Category Archives: science

On Having No Head: The Headless Squid Bowl, The Flying Spaghetti Monster, And The Cosmos’s Undirected, Mutually Interdependent Arising

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

Posted in atheism, atomism, beauty, climate change, david hume, edward feser, Genesis, God, Lucretius, meditation, origins, poetry, science, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

American Nazis at Jefferson’s Statue: That Image from Charlottesville I Can’t Get Out of My Mind

_____ The hate that dares not speak its name. If this doesn’t look like Nazi Germany in the 1930s, then what is it? And at the University of Virginia. And around a statue of the greatest humanist of the Enlightenment, … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, brexit, climate change, donald trump, edward feser, feminism, hillary clinton, science, Uncategorized | 30 Comments

Trump and Authoritarianism

Clarity. A must-view, short video from Vox surveying some of the political science data on authoritarianism and its relation to Trump. A really excellent summary.

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, brexit, climate change, donald trump, edward feser, feminism, God, hillary clinton, Politics, science, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Best Explanation, Ad Hoc Explanation, and Occam’s Razor

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

Posted in atheism, atomism, climate change, david hume, edward feser, Lucretius, philosophy, science, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

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

Posted in atheism, atomism, beauty, david hume, edward feser, Lucretius, origins, philosophy, science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Jim Jones, Critical Thinking, and the Mass Suicide of the Mind

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

Posted in atheism, atomism, david hume, edward feser, philosophy, science, Uncategorized | 10 Comments

Trump’s America Is Not My America

I don’t like the phrase “not my president.” I understand the sentiment, but I think it would be a more accurate reflection of that sentiment to say, “not my America.” Trump’s America is not my America in exactly the same … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetics, atheism, Bernie Sanders, climate change, donald trump, feminism, God, hillary clinton, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 3 Comments

The Tools of Manipulation vs. The Tools of Critical Thinking

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

Posted in aesthetics, atheism, atomism, Bernie Sanders, climate change, david hume, donald trump, edward feser, feminism, God, hillary clinton, philosophy, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 7 Comments

Steve Bannon’s Vision in a Nutshell–and California as the Counter-Model

Steve Bannon’s chief goals are outlined in the link below to a recent Washington Post article. Among them is a large strategic vision grounded in national sovereignty. Bannon thinks that Western countries have surrendered ever increasing degrees of sovereignty to … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, donald trump, feminism, hillary clinton, Politics, science, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

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

Posted in atheism, atomism, Bernie Sanders, brexit, climate change, david hume, donald trump, hillary clinton, Lucretius, Politics, science, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Checklist for Skepticism, Doubt, and Critical Thinking

We are all subject to flawed reasoning. Any one of us may catastrophically misread the landscape we’re navigating, whether literal or metaphorical, causing us to arrive at false beliefs that end in our deaths. We may also be thwarted in … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, donald trump, philosophy, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 6 Comments

Atheist Bart Compolo, Meet Joseph Koerner

Pretty darn interesting. Bart Compolo, a former evangelical minister who evolved intellectually toward atheism, has discovered the world needs some of the same basic things that he did as a pastor, so he’s doing them in a low-key way at … Continue reading

Posted in aesthetics, atheism, beauty, david hume, God, philosophy, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Information and Entropy for Beginners

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

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Trump’s Secretary of State Pick, Rex Tillerson, on Global Warming

Below is a clip of the future Secretary of State on climate change. His argumentative maneuvers in the attached clip are predictably glib: (1) climate models possess a wide range of uncertainty; (2) the problems look manageable to him; and … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, brexit, donald trump, feminism, hillary clinton, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Michael Flynn and Donald Trump Walk into a Cuban Missile Crisis, and One Says to the Other…

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

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How Does It Feel?

We’re in a hostage crisis. And a fog. What I think those of us who are white males haven’t absorbed yet about this election is that there’s no being a “citizen,” male or female, second-class or otherwise, in a liberal … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, donald trump, feminism, hillary clinton, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 16 Comments

Donald Trump’s Victory and The Ending of The Planet of the Apes

Well, I’m searching for something that reflects accurately the emotion evoked in me by this election result. When the past year was ongoing, it was the ending of Hitchcock’s The Birds that seemed the apt metaphor for what I was … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Bernie Sanders, climate change, donald trump, edward feser, feminism, God, hillary clinton, philosophy, Politics, science, Ted Cruz, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Double Helix of Your Nightmares

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

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Evolution Lowdown: Earth is a Big Blue Petri Dish in Space

__________ 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

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GMO Wars: 107 Nobel Laureates vs. Greenpeace

Can my fellow liberals, who too frequently count themselves among the idiotic “No GMO!” constituency, please get off the science-denial bandwagon now, leaving it to the far-right, with its young Earth creationists and global warming denialists? 107 Nobel laureates sign … Continue reading

Posted in atheism, Politics, science, Uncategorized | 6 Comments