I think most people know that there are certain kinds of fires that you don’t throw water on to extinguish, primarily grease, oil, gasoline, and electrical. In such cases, water is simply going to make matters much worse, either by splashing and floating the burning substances to disperse in a wider range, or by [...]
Twenty-three years ago today, the Hubble Space Telescope was launched into low-earth orbit (meaning about 555 km, or 345 mi, above the surface of the Earth.) Since that time, it has produced perhaps the largest body of work of any single telescope, and certainly some of the most detailed. And just recently, NASA released [...]
At Why Evolution Is True, Jerry Coyne has tackled yet another foofaraw among philosophers; this particular topic is one of frequent appearance, being Does science assume naturalism? And ever so typical of philosophy, it begins with traditional assumptions and goes even further off course from there.
The duel comes over the various definitions of [...]
[Click on the 'Play' arrow below for the podcast version. If it stalls, try reloading the page.] [Audio clip: view full post to listen]
I probably shouldn’t ever look at the searches that get linked here because of that title. Be patient, and it will become clear what it means.
I have, on numerous [...]
Several recent posts and articles have highlighted a problem that I’ve seen far too many times from, quite frankly, people who should probably know better. It’s rampant within philosophy, and unfortunately, there are still too many who think philosophy is something to be revered, so it tends to cross over into other disciplines as [...]
Quite a few months back, perhaps as much as a few years ago, I started thinking about how and when I began to embrace critical thinking. I mentioned before that I used to believe in a whole lot of crap and gradually left it all behind, but was there some particular event that started [...]
Nice day out there, so it’s time to go see if there’s anything to be captured in mid-February, with the added incentive that it’s Charles Darwin’s birthday and I should illustrate natural selection. Hmmmm.
Okay, let’s start with the tiny winter flowers that can be found here in North Carolina, in corners and areas [...]
[Click on the 'Play' arrow below for the podcast version. If it stalls, try reloading the page.] [Audio clip: view full post to listen] I delayed this one slightly to serve as my Darwin Day post ;-)
I freely admit that there are some really stunning things to be found in nature – in [...]
This is a revisit of a subject that I first broached in this post, which I felt needed more examination. So let’s return to that radical concept of Phi.
Phi is a mathematical ratio that, curiously enough, has more than a few close representations in nature. It is an irrational number, one of those [...]
I have very mixed feelings about emotions [now, there's a sentence of remarkable profundity.] As manifestations of internal functions to provoke behavior that benefits our species, they are distinctly important, but too often, they’re not specific enough, or they’re too easy to fool, producing behaviors that don’t really benefit us and are sometimes quite [...]