Monday 21 December 2009

Burnee links for Monday

Hot!'A message from Simon Singh:' by Simon Singh and Síle Lane -
The fight goes on...

Remembering the Rushdie Affair « Ask the Agent
I recently read The Jewel of Medina by Sherry Jones, so this post about what it was like to be a bookseller fire-bombed for selling Rushdie's The Satanic Verses struck a chord. (Via Friendly Atheist.)

Truth in Science – Letter to all UK schools › British Centre for Science Education
Looks like they're still at it....

Science, Reason and Critical Thinking: The Ladybird Book of Chiropractic Treatment & English Libel Law
What we need is guide so simple a child could understand it. Here it is:

Theodicy III: Primo Levi versus Francis Collins « Why Evolution Is True
I've read some Primo Levi, but not Francis Collins. It seems to me, however, that Jerry Coyne's take on theodicy is exactly right.

A contest gets a winner: common creationist claims refuted : Pharyngula
One to bookmark for when you need it (and you will).

Creation Science Movement — New evidence on chance mutation and cancer
Once again this reveals the creationist blind-spot:
Two amazing observations relevant to the creation versus evolution argument flow from this. First, is it not astounding that the cells of our bodies are able to survive so well for so long under such an onslaught? Secondly, and most devastating for the evolutionary hypothesis of natural selection acting on chance mutations, we see that random copying errors break down and destroy rather than build up and create as neo-Darwinians insist. How can people believe in information-adding beneficial mutations in the light of the scientific facts, right before our eyes again in today’s news, that mutations cause cancer? Once again, the actual science validates the genetic entropy hypothesis, the idea that DNA sequences start out good but tend to go downhill with time and chance, the opposite of what neo-Darwinism requires to be so.
Most mutations are neutral. Some are detrimental to the organism, and some are beneficial, in that they confer better adaptation or survivability for the organism in its environment. To say that DNA sequences "start out good but tend to go downhill with time and chance" betrays the creationist mind-set of purpose — as if there's something that so-called neo-Darwinism is trying to achieve. Evolution does what it does because it has no choice. "Goodness" simply doesn't come into it.