New Scientist Replies to Cornell IDEA Club

The following was posted on the Cornell IDEA Club Blog at Reply From the New Scientist: October 6, 2006 Hello Hannah and thank you for your message. We are aware of this incident and have addressed the matter internally. Celeste Biever is a staff reporter at New Scientist who covers, among other specialties, stories related to the intersection of science and culture on the topic of evolutionary biology. The exchange in question is unique in Celeste’s history with us and not representative of New Scientist reporting. We are not currently pursuing a story about your group and do not intend to publish any part of the communication Celeste initiated with you. I hope this will address any concerns you may Read More ›

North Korean Nuclear Test Forces Seismologists to Make a Design Inference

This week, seismologists were met with the unfortunate news that North Korea probably tested a nuclear weapon. (For more technical details on the detonation, see here.) The task of seismologists in the free world has been to confirm whether the North Korean government was truthful when they claimed they tested a nuke. Whether they realize it or not, scientists currently working to verify if North Korea has conducted a nuclear test are actually engaging in an exercise in intelligent design. They are trying to distinguish between naturally caused seismic energy and seismic energy which was artificially produced by an explosion caused by intelligence. Such studies are possible because explosions, particularly large ones like nuclear blasts, produce a distinctly different seismic Read More ›

Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account Part VIII: Important Facts Left Out About ID Research

[Editor’s Note: A single article combining all ten installments of this response to Barbara Forrest can be found here, at “Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account.” The individual installments may be seen here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.] In her Kitzmiller account, Barbara Forrest leaves out information about the scientific research supporting ID, claiming “creationists are executing every phase except producing scientific data to support ID.” Ignoring her usage of the “creationist” label, Dr. Forrest’s argument mimics that of Judge Jones. Both Dr. Forrest and Judge Jones ignored the testimony provided in the courtroom during the Kitzmiller trial by Scott Minnich about his own experiments Read More ›

Celeste Biever’s History of Factual Errors and Bias in Stories about ID

Yesterday we reported how New Scientist writer Celeste Biever has used a fake identity to contact people for a story on intelligent design (ID). (As documented here, Biever falsely identified herself as “a student at Cornell” named “Maria” to the Cornell IDEA Club.) Apart from her latest tactics, Biever has a history of extremely inaccurate and biased reporting when it comes to the issues of evolution and intelligent design: (1) Kansas Science Standards. In an article that reads like a Kansas Citizens for Science press release, Biever falsely claimed that the 2006 Kansas State Primary elections “ousted two radical conservative school board members” and reported that the current board “opposes the teaching of evolution.” Ignoring the “radical conservative” invective, there Read More ›

Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account Part VII: Exposing the “Correlation = Causation” Fallacy

[Editor’s Note: A single article combining all ten installments of this response to Barbara Forrest can be found here, at “Response to Barbara Forrest’s Kitzmiller Account.” The individual installments may be seen here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8, Part 9, Part 10.] According to Wikipedia, a classic example of the “Correlation implies causation” logical fallacy might assert, “Sleeping with one’s shoes on is strongly correlated with waking up with a headache. Therefore, sleeping with one’s shoes on causes headache.” The way to refute this argument is to point out that it is based upon a logical fallacy which proves causation via correlation, and explain how a third explanation better Read More ›