Showing posts with label Scientific Method. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Scientific Method. Show all posts

Thursday, October 23, 2008

X-rays detected from Scotch tape


Just two weeks after a Nobel Prize highlighted theoretical work on subatomic particles, physicists are announcing a startling discovery about a much more familiar form of matter: Scotch tape. It turns out that if you peel the popular adhesive tape off its roll in a vacuum chamber, it emits X-rays. The researchers even made an X-ray image of one of their fingers.    Yahoo! News


I love this story. By itself it answers the myriad of questions, the cartoons, the snide letters-to-the-editor, and associated rants from all those whose knowledge of science is limited to how to dial a telephone. “Why”, they will ask about a particular research project, does the government fund such stupidity (their words).            

And for the answer we can now refer them to this article. Someone, not a researcher, must have criticized the researchers for even considering such an experiment. “A waste of funds” or some other snide comment. The truth they needed to be told, is that knowledge and the discovery of new information is never a waste.  All those that rail against scientific research, and especially research that on the surface appears meaningless need to understand this truth.

Today, the knowledge gained from this experiment may seem of little use. But other researchers will extend and amplify this knowledge and one day there will be a significant benefit that will be derived from it. It may not even be in the areas highlighted by the article but in an entirely different and unpredicted area. That is what science and research are all about and I believe this is a great example.


Sunday, June 29, 2008

What will the Scientific Community do?

CHICAGO, June 28 (UPI) -- The Field Museum in Chicago said a massive study of bird genetics has completely redrawn the avian evolutionary tree.

"The results of the study are so broad that the scientific names of dozens of birds will have to be changed, and biology textbooks and bird watchers' field guides will have to be revised," The Field Museum said Thursday in a release.

An international research team spent more than five years examining DNA from all major living groups of birds. The findings are published in the journal Science.

The study found that colorful hummingbirds evolved from drab nocturnal nightjars, falcons are not closely related to hawks and eagles and tropicbirds are not closely related to pelicans and other water birds.

"Our study and the remarkable new understanding of the evolutionary relationships of birds that it affords was possible only because of the technological advances of the last few years that have enabled us to sample larger portions of genomes," said Shannon Hackett, associate curator of birds at The Field Museum. DNA study shakes up bird family tree -

What they will do is what separates science from religion. The scientific community will completely rewrite all of the material and scientists will completely revise their thinking and their teaching to agree with this new and remarkable data. Oh, there will be individual scientists that will refuse to let go of the traditional dogma, but the bulk of scientific community will change almost overnight.

On the other hand we have seen no religion do that in spite of the overwhelming evidence that human DNA and animal DNA are identical in some areas. The major religions still contend that humans were created by their god in the image of that god. Oh, there are individual religious “leaders” that have let go of some of the traditional dogma, but the massive bulk of the religious community steadfastly clings to archaic and superstitious drivel from the dark ages.


Allow me to refer you to a wonderful example of this. Please see the post by biologist P Z Myers, and the comment too, at:

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

My Brain is Scientific - Yours is ?

Scientific thinking, education, common sense, and any other rational thinking process will never be able to overcome the lack of thought I see in people of faith.

People of faith do not actually need to think, they "believe" and that is enough for them.  Because they believe, then all of the facts and data that humans have available to us are meaningless to them.  This information is as useless to them as it would be to a sea slug.  (Sorry sea slugs.)

What a bizarre world it must be to them.  Every day they are presented with huge amounts of scientific information.  Some of this information may be of value to them in their lives or profession, so they assimilate this while all of the rest must be discarded.  I can only imagine that their brain has a kind of filter, much like our email systems do, that sifts out irrelevant, to them, information before it can enter any actual thinking process.

If "belief" were the only issue, then rational people, scientific thinking people, and other non-believers would probably ignore the stupidity that accompanies belief.  But "belief" is not the real issue.   Believers also believe that scientific thinking is not to be tolerated.  Their cause is to dominate and control the lives of others.   Their goal is to determine the reality that the rest of us live in.

They would never have an abortion, except when they decide it is okay for them, therefor they will outlaw abortion for everyone.   They approve of "under God" to be included in the American Pledge of Allegiance, so they enact the law requiring it there.   They proudly proclaim their full, complete and unfettered support for the U. S. Constitution, and then decide to amend it willy nilly.  Remember prohibition?

Regardless of religion, ethnicity, and sex these people are everywhere, and they want to govern your lives.  The nice old lady, in her house of worship, is a very dangerous person.  Her pronouncements of right, wrong and what is truth are not based on anything other that her beliefs.  Facts and consideration for others do not deter her.   When we see young people throwing their and other lives away, remember they were influenced by sweet old granny.

It is not absurd to think that "believers" can and will believe in the most idiotic ideas around.  There are people that believe that the world is flat and you can not convince them otherwise.  I know someone that firmly believes that no human ever went to the moon and that all of NASA's  scientific discoveries about space are a hoax. 

When "believers" are just ordinary citizens, they do not present much of a risk to the rest of us.  But when they have, money and positions of power and influence, they are a threat to our liberty, freedom and to human progress. 

Example? You would like a couple of examples?  Okay - try these:

I can not imagine how people, like these, trained in the sciences can reject scientific method, practice and the wealth of evidence so easily in support of a "belief".   It does seem that much of the thinking of the "dark ages" is still with us.   

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