Alan4discussion commented on the post, Exhilarating, combative narrative of gene’s-eye view of life 9 hours, 29 minutes ago
maria melo #13
Jan 14, 2017 at 5:17 pm
But concerning natural selection it seems that even Thomas Huxley had put some reserve.
The mechanisms of natural selection in millions of individual genera and species, are diverse and complex. There is no “one size fits all”!
The BASIC principle of common descent by passing on genes with…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Exhilarating, combative narrative of gene’s-eye view of life 9 hours, 58 minutes ago
@OP – Darwin’s celebrated theory fell into neglect and misuse.
Darwin’s theory “never fell into neglect”, but it did suffer from pseudo-scientific misuse by the NAZIs and social Dawinists.
A hundred years later, in the heady, innovative atmosphere of the 1960s,- a new generation of young and ambitious evolutionary biologists found t…
Jan 15, 2017 at 9:21 pm
It is not “good for the individual”. It is good for the community.
Pedantic correction. While it may be good of the community, that’s not a reason. It is for the good of the gene. If the community thrives, so does the gene.
Within species, kin-selection (or on occasions ficti…[Read more]
Jan 15, 2017 at 1:21 pm
I was just making the point that philosophy is good for the mind, and enhances critical thinking.
I agree with you, but maintain that the boundaries between philosophy and pseudo-philosophy/theosophy, are less clear cut, than the boundaries between science and pseudoscience where there is a clearly…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Free Speech and Terrorism – Whatever you do, don’t mention Islam! 2 days, 8 hours ago
Jan 15, 2017 at 9:04 am
Indeed. So that’s where our criticisms and all our efforts to oppose should be directed. Do whatever we can to prevent those people from growing in either number or effectiveness – that’s fine by me. Even better, support voices within the Muslim world who are also doing their utmost to oppose them and p…
Jan 14, 2017 at 9:14 pm
Altruism is synonymous with self-sacrifice.
Why would it be good for members of any species to sacrifice itself?
That is how survival of genes works in evolution.
It is not “good for the individual”. It is good for the community.
This is best understood when looking at the social insects of bees,…[Read more]
Jan 15, 2017 at 12:56 am
And one can spend years studying and even teaching evolution and still remain a creationist.— That’s just the way people are.)
Actually it is very hard to be competent in studying the science of evolution and remain anything but a token creationist.
Only a tiny minority of previously deeply ind…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Exhilarating, combative narrative of gene’s-eye view of life 3 days, 2 hours ago
@OP – But then, after the furious controversy surrounding that publication, Darwin’s celebrated theory fell into neglect and misuse. A hundred years later, in the heady, innovative atmosphere of the 1960s, a new generation of young and ambitious evolutionary biologists found themselves confronted with a rare opportunity: the rediscovery and r…
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Donald Trump and the Anti-Vaxxer Conspiracy Theorists 3 days, 4 hours ago
@OP – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a celebrated vaccine skeptic
The continued misuse of the term “sceptic” by the media, when discussing scientific or medical issues, gives conspiracy-theory-ignoramuses undeserved respect for their barmy views!
A scientific sceptic is someone well educated and expert in a subject who is offering a competent…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Richard Dawkins and the Need for a New Science Populism 3 days, 11 hours ago
Jan 14, 2017 at 6:29 am
I do not know how things are run in GB
There is some honest reporting in the UK if the quality papers ( The Guardian, The Times, The Financial Times) are selected or the national BBC TV service is used as a source.
The gutter press is full of sensationalist, incompetent and superficial rubbish as…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Richard Dawkins and the Need for a New Science Populism 3 days, 12 hours ago
@OP – For him, the days of just hunkering down to research while the political forces of religion infiltrate, occupy, and control the culture need to come to an end. In his 2002 TED Talk he calls for a “militant atheism” because “rocking the boat is just the right thing to do”.
I think “militant atheism” is a badge bandied around by fundame…[Read more]
Jan 13, 2017 at 10:19 pm
If I was a legislator I would want to draft a law that would require the teaching of philosophy to all students from grammar school so that all kids learn critical thinking and empirical reasoning skills.
While this is an excellent idea in principle, some US “universities” fudge philosophy and…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Why Christians Are Disproportionately Powerful in Congress 3 days, 23 hours ago
Whatever political platform they are elected on, a mind-slave will revert to obeying its god-delusion when under pressure, or when looking for applause, approval, or predictable support.
Alan4discussion commented on the post, A Metal Ball the Size of Massachusetts That NASA Wants to Explore 4 days, 2 hours ago
Jan 13, 2017 at 3:38 pm
Another project on the OP link is this asteroid spotting telescope.
@OP – link – NASA also announced that a third finalist, Neocam, a telescope to search for asteroids that could collide with Earth, would receive another year of funding to address issues that have been raised about that proposal.
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Dutch electric trains become 100% powered by wind energy 4 days, 3 hours ago
Jan 13, 2017 at 2:25 pm
Alan and Reckless. I think they would have battery banks in the train to charge?
I don’t think that would work for the high voltage a/c systems and power required for modern trains.
Alan4discussion commented on the post, Donald Trump and the Anti-Vaxxer Conspiracy Theorists 5 days ago
@OP – Robert F. Kennedy Jr., a celebrated vaccine skeptic, met with Trump on Jan. 10. Speaking to reporters outside Trump Tower in Manhattan after the meeting, Kennedy said he will chair a commission “on vaccine safety and scientific integrity” at Trump’s request, because, “we ought to be debating the science.”
Don’t scientifically illiterat…[Read more]
Alan4discussion commented on the post, The Atlantic Ocean and an Actual Debate in Climate Science 5 days, 9 hours ago
@OP – link – Scott Pruitt, the attorney general of Oklahoma and President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee to lead the EPA, has invested a lot of time in fighting the Obama administration’s climate and environmental regulations. He has not, however, said very much on the record about climate change.
One of his only quotes on the matter app…
Dec 25, 2016 at 7:51 pm
Zionist biblical literalist fundamentalists, are not open to reason, advice, or criticism.
Is Zionism nationalism or religion? Complex question. It is both. It is mostly nationalism, I think.
Zionism is a claim of “biblical authority” to possess land irrespective of any current legal ownership!
Alan4discussion commented on the post, How Trump could really disrupt NASA and the space program 5 days, 13 hours ago
@OP – To the extent that Donald Trump has signaled any intentions, it’s in the makeup of the “landing team” now at NASA to plan the transition.
The team has several people who have shown interest in going back to the moon. So, as we’ve reported, the moon could be very much back in play.
In these waning days of the Obama adminis…
@WP – link – While the dinosaurs did whatever it is dinosaurs do while nesting (scientists think some species sat on their nests like birds, while others probably buried their eggs like reptiles), the embryos inside slowly develop. Just before the halfway point of their incubation period, they start to grow teeth.
It seems unlikely that they…[Read more]
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