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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
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.
Added October 19, 2006:
Added October 9, 2006: The newest addition to the Quote Mine Project shows how Casey Luskin of Discovery Institute misrepresents what Gould and others wrote in a brief for Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals.
Updated October 9, 2006: Honors won by the TalkOrigins Archive.
Added September 28, 2006: The Discovery Institute selectively quotes Judge Jones' decision in Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District in aid of its "bait and switch" claim of scientific evidence in support of intelligent design.
Added September 18, 2006:
Added September 18, 2006:
Updated September 16, 2006: In evolutionary biology today macroevolution is used to refer to any evolutionary change at or above the level of species. It means the splitting of a species into two or the change of a species over time into another. This FAQ has been expanded, updated, illustrated, and rewritten.
Added August 20, 2006: A 1977 decision of an Indiana superior court ruling against a textbook produced by the Creation Research Society. In some respects this case resembles a young-earth creationist version of the 2005 Kitzmiller case. Introductory material, links, as well as the full text of the judge's memorandum opinion are provided.
Young-Earth Creationist Helium Diffusion "Dates": Fallacies Based on Bad Assumptions and Questionable Data
Updated July 25, 2006: Young-Earth creationists consider the helium diffusion studies of D. Russell Humphreys and others to be one of their greatest achievements in arguing for a 6,000 year old Earth. A geologist shows that these studies are extensively flawed and include: serious miscalculations in their data, sampling the wrong rock type, failing to eliminate possible contamination, using equations that are based on invalid assumptions and relying on questionable data. Appendices C and D have been added in response to Dr. Humphreys' most recent statements in his January 2006 "Trueorigins" essay.
Added July 25, 2006:
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!"