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Uncommon Descent

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Last Build Date: Tue, 25 Oct 2016 03:00:58 +0000


Why is Wonder Alien to Social Psychology?

Tue, 25 Oct 2016 03:00:58 +0000

A recent article tries to tackle some important and often-missed points of social psychology. [Unbridled skepticism] has given rise to a belief that what we think about ourselves and our lives together cannot be held with any confidence until objective, scientific insight into these problems is obtained. The result of taking such a stance on […]

Steve Fuller: Humans will merge with AI

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:23:51 +0000

From sociologist Steve Fuller, who has studied ID, at Telegraph: Stephen Hawking summed up the thinking of many of the researchers and funders behind artificial intelligence this week when he launched the new Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Intelligence at Cambridge by claiming that AI is “either the best or worst thing to happen […]

Atheism as religion: Atheist cemetery opens in Sweden

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 19:07:03 +0000

From Caroline Mortimer at Independent: Founder insists believers are welcome as well as long as they don’t have religious symbols on their headstones Apparently, the Church of Sweden will maintain the graveyard. Josef Erdem, a teacher from Borlänge in central Sweden, first proposed the idea because he wanted people to “decide for themselves what their […]

Atheists blocked Not Ashamed trailer from YouTube

Mon, 24 Oct 2016 16:33:48 +0000

For eleven months. From Stoyan Zaimov at Christian Post: The atheist criticism against the movie reached such intensity that the film’s trailer was blocked on YouTube for 11 months because it was flagged by members of the community who were seemingly upset with its representation of what happened. The issue was allegedly the claim that […]

Denis Noble: Why talk about replacement of Darwinian evolution theory, not extension?

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 14:02:20 +0000

In new book on the Royal Society’s Public Evolution Summit, Oxford’s Denis Noble explains, The reasons I think we are talking about replacement rather than extension are several. The first is that the exclusion of any form of acquired characteristics being inherited was a central feature of the modern synthesis. In other words, to exclude […]

Smart lab rats enter Hooked Tool Age

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 08:07:43 +0000

(To get chocolate cereal) From Agata Blaszczak-Boxe at New Scientist: Rats have been filmed for the first time using hooked tools to get chocolate cereal – a manifestation of their critter intelligence. Akane Nagano and Kenjiro Aoyama, of Doshisha University in Kyotanabe, Japan, placed eight brown rats in a transparent box and trained them to […]

iOS autocomplete nearly addresses physics conference

Sun, 23 Oct 2016 07:44:52 +0000

But rivals feared the system would hog the stage? From Elle Hunt at Guardian: A nonsensical academic paper on nuclear physics written only by iOS autocomplete has been accepted for a scientific conference. Christoph Bartneck, an associate professor at the Human Interface Technology laboratory at the University of Canterbury in New Zealand, received an email […]

Exoplanets: Robbing the term “Earth-like” of meaning

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 23:53:04 +0000

From Nathaniel Sharping at Discover blogs: Every time astronomers discover another exoplanet, the first question is,”Does it look like Earth?” Finding an Earth-like exoplanet would certainly increase our chances of finding life, as we know it, on that distant world. We could finally prove that we’re not all alone in this big, cold universe. But, […]

423 mya fish upends jaw evolution theory

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 10:30:09 +0000

From Anna Nowogrodzki at Nature: The 423-million-year-old specimen, dubbed Qilinyu rostrata, is part of an ancient group of armoured fish called placoderms. The fossil is the oldest ever found with a modern three-part jaw, which includes two bones in the upper jaw and one in the lower jaw. Researchers reported their find on 20 October […]

Torturing the data till it really scares people

Sat, 22 Oct 2016 06:22:57 +0000

From Ronald Bailey at Reason: When environmental activists could no longer maintain with a straight face that exposure to trace amounts of synthetic chemicals is a significant cause for cancer in people, the endocrine disruption hypothesis was ginned up. The idea is that chemicals that mimic estrogen are causing epidemics of deformed penises, lower sperm […]