12 JAN 2015 by ideonexus

 The Evolution of the Eye

To suppose that the eye with all its inimitable contrivances for adjusting the focus to different distances, for admitting different amounts of light, and for the correction of spherical and chromatic aberration, could have been formed by natural selection, seems, I freely confess, absurd in the highest degree. When it was first said that the sun stood still and the world turned round, the common sense of mankind declared the doctrine false; but the old saying of Vox populi, vox Dei, as every...
Folksonomies: eye evolution
Folksonomies: eye evolution
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"Absurd," Darwin admits, but entirely possible.
16 AUG 2014 by ideonexus

 Hitler's Appeal was His Promise of Strife and Warfare

Also he has grasped the falsity of the hedonistic attitude to life. Nearly all western thought since the last war, certainly all “progressive” thought, has assumed tacitly that human beings desire nothing beyond ease, security and avoidance of pain. In such a view of life there is no room, for instance, for patriotism and the military virtues. The Socialist who finds his children playing with soldiers is usually upset, but he is never able to think of a substitute for the tin soldiers; ti...
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21 JAN 2014 by ideonexus

 Common Sense Does Not Predict

Common sense ... has the very curious property of being more correct retrospectively than prospectively. It seems to me that one of the principal criteria to be applied to successful science is that its results are almost always obvious retrospectively; unfortunately, they seldom are prospectively. Common sense provides a kind of ultimate validation after science has completed its work; it seldom anticipates what science is going to discover.
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Science predicts, common sense comes along afterwards.

30 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Science is the Enemy of Kings

Kings and Priests have, in some cases, made partial pretensions to patronize the Arts and Sciences, as a cloak for their enmity towards them. They ever were, and ever will be, in reality, their direst foes. An advanced state of Science cannot benefit them. Their present distinctions, and misery-begetting splendour, could not be tolerated, when mankind shall so far be illuminated as to know the real cause and object of animal-existence. Common sense teaches us that good government requires non...
Folksonomies: science government
Folksonomies: science government
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By getting to the roots of all things, it usurps their pretensions to power.

30 DEC 2013 by ideonexus

 Three Types of Faith

philosopher Paul Kurtz, in his book The Transcendental Temptation, defines three distinctly different kinds of faith, derived from the amount (or total lack) of evidence drawn upon to support it. Kurtz defines the first kind as “intransigent faith.” By this is meant faith that will not be affected by any sort of contrary evidence, no matter how strong. My own experience with some few persons who persist in believing in certain paranormal claims that have been conclusively proven false ena...
Folksonomies: faith empricism belief
Folksonomies: faith empricism belief
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Type I is belief in what is proven false, type II is belief in what has no evidence, and type III is empirical scientifically-proven belief.

18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 The Journalist's Responsibility in Health Science Reporting

Given that published medical findings are, by the field’s own reckoning, more often wrong than right, a serious problem with health journalism is immediately apparent: A reporter who accurately reports findings is probably transmitting wrong findings. And because the media tend to pick the most exciting findings from journals to pass on to the public, they are in essence picking the worst of the worst. Health journalism, then, is largely based on a principle of survival of the wrongest. (Of...
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If 2/3rds of research papers are wrong, then reporters are communicating bad and dangerous data to readers of their health news. Even worse, with conflicting research on different health issues, reporters are able to craft any thesis they like by cherry-picking for the journals.

12 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Science is Fanciful and Factual

The scientific method is a potentiation of common sense, exercised with a specially firm determination not to persist in error if any exertion of hand or mind can deliver us from it. Like other exploratory processes, it can be resolved into a dialogue between fact and fancy, the actual and the possible; between what could be true and what is in fact the case. The purpose of scientific enquiry is not to compile an inventory of factual information, nor to build up a totalitarian world picture o...
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It is a competition between what we imagine the answers are and what experimentation tells us they are.

11 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Next Objective of Science

If the question were, “What ought to be the next objective in science?” my answer would be the teaching of science to the young, so that when the whole population grew up there would be a far more general background of common sense, based on a knowledge of the real meaning of the scientific method of discovering truth.
Folksonomies: education
Folksonomies: education
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Should be teaching it to children.

08 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Gallileo's Realy Revolution

What the founders of modern science, among them Galileo, had to do, was not to criticize and to combat certain faulty theories, and to correct or to replace them by better ones. They had to do something quite different. They had to destroy one world and to replace it by another. They had to reshape the framework of our intellect itself, to restate and to reform its concepts, to evolve a new approach to Being, a new concept of knowledge, a new concept of science—and even to replace a pretty ...
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Wasn't in his new scientific truths, but in his methodology for obtaining them.

02 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 The Loss of the "Four Elements"

The disappearance of the traditional world of the ‘four elements’ was revolutionary. It was as radical in the world of chemistry as Copernicus’s proof that the earth was not the centre of the solar system; or (some said) as Robespierre’s claim that the people, not the king, embodied sovereignty. Moreover, it was counter-intuitive: it went against common sense and common appearances. Surely water and air were primary, simple elements? Not at all: chemical experiment and scientific inst...
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Was as big in chemistry as the Earth being the center of the Universe was to Astronomy.