At Buzzfeed: Serious sexual assault allegations against celebrity physicist Lawrence Krauss

From Peter Aldhous: BuzzFeed News has learned that the incident with Hensley is one of many wide-ranging allegations of Krauss’s inappropriate behavior over the last decade — including groping women, ogling and making sexist jokes to undergrads, and telling an employee at Arizona State University, where he is a tenured professor, that he was going […]

Making human brain evolution look gradual by ignoring enough data…

From U Wisconsin paleoanthropologist John Hawks: Bernard Wood’s research group has a new paper on brain size evolution in hominins, led by Andrew Du in Proceedings of the Royal Society, Series B: “Pattern and process in hominin brain size evolution are scale-dependent”. In this paper, I notice that the researchers have done a really weird […]

Is the term “dinosaur” becoming essentially arbitrary?

Culturally that’s a big one. From Carolyn Gramling at ScienceNews: The once-lengthy list of “definitely a dinosaur” features had already been dwindling over the past few decades thanks to new discoveries of close dino relatives such as Teleocrater. With an April 2017 report of Teleocrater’s skull depression (SN Online: 4/17/17), yet another feature was knocked […]

Language could not have evolved in a Darwinian social world

From a 2016 paper by University College’s Chris Knight: Highlights • Language emerged in only one species, H. sapiens. • Such a system cannot evolve in a Darwinian social world. • Language emerged for reasons which no currently accepted theoretical framework can explain. Abstract: Language evolved in no species other than humans, suggesting a deep-going obstacle […]

Does reliability of published works decrease with journal rank?

From neuroscientist (zoology) Björn Brembs at Frontier in Human Neuroscience: In which journal a scientist publishes is considered one of the most crucial factors determining their career. The underlying common assumption is that only the best scientists manage to publish in a highly selective tier of the most prestigious journals. However, data from several lines […]

Comment of the week: Pan-Darwinian orthodoxy affirms any kind of madness

From Scuzzaman, commenting at “Fine-tuning is easy to explain: The universe itself is conscious and somewhat like a human: The thing I find most amusing and dismaying is that, as long as one affirms some kind of pan-darwinian orthodoxy vis-a-vis common descent by modification, literally ANY kind of madness is back on the menu. It […]

Rev Dr Billy Graham has died

. . . at age 99 years. Condolences to those who mourn. Thoughts? END

At Aeon: Fine-tuning is easy to explain: The universe itself is conscious, and somewhat like a human

That’s “cosmopanpsychism.” An earlier version is rocks have minds. From Philip Goff at Aeon: In the past 40 or so years, a strange fact about our Universe gradually made itself known to scientists: the laws of physics, and the initial conditions of our Universe, are fine-tuned for the possibility of life. It turns out that, […]

Linguist Daniel Everett: Homo erectus must have been able to speak, to get to Flores

From Nicola Davis at the Guardian: “Erectus needed language when they were sailing to the island of Flores. They couldn’t have simply caught a ride on a floating log because then they would have been washed out to sea when they hit the current,” said Everett, presenting his thesis at the meeting of the American […]

Swedish math prof’s review of Heretic captures a key point

From a review of Heretic: One Scientist’s Journey from Darwin to Design by Matti Leisola and Jonathan Witt, quoted at ENST: After reading Leisola and Witt’s book, it is clear that a paradigm shift is needed in order to explain the origin and diversity of life, from chemical and Darwinian evolution towards a design explanation. […]

Breaking: Prominent science journal offers rational assessment of an unhinged climate claim

Specifically, the claim that global warming promotes violence. From the editors of Nature: Such retrospective analyses raise two questions related to cause and effect: did climate change alter the weather? And did the change in the weather provoke the conflict? Only a solid yes to both can justify bold statements that global warming promotes violence […]

Researchers: Plants colonized Earth 100 mya earlier than thought

From ScienceDaily: For the first four billion years of Earth’s history, our planet’s continents would have been devoid of all life except microbes. All of this changed with the origin of land plants from their pond scum relatives, greening the continents and creating habitats that animals would later invade. The timing of this episode has […]

Günter Blobel (1936–2018), Nobelist ‘99, found cell zip codes

From Robert D. McFadden at the New York Times: Günter Blobel, a molecular biologist who was awarded the 1999 Nobel Prize in Medicine for discovering that proteins in any living cell have virtual ZIP codes that guide them to where they can help regulate body tissues, organs and chemistry, died on Sunday in Manhattan. He […]

Basener and Sanford falsifying Fisher’s Theorem at Skeptical Zone, Part II

Further to Basener stands his ground at Skeptical Zone: Fisher’s Darwinian theorem is clearly false, here is Part 2: Defending the validity and significance of the new theorem “Fundamental Theorem of Natural Selection With Mutations, Part II: Our Mutation-Selection Model by Basener and Sanford: In short, we agree with JF and ML that our paper […]

Relax: Fascinating clips of jellyfish, especially the “unknown” creatures of the abyss

So labelled in the first vid below. The reader who sent this clip commented, “As I watched the video in amazement, the thought that those creatures are the result of random Darwinian processes didn’t even cross my mind. Whereas, the thought that God is one incredible artist did cross my mind!” At times, jellyfish almost […]

Nick Matzke’s research critiqued in Journal of BioGeography

Readers may remember Nick Matzke, especially for getting a publisher to abandon the Cornell University papers and for other contributions to Darwinism. A reader now writes to tell us that two Field Museum researchers have just published a critique of Nick Matzke’s (probable) most important contribution to research so far. “Conceptual and statistical problems with […]

Suzan Mazur has some hard questions for NASA “astrovirology” expert Ken Stedman

Yes, “astrovirology” is a new term, for the possibility that viruses originated in space. Suzan Mazur wonders at Oscillations: If viruses originated on Earth—which is NASA astrovirology chief Ken Stedman’s “best guess”—just why do we need a new field called astrovirology? That’s a very good question. If viruses originated elsewhere than Earth, the history of […]

Theoretical physicist: The Higgs mass is not “natural”

In “contrast to all the other particle masses in the standard model” From theoretical physicist Sabine Hossenfelder, author of Lost in Math: How Beauty Leads Physics Astray (June, 2018), at Back(Re)Action: Yes, I know the headlines said the LHC would probe string theory, and the LHC would probe supersymmetry. The headlines were wrong. I am sorry they […]

Google has the solution to Wikipedia! Only one tweak is now needed.

From Katyanna Quach at UK Register: A team within Google Brain – the web giant’s crack machine-learning research lab – has taught software to generate Wikipedia-style articles by summarizing information on web pages… to varying degrees of success. Glitches remain: We are still a very long way off from effective text summarization or generation. And […]

This Didn’t Evolve a Few Mutations At a Time

Are there long, gradual, pathways of functional intermediate structures, separated by only one or perhaps a few mutations, leading to every single species, and every single design and structure in all of biology? As we saw last time, this has been a fundamental claim and expectation of evolutionary theory which is at odds with the science.* […]

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