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RationalWiki
Center: Ara-3, the bacterial population that evolved to use citrate. The Lenski affair was a poorly conceived stunt by Andrew Schlafly of Conservapedia to denigrate the groundbreaking research of National Academy of Science member Richard Lenski, in which Lenski and his student Zachary Blount actually observed evolution happening. Schlafly's stunt backfired completely and led to one of the best responses to creationism to date. It is now one of the most famous incidents in creation/evolution circles on the Internet. The fame of "the affair" left the safe confines of the Internet in September 2009 when it received a brief mention in Richard Dawkins' book The Greatest Show on Earth following a longer discussion of the results themselves. This article documents the situation as it unfolded on Conservapedia and RationalWiki, with the letters from Andy Schlafly and subsequent replies from Richard Lenski.

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Hive minds: Time to drop the fiction of individuality - opinion - 08 April 2014 FOR most of Western history, truth and morality came from God and king, and free will was a theological question. This began to change in the 1700s, and the idea that humans were individuals with the freedom of rational choice soon wormed its way into the belief systems of the upper echelons of society. Over time, the concepts of rationality and individualism profoundly shaped the governments and culture of the West. But to what extent are we freethinking individuals? The question matters because economics and much of cognitive science have, at their basis, the concept of an independent individual. Vatican says aliens could exist The Pope's chief astronomer says that life on Mars cannot be ruled out. Writing in the Vatican newspaper, the astronomer, Father Gabriel Funes, said intelligent beings created by God could exist in outer space. Father Funes, director of the Vatican Observatory near Rome, is a respected scientist who collaborates with universities around the world.

Scientism Scientism is belief in the universal applicability of the scientific method and approach, and the view that empirical science constitutes the most authoritative worldview or most valuable part of human learning to the exclusion of other viewpoints.[1] It has been defined as "the view that the characteristic inductive methods of the natural sciences are the only source of genuine factual knowledge and, in particular, that they alone can yield true knowledge about man and society. Scientism may refer to science applied "in excess". The term scientism can apply in either of two senses: To indicate the improper usage of science or scientific claims. This usage applies equally in contexts where science might not apply,[12] such as when the topic is perceived to be beyond the scope of scientific inquiry, and in contexts where there is insufficient empirical evidence to justify a scientific conclusion.

Famous Paradoxes - Examples and Definition What is a Paradox A paradox is a statement that contradicts itself or a situation which seems to defy logic. That's a simple definition of paradox. Often premises can be proven false which rectifies the contradiction. Sometimes they are just play on words, however, some paradoxes still don't have universally accepted resolutions. On this page you can find several good paradox examples to tease your mind.

Future - How human culture influences our genetics You shouldn't be able to drink milk. Your ancestors couldn't. It is only in the last 9,000 years that human adults have gained that ability without becoming ill. Children could manage it, but it was only when we turned to dairy farming that adults acquired the ability to properly digest milk. It turns out that cultures with a history of dairy farming and milk drinking have a much higher frequency of lactose tolerance – and its associated gene – than those who don't.

General Issues in Scaling « PreviousHomeNext » S.S. Stevens came up with what I think is the simplest and most straightforward definition of scaling. He said: Nonconformity and Freethinking Now Considered Mental Illnesses Is nonconformity and freethinking a mental illness? According to the newest addition of the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders), it certainly is. The manual identifies a new mental illness called “oppositional defiant disorder” or ODD. Defined as an “ongoing pattern of disobedient, hostile and defiant behavior,” symptoms include questioning authority, negativity, defiance, argumentativeness, and being easily annoyed.

Logic Puzzles Bulbs This is one of my favorite free printable logic puzzles with a real life solution. There are three switches downstairs. Each corresponds to one of the three light bulbs in the attic. You can turn the switches on and off and leave them in any position. How would you identify which switch corresponds to which light bulb, if you are only allowed one trip upstairs? The Psychology of Trust in Life, Learning, and Love by Maria Popova The science of why tit-for-tat isn’t the best strategy for cooperation and why you should hear out your hunches. “When you trust people to help you, they often do,” Amanda Palmer asserted in her beautiful meditation on the art of asking without shame. But what does it really mean to “trust,” and perhaps more importantly, how can we live with the potential heartbreak that lurks in the gap between “often” and “always”?

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? There’s a scene in Stanley Kubrick’s comic masterpiece Dr. Strangelove in which Jack D. Ripper, an American general who’s gone rogue and ordered a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union, unspools his paranoid worldview—and the explanation for why he drinks “only distilled water, or rainwater, and only pure grain alcohol”—to Lionel Mandrake, a dizzy-with-anxiety group captain in the Royal Air Force. Ripper: Have you ever heard of a thing called fluoridation? Fluoridation of water? Mandrake: Ah, yes, I have heard of that, Jack. Lateral Thinking Problems - Semantics Lateral thinking problems that require you to pay close attention to the exact wording of the problem. 1. A woman gave natural birth to two sons who were born on the same hour of the same day of the same month of the same year. But they were not twins and she had no access to a time machine.

New evidence shows how chronic stress predisposes brain to mental disorders (Medical Xpress)—University of California, Berkeley, researchers have shown that chronic stress generates long-term changes in the brain that may explain why people suffering chronic stress are prone to mental problems such as anxiety and mood disorders later in life. Their findings could lead to new therapies to reduce the risk of developing mental illness after stressful events. Doctors know that people with stress-related illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), have abnormalities in the brain, including differences in the amount of gray matter versus white matter. Gray matter consists mostly of cells – neurons, which store and process information, and support cells called glia – while white matter is comprised of axons, which create a network of fibers that interconnect neurons. White matter gets its name from the white, fatty myelin sheath that surrounds the axons and speeds the flow of electrical signals from cell to cell.

What number is halfway between 1 and 9? Is it 5 — or 3? Ask adults from the industrialized world what number is halfway between 1 and 9, and most will say 5. But pose the same question to small children, or people living in some traditional societies, and they're likely to answer 3. Cognitive scientists theorize that that's because it's actually more natural for humans to think logarithmically than linearly: 30 is 1, and 32 is 9, so logarithmically, the number halfway between them is 31, or 3.

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