In science, you can consistently get it wrong and still keep your job?

How'd that work out at a used car lot? In "Wrong Again: Planetologists Embarrassed" (Creation-Evolution Headlines, June 23, 2011), Dave Coppedge comments on getting it wrong about planets:

In most careers, being wrong too often is grounds for dismissal. False prophets in ancient kingdoms were stoned or shamed out of town.

Only in science, it seems, can experts consistently get it wrong, and not only keep their jobs, but be highly esteemed as experts. Among the guiltiest of the lot are planetary scientists, whose predictions have been consistently wrong for almost every planetary body studied since the dawn of the space age.

Continue reading

Why Darwinian medicine is a dead loss

 In "Darwinian Medicine and Proximate and Evolutionary Explanations," at Evolution News & Views (June 25, 2011), neurosurgeon Mike Egnor makes a critical distinction between proximate explanations and evolutionary explanations, as they apply to medicine:

Proximate explanations are the description of the process itself. A proximate explanation of type 1 diabetes is that it is caused by lack of insulin. A proximate explanation of Duchenne muscular dystrophy is that it is a recessive X-linked genetic disease that causes muscle degeneration, weakness and death. Males are affected, though females can be carriers. It is caused by a mutation in the dystrophin gene on the X chromosome (Xp21).

As you can see, proximate explanations are what medical researchers would call the scientific explanation for a disease. Proximate explanations are medical science and provide the foundation for all medical treatments.

[ … ]

The difficulty with evolutionary explanations in medicine is:

Continue reading

What if They are trying to reach us? SETI is raising funds to get the Allan Array going again

Here.

What if an alien intelligence is calling us from a distant planet and we have the phone off the hook? What if one (or more!) of the Kepler worlds recently discovered are emitting signals RIGHT NOW and we aren't listening?

That would be one heck of a message left on the answering machine. What would it say? From the newsletter:

Continue reading

Incognito even from ourselves, but …

"Are we all travelling "incognito", my latest at MercatorNet June 21, 2011), looks at Baylor College of Medicine neuroscientist David Eagleman's book Incognito, focusing on his proposed neuroscience fix for criminal law:

"Those who break the social contracts need to be warehoused, but in this case the future is of more importance than the past."

"Warehoused"? How, exactly, is that a reform?

Continue reading

“Gay Muslim blogger” hoax reveals current mainstream media’s fatal self-obsession

In "Why liberals fell for ‘Muslim lesbian blogger’ hoax" (OC Register, June 17, 2011), Mark Steyn tells a story that shows why current Big Media won't likely recover from their current tailspin:

On Sunday, Amina Arraf, the young vivacious Syrian lesbian activist whose inspiring blog "A Gay Girl In Damascus" had captured hearts around the world, was revealed to be, in humdrum reality, one Tom MacMaster, a 40-year-old college student from Georgia. The following day, Paula Brooks, the lesbian activist and founder of the website LezGetReal, was revealed to be one Bill Graber, a 58-year-old construction worker from Ohio.

In their capacity as leading lesbians in the Sapphic blogosphere, "Miss Brooks" and "Miss Arraf" were colleagues. "Amina" had posted at LezGetReal before starting "A Gay Girl In Damascus." As one lesbian to another, they got along swimmingly. The Washington Post reported: "Amina often flirted with Brooks, neither of the men realizing the other was pretending to be a lesbian."

It got so crazy that 

Continue reading