Articles

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Stanley Miller of Miller-Urey fame, by NASA via Wikimedia Commons.

We’re Still Clueless about the Origin of Life

Organisms have well-defined molecular assemblies, redox potentials across membranes, and metabolic pathways — all operating in exquisite states that we call “life.”  Chemistry, by contrast, is utterly indifferent to whether anything is alive or not. Without a biologically derived entity acting upon them, molecules have never been shown to “evolve” toward life. Never. While organisms exploit chemistry for their own Read More ›

Photo by sergee bee

Seattle Is Socialism’s Laboratory, and It’s Not Pretty

Democratic socialists are in the middle of a hostile takeover of the Democratic Party. Led by the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and the “squad” of newly elected congresswomen, the hard-left coalition has laid out an ambitious agenda to transform the United States into a democratic socialist nation and Seattle has effectively become the nation’s laboratory for socialist policies. Read More ›
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Philosophical-ish Objections to Intelligent Design: A Response to Paul Draper

Recently I was asked by several people whether I had ever responded to an old review of Darwin’s Black Box by Purdue University philosopher of religion Paul Draper. I had not done so, but will use the occasion to respond now and to clear up a couple of philosophical-ish objections that have been raised against intelligent design over the years. In 2002 Read More ›

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Discovery Institute Research Fellow Gale Pooley Launches “The Simon Project”

Are we running out of resources? Many scholars, including Thomas Malthus and Paul Ehrlich, believed that population growth would result in the exhaustion of resources and a global catastrophe. University of Maryland economist Julian Simon rejected their ideas. In his 1981 book The Ultimate Resource, Simon argued that humans were intelligent beings, capable of innovating their way out of shortages through greater efficiency, increased supply, and the development of substitutes. In 1980, Simon and Ehrlich bet on the future price of $1,000 worth of five metals (copper, chromium, nickel, tin and tungsten). If the aggregate price of the five metals rose above $1,000, Simon would pay the inflation-adjusted difference to Ehrlich. If it fell below $1,000, Ehrlich would pay Simon. In spite of a population increase of 873 million over those 10 years, the five metals declined in price by an average of 57.6 percent. In 1990, Ehrlich mailed Simon a check for $576.07 (read more). The Simon Project aims to continue to explore the relationship between population growth and resource availability using four new concepts: Time Price, Price Elasticity of Population, the Simon Abundance Framework and Simon Abundance Index. Read More ›
Photo by Sam Erwin

The Fourth Reich

Discovery Institute Senior Fellow and bioethicist, Wesley J. Smith, writing in The American Spectator warns of the dangers of the world turning a blind eye to China’s human rights abuses. Smith suggests that major corporations operating in China could bring pressure on Beijing that might ameliorate some of the worst instances of injustice. Read More ›
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Discovery Founding Chairman Receives Lifetime Achievement Award From Seattle Business Magazine

Discovery Institute founding board chair Tom Alberg, who served on the board from 1991 to 2004, has been given a lifetime achievement award by Seattle Business Magazine for what they call his “uncanny knack for anticipating tech’s next blockbuster hit.” In addition to his tech senses, he also has a deep understanding of transportation and mobility challenges in the Puget Read More ›

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Photo by Chris Morgan

Mystery of Life’s Origin Authors Reunite

There was a wonderful turnout this past Saturday for the 2020 Dallas Conference on Science & Faith, with more than 1,400 in attendance. A highlight was the reunion of the three scientists who sparked the modern intelligent design revolution. That was in 1984 with the publication of The Mystery of Life’s Origin. The pioneering authors, biochemist Charles Thaxton, materials scientist Walter Bradley, and geochemist Roger Olsen, are pictured above (from right to left, Thaxton, Bradley, Olsen), being interviewed by Stephen Meyer about the paradox-filled intellectual world of origin-of-life researchers.

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Photo by Vivek Doshi

Bringing Past Articles Current to 2020: Butterflies, Hummingbirds, More

Here are items reported in 2019 that have made news in 2020: more on butterflies, hummingbirds, and the Cambrian explosion. Structural Color in Butterflies Past articles at Evolution News have discussed the phenomenon of structural color, in which colors are intensified not by pigments but by optics. In a variety of animals, light interference from microscopic ridges and other structures can intensify and Read More ›

Sad girl pupil trying to solve an example. Schoolgirl stands with her forehead on the blackboard
Sad girl pupil trying to solve an example. Schoolgirl stands with her forehead on the blackboard.

We Are Failing Our Children

n 1983, the famous report, “A Nation at Risk” concluded that our country was failing to effectively educate our children. The authors were so critical of our schools that the preamble of the report summarized their findings by saying that; “if an unfriendly foreign power had imposed our schools upon us, we would have considered it an act of war.” That was 1983. In 1991, President George H.W. Bush held an education summit, called “Goals 2000.” Bill Clinton was the chair of that summit. After days of deliberation, another report was issued stating that, “by 2000, all children will enter school ready to learn and 90% of our children will graduate from high school.” Many other goals were listed, none of which were achieved. In 2001, President George W. Bush and Congress passed a bill called the, “No Child Left Behind Act.” This legislation was designed improve accountability and to help schools meet the needs of every student. It failed to make any meaningful difference in student performance. Read More ›
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A Moral Argument for Killer Robots: Why America’s Military Needs to Continue Development of Lethal AI

Doomsday headlines warn that the age of “killer robots” is upon us, and that new military technologies based on artificial intelligence (AI) will lead to the annihilation of the human race. In his new, short book The Case for Killer Robots: Why America’s Military Needs to Continue Development of Lethal AI (Discovery Institute Press 2020), artificial intelligence expert Robert J. Marks investigates the potential military use of lethal AI and examines the practical and ethical challenges. Dr. Marks directs the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence at Discovery Institute, and he is a Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Baylor University. Marks also heads up the Center’s daily news website, Mind Matters News and hosts the Mind Matters Podcast. This short monograph is published in conjunction with the Walter Bradley Center for Natural and Artificial Intelligence and the Center is making if freely available as a digital book at the Mind Matters website. Physical copies are available through Amazon.com. “Marks makes a lucid and compelling case that we have a moral obligation to develop lethal AI,” said Jay Richards, philosopher and author, The Human Ad-vantage: The Future of American Work in an Age of Smart Machines. “He also reminds us that moral questions apply, not to the tools that we use to protect ourself, but to how we use them when war becomes a necessity.” Read More ›