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Philosophy Roundup

Philosophy of science is a broad discipline incorporating many sub-disciplines such as intellectual history, sociology, ethics, rhetoric, logic, demarcation of science from pseudoscience, classification, discovery, verification, explanation and more.  A dozen recent news stories discussed some of these topics. Medical ethics:  PhysOrg reproduced an AP story about medical research on humans in the US in […]

Is Star Formation Understood?

Astronomers often speak with apparent confidence about regions of active star formation in nebulae or galaxies. A look at the fine print, however, shows plenty of wiggle room when observations don’t quite match theory.

Human Genome Project Supports Adam, Not Darwin

Science magazine last week had a special series of articles on the 10-year anniversary of the Human Genome project.  Most of the articles expanded on how different the findings were from predictions.  The publication of the genome did not identify our evolution; it did not lead to miracle cures.  What it did most of all […]

Critical Thinking Needed in Science Education

Several recent articles noted that students are being dumbed down in science education.  Can this be applied to their learning about evolution?     PhysOrg reported that critical thinking has been called into question at the university level of education.  “A post-secondary education won’t necessarily guarantee students the critical thinking skills employers have come to […]

Intelligence as a Cosmic Reality

The “I” in SETI takes “Intelligence” seriously.  It requires that intelligence is a recognizable, quantifiable property of nature.  The origin of intelligence is a question that separates theists from materialists – whether it is a fundamental or emergent property.  Before engaging that question, it might be instructive to see how scientists who are not necessarily […]

Astrobiologists Can’t Figure Out What They Are Looking For

To look for life in space, it’s obvious one must first understand what life is.  Science Daily promised “New Answers to an Age-Old Question in Astrobiology” i.e., but delivered only suggestions, four contradictory opinions, and more questions.     According to the article, most of the latest issue of the journal Astrobiology1 is devoted to […]

Scientists Debunk Scientists

What do you know?  We look to science to tell us about reality, but how confident can we be when they keep changing the tune? Undermining cosmology:  Science Daily tells us today that “Cosmology Standard Candle Not So Standard After All.”  Results from the Spitzer Space Telescope show that Cepheid variables shrink as they age, […]

Divining Dino Dining

Some of those big, fierce-looking dinosaurs—cousins to T. rex—could have been vegetarians.  That’s a paradigm-shaking announcement being made by PhysOrg, Science Daily, and Live Science: “Meat-Eating Dinosaurs Not So Carnivorous After All.”  The revision is based on information from the Field Museum of Chicago.     A similar article on PhysOrg laments that one of […]

Loopy Cosmology Goes Abstract

A physicist from Warsaw standing by a Picasso painting finds convergence with his thinking about the origin of the universe.  The caption on Science Daily reads, “The lines in the painting are fairly similar to graphs showing the evolution of quantum states of the gravitational field in loop quantum gravity.”  The cosmologist is Prof. Jerzy […]

Sunday Potluck

Here’s a list of quick headlines with minimal comment for mental snacking.  Then it will be time to clear the kitchen for another week of more deep-fried reporting. Magician fools scientists:  Skeptic/magician James Randi tricked a group of scientists, then warned them to doubt their own infallibility (except when it comes to atheism); see Live […]

SETI Ignorance Gets Stronger

“Science is not about blind faith” begins a video posted on MSNBC about SETI.  Part of an article by AP reporter Seth Borenstein, “Evidence for E.T. is mounting daily, but not proven,” the video explains Frank Drake’s famous equation that tries to quantify the probability for extraterrestrial intelligence (09/29/2010, 11/24/2008).  Though Drake confidently asserts the […]

Lean to the Left: Science Reporters Oblivious to Conservatism

Take any issue, and there will often be a liberal view and a conservative view.  Why is it, then, that science reporting is almost always liberal?  It’s not just that left-leaning slants on science issues predominate; the reporters and institutions often seem utterly oblivious to the idea that other positions, like conservative views, even exist.  […]

Science Done by Humans Is Mushy

Discoveries in science must be mediated by flawed agents: human beings.  Though the most hardened scientific realists maintain strong beliefs in external reality, the perceived reality is mediated by senses, then interpreted by minds that are not omniscient.  Those are some of the reasons that science keeps changing, as illustrated by some recent examples: Endangered […]

Can Astronomers See Behind the Big Bang?

An astonishing claim is being reported: “Cosmos may show echoes of events before Big Bang” (BBC News).  How can this be, since secular cosmologists claim that the big bang was the beginning of time, space, matter, and everything, and it is impossible even in principle to go beyond it?     The character behind the […]

Thank God or Science?

Americans are celebrating Thanksgiving today, a long-standing tradition going back to the earliest European settlers in North America, the Pilgrims.  Up until recently, the tradition included giving thanks to God.  Now, the trend is to thank one another.  The NASA Director put out a thanksgiving message Wednesday basically thanking all the NASA employees for their […]
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