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Category Archives: atomism
The headless squid bowl sometimes served in Japanese restaurants is odd and fascinating. It strikes me as a metaphor for the cosmos: it goes without a head. How strange. In a sense, even conscious beings like ourselves go without a … Continue reading
It’s always comforting to (seemingly) settle hard questions in thirty seconds. But as a matter of logic, if space-time is the condition for existence, and existence is bound up with space-time (as Einstein proposed), then in what sense could God … Continue reading
A woman, it appears, may soon go to jail for a year for laughing at Jeff Sessions. Her name is Desiree Fairooz. A quote from a recent article at CNN’s website: [T]he notion of an American citizen going to jail … Continue reading
Best explanation vs. ad hoc explanation. A sign that you may not be seeking the best theory surrounding the truth of a matter, and instead protecting a favored theory—one you want to be true over all others—is if you’re doing … Continue reading
Scientific Method For Poets: What Is Scientific Method, Exactly, And Can It Be Separated From Our Values?
Scientific method. If we’re not engaging in self-deception, trying to ad hoc our way across the bridge from logical possibility to the actual truth of a matter, we see that we have a variety of genuinely objective tools ready-to-hand to … Continue reading
The problem. 2018 will mark the 40th anniversary of the collective suicide of the Jim Jones cult. In 1978, over 900 people left California, set up a commune in Guyana in South America, and ultimately died there together, notoriously drinking … Continue reading
In a recent article at The New York Times (“Why We Believe Obvious Untruths”), two cognitive scientists, Philip Fernbach and Steven Sloman, claim that dispersed knowledge is a ready and overriding explanation for why people profess belief in foolish things … Continue reading
Robert Young is Probably Wrong. Trump Neutrality Endangers Resisters. And That’s Why Scientists Should March on Washington
The more people who peel off, the more dangerous it becomes for those remaining in the streets who resist. So this is hard for me to read. I post a link to the below article by Robert Young, not because … Continue reading
Information. Physicist Brian Greene, in his book The Hidden Reality (Knopf 2011), gives a three word definition of information: “Information answers questions” (252). Curiously, in physics you can give a three word definition for entropy as well: entropy measures questions. (That is, … Continue reading
No, this is not a joke. This is real. Donald Trump’s national security adviser is going to be Michael Flynn. “Michael Flynn is a crackpot,” claims Paul Waldman, a senior writer at The American Spectator. He also observes that Flynn … Continue reading
An interesting floor mosaic at the University of Notre Dame memorializing the evolutionary biologist who coined the familiar saying, “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution.” The image of the double helix of DNA recalls the … Continue reading
__________ In the video above, from Harvard Medical School, bacterial evolution is on display in real time. At the end of the video, there’s even an overlay of the the branching family trees that developed in the experiment. That’s the … Continue reading
From an evolutionary perspective, why did nature give us free will? I say it never did. It’s the wrong question. We’ve never had free will. The beneficial adaptation that nature gave us is not free will, but a wide-ranging imagination, … Continue reading
A Brief History of Everything: Lucretius and Giordano Bruno Would Have Loved This Video by Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson
And they would have been astonished–astonished!–at how thoroughly atomism has vanquished Platonism–and supernaturalism generally–from the story of cosmic creation, evolution, and our origins. _____ Also, I notice that, toward the end of the video, Neil deGrasse Tyson sounds for all … Continue reading