Atomism is Just a Theory

The tumblr blog WTF Textbooks turns a critical eye on the textbooks written for Christian homeschoolers, and pulls out whatever howlers can be found. Here's one of the latest:(Dawn L. Watkins, Science 5 for Christian Schools 2nd Edition (Greenville: Bob Jones University Press, 1994), p 98)I think this is the natural result of the "historical vs. observational science." Since we can't see directly observe atoms, then anything we say about them is not observational science, and thus … [Read more...]

What is Love? Baby Don’t Hurt Me …

James McGrath posted this a few days ago:James wasn't impressed, and neither am I. Clearly this is reductionism. I don’t believe that reductionism is the mortal sin that many people seem to believe it is, but doesn't mean that it’s always useful.First, remember BF Skinner’s maxim: A change in a theory about a thing does not change the thing being theorized about. So whether you believe that your experience of love comes from a chemical state of the brain or it beamed down to your rec … [Read more...]

Editing Memories

An interesting article from NPR about a new piece of memory research. That is, if I'm remembering it correctly:The brain edits memories relentlessly, updating the past with new information. Scientists say that this isn't a question of having a bad memory. Instead, they think the brain updates memories to make them more relevant and useful now — even if they're not a true representation of the past.[...]"Our memories aren't perfect," [neuroscientist Joel] Voss says. "They're not like … [Read more...]

Forbidden Knowledge

‘My dear, let us hope it is not true; but, if it is true, let us hope it will not become generally known.’So spoke the apocryphal Bishop's wife of Darwin's theory. So also says Rod Drehr, in this somewhat baffling culture war editorial at The American Conservative.Drehr gives us a kind of odd both-side-do-it argument in which Liberals as much as fundamentalists refuse to face the facts of science:[...] liberals who love to put the Darwin fish on their cars and rail against fun … [Read more...]

Historical vs. Observational Science

So Bill Nye will be debating Ken Ham on the question of "Is Creation A Viable Model of Origins?" And I think it's safe to say that expectations for Nye couldn't be much lower. Reactions from people like Gref Laden and PZ Myers are basically, "Bill, what were you thinking?!?"According to PZ, Ham intends to bring out his distinction between historical and observational science. I was trying to refresh my memory of this argument, and came across this Q&A from Answers in Genesis. Here Troy … [Read more...]