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15 April 2014


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Addendum: 19 fold increase in scientific finding retractions, mainly due to falsification.


no one

TTG, Interesting. The NDE experience I mentioned was a number of years ago. As a result I too developed an interest in practical use of altered states of awareness. I too find remote viewing and that sort of thing to be valid and achievable (though I'm certainly no adept). Thanks for sharing.

no one

Optimax, I am certainly not condemning all science. I am just commenting that science is often not science, but faith/belief.

Obviously the scientific method, objectively applied, is a very powerful way of understanding and manipulating the physical realm.


at no one- I agree with you about the Big Bang theory and about the 13.8 billion years since it happened. For example, if Einstein's theories are correct (here Babak may add his thoughts) - than the time counting in our solar system time units must be wrong, for the simple reason that the expansion of the universe in the first few seconds or hours was happening at the speed of light and therefore any counting of time was impossible, there was no reference system from which to observe the whole spectacle!So, the time since it cannot be extrapolated backward, because the time stood almost still due to the speed of the expansion.
I am totally confused.. and still happy to be alive..:)


Its almost like there's a bunch of questions and all this posturing of "settled science" by others on this thread is just that.

Thanks for making my point.


no one

I understand that. Some people like to preach instead of discuss no matter the system of thought. People that think they know everything because they are good at something are the worst.

This post has rekindled my interest in biology, something I haven't study since college, and then not deeply. Just bought "DNA: The Secrets of Life" by James D. Watson.

Thank you, Richard.


I was interested in astral projection at one time. Never did have a successful and intentional launch. Decided it was best to stay were I'm at. Have been interested in herbal medicine. A distant relative of mine during the end of the 18th century was known for his apple cider vinegar cures--Dr. Josiah Bartlett.

no one


"Fruit flies have been fully speciated (no successful interbreeding) in the lab after 25 generations (fruit fly generations, that is.) "

My understanding is that whether or not such speciation has actually been observed is still an open question (see link for example).


"The Galapagos Finches speciated over millions of years. "

But, millions of year later, they're still finches.

"Given the 98% similarity in human - chimpanzee DNA, it probably doesn’t take that many mutations. It just has to be the right mutations or combination of mutations."

We also have 50% DNA similarity to a banana. Our genetics are so similar to the African Clawed Frog that the frog is being used to study human diseases, like cancer, and potential cures. The point being that a valid alternative perspective on genetic similarities is simply that DNA is the building block of carbon based organic life forms so a) all life forms contain DNA b)the more similar the life form, the more similar the particular DNA blocks used to build it.

It doesn't necessary follow that because the blocks are similar, one life form must have evolved out of the other (or both from a common ancestor). I understand that once you've tossed out God, this seems like a temptingly reasonable answer to "where did we all come from". Unfortunately, it also causes a necessary fallback to some very comic book-esque unprovable positions; lighting bolts striking primordial ooze, big bangs, etc.

Then you have the problem of what is awareness/consciousness and how does something immaterial arise amidst the material. OTOH if consciousness is primary, then what is to say that there isn't some thought behind speciation as opposed to random mutation theory?

William R. Cumming

Thanks Tyler for that link [links]! Research falsification grows each year worldwide but in particular USA!

William R. Cumming

Optimax! As you read the book understand that Watson was handed a photo of the double helix by a female co-worker before "discovering" it!



I used to be in the science education business, but not any more, so pardon me for not bothering to explain basic principles of biology to you.

The most important thing I did learn from teaching was that there's no point in presenting knowledge until the student is ready to listen, and with all due respect, I doubt that's the case here. Your noise-to-signal ratio is way too high to permit the kind of listening that leads to understanding.

My advice to you for answering your questions is a suggestion that our host here at SST regularly employs: go look it up! I'm sure Wikipedia has lots of information on the topics you're so concerned about. So look them up!

And you've taken the right tack here: I suggested that if you wanted to disagree with what I wrote, then engage me in a technical debate on my assertions. You chose not to, and frankly, that's the right choice for you.


Not a theory: an observable. The production of heavier elements from lighter ones is a well-established principle of physics, and it's readily apparent from examining the spectra of stars, including supernova.

We happen to know a lot about the curve of binding energy (in large part thanks to the cold war arms race and its need for more advanced nuclear science understanding), and there's no substantial problems with the scientific idealizations of this particular topic.

If you're interested in where the missing pieces of science might be found, then good for you for having some skepticism, but you won't find many holes in this particular venue of science. It's well-understood, and equally well-validated by observation.



The term science generally refers to the process (the scientific method) and the product (those idealizations that we refer to as theories).

So while the method is important (essential, in fact), the products are equally important, as they are the discoveries of reproducible phenomena that we utilize to produce useful objects, e.g., technologies.

It's easy to figure out from context whether process or product is being referred to, so there's no need to limit the definition as you suggest.



Thanks for your well-considered answer here. The point you make of time scales is especially relevant for questions of biology in general, and evolution in particular. It makes the notion of scientific proof much more complex and difficult than in most other fields of science.

The age of the earth is about 5 billion years, but recorded human history is about 5 thousand years, so we've been modern enough to record our presence here only for about one-millionth of the history of the planet. And if we consider the history of science (less than 500 years), then we've been studying the world around us for less than one-ten-millionth of its duration. And therein lies a big part of the problem.

Anyone who has studied even the rudiments of information theory will appreciate that it's hard to observe secular (i.e., slow) natural phenomena without an appropriately-lengthy span of observation. And we simply don't have that much experience for complex organisms like ourselves, so we look instead to faster-living organisms (e.g., fruit flies) and even to organisms that are barely alive (e.g., viruses).

And the fossil record doesn't help us much, because it's not like the processes of geology help to preserve the fossil record: quite the opposite is true. So nature is doing something of a strip-tease with us, tantalizing observers by uncovering bits and pieces of evidence, while hinting of fundamental processes that are too slow for us to readily observe.

Sometimes we get lucky. My favorite example is for those folks here who don't think the Big Bang ever happened. I guess it's not widely known that Penzias and Wilson discovered (and were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1978 for discovering) the cosmic background radiation that is the Doppler-shifted signal from the origin of the universe.

In other words, one can see the Big Bang, or at least, one can image it in the microwave region where motion has red-shifted it to. So there's no question of its existence: it's an observable, not a mere theory. We can't see what preceded the Big Bang, but those questions may not even lie in the intellectual venues that can be determined by science. Science deals with reproducible phenomena, and "the creation of the known universe" is clearly a once-in-a-universe-lifetime not-particularly-reproducible affair.

Evolutionary science has not yet been so lucky as cosmology to get a multi-billion-year-old stroke of luck validating its predictiveness, but there are plenty of other forms of validation available, e.g., molecular biology. Apparently those forms of evidence aren't enough for some folks to be comfortable with the scientific idealizations, but old ideas die hard, both within the domain of science and outside of that intellectual realm.

As always, thanks for your comments here.

no one

Cieran, What I here you saying is that you can't answer the questions, then you trot out some credentials to back up your condescension and dismissal. The assumption that someone who questions your beliefs hasn't been educating properly is classic because, why, after all, everyone just knows.....

And seriously, Wikipedia? That's a source recommended by a science educator?

Incidentally, have you, as an educator, ever read Rupert Sheldrake's theory of morphic resonance? http://www.sheldrake.org/

Sheldrake has serious creds as a PhD biology researcher and an educator (Cambridge I think it is). He too pokes a lot of holes in the standard evolution theory. Some are the same holes as presented by people on this thread. Sheldrake's theory fills those holes nicely and has one foot squarely in intelligent design and the other in biological processes.

Ever heard of him? Go ahead, look it up.


That might be what you "here", but it's not even close to what I wrote. You simply heard wrong.


You could have just said "I don't know and here's my appeal to authority fallacy" from the get go and saved yourself a lot of time.


No, he nailed it.


no one

You accuse Cieran of trotting out his credentials, in which reality he went much deeper than that, and then say Sheldrake should be believed because of his "serious creds." Are you being ironic. I read a little of Sheldrake from your link and he is what we use to call a new ager. I no longer waste my time on such nonsense. My ex was into that but I realized that modern medicine is more efficacious than crystals waived over a body. That was many years ago.


'Members of the scientific community who have looked at morphic resonance have characterised Sheldrake's claims as being pseudoscientific. Critics cite a lack of evidence for morphic resonance and an inconsistency of the idea with data from genetics and embryology, and also express concern that popular attention from Sheldrake's books and public appearances undermines the public's understanding of science.[a] Despite the negative reception Sheldrake's ideas have received from the scientific community, they have found support in the New Age movement,[26] such as from New Age guru Deepak Chopra.[27][28] Sheldrake argues science should incorporate alternative medicine, psychic phenomena, and a greater focus on holistic thinking.[29]'

'Morphic resonance is rejected by numerous critics on multiple grounds, and has been labelled pseudoscience and magical thinking. These grounds include the lack of evidence for the hypothesis and the inconsistency of the hypothesis with established scientific theories. Morphic resonance is also seen as lacking scientific credibility for being overly vague and unfalsifiable. Further, Sheldrake's experimental methods have been criticised for being poorly designed and subject to experimenter bias, and his analyses of results have also drawn criticism.[b]'

'Sheldrake questions conservation of energy; he calls it a "standard scientific dogma",[29]:337 says that perpetual motion devices and inedia should be investigated as possible phenomena,[29]:72–73 and has stated that "the evidence for energy conservation in living organisms is weak".[29]:83 He argues in favour of alternative medicine and psychic phenomena, saying that their recognition as being legitimate is impeded by a "scientific priesthood" with an "authoritarian mentality".[29]:327 Citing his earlier "psychic staring effect" experiments and other reasons, he stated that minds are not confined to brains and remarks that "liberating minds from confinement in heads is like being released from prison".[29]:229 He suggests that DNA is insufficient to explain inheritance, and that inheritance of form and behaviour is mediated through morphic resonance.[29]:157–186 He also promotes morphic resonance in broader fashion as an explanation for other phenomena such as memory.[29]:187–211'


Sheldrake provided an answer. Cieran said "lol Wikipedia".

You're really conflating the two? Like I said earlier, as with global warming alarmists you can't question evolution without its cultists jumping around the question at hand.


Because science is less about answering questions and more about "proving my voodoo right - at any costs".

There's big money to be made inventing new reasons for things like the 'achievement gap'. Not so much for pointing out the reality staring us in the face.


Not even close, Tyler. In fact, posters like "no one" should be careful of what they ask for, because they might just get it.

Like Optimax and GCP, I did take the opportunity to review Mr no one's "serious creds" authority, and Dr. Sheldrake is nothing more than yet-another new age huckster. He does have a Ph.D. (1967 in biochemistry) but on a quick examination of his web pages, it looks like he hasn't published anything scientific in decades.

And it seems that he managed to disappear from his technical field right around the time that it got really interesting, so he's contributed nothing I can find in his pseudo-CV to all the recent real-world science advancement of biochemistry topics like computational simulation of protein folding. He's missed all the excitement in his field while writing deep tomes with titles like "Dogs That Know When Their Owners Are Coming Home" instead.

If this guy Sheldrake is the kind of figure that you and no one think is an expert, then heaven help you on the topic of science, because nothing Sheldrake is doing is remotely scientific. Scientific theories are by definition predictive and verifiable, and Sheldrake's work is neither.

What I find downright hilarious about the whole thing is that "no one" raises Sheldrake up as some kind of expert on what's missing from Darwinian evolution. But Sheldrake's assertions on pseudoscientific pap like "morphic resonance" are so chock-full of technical holes that Darwin's work looks rock-solid perfect in comparison.

Ahhh, the irony...


And what does Wikipedia says about it?

Still waiting for answers to my questions. Words words words words words words words from you and still no answers forthcoming.


Who are you, the Grand Inquisitor?

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