Monthly Archives: July 2012

The new biology and its implications

There’s an excellent series by James Barham providing a (mainly) layman-level overview of the way that biological science is likely to be headed, on The Best Schools. The link takes you to part VII, and you should scroll down to find links to the whole lot so far near the bottom. You’ll see that he encompasses James Shapiro’s work in one article, which should interest some of my usual readers.

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Chance and providence

Yahtze is an entertaining family dice game. The highest scoring throw is all five dice the same, for which you get 50 points, and 100 bonus points if you throw another in the same game. I think the odds of a Yahtze are 6^4, or 1:1296. The odds of throwing two Yahtzes are that number squared. Correct my maths if it’s wrong – but by any calculation it’s not a highly probable outcome. We used to play it when camping with the kids, since it used less skill than other games and so caused less tantrums. There’s nothing worse than mums and dads throwing tantrums. At times, though, It used … Continue reading

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I have friends!

Mike Gene has noticed my recent post and, I’m glad to say, was happy with how I developed his idea. It’s always nice when people agree with you.

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Donald Nicholson and the charts

The Daily Telegraph carries an obituary today of Donald Nicholson, who lived to the ripe old age of 96. He it was who developed the wallcharts of metabolic pathways to be seen on many a medical student’s wall.

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Mike Gene on creation

I liked Mike’s recent post on Shadow to Light. Michael Ruse has restated the rather tired assertion that any guidance God put into evolution would overturn its known unguidedness (every instance since it began having been studied, I suppose, in detail and shown to be unguided?). Any cheating by, say, God’s guiding quantum events would be “messing with science”.

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Ology and religion

A guy calling himself “Francis” over on BioLogos took it into his head to get personally insulting in reply to one of my now infrequent posts there. I’ve neither the time nor patience to tease out exactly where he’s coming from – I think it’s blind literalism of the order “If the KJV was good enough for Paul, it’s good enough for me” type. But it may be Tridentine Catholicism, or even Pentecostal “Only those baptized with the Spirit know God’s will, and they always agree with me.” Plain trollery is another possibility, but whatever the motivation he was quick to play, unsolicited, the old “plain folks versus hifalutin’ college … Continue reading

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Information and methodological naturalism

I sometimes think that many commentators on faith and science don’t really understand the case being made for the inference of design from information. Here’s an attempt to explain it.

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Some things never change

I asked Steve Meyer what it felt like to be back in Cambridge again. He replied, “The weird thing is that it doesn’t feel more weird.” I think I know what he meant.

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Some other Cambridge observations

I’ve reported back on what I consider the “big thing” at this weekend’s Tyndale Fellowship conference “Design in Nature?” Here’s just a miscellany of small points that gained my attention in the context of the bigger question of Christian responses to origins questions.

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Why Steve Fuller is on the money

Over at Uncommon Descent there has been a thread running for over a fortnight majoring on sociologist Steve Fuller’s suggestion that ID ought to be upfront regarding its Abrahamic theistic assumptions, rather than sticking to a purely “naturalistic” scientific position that it cannot comment on the nature of the designer, though the attribution of design may have metaphysical implications. Gregory (also a regular supporter here), whose acquaintance with Fuller prompted the thread, has been getting a hard time (though, as always, giving one too) over Fuller’s presumption in trying to change ID’s terms of reference from those of its leading proponents.

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