Possibly Found: One Higg’s Boson. Needs Good Home.


Big announcement tomorrow from the Large Hadron Collider project.    It appears that two different detectors in the LHC have found the last of the predicted particles in the so called Standard Model for quantum physics.    As particle accelerators got bigger, each of the particles that the model predicted were found except the largest one called The Higgs Boson.


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Adam and Eve Science


You may have heard a scientific rumor that Eve was discovered through genetics by biologists.   Be careful to not get caught up in the metaphors that are sometimes used by scientists to illuminate a concept.

The theory of evolution predicts that any two organisms living or dead has a common ancestor.    For example, you and your siblings have  your mother and father as your common ancestors.   And you and your cousins share a grandfather and a grandmother as a common ancestor and so forth.    Since all life comes from life (after the first life form, that is) we can extend this as far back as we want.   But can we really find Adam and Eve through this process?
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Twilight on the VLA


Image courtesy of NRAO/AUI

This is the Very Large Array. A radiotelescope on the Plains of San Agustin fifty miles west of Socorro, New Mexico.   The VLA is used to look into deep space to study far off objects in space.  But rather than looking at them optically, it scans their radio spectrum instead.

The dishes can be pointed in any direction and they can move around on tracks.    A design that uses many dishes like this is called a Synthesis Array, because the individual dishes approximate the focusing ability of a dish the size of the whole array.

 

Irreducible Complexity, Reduced (or why a unicorn owes me $20) – Part 2


In part 1 of this series of three articles I demonstrated the problem of trying to prove something logically using either of two logical fallacies called False Dichotomy, and Appeal To Ignorance.     I highly recommend reading part 1 if you are unfamiliar with these logical fallacies.   In this part 2, I would like to demonstrate why the relationship between the hypothesis of Irreducible Complexity, put forth by Intelligent Design proponent Michael Behe is based on the logical fallacy of False Dichotomy.

If you read on, you might find out why the unicorn still owes me $20. Continue reading

Irreducible Complexity, Reduced (or why a unicorn owes me $20) – Part 1


You are a thief!  I can prove that you, the reader,  stole $20 from me.   Last night, while my wife was out of town, I left a $20 bill on the kitchen table.  When I woke up this morning, there was no $20 bill on the table.     Since I didn’t take the bill, you must have stolen it.    I am sure you will deny the theft, but I insist that I had nothing to do with removing that bill from the table.

Have I proven that you stole the bill?   If you think my logic is ok, then please forward $20 to my address in small unmarked bills.   If not, then you can save yourself $20 by reading on. Continue reading

How Do We Know Things Through Science? (Part 1)


In my introductory post to this series, I wrote that the the secret to the astonishing success of science is the invention of a new epistemology ( a new way of knowing).  This brilliant intellectual invention was responsible for an explosion in our understanding of the universe over the last 400 years when compared to the previous hundred thousand years of the human struggle for understanding.

In this post I would like to explain the first two revolutionary philosophical innovations that broke the whole deal wide open. Continue reading

16 Year Old Girl Challenges Bachmann on Same Sex Marriage


The 16 year old girl in the linked video below, who challenges Michelle Bachmann, didn’t realize the faulty logic in Bachmann’s argument against same sex marriage.  Bachmann says that the government protects the equal rights of all people.   The girl asks why gay people do not have the right to enter into a same sex marriage.

Bachmann’s answer is because that is what the law says.   Then Bachmann implies that allowing same sex marriage counter to the law would be granting special privileges to one particular group.   Therefore equal rights under the law would not be guaranteed. Continue reading