Pure Dogma

Once upon a time scientists were supposed to be skeptical. Scientific theories, we were taught, were to be questioned. Yes scientists were to formulate theories, but they were also to search for evidence against theories, even their own. And while such a noble action as searching for problems with one’s own theory might be too much to ask, certainly scientists were never to protect a theory against contradictory evidence or mislead the public. That would be the ultimate scientific sell out. Scientists were to be objective, and to follow the evidence where ever it may lead.Those days are gone — long gone. Misleading the public, covering up evidence, protecting theories — that is all standard fare today. We have now Read More ›

Epigenetic Inheritance: Can Evolution Adapt?

Given how routinely evolution fails to explain biology, it is remarkable that scientists still believe in the nineteenth century idea. One of the many problem areas is adaptation. Evolution holds that populations adapt to environmental pressures via the natural selection of blind variations. If more fur is needed, and some individuals accidentally are endowed with mutations that confer a thicker coat of fur, then those individuals will have greater survival and reproduction rates. The thicker fur mutation will then become common in the population. This is the evolutionary notion of change. It is not what we find in biology. Under the hood, biology reveals far more complex and intelligent mechanisms for change, collectively referred to as epigenetic inheritance. You can Read More ›

A Pyknon Prediction

The latest “junk” DNA finding is that pyknons have been found in the much studied plant Arabidopsis thaliana. Pyknons are short (about 20 nucleotides) DNA sequence patterns that are common, and show up in both genes and the “junk” regions of DNA (introns and intergenic).

McLeroy Does it Again

Editor’s Note: This is crossposted at Cornelius Hunter’s blog, Darwin’s God. The much maligned Don McLeroy has a column in today’s Bryan-College Station Eagle. Recall that McLeroy has been accused of a host of nefarious deeds, including recklessly disregarding the advice of education experts, causing the Texas State Board of Education to be “extremely dysfunctional,” fueling endless culture wars, and putting ideology and partisanship ahead of the schoolchildren of Texas. So what does McLeroy have to say for himself? Well he starts right off with the ludicrous idea of teaching only science in science class. I can now see why everyone was so upset. McLeroy writes that there is no place for any ideology, religious or otherwise in science class. Read More ›

Science’s Blind Spot Is Still There

When scientists decide they know what the right answer is, despite what the scientific evidence may indicate, then bad things can happen. This was the theme of my recent book Science’s Blind Spot, where I explored the history and consequences of the mandate for naturalism in science. For about two hundred years before Charles Darwin presented his theory of evolution, theologians, philosophers and scientific investigators promoted a series of religious and philosophical arguments that mandated purely naturalistic explanations for the history of the world. Darwin’s book, where he used a plethora of these metaphysical arguments for his otherwise scientifically weak theory of evolution, was something of a capstone for the movement. The foundation was in place, and as one historian Read More ›