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- Got irreducible complexity Here, Charlie. Come and look what we brought you: a little gift for your ailing stomach.
Two practical effects of the Epigenetic Revolution will be: (1) a realization that we are not slaves of our DNA, but that with healthy lifestyle changes, we can control the expression of genes (for instance, a vigorous workout at the gym makes observable effects on gene regulatory tags); (2) increasing pressure against Darwinism. The realization is growing that there is far more functional information in the cell than neo-Darwinists ever imagined. If the genetic code was a challenge to explain by undirected processes operating stepwise by natural selection, what will be the reaction to codes upon codes, master regulators of other regulators, and millions of molecules performing a living symphony?
Got irreducible complexity? Here, Charlie. Come and look what we brought you: a little gift for your ailing stomach.
Doctrines of demons: Clare Wilson at New Scientist reported on how psychologists at the University of British Columbia are using Ouija boards to probe the unconscious of experimental subjects. Many conservative theologians consider these devices to be devices for contacting deceiving spirits (I Timothy 4:1; see The Berean Call), and not a few non-theologians consider them dangerous (search Google on “ouija board dangerous”). Even if such theological views are deemed unscientific by secular psychologists, there is no question that these devices have an occult reputation: “Beloved of spiritualists and bored teenagers on a dare, the Ouija board has long been a source of entertainment, mystery and sometimes downright spookiness,” Wilson wrote up front.
It’s not as if the psychologists are trying to debunk paranormal theories in their experiments. The psychologists employed the devices as probes of inner mental mysteries, believing in a Freudian doctrine that “the unconscious plays a role in cognitive functions we usually consider the preserve of the conscious mind.” One of them asked a question that borders on contact with the devil: “How can we communicate with that unconscious intelligence?”
The experimenter may not realize whose intelligence he is communicating with. According to Wilson, the results were a little spooky: “When using the computer, if the subjects said they didn’t know the answer to a question, they got it right about half the time, as would be expected by chance. But when using the Ouija, they got those questions right 65 per cent of the time — suggesting they had a subconscious inkling of the right answer and the Ouija allowed that hunch to be expressed.” (Note: the experimental subjects were blindfolded.) Maybe that’s why the URL to Wilson’s story asked, “is-there-anybody-there”.
Father of lies: Jesus spoke of Satan as a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44), the classic first lie starting in the garden (Genesis 3:4–5). All humans fall prey to bearing false witness at times, but it is especially egregious when scientists, ostensibly committed to intellectual integrity, follow the father of lies. Last year the fraud of Diederik Stapel “shook the field to its core” (see11/05/2011); now, another psychology fraud from the Netherlands was reported in Science magazine (6 July 2012: Vol. 337 no. 6090 pp. 21–22), this time by a software algorithm devised by Uri Simonsohn to detect fraud. In the category “Scientific Ethics,” Martin Enserik headlined, “Fraud-Detection Tool Could Shake Up Psychology” because the ripple effect could affect more than just the career of latest perpetrator, Dirk Smeesters of Erasmus University Rotterdam:
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