Science continues kicking religion in the teeth

Today, via Wired, (via Science) we get this article:
Self-Replicating Chemicals Evolve Into Lifelike Ecosystem in which a pair of specially designed RNA enzymes were dumped into a soup of nucleic bases that could be assembled into more RNA, and once let loose, they began self-replicating. Not only that, but, lo and behold, mutations arose, and after awhile three mutant variants dominated the population with the original enzymes gone extinct. Damned near artificial life, and not just damned near, but actual evolution demonstrated in a test tube. As one commenter put it, “LOL, how ironic, evolution proven by inteligent design.”

And a few days ago, on 60 Minutes, we get a story about scientists using fMRI machines to read people’s thoughts, based on, what else, what’s physically going on inside their skulls.

Where is your soul now?

Then we have projects like the Blue Brain project, which is “the first comprehensive attempt to reverse-engineer the mammalian brain, in order to understand brain function and dysfunction through detailed simulations.” They have already made good progress towards simulating the neocortical column.

If this were a boxing match, Science would be Drederick Tatum, and Religion would be Homer Simpson — and like Homer, Religion takes massive, seemingly fatal blows while obliviously remaining seemingly unfazed.

~ by scaryreasoner on January 9, 2009.

3 Responses to “Science continues kicking religion in the teeth”

  1. If you want to both shock and delight your friends during this Darwin Anniversary year, here’s something to pass on that an American evolutionary systems scientist has discovered. Here’s the result he discovered by simply running a computer word count on Darwin’s Descent of Man. In the whole book of 828 pages in fine print, “survival of the fittest” comes up only twice – once for Darwin to apologize for ever using the term. Contradicting the pseudoDarwinian paradigm for over 100 years, instead what shows up is: 95 times for love – with a single entry in the index still used today. 92 times for moral sensitivity. 200 times for brain and mind. Wholly contradicting Dawkins and the “selfish gene,” Darwin specifically writes that “selfishness” is “a base principle” accounting for “the low morality of savages.” Wholly contradicting Dawkins’s “blind watchmaker” Darwin writes of “blind chance”: “the understanding revolts at such a conclusion.” The revolutionary full story told in Darwin’s Lost Theory, Darwin on Love, Bankrolling Evolution, and Measuring Evolution by evolutionary systems scientist David Loye is now available from online book sellers worldwide. Published by progressive new American publisher Benjamin Franklin Press (www.benjaminfranklinpress.com). Behind all this lies the saga of the formation of The Darwin Project with Council of over fifty leading American, European, and Asian scientists and educators – including wellknown Brits (see http://www.thedarwinproject.com).

  2. What the fuck?

    Darwin is not some oracle on high whose writings are read as if they comprised a holy book. Darwin got many things right about evolution, but also got many things wrong (he had no idea how heredity worked, for instance.)

    “wholly contradict Dawkins” notion of the selfish gene? Well, Darwin had no idea of genes, and a selfish gene is not comparable with a selfish human.

    Darwin’s ideas were a great starting point, but not by any stretch the be-all and end-all of evolutionary theory, not even close. So, worrying about how many times Darwin wrote of “love,” or of “survival of the fittest” is just freakin’ pointless.

  3. Update: Sun, Jan 11, 2009: PZ has a blog entry about the self-replicating enzymes.

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