18 MAY 2017 by ideonexus

## Habituation and Novelty

Beginning in infancy and throughout the life span, humans are motivated by newness, change, and excitement. Habituation, the tendency to lose interest in a repeated event and gain interest in a new one, is one of the most fundamental human reflexes. If the thermostat were to suddenly turn the air conditioning on, you would hear the loud humming sound begin, but within minutes you couldn’t even hear it if you tried. Habituation, a fundamental property of the nervous system, provides mechanis...23 OCT 2011 by ideonexus

## The Importance of Calculus

Calculus is one of the most important parts of mathematics. It is fundamental to all of modern science. How could one part of mathematics be of such central importance? It is because calculus gives us the tools to study rates of change and motion. All analytical subjects, from biology to physics to chemistry to engineering to mathematics, involve studying quantities that are growing or shrinking or moving—in other words, they are changing. Astronomers study the motions of the planets, chemi...Calculus measures rates of change and all of modern science is concerned with how things change.

10 AUG 2011 by ideonexus

## Adam and Eve are a Religious Variable

“But…” Lyra struggled to find the words she wanted: “but it en’t true, is it? Not true like chemistry or engineering, not that kind of true? There wasn’t really an Adam and Eve? The Cassington Scholar told me it was just a kind of fairy tale.” “The Cassington Scholarship is traditionally given to a freethinker; it’s his function to challenge the faith of the Scholars. Naturally he’d say that. But think of Adam and Eve like an imaginary number, like the square root of minu...Included in theistic equations the same way the square root of minus one is used in mathematics.

18 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

## It's Okay for Scientists to Have Biases

...why does it matter what biases and emotional predispositions scientists bring to their studies, so long as they are scrupulously honest and other people with different proclivities check their results? Presumably no one would argue that the conservative view on the sum of fourteen and twenty-seven differs from the liberal view, or that the mathematical function that is its own derivative is the exponential in the northern hemisphere but some other function in the southern. Any regular peri...Because facts are the same despite our leanings.