Honolulu Chapter

Good Grief. No, Airplanes Don’t “Evolve” by Natural Law. – Evolution News & Views

August 14, 2014

In an article entitled “Survival of the Flight Test: Airplanes Evolve, Too,” Live Science reporter Tanya Lewis offers the startling claim that airplanes evolve the same way living organisms do. Come again? That’s right, but she’s just echoing a paper, “The Evolution of Airplanes,” published in the Journal of Applied Physics by mechanical engineers led by Adrian Bejan of Duke University. Their abstract sounds like a throwback to 19th-century orthogenesis:

via Good Grief. No, Airplanes Don’t “Evolve” by Natural Law. – Evolution News & Views.

Physicist George Ellis Knocks Physicists for Knocking Philosophy, Falsification, Free Will | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network

August 14, 2014

 

Excerpt:

“Horgan: Lawrence Krauss, in A Universe from Nothing, claims that physics has basically solved the mystery of why there is something rather than nothing. Do you agree?

Ellis: Certainly not.  He is presenting untested speculative theories of how things came into existence out of a pre-existing complex of entities, including variational principles, quantum field theory, specific symmetry groups, a bubbling vacuum, all the components of the standard model of particle physics, and so on. He does not explain in what way these entities could have pre-existed the coming into being of the universe, why they should have existed at all, or why they should have had the form they did.  And he gives no experimental or observational process whereby we could test these vivid speculations of the supposed universe-generation mechanism. How indeed can you test what existed before the universe existed? You can’t.

Thus what he is presenting is not tested science. It’s a philosophical speculation, which he apparently believes is so compelling he does not have to give any specification of evidence that would confirm it is true. Well, you can’t get any evidence about what existed before space and time came into being.  Above all he believes that these mathematically based speculations solve thousand year old philosophical conundrums, without seriously engaging those philosophical issues. The belief that all of reality can be fully comprehended in terms of physics and the equations of physics is a fantasy. As pointed out so well by Eddington in his Gifford lectures, they are partial and incomplete representations of physical, biological, psychological, and social reality.

And above all Krauss does not address why the laws of physics exist, why they have the form they have, or in what kind of manifestation they existed before the universe existed  (which he must believe if he believes they brought the universe into existence). Who or what dreamt up symmetry principles, Lagrangians, specific symmetry groups, gauge theories, and so on? He does not begin to answer these questions.

It’s very ironic when he says philosophy is bunk and then himself engages in this kind of attempt at philosophy. It seems that science education should include some basic modules on Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, and the other great philosophers, as well as writings of more recent philosophers such as Tim Maudlin and David Albert.”

Physicist George Ellis Knocks Physicists for Knocking Philosophy, Falsification, Free Will | Cross-Check, Scientific American Blog Network.

Massive SuperOrganism with ‘Social Intelligence’ is Devouring the Titanic –The 100-Year Anniversary ‘A Galaxy Classic’

August 13, 2014

Wow!

“What they discovered is the largest, strangest cooperative microorganism on Earth.Scientists believe that this strange super-organism is using a common microbial language that could be either chemical or electrical -a phenomenon called “quorum sensing” by which whole communities “sense” each other’s presence and activities aiding and abetting the organization, cooperation, and growth.”

via Massive SuperOrganism with ‘Social Intelligence’ is Devouring the Titanic –The 100-Year Anniversary ‘A Galaxy Classic’.

When Biologists Think Like Engineers: How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design – Evolution News & Views

July 31, 2014

Excerpt:

“Mechanistic information about how a multitude of genes and gene products act and interact is now being gathered so rapidly that our inability to synthesize such information into a coherent whole is becoming more and more frustrating. Gene regulation, intracellular signaling pathways, metabolic networks, developmental programs — the current information deluge is revealing these systems to be so complex that molecular biologists are forced to wrestle with an overtly teleological question: What purpose does all this complexity serve?”

via When Biologists Think Like Engineers: How the Burgeoning Field of Systems Biology Supports Intelligent Design – Evolution News & Views.

The Priest-Physicist Who Would Marry Science to Religion | DiscoverMagazine.com

July 26, 2014

On John Polkinghorne, Cambridge Professor:

The Priest-Physicist Who Would Marry Science to Religion | DiscoverMagazine.com.

“Physics experiments cannot demonstrate the existence of God, but this test shows that today’s physics is compatible with all major religious traditions. There is strong experimental evidence for accepting that nonmaterial beings act in the world.”

The article has a lame ending (a feeble and easily answered objection), but has interesting sections.

Reasons To Believe : Artificial DNA, Actual Design

July 26, 2014

Reasons To Believe : Artificial DNA, Actual Design.

If aliens from another world were to visit Earth, their arrival would generate headlines and major buzz. In fact, if such a momentous event ever occurred, it would be hard to imagine anyone talking about anything else.

Perhaps it’s not all that surprising, then, that researchers from Scripps Institute in La Jolla, CA, garnered headlines in May of 2014 when they announced the creation of the first-ever organism to utilize “alien” DNA.1

 

So Explaining the Cambrian Explosion Is All About the Oxygen, Is It? – Evolution News & Views

July 24, 2014

So Explaining the Cambrian Explosion Is All About the Oxygen, Is It? – Evolution News & Views.

Oxygen is destructive to unprotected cellular components unless they are sealed away from it. Unfortunately, Equilibrium inhibits the production of cellular components under water, so hiding places are tough to find. Cosmic radiations is also destructive, unless they are shielded from it by ozone, which is made of….wait for it….oxygen (O3).

Tough pickle for materialists.

Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Evolution News & Views

July 24, 2014

Awesome article by Biologos’ Ann Gauger, PhD:

Life, Purpose, Mind: Where the Machine Metaphor Fails – Evolution News & Views.

Turing Machines, Von Neumann Machines, and the living cell, which exceeds the former in complexity and systemic self-symbiosis.

How many subsystems would a system make, if a system had no clue how to make subsystems? How many interconnected “chicken-and-egg” problems can arise spontaneously? What if multiple subsystems need to be in place mutually in order to make systems (including component subsystems)? What if a guy spinning 38 plates suddenly starts juggling them while breakdancing and singing all the parts of The HalleluJah Chorus by himself? ^ If you wait long enough, that will arise from dirt, right? Yeah, right.