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Uncommon Descent

Serving The Intelligent Design Community

Last Build Date: Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:41:30 +0000


One theory on the origin of time: It’s all in our heads

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:40:36 +0000

FromDaily Galaxy, a revisit of cosmologist Sean Carroll’s From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time (2010): The relativity of time depended upon a new theory, and if we stand back, we discover that all views of time are human constructs. If time seems linear, that’s because we humans have modeled […]

How plants see, hear, smell, and respond without animal sense organs

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 16:08:27 +0000

From Josh Gabbatiss at BBC: In their experiments, Appel and Cocroft found that recordings of the munching noises produced by caterpillars caused plants to flood their leaves with chemical defences designed to ward off attackers. “We showed that plants responded to an ecologically-relevant ‘sound’ with an ecologically-relevant response,” says Cocroft. … For example, despite lacking […]

Weird streaks suggest life on Venus?

Tue, 17 Jan 2017 12:32:12 +0000

From Keith Cooper at Venus has long been a focus of Russian planetary science, which has the proud legacy of the record-breaking Venera space probes that landed on the Venusian surface in the late 1970s and early 1980s. [Mysterious Venus: 10 Weird Facts] Time to bone up on Venus; probes are under developent. With […]

What? Is no political party the “party of science”?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 22:05:56 +0000

New Republic intern Eric Armstrong thinks that no U.S. party deserves the crown, at any rate: The time has come for Democrats to remove the beam from their own eyes, so to speak. Taking up the mantle of scientific liberalism—that is, adopting an evidence-based view of reality in pursuit of progressive policy—would serve both the […]

Self-organization paper of interest: Biological regulation: controlling the system from within

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:56:02 +0000

Friends note, from Biology & Philosophy (Springer): Biological regulation is what allows an organism to handle the effects of a perturbation, modulating its own constitutive dynamics in response to particular changes in internal and external conditions. With the central focus of analysis on the case of minimal living systems, we argue that regulation consists in […]

Moon formed from smashed moonlets?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 20:12:37 +0000

From Hanneke Weitering at LiveScience: Earth’s moon may be the product of many small moonlets that merged after multiple objects as big as Mars collided with Earth, leaving disks of planetary debris orbiting the planet, a new study suggests. This idea that multiple impacts led to the moon’s birth challenges the most prevalent theory of […]

Fun: Experiments on antimatter are now possible?

Mon, 16 Jan 2017 19:36:45 +0000

From Joshua Howgego at New Scientist: On 11 November last year, a small birthday party was held in an apparently unremarkable hangar onthe outskirts of Geneva, Switzerland. Nothing too fancy, just a few people gathered around a cake. The honourees were there. Well, sort of – they were still locked in the cage where they […]

No need for a fine tuner for fine-tuned universe?

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 21:33:15 +0000

From philosopher Hans Halvorson at Nautilus blog: This new fine-tuning design argument claims the imprimatur of physics, and is presented in quantitatively precise terms: among the set of all possible universes, the percentage that could sustain life is so small that the human mind cannot imagine it. By all rights, our universe shouldn’t have existed. […]

Rabbi Moshe Averick divides naturalist morality by zero

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 20:46:26 +0000

And gets anything, everything, and nothing as a result. From Moshe Averick, rabbi and author of Nonsense of a High Order – The Confused World of Modern Atheism at Algemeiner: For the non-believer, the statement “murder is immoral” does not reflect some underlying existent reality or truth about our universe. It is simply a statement […]

Cosmology struggles from hand-waving toward exact science, despite its friends?

Sun, 15 Jan 2017 14:28:36 +0000

Interesting point from a response by mathematician Sheldon Glashow to Daniel Kleitman’s review of Max Tegmark’s 2015 book, Our Mathematical Universe: My Quest for the Ultimate Nature of Reality,  again in Inference: Chapter 9 is devoted to what can only be called mathematical epistemology. Tegmark alleges the plausible hypothesis that there exists an external physical […]