18 JUN 2012 by ideonexus

 Human are Predictable

Human behaviour reveals uniformities which constitute natural laws. If these uniformities did not exist, then there would be neither social science nor political economy, and even the study of history would largely be useless. In effect, if the future actions of men having nothing in common with their past actions, our knowledge of them, although possibly satisfying our curiosity by way of an interesting story, would be entirely useless to us as a guide in life.
Folksonomies: social sciences
Folksonomies: social sciences
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To a point. If they were not, then economics and social sciences would not exist.

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.

13 APR 2012 by ideonexus

 Darwin and Abraham Lincoln Were Born on the Same Day

Charles Darwin (fig. 4.1) was bom on the same day as Abraham Lincoln—February 12,1809. Like Lincoln, he was a liberating force for humankind, but instead of freeing people from slavery, he freed biology from the bondage of supernaturalism. Philosophers of science have long pointed to Darwinian evolution as the greatest scientific revolution within biology, comparable to the role of Newton's or Einstein's revolutionary ideas in physics or the plate tectonics revolution in geology. Before Dar...
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And they both freed humans from chains that bound them.

21 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Looking to the Present to Understand the Past

In using the present in order to reveal the past, we assume that the forces in the world are essentially the same through all time; for these forces are based on the very nature of matter, and could not have changed. The ocean has always had its waves, and those waves have always acted in the same manner. Running water on the land has ever had the same power of wear and transportation and mathematical value to its force. The laws of chemistry, heat, electricity, and mechanics have been the sa...
Folksonomies: induction
Folksonomies: induction
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Oceans have always had waves, streams have always worn down rocks, and other natural laws have always been the same throughout time.

04 JAN 2012 by ideonexus

 Henry Ward Beecher on Science Subduing Nature

It is the triumph of civilization that at last communities have obtained such a mastery over natural laws that they drive and control them. The winds, the water, electricity, all aliens that in their wild form were dangerous, are now controlled by human will, and are made useful servants.
Folksonomies: nature environmentalism
Folksonomies: nature environmentalism
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Sounds much like science fulfilling the biblical permission for man to conquer nature.

13 DEC 2011 by ideonexus

 The Creation of Carbon in Stars

The first step occurs when older stars start to accumulate helium, which is produced when two hydrogen nuclei collide and fuse with each other. This fusion is how stars create the energy that warms us. Two helium atoms can in turn collide to form beryllium, an atom whose nucleus contains four protons. Once beryllium is formed, it could in principle fuse with a third helium nucleus to form carbon. But that doesn't happen, because the isotope of beryllium that is formed decays almost immediatel...
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Requires a very delicate balance of natural laws. If the strong nuclear force were to change by as little as 0.5 percent, there would be no carbon or oxygen in the Universe.

17 JUN 2011 by ideonexus

 Terrors Flee Reason

As soon as your reasoning, sprung from that godlike mind, lifts up its voice to proclaim the nature of the universe, then the terrors of the mind take flight, the ramparts of the world roll apart, and I see the march of events throughout the whole of space. The majesty of the gods [4] is revealed and those quiet habitations, never shaken by storms or drenched by rain-clouds or defaced by white drifts of snow which a harsh frost congeals. A cloudless ether roofs them and laughs with radiance l...
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When you recognize the natural laws of the universe, superstitious fears leave you.

18 MAY 2011 by ideonexus

 Natural Laws are Universal

...the order of the Universe is not an assumption; it's an observed fact. We detect the light from distant quasars only because the laws of electromagnetism are the same ten billion light years away as here. The spectra of those quasars are recognizable only because the same chemical elements are present there as here, and because the same laws of quantum mechanics apply. The motion of galaxies around one another follows familiar Newtonian gravity. Gravitational lenses and binary pulsar spin-...
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The laws of nature are comprehensible and the same across the Universe.

12 APR 2011 by ideonexus

 The Natural Law Argument

We now find that a great many things we thought were natural laws are really human conventions. You know that even in the remotest depths of stellar space there are still three feet to a yard. That is, no doubt, a very remarkable fact, but you would hardly call it a law of nature. And a great many things that have been regarded as laws of nature are of that kind. On the other hand, where you can get down to any knowledge of what atoms actually do, you will find they are much less subject to l...
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Many of the things we consider natural laws are really just human conventions.