Tag Archives: science

Elihu Palmer

was born 245 years ago today, in Connecticut, U.S.A.,
a lawyer, he was a writer & lecturer in favor of deism as well

“Another important doctrine of the Christian religion, is the atonement supposed to have been made by the death and sufferings of the pretended Saviour of the world; and this is grounded upon principles as regardless of justice as the doctrine of original sin. It exhibits a spectacle truly distressing to the feelings of the benevolent mind, it calls innocence and virtue into a scene of suffering, and reputed guilt, in order to destroy the injurious effects of real vice. It pretends to free the world from the fatal effects of a primary apostacy, by the sacrifice of an innocent being. Evil has already been introduced into the world, and in order to remove it, a fresh accumulation of crimes becomes necessary. In plain terms, to destroy one evil, another must be committed.”

“Deism declares, that the practice of a pure, natural, and uncorrupted virtue, is the essential duty, and constitutes the highest dignity of man; that the powers of man are competent to all the great purposes of human existence; that science, virtue, and happiness are the great objects which ought to awake the mental energies, and draw forth the moral affections of the human race.”

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William Smith

was born 240 years ago today, in Oxfordshire, England, a geologist and engineer, a developer of the science of stratigraphy, he is sometimes referred to as the Father Of (English) Geology, he won the first Wollaston Medal


wis.dm

a website I joined a few months ago, based on the exchange of questions and answers about practically anything, the question can be posed in a variety of ways: yes or no, rate this, poll the crowd, how many, have you ever,  which is better, would you rather, or free poll, the more a member participates the more points she/he earns, the website has a really nice, sleek design, though is a little slow to load/acts a little funky at times, it’s free to join, questions are categorized by “scene”: Re: Create (arts & entertainment), The Counter Culture Café (culture), Schooled (education), Eco-Mania (environment), Perks (family), Thrive (health & fitness), Yes And Know (life), Cashet (money), Daily Dispatch (news), The Supposium (opinion), Canvass (politics), Sublime (relationships), Nexus (science & technology), The Bazaar (shopping), Scoreboard (sports), Turnstyle (style), Broadcast You (television), Travelcade (travel), & Wis.dm Town Hall (wis.dm itself), the website was developed in of Massachusetts, U.S.A., but is registered on the web under the country of Dominica for the sake of the url address: http://wis.dm


electrons

“In fact, the man who won the Nobel Prize for showing that the electron is a wave, George Thomson, was the son of the man who won the same prize for showing that the electron is a particle, J.J. Thomson.”

– page 61 in The Universe In A Single Atom by the XIV Dalai Lama (Tenzin Gyatso), a book I’ve been reading


Adam Smith

was born 285 years ago today, in Scotland

“Science is the great antidote to the poison of enthusiasm and superstition.” – from The Wealth Of Nations

Bishop of Norwich in Scotland to him:

“Upon the whole, doctor, your meaning is good; but I think you will not succeed this time. You would persuade us, by the example of David Hume, Esq., that atheism is the only cordial for low spirits, and the proper antidote against the fear of death.”

if that really was his message, then I truly do hope for Adam Smith to succeed

as for a quote by the man himself though, I note this one:

“The robot is going to lose. Not by much. But when the final score is tallied, flesh and blood is going to beat the damn monster.” – Adam Smith


Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed

a 2008 movie featuring Ben Stein

while things are tied together kinda nicely, over-all it just comes across… sloppy

the main point seems to be that the idea of “intelligent design” is rejected by the scientific community, but doesn’t go so far as to delve into why that may be the case (if it did, I missed it)

now, I don’t claim to be an expert on all the concepts of evolution, or “intelligent design” either, but here’s what I appreciate about science: its theories, & that they are just that, theories, & if the answer to something isn’t ultimately known (at least not yet) then that’s what is said: we don’t know, but nonetheless, scientists proceed in investigations and explorations, seeking answers, but then, to give the “intelligent design” take on it – god did that, or a higher power did that, or some other force out there in the universe with a mind of its own, & whatever else have you did that – that, to me, if you’ll allow for my slanguage, is a total cop-out, OF COURSE the scientific community is going to reject that, it’s a dead end, it gets us nowhere

would we except this alternative attitude in other areas of our daily life? take the examination of a crime, we may not immediately (& sadly, sometimes, ever) know who killed so & so and with what weapon, but does that mean we give up on trying to figure it out for ourselves & just conclude “evil forces in the world did it”? if that was the conclusion written at the end of an autopsy report, for instance, and the writer of that report was then dismissed from their job, who would protest that?

if this movie is going to harp on how ideas of “intelligent design” could fill the gaps of evolution (& other scientific theories, for that matter), I would like good examples of exactly how accepting this as an explanation advances scientifc progress

sorta gives the subtitle No Intelligence Allowed an ironic twist, doesn’t it?

Charles Darwin may not have produced the answers to life, the universe, & everything, but “intelligent design” sure doesn’t seem like the way to go instead

as for linking Darwinism to Nazism, besides being a cheap shot, I would like to sarcastically say what a great point that makes, cuz’ it’s not like religion has ever killed anybody, it’s not like people who believe they were “intelligently designed” ever use that belief to wage holy war against those they judge as infidels, or anything like that… oh, hell no

but seriously, this is part of what makes this movie sloppy, cuz’ discussion of how a civilized society should behave, that’s a broad topic of it’s own, discussion of ethics, still a broad topic of it’s own, discussion of abortion & euthanasia, topics of their own, eugenics, another topic of it’s own, & this movie is nowhere near long enough to give much of any sort of overview of any of those things, yet throws them in anyway, which actually might be alright if they were all strongly inter-connected to one another & building up to a climatic conclusion, but if they did, what was it? If it was all to attack Darwinism, then I don’t see the logic in how finding flaws in Darwinism somehow validates Intelligent Design as science, which, again, seemed to be the point of the movie.