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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Science has a future after all. But it isn't Darwinism.

A friend debuts in Forbes ...

Wow! Whodathunk it!

My friend Phil Skell appears in Forbes on the dangers of overselling evolution.

Imagine someone allowing my old friend to say that focusing on Darwin and his theory does not further scientific progress.

Of course it doesn't further scientific progress. It retards it.

Look, if Darwin is right, evolution is without meaning and purpose, and anyway, your evolved brain deceives you into believing that you have figured something out (when you really haven't figured anything out because meaning is merely the buzz of neurons ... ). Therefore you can't know what is going to happen. So there is no point in trying to figure it out.

Thanks, science. I assume you are cashing your final cheque ... too bad, we thought you would be useful.

Oh wait ... there are always successors to my old friend Phil Skell. Yeay guys, go for it! go for it!

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:


Intellectual freedom in Canada: Anti-Semitism

The Scaramouche blog is a source for intellectual freedom in Canada, and I am sorry if so much other personal stuff happened that I never got round to linking to it before.

Scaramouche ably commends Jonathan Kay of the National Post, writing on modern anti-Semitism.

In my own lifetime, which spans nearly six decades, anti-Semitism has moved from the right to the left.

When I was a child, the typical anti-Semite would be some out-of-work fool with Hitler regalia in his cockroach-infested basement apartment. How anyone could take him seriously was never clear.

Today, people march in downtown Toronto, shouting "death to you and yours," and we haven't seen anything like this since the Christie Pits riot in 1933.

(No, I wasn't around then. I'm not that old. But I did once live near the Christie Pits, in the early 1960s.)

In fact, I once came to the attention of the Toronto library system because I wanted to take Hitler's Mein Kampf out of the library. And did.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Gene, gene: the meadow is green. And where are you when I need to blame you for something?

In "Scientists and philosophers find that the gene has a multitude of meanings," (New York Times, November 10, 2008), Natalie Angier made a useful point:
Scientists have learned that the canonical “genes” account for an embarrassingly tiny part of the human genome: maybe 1 percent of the three billion paired subunits of DNA that are stuffed into nearly every cell of the body qualify as indisputable protein codes. Scientists are also learning that many of the gene-free regions of our DNA are far more loquacious than previously believed, far more willing to express themselves in ways that have nothing to do with protein manufacture.

Much of the public still thinks that there is a "gay gene" or a "swinger gene" or a "fat gene."

As if. As if some unhappy friend's tomcat boyfriend has a "swinger gene."

A message to any women who are reading this: Look, if your life is a mess, it's you, basically, it is not your genes. Forget all that garbage.

If your boyfriend is a tomcat, why are you with him anyway? If you know you deserve better, it must be true. Otherwise, how would you have known?

Perhaps you must live a while without a boyfriend, but ... at least you won't bother wondering who he is with. Maybe he's dating the Devil's daughter. So? If you hear screaming in the night, shut the window and call the police. Don't get involved.

If you have reached the end of your rope, go here for help. If you haven't reached the end of your rope, there are other places you can try, of course, but we deal with the worst cases here, so you may as well go here first.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Intelligent design and popular culture: Biomimicry

Here are the fifteen coolest cases of biomimicry.

A friend writes,
In the article "Intelligent design and popular culture: Biomimicry" some errors, likely due to problems in using mathematical symbols by the e-mail servers, the "antinomy of Bionics", as reported in your article, is unintelligible.

Please consider to edit it according to the following version (without mathematical symbols):

1) Intelligence is what creates and improves products and does that inserting CSI into them.
2) Bionics technological products are fully created by intelligence.
3) Bionics products (say B their CSI) mimic nature, but are far less improved and efficient than nature’s products (say N their CSI), then B less than N.
4) Nature’s products are not created by intelligence (according to evolutionism, their CSI is not real), then N equal 0.
5) From #3 (B less than N) and #4 (N equal 0) we have B less than 0.
6) From #2, B greater than 0 (intelligence inserted real CSI when creating them).
7) Then we have in the same time B less than 0 and B greater than 0.

This "paradox of Bionics" is the n-th logical antinomy of evolutionism.

Find out why there is an inteligent design controversy:

Darwinism and popular culture: So you acknowledge that Darwinism is in fact a cult?

Now, here's an evolutionist I can sort of get. Unlike most, he despises the popular "Darwin" cult, and wants to get to the heart of things:
By propounding “Darwinism,” even scientists and science writers perpetuate an impression that evolution is about one man, one book, one “theory.” The ninth-century Buddhist master Lin Chi said, “If you meet the Buddha on the road, kill him.” The point is that making a master teacher into a sacred fetish misses the essence of his teaching. So let us now kill Darwin.

That all life is related by common ancestry, and that populations change form over time, are the broad strokes and fine brushwork of evolution. But Darwin was late to the party. His grandfather, and others, believed new species evolved. Farmers and fanciers continually created new plant and animal varieties by selecting who survived to breed, thus handing Charles Darwin an idea. All Darwin perceived was that selection must work in nature, too.
Of course, that does not mean that selection can create masses of information, as Darwin hoped - and as Carl Safina's New York Times essay linked above (February 9, 2009) delicately avoids.

But fine. When deprogramming people, we are getting somewhere when we have got them to acknowledge that Darwinism is in fact a cult.

Find out why there is an intelligent design controversy:

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Polls: In Darwin's birthday year, people want to hear alternatives

The evil Discos sent me this:

Zogby Poll Shows Dramatic Jump in Number of Americans Who Favor Teaching
Both Sides of Evolution

Surprisingly Strong Support Seen Among Democrats and Liberals

A new Zogby poll on the eve of Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday shows a dramatic rise in the number of Americans who agree that when biology teachers teach the scientific evidence for Darwin’s theory of evolution, they also should teach the scientific evidence against it.

Surprisingly, the poll also shows overwhelming support among self-identified Democrats and liberals for academic freedom to discuss the "strengths and weaknesses" evolution.

Over 78% of likely voters agree with teaching both the evidence for and against Darwin’s theory, according to the new national poll.

"This represents a dramatic 9-point jump from 2006, when only 69% of respondents in a similar poll favored teaching both sides," said Discovery Institue’s Dr. John West. "At the same time, the number of likely voters who support teaching only the evidence that favors evolution dropped 7 points from 21% in 2006 to 14.4% in 2009.
I am hardly surprised, and I mainly credit the New Atheist movement.

There is absolutely nothing like telling people they are not allowed to know something - to make sure that they want to know it.

Here's a test: Just tell people they are not allowed to know what really happened to the dinosaurs.

Suddenly, tons of people who never gave a bucket of dino doo-doo about dinosaurs are on the case big time, right? Like, what did happen?

Other polls relevant to the intelligent design controversy A summary of recent polls of US public opinion on the ID controversy

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