Mad Engineers

A friend shared this cartoon on Facebook. Given the importance of the caricature of the mad scientist in a lot of science fiction, often used to warn of the dangers of scientists “playing God,” the cartoon usefully highlights that the caricature does not fit well with the description of the individuals as scientists. Some fit, [Read More...]

Gods Aspiring to be Human, Humans Aspiring to be Gods

This post will focus more on Fringe than Doctor Who or Sherlock Holmes, but this quote that came to my attention is relevant to a key element in the show. The original words of the quote in their exact form are: Sherlock Holmes is a human being who aspires to be a god and the [Read More...]

This is Not a Textbook

Does anyone know what “textbook” this is a photograph of? After I asked that question, a┬ácommenter quickly informed me that it is from Behold Your God: Magnifying His Majesty by Frank Hamrick and Jeff Hedgepeth. Take a look: The image has been making the rounds, appearing on BoingBoing and IO9 among other places. Let’s work [Read More...]

Fringe: There is Only One God in this Laboratory

The episode of Fringe “Black Blotter,” which aired last week, fascinated a lot of people because of its LSD-augmented aspects, and in particular its surreal tribute to Monty Python (with an Empire Strikes Back moment worked in for good measure). There has been a connection between religion and psychedelic drug use for as long as [Read More...]

Fringe: Can You Change Your Mind?

I’ve been wanting to blog about Fringe this season, but the relative paucity of explicit God-talk meant that I often didn’t have a clear topic to focus on in posts. But even the new intro is worth focusing attention on. In place of the paranormal fringe science or pseudoscience of the previous seasons, it substitutes [Read More...]

The Problem With Reductionism Illustrated

The cartoon is good just for a chuckle, but I think it also illustrates an important point. Using the methods of analysis appropriate in an underlying domain will not produce useful results if applied without modification or addition to a different, overarching one. Organisms need to be approached differently than particles. Minds need to be [Read More...]

Evolution and Homicide

Someone turned the point I made in my last blog post into an image. I will have to check the figures, but it looks about right. Thoughts? HT Reddit My first instinct is to doubt that there is a connection, that the correlation indicates causation. But it does not seem impossible to me that the [Read More...]

Fringe: For Scientists Playing God, Creating a Universe Can Take Longer Than 6 Days

The season finale of Fringe focused on religious themes from the outset and continued throughout. Spoilers ahead if you haven’t seen it yet. William Bell turned out in this timeline to be behind the activities of David Robert Jones and the attempt to collapse the two universes and create a new one. In the season [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors

The episode The Ice Warriors from the Patrick Troughton era is particularly interesting to watch today, because it is set in a time in Earth’s future when humanity faces a crisis as a result of anthropogenic climate change. In this case, developments in both food production and population led humans to reduce the amount of [Read More...]

Creationists, Mythicists, and the Schroedinger’s Scholar Fallacy

One feature that young-earth creationists, mythicists, and other proponents of pseudoscholarly ideas have in common in the way they treat the writings of actual experts in the field in question. On the one hand, they will mine the writings of experts for sound bites and quotes that seem to support their viewpoint, and will pepper [Read More...]

If God Had Spoken To Moses As Creationists Wish He Had

Brian LePort shared a brilliant comment someone left on the Reclaiming the Mind blog on a post about evolution. I thought I should share it, tweaking it slightly to improve the punctuation, and expanding it to show how it relates not only to the interests of scientists but also (perhaps even more so) to others [Read More...]


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