28 NOV 2013 by ideonexus

 Turkey as a Better Symbol for America

Others object to the Bald Eagle, as looking too much like a Dindon, or Turkey. For my own part I wish the Bald Eagle had not been chosen the Representative of our Country. He is a Bird of bad moral Character. He does not get his Living honestly. You may have seen him perched on some dead Tree near the River, where, too lazy to fish for himself, he watches the Labour of the Fishing Hawk [Osprey]; and when that diligent Bird has at length taken a Fish, and is bearing it to his Nest for the Supp...
  1  notes

Benjamin Franklin argues that the turkey is a better mascot than the bald eagle, for it is a more noble bird. The behavior he describes in the eagle, which steals fish from osprey, has been confirmed independently from naturalists we have spoken to.

13 OCT 2013 by ideonexus

 Studying Nature Brings Us Closer to the Gods

Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day, but when I follow the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth; I ascend to Zeus himself to feast me on ambrosia, the food of the gods.
Folksonomies: nature astronomy naturalism
Folksonomies: nature astronomy naturalism
  1  notes

Ptolemy explains the rapturous feelings he gets from studying the stars.

13 AUG 2013 by ideonexus

 When Humanism Comes into Conflict With Naturalism

The humanist ethic begins with the belief that humans are an essential part of nature. Through human minds the biosphere has acquired the capacity to steer its own evolution, and now we are in charge. Humans have the right and the duty to reconstruct nature so that humans and biosphere can both survive and prosper. For humanists, the highest value is harmonious coexistence between humans and nature. The greatest evils are poverty, underdevelopment, unemployment, disease and hunger, all the co...
  1  notes

Reducing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is a naturalist position, but the trade-off is lowering living standards for many people in the world, which goes against the humanist position.

18 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Newton Was "Last of the Magicians"

Newton provides an example of how the idea of "science" had not yet fully emerged as something separate from religion in early Enlightenment thinking. In fact, during the seventeenth century, the word "scientist" was not commonly used to describe experimenters at all; they were called natural philosophers"^^ in an extension of the Puritan idea of the study of the Book of Nature. Science had also not fully emerged as a separate concept, but was sometimes thought of as a method or style of stud...
  1  notes

There was a great deal of belief in magic in Newton's writings.

09 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Science Faith

Many religious believers mischaracterize naturalists as people without faith, but that is absurd. Eve^ryone must believe in something—it's part of human nature. I I have no problem acknowledging that 1 have beliefs, though they differ from more traditional kinds of faith. Naturalists must believe, first of all, that the work is understandable and that it knowledge of the world can be obtained through observation, experimentation, and verification. Most scientists don't think much about this...
Folksonomies: science faith naturalism
Folksonomies: science faith naturalism
 1  1  notes

Scientists have faith that the world can be understood rationally.

09 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 The Naturalist's Concern for Death

But just because naturalists do not believe in a life after death does not mean that they don't care what happens after they die. I am deeply concerned, for instance, about whether my family members will be happy and successful after I am gone, whether my friends will continue the traditions we have established, and whether the world will be a better place because of my actions. I hope that what I do in this life will make a long-term difference in the world, though I will never know whether ...
  1  notes

They are concerned about the welfare of their loved ones, and the causal effects of their life rather than rewards in an afterlife.

08 JAN 2013 by ideonexus

 Science Unites

One of the great advantages of the naturalist worldview is that it serves as a basis for bringing people together under a common set of ground rules. Knowledge in science is public, not private, because it must be submitted to others for verification or falsification. A naturalist believes that the empirical truth is waiting to be discovered, and that we can all agree on the empirical truth so long as we believe in a few important criteria. Science can exist in any culture and any nation. It ...
  1  notes

If we all agree on an empirical worldview, then we have a common basis for understanding across nations and cultures.

09 MAY 2012 by ideonexus

 The Candle as an Introduction to Natural Philosophy

I purpose, in return for the honour you do us by coming to see what are our proceedings here, to bring before you, in the course of these lectures, the Chemical History of a Candle. I have taken this subject on a former occasion; and were it left to my own will, I should prefer to repeat it almost every year—so abundant is the interest that attaches itself to the subject, so wonderful are the varieties of outlet which it offers into the various departments of philosophy. There is not a law ...
  1  notes

Faraday considered it the best example to begin with.

23 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Untouched Forests as Temples

Among the scenes which are deeply impressed on my mind, none exceed in sublimity the primeval forests undefaced by the hand of man; whether those of Brazil, where the powers of Life are predominant, or those of Tierra del Fuego, where Death and Decay prevail. Both are temples filled with the varied productions of the God of Nature: no one can stand in these solitudes unmoved, and not feel that there is more in man than the mere breath of his body.
  1  notes

Darwin remarks on the wonders filling untouched forests he explored in his voyages.

07 MAR 2012 by ideonexus

 Things are Not Supernatural Because We Don't have an Expl...

But shall gravity be therefore called an occult cause, and thrown out of philosophy, because the cause of gravity is occult and not yet discovered? Those who affirm this, should be careful not to fall into an absurdity that may overturn the foundations of all philosophy. For causes usually proceed in a continued chain from those that are more compounded to those that are more simple; when we are arrived at the most simple cause we can go no farther ... These most simple causes will you then c...
  1  notes

We cannot explain gravity, but that does not mean it is not a natural law.