Science in America — Neil deGrasse Tyson

April 20, 2017

A very powerful video that speaks for itself.


Robots, not immigrants, are taking American jobs

April 3, 2017

From the article:

On some not-too-distant day, it will become clear that our civilization has become so reliant on highly efficient, wondrously intelligent machinery that we simply do not need that many people to work in traditional jobs. There will be plenty of wealth to go around, but not that much work. Unless we want millions to starve or go homeless or riot in the streets, our society will need to guarantee a minimum income for everyone by letting all citizens share in the vast wealth created by robot labor.

Robots, not immigrants, are taking American jobs


Why I Know There Are No Gods

March 22, 2017

Background:

Formally, I classify myself as a gnostic atheist, meaning I know there are no gods. Most atheists (from what I read online) appear to be agnostic atheists, people who are without gods but who do not claim to know there are no gods. Some people who fit this description simply call themselves agnostic. But, on formal forums, like reddit’s atheism subreddit, all who are without gods are atheists and agnostic or gnostic is a statement of whether they know or have doubt. Similarly, they allow for agnostic theists, those who believe in god(s) but have some doubt.

Regarding knowledge:

In no other area of discussion do we expect certainty or proof when we speak of knowledge. Nearly all knowledge, outside of mathematics, is empirical knowledge, gained by empirical evidence.

Empirical evidence, also known as sensory experience, is the knowledge received by means of the senses, particularly by observation and experimentation. The term comes from the Greek word for experience, ἐμπειρία (empeiría).

After Immanuel Kant, in philosophy, it is common to call the knowledge gained a posteriori knowledge (in contrast to a priori knowledge).

This is the type of knowledge we use when we say that we know that if we drop a ball on the surface of the earth, it will fall. I don’t hear a whole lot of people telling me, you can’t claim to know that because you can’t prove it. But, indeed we cannot. We know the ball will fall because it has done so the last gazillion times we performed the experiment.

For some reason, most people expect that if you say that you know there are no gods, that this one case of knowledge requires certainty. We do not require certainty from any other type of knowledge. Why do we demand certainty to state knowledge only when we are discussing knowledge of the existence or non-existence of gods?

Why this one?

Nowhere in the definition of knowledge does it ever specify that we must have 100% certainty.

So, when I say I know there are no gods, I mean it the same way that I know the ball will drop or that I know the planet on which we live will continue to rotate through the night causing the appearance of a sunrise in the morning, even if it is blocked by clouds. Night will become day as the earth rotates. I know it. You know it. We cannot prove it to 100% certainty. We only know that it has always done so before.

Classifying gods:

To begin our discussion, we have to classify gods. This way we can address different claims of gods individually.

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IUCN Misses One Critically Endangered Species … Us

May 12, 2016

Some of my formerly radical views seem to be becoming more mainstream. Click this first link to read the main topic of this post.

ALERT: Critically Endangered Species: Homo sapiens

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Is Humanity On the Verge Of Extinction?

January 30, 2016


Scientist Claims He Has Found Evidence Of Other Universes

October 30, 2015

Of course, I’m still unconvinced. I’d have found this more convincing if someone had predicted that there might be such areas in the CMB prior to finding them.

Still though, it’s very interesting.

Let’s see if he can form this into a scientific and falsifiable hypothesis. Then we can see if it pans out.

Scientist Claims He Has Found Evidence Of Other Universes


Parallel Universes, Science That Can Be Tested?

September 11, 2015

[T]he idea that we live in a “multiverse” made up of an infinite number of parallel universes has long been considered a scientific possibility – although it is still a matter of vigorous debate among physicists. The race is now on to find a way to test the theory, including searching the sky for signs of collisions with other universes.

The Theory Of Parallel Universes Is Not Just Maths – It Is Science That Can Be Tested


Created in His/Her Image … Noodly Apendages and all

August 17, 2015

Is the intelligence and complexity of the members of the cuttlefish family (octopi, squid, cuttlefish) proof of the existence of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

No.

But, it sounded like a good introduction to a highly interesting article about the complexity of the octopus genome, the mapping of it, and the intelligence of this family of creatures.

Enjoy.

Decoded octopus genome reveals secrets to complex intelligence


Neil deGrasse Tyson: A Brief History of Everything

August 2, 2015

In an astonishingly short 8.5 minutes, Neil explains it all for us lay folks. Enjoy.

P.S. Major kudos to the sketch artist Henry Reich as well. The illustrations are amazing in their accuracy and simplicity.


Of Purpose and Penis-Religion vs Science Debate Rages On

January 2, 2015

I love the graphic. Click the link below to read the article.

http://madmikesamerica.com/2015/01/of-purpose-and-penis-religion-vs-science-debate-rages-on/


10 Things You Didn’t Know About Vaginas — from IFLS

December 4, 2014

It’s actually true that I did not know a single one of these before. Interesting. Well, of course, some of the 10 are more interesting than others. For the last, the word is sheath or scabbard. Why sword holder? Are we really no longer expected to know what a sheath or a scabbard is?

It is vaguely appropriate for this to be posted on I Fucking Love Science. Or, would this be I Love Fucking Science? Or, I Love the Science of Fucking?

Anyway, enjoy.

http://www.iflscience.com/health-and-medicine/10-things-you-didnt-know-about-vaginas

P.S. A much tastier source of good bacteria, IMHO. And, I like yogurt or even yoghurt.


New Hypothesis Suggests Parallel Universes Interact With And Affect Our Own Universe

November 10, 2014

First, I hate when people call these brand new thoughts theories. Theory in science does not mean what it means in a court of law. It means something that is tried and at least fairly well proven. It makes predictions, can be used to do calculations, and may even have engineering applications.

Anyway, this is an interesting hypothesis. I wonder if it will make testable predictions, and if so, what they will be. Then, I will be very interested to hear whether the tests have been implemented and whether the hypothesis passes the tests.

Until then, this is merely an amusing thing to think about. Let’s see how this pans out.

http://www.iflscience.com/physics/physicist-predicts-parallel-universes-overlap-and-interact


Why is there someting rather than nothing?

July 14, 2014

This is probably the best explanation of this going around. It is lengthy but highly worth watching.

“God is unnecessary or at best redundant.” Great quote and well demonstrated in the more than an hour lead up.


Creationist Gives Huge Grant to Science University; What Does This Mean For the Future?

May 30, 2014

Lately we seem to be constantly confronted with examples of religion creeping in and trying to infringe on our science education. The latest I have come across is a young earth creationist donating a huge grant to a technical and scientific university. What’s more worrisome is that this university is a leading educator of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) teachers. Will this donation influence the curriculum of this university is the big question. And, what does accepting this money say about the university and their commitment to real science? I guess for organizations that accept grants, money is always taken no matter what the source or any potential consequences may be.

I personally find this very disturbing.

Greg Gianforte is an alumnus of the Stevens Institute of Technology in Hoboken, New Jersey. He is also a presumed young earth creationist who helped fund a creationist museum in Glendive Montana. And, now he’s funding Stevens Institute of Technology, among other things, a leading educator of our STEM educators.

So, what does it mean when the largest donation by a living donor in the history of Stevens Institute of Technology, $10 million, is being given to the institution by a presumed young earth creationist who also funded a museum that teaches that humans and non-avian dinosaurs coexisted in a world that is less than 10,000 years old?

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Niel deGrasse Tyson: Reason and Faith are Irreconcilable

May 16, 2014

I agree. I also disagree with Steven Jay Gould regarding Non-Overlapping Magisteria. I think religion and science are in direct conflict. To believe both requires turning off the science part of your brain while thinking about the religious part and vice versa. I think this is hypocrisy.

We all live with hypocrisy. Perhaps there are others who can live with that level of hypocrisy. I cannot. I’m sure others would chide me for the levels of hypocrisy with which I am capable of dealing. So, ….

Anyway, Niel does a great job (as always) explaining why reason and faith do not work together. He also takes on the God of the Gaps. Intelligent religious people do not go for the Incredible Shrinking God of the Gaps.

Enjoy.


Finding Solace in Science?

June 1, 2013

This matches my views somewhat. I too take solace in science. Though, personally I have a few differences with the text of this article. Still, it’s nice to see that I’m not alone in finding science comforting.

Facing Adversity, Some Find Solace in Science

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Religion Going Extinct?

March 22, 2011

One can only hope. Or rather, this one is surely hoping.

Religion may become extinct in nine nations, study says

Actually, I’m not really that hopeful. First, note that the U.S. is far from being on the list of the nine countries and wields an undue influence on the world partly because of the internet, partly because of the entertainment industry. Second, and perhaps more importantly, for it to go extinct, you would need consensus. I’m not aware of any time in history when humans had consensus about religion either way. Even small pockets of religion will keep it alive waiting for a pendulum swing the other way.

I would love to be as optimistic about the loss of the scourge of religion, but simply do not believe humanity will really go that way with the strength necessary to truly make religion extinct.


Sheldon Comments on Big Bang Theory Lyrics

February 19, 2010

OK. Obviously, I am not the fictional character Sheldon from the TV show The Big Bang Theory. Nor am I claiming to be one of the writers for the show. That said, I started watching the show because a coworker repeatedly called me Sheldon. After watching the show a number of times, I can only say that I take it as a huge compliment to be considered similar to Sheldon. Personally, I do not claim to be as smart as the Sheldon character is portrayed, nor do I think my social skills are quite that bad.

Please note before going on with this post that I do like the show, the song, and the lyrics. This post will really be about picking a few choice nits and giving credit where the lyrics are correct. So, why bother?

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Neil deGrasse Tyson on UFOs

September 24, 2009

Neil is always great for simultaneous education and laughter … an impressive talent.

Thanks to Rich who adds that if you were expecting to see someone bite someone’s ear off, that was his brother Mike deGrasse Tyson. (OK, we sort of came up with that together. I was considering not admitting any part of it.)


Science of Chocolate Podcast from NYAS

March 3, 2008

The New York Academy of Sciences has released the podcast of its excellent lecture The Science of Chocolate. Unfortunately, I cannot publish you the chocolate on a blog site. Sorry. However, I assure you it was delicious. The lecture was really great, explaining a variety of health benefits of chocolate and some of its history. Then, it went on to tasting technique and some details of various chocolates. I’d highly recommend this if you have any interest in the subject matter. Yum!! A delicious way to stay healthy.