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 ›

Time Aping over Human-Chimp Genetic Similarities

The current issue of Time features a cover story preaching evolution to the skeptical public and editorializing that humans and chimps are related. Though the cover graphic (below) shows half-human, half-chimp iconography, University of North Carolina, Charlotte anthropologist Jonathan Marks warns us against “exhibit[ing] the same old fallacies: … humanizing apes and ape-ifying humans” (What It Means to be 98% Chimpanzee, pg. xv [2002]). The cover-graphic commits both fallacies: The article also claims that it’s easy to see “how closely the great apes–gorillas, chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans–resemble us,” but then observes in a contradictory fashion that “agriculture, language, art, music, technology and philosophy” are “achievements that make us profoundly different from chimpanzees.” Perhaps Michael Ruse was wise to ask “[w]here Read More ›

Media Goes Ga-Ga Over Baby Australopithecine Fossil

An exciting find was recently reported as scientists discovered what may be the most complete australopithecine fossil specimen ever found. It is reported to be a toddler. Unfortunately, the media is misrepresenting this fossil as if it closely mimics humans. Consider the diagram below which comes from the Seattle Times (“Scientists Find Fossil Child from 3.3 Million Years Ago,” Thursday Sept. 21, 2006, pg. A2): Does Australopithecus afarensis really look so similar to humans? This diagram is extremely misleading. Consider a diagram from an actual scientific paper which reveals the stark differences between Australopithecus (right) and the earliest members of our genus, Homo (left): (From http://www.umich.edu/~newsinfo/Releases/2000/Jan00/r011000b.html covering the Hawks et al. paper) The media is calling this baby fossil “a Read More ›