Volvox 2017: David Kirk will be there

David Kirk

Dr. David Kirk, Professor Emeritus at Washington University in St. Louis.

I just found out from Jim Umen, who’s organizing the Fourth International Volvox Conference, that David Kirk is planning to attend. This is great news; we’ve been wanting Dr. Kirk to come since the first meeting in 2011, but it hasn’t previously worked out.

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In their own words, part 1

Evolution News & Views

Cdesign proponentsists often complain that critics attack straw man versions rather than their actual arguments. That must be really frustrating; as I’ve said before, if you have good arguments, you don’t need to misrepresent your opponents’. Here, for example is Casey Luskin on Evolution News & Views:

Many critics of intelligent design have promoted false, straw-man versions of ID, typically going something like this:

“Intelligent design claims that life is so complex, it could not have evolved, therefore it was designed by a supernatural intelligence.”

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Volvox 2017: early registration extended

Volvox 2017

Discounted registration for the Volvox 2017 meeting has been extended to June 16th. This is a pretty good deal as scientific meetings go: $550 for faculty includes registration, most meals, and a shared room. Registration for postdocs and students is $100 less, and there are travel grants available. If you’ve been debating whether or not to go, it’s decision time: prices will go up $100 after the 16th.

Comment problems

As an unexpected and unintended consequence of FreeThought Blogs kicking our old hosting service to the curb, apparently our commenter whitelists have been lost. Fierce Roller is set that I have to approve your first comment, but after that your comments post automatically.

At least that’s the way it’s supposed to work. Without the whitelist, though, WordPress thinks everyone is a first-time commenter (I had to approve a comment from Aeravi yesterday!). So I’m sorry for the inconvenience, but even if you’ve commented before, your next comment is likely to be held in moderation until I see it. So far, I’ve never blocked a comment that wasn’t straight-up spam, so comment away!

Get your story straight, will you?

Here are a few of the things that would or do support intelligent design, according to various authors on Evolution News & Views:

If evolving multicellularity is complicated. — Cornelius Hunter, Anne Gauger

If evolving multicellularity is simple. — Unsigned Evolution News & Views article

If the human and chimpanzee genomes are very different. — Denyse O’Leary, Casey Luskin, David Klinghoffer, Anne Gauger

If the human and chimpanzee genomes are very similar. — Cornelius Hunter

If life is uncommon in the universe. — David Klinghoffer

If life is common in the universe. — David Klinghoffer

So intelligent design is in the enviable position of being supported equally well by mutually exclusive predictions. Heads I win, tails you lose! Now we can add Kirk Dunston to that last entry (“Could Atheism Survive the Discovery of Extraterrestrial Life?“):

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Relief is in sight

For the past week or so, we (FreeThought Blogs) have been having server troubles. Pages often won’t serve, and here in the WordPress interface I often can’t save drafts or add images. Apparently the problem is with our hosting service, which the powers that be are consequently kicking to the curb. According to PZ Myers,

This’ll be mostly invisible and painless, but there might be a brief lockout tomorrow or the day after as the transition is made. The pattern of glitchy interruptions should end early this week.

The sooner the better.