new project?

OK, so for some reason I just don’t want to read geology and petroleum engineering all semester. Here’s my new idea — which I got after reading Carl Zimmer’s blog posting on Ann Coulter’s book, Godless. How bad is our nation’s science illiteracy? And to what extent do pundits such as Coulter contribute to that illiteracy? In other words, what is the pull to disregard science? I haven’t quite got my question articulated, and I’m wondering if this project qualifies as soft science, whatever that is. Help?!


4 responses to “new project?

  1. My computer just did something weird, so I do not know if what I was typing was just submitted or not. I’m just going to assume for now that it was and pick up where I left off. If the rest didn’t go through I’ll retype it later. This article does not explain how mutation could add new information. From what I understand they can only corrupt or duplicate preexisting information. For evolution to be feasible it would have to add new information. has a lot of articles that discuss the issues with evolution, and I have a couple of books on it if you’re interested. One of the books even discusses the appendix.

  2. I guess it was just deleted then. Before that happened, I said that I had just read that article, and I’ve read Godless. I agree that some of it was inaccurate, particularly that she seemed to equate evolution with speciation, even though they are different, and therefore she threw the idea of speciation out. She is right to say that evolution is illogical though, and I wouldn’t trust everything in that article either. For instance, he says, “It [evolution] has been tested by generations of scientists and found to be the best explanation science can provide for how the natural world has gotten to be the way it is.” Scientific experiments cannot test what happened in the past. At best it can show that it is feasible to have happened in the past, and even with that many assumptions must be made about whether processes in the past were affected by anything that could cause them to work differently.

  3. I really don’t want to start an evolution debate, but I feel the need to point out that evolution (or at least natural selection) can be demonstrated, every time a bacterial species becomes resistant to a drug, a mutation that allowed certain members of the species to survive, while others did not, must have taken place, right? I hope this comment is not *too* contentious…

  4. @gammadraconian: I never denied that some mutations can be helpful, but the sort of change you mentioned would not make the bacteria more complex. It is still bacteria, and actually, mutations like that can be harmful in other ways. In an environment where the drug is not present, the bacteria with the mutation is less fit much of the time. Proving natural selection does not prove evolution. Natural selection eliminates information. It doesn’t create it.

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