science

The Spectacular Arrogance & Ignorance of Steven Pinker’s Scientism

August 8, 2013

What is one to make of an essay seeking to bridge a purported divide of understanding between science and the humanities – in which the humanities are said to fear and mistrust the sciences – that opens with the sentence, “The great thinkers of the Age of Reason and the Enlightenment were scientists”? The essay [...]


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Compromising with Reality

November 8, 2012

. I spent less than the usual time on social media yesterday – I took a kind of day-after breather – but I devoted most of what time I did spend to venting. You can see it in my twitter feed down on the right. It was not my larger self on display, but “moderation [...]


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God and Man at the Higgs Boson Level

July 10, 2012

. Cross posted at the Algemeiner. I wrote the other day how most physicists who speak of it are uncomfortable with the label “God” particle for the Higgs boson particle, the existence of which scientists at CERN confirmed on Wednesday. The rather casual, sensationalistic origin of the label clarifies that discomfort, as does, I suspect, unsurprising scientific worry that too conventional [...]


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How We Lived on It (41) – A Universe Not Made for Us

September 24, 2011

. This is the first part of what is so far a 16-part tribute series to Carl Sagan produced on YouTube by Callum Sutherland. You can find the series Facebook page here. Related articles Carl Sagan On The Final Shuttle Launch (buzzfeed.com) Space Shuttle’s Legacy: A Carl Sagan Remix (brainpickings.org) Seth MacFarlane Producing New Take [...]


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It’s All a Great Big Google

January 18, 2011

The news came out last month. With little fanfare, Google has made a mammoth database culled from nearly 5.2 million digitized books available to the public for free downloads and online searches, opening a new landscape of possibilities for research and education in the humanities. The digital storehouse, which comprises words and short phrases as [...]


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How We Lived on It (23) – We Are All Connected (Symphony of Science)

August 7, 2010

“The inconceivable nature of nature.” melodysheep’s channel | October 19, 2009 MP3 available at http://www.symphonyofscience.com. “We Are All Connected” was made from sampling Carl Sagan‘s Cosmos, The History Channel’s Universe series, Richard Feynman‘s 1983 interviews, Neil deGrasse Tyson‘s cosmic sermon, and Bill Nye‘s Eyes of Nye Series, plus added visuals from The Elegant Universe (NOVA), [...]


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More Updike

March 21, 2009

Apropos Kerouac’s Sal Paradise feeling like “a speck on the surface of the sad red earth,” the following from John Updike on the influence of science on our sense of our place in the universe: The non-scientist’s relation to modern science is basically craven: we look to its discoveries and technology to save us from [...]


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Once More with Feeling, or the Eternal Return

January 9, 2009

According to Abhay Ashtekar, Director of the Institute of Gravitational Physics and Geometry at the Pennsylvania State University, the Big Bang theory of cosmology will need to be replaced by the Big Bounce. Loop quantum cosmology (LQC) is a derivative of loop quantum gravity (LQG), which successfully combines Einstein’s General Theory of Relavitity based theory [...]


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