless we can conclude. That is, we must first know the principle of non-contradiction — […]

Neanderthals have changed a lot in the last few decades. Maybe they didn’t even necessarily look the way we think.

From ScienceDaily: Considered for two decades to be the oldest human fossil found in France, the mandible has formed part of different comparative studies, and the description published by G. Billy and Henri V. Vallois in 1977 stands out. That work was undertaken more than 40 years ago, in the context of what was then […]

Allmon and Ross Demolish Evolution

Last time we saw, in a new paper, evolutionists Warren Allmon and Robert Ross reformulate the argument for evolution from homologous structures. The paper makes several mistakes, but is important because it is a rare case of evolutionists (i) recognizing the religion in evolutionary thinking, and (ii) trying to do something about it. In this case […]

Redefining life to make the search for the origin of life easier?

From Suzan Mazur at HuffPost: Reunited following their collaborative funding of a $3 million investigation to determine how the religious community would respond to the discovery of life in outer space—-NASA Astrobiology Institute (NAI) and John Templeton Foundation, directly and through Templeton-funded entities: Templeton World Charity Foundation and ELSI Origins Network, are principal supporters of […]

At Technology Review: There is no clear path to giving computers the power to think

From tech reporter Brian Bergstein at Technology Review: Is it possible to give machines the power to think, as John McCarthy, Marvin Minsky, and other originators of AI intended 60 years ago? Doing that, Levesque explains, would require imbuing computers with common sense and the ability to flexibly make use of background knowledge about the […]

Researchers: Cross-species gene regulation observed for the first time

From ScienceDaily: Dodder, a parasitic plant that causes major damage to crops in the US and worldwide every year, can silence the expression of genes in the host plants from which it obtains water and nutrients. This cross-species gene regulation, which includes genes that contribute to the host plant’s defense against parasites, has never before […]

The futility of relativism, subjectivism and emotivism as ethical stances

The exchanges over ethics have continued to brew up in UD’s comment threads. Accordingly, it is appropriate to note an excerpt from a chapter summary for what seems to be a very level-headed — and so quite unfashionable — textbook: >>Excerpted chapter summary, on Subjectivism, Relativism, and Emotivism, in Doing Ethics 3rd Edn, by Lewis […]

Trio of dead stars upholds Einstein’s gravity

From Emily Conover at ScienceNews: Observations of a trio of dead stars have confirmed that a foundation of Einstein’s gravitational theory holds even for ultradense objects with strong gravitational fields. The complex orbital dance of the three former stars conforms to a rule known as the strong equivalence principle, researchers reported January 10 at a […]

Tabby’s Star — on the “extraordinary evidence” claim

If one watches the TED talk by Astronomer Tabetha Boyajian, one will notice that she begins with Sagan’s aphorism on “extraordinary” claims. This inadvertently reveals just how significant epistemological concerns are in scientific undertakings. Accordingly, for follow up, I post a corrective: The issue in knowledge is not extraordinary evidence (an assertion that invites selective […]

Warren Allmon on the Argument from Homology

I once debated two evolutionists on the campus of Cornell University. In that debate I raised several fundamental problems with evolutionary theory. The problems that I pointed out fell into two broad categories: process and pattern. In the latter category, I pointed out that the keystone argument for evolution from homology had badly failed. Unfortunately, that failure […]

New hypothesis as to why flowering plants predominate

From ScienceDaily: Scientists have found an explanation for how flowering plants became dominant so rapidly in ecosystems across the world — a problem that Charles Darwin called an ‘abominable mystery’. In a study publishing on January 11 in the open access journal PLOS Biology, Kevin Simonin and Adam Roddy, from San Francisco State University and […]

From Slate: The end of truth, and science, is NOT in sight

From Daniel Engber at Slate: Ten years ago last fall, Washington Post science writer Shankar Vedantam published an alarming scoop: The truth was useless. … This supposed scientific fact jibed with an idea then in circulation. In those days of phantom Iraqi nukes, anti-vaxxer propaganda, and climate change denialism, reality itself appeared to be in […]

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