Posts Tagged ‘creationism’

Creationism in Science Fiction: Artistic freedom or anti-science?

Creationism in Science Fiction: Artistic freedom or anti-science?

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

In the late 90s and early 2000s science fiction fans such as myself had a bit of a hard time. As happy as I was when the last few years brought, amongst others, the amazingly crafted science fiction spectacles Battlestar Galactica (2004) and the long anticipated Alien prequel Prometheus (2012), the more disappointed I became when I realised that both events based their storylines heavily on creationism. Now one might argue that these are works of art and therefore subject to artistic freedom, and generally I do agree. But then again, that wouldn’t be much of a blog [&hellip

Science be praised, please cure me of my Yoda Complex

Science be praised, please cure me of my Yoda Complex

By EcoEvo@TCD | Research

My former PhD student, Luke McNally and I authored a paper published recently showing how “Cooperation creates selection for tactical deception”. Using a combination of mathematical models and analysis of empirical data from 24 primate species, we show that acts of deception are more likely to occur when the individuals in the group show greater cooperation. In other words, deception and cooperation go hand-in-hand. Perhaps not a surprising result, as Rob Brooks recently pointed out in a very accurate and nice blog post on our paper, but the evolutionary forces that might maintain deception in society have not been previously described. We have [&hellip

Intelligent Design: Part Three – Dr Alistair Noble’s ‘The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design’: the review

Intelligent Design: Part Three – Dr Alistair Noble’s ‘The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design’: the review

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

I would like to say that the talk presented a range of evidence for intelligent design and carefully countered the usual arguments against it. I would like to say this, but I can’t. The talk, which lasted over one hour, spent much of the time quoting non-scientists and misquoting scientists, painting ID proponents as martyrs to the cause and science as tautologically incapable of addressing questions of design. The religious beliefs of ID proponents were constantly referred to, despite supposedly being completely irrelevant, which was an indication that this was, after all, a religious proposition not a [&hellip

Intelligent Design: Part Two – Dr Alistair Noble’s ‘The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design’: the claims

Intelligent Design: Part Two – Dr Alistair Noble’s ‘The Scientific Evidence for Intelligent Design’: the claims

By EcoEvo@TCD | Perspectives

“A lie can travel halfway round the world before the truth has got its boots on” (Mark Twain, attributed). In my previous post I gave some background on intelligent design, the theme of a talk I recently attended by  Dr Alistair Noble. This time, I’ll try and address his claims. It is easy to say something that is not true. It is not always so easy to explain why it is not true. Such is my problem here. I can summarise Dr Noble’s arguments into a few sentences, but it takes paragraphs to explain why they are wrong. [&hellip

Intelligent Design: Part One – a brief explanation and history

Intelligent Design: Part One – a brief explanation and history

By EcoEvo@TCD | Reviews

Trinity College Theological Society recently held a talk by Dr Alistair Noble titled ‘A Scientific Case for Intelligent Design’ which I attended as, possibly, the only biologist in the room. It was a fascinating, if deeply frustrating, experience. Before I get into the details of the talk, a brief explanation of intelligent design may be necessary. . . Intelligent design (ID) is the ‘theory’ that certain features of the universe, including life, are best explained by invoking a creator. I put ‘theory’ in quotes because in a scientific theory is a very particular beast. It must have [&hellip