Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

Archive for the ‘science’ Category

Scientific dogma concerning origins of life proven wrong by…. Science.

Posted by Jeff on February 4, 2010

More often than not when discussing/debating religious, ‘spiritual’, or otherwise fluffy people I get accused of having ‘faith’ in science the same way a fundamentalist has faith in Jesus. This most often comes up in the evolution/abiogenesis debate. See, creationists like to build this strawman ‘scientist’ who only believes in what she can see right in front of her, and then accuse said scientist of following a dogma when they profess acceptance of evolution. Apparently since we can’t watch evolution happen in real-time in front of our eyes it requires ‘faith’. Naturally, when you try explaining the evidence of the fossil record and genetic mapping and the myriad of reasons we accept evolution, they simply plug their ears and sing like an obstinant child.

So, for all of those who think that science is a ‘religion’ of its own, I present this story. It looks like the ‘holy writ’ of science has been proven wrong! It turns out that the origins of life on Earth most likely did not develope from a primordial soup as previously believed, but was spurred on through the chemical energy of the Earth itself through hydrothermal vents in the ocean.  A bit of scientific lore, having been accepted for over 80 years, was recently proven wrong. So, I guess we should take a moment to acknowledge that the creationists were right in exposing the erroneous views that we all…. Wait… What’s that you say?? This flawed knowledge wasn’t exposed by religion at all? It was scientists that overturned 8 decades of cannon??? Interesting…

See folks, that is the big flaw in the ‘science as religion’ argument. Science is not a set of beliefs, but merely a tool to uncover the nature of the world around us. The knowledge we gain through application of science is not perfect, but it is continually correcting and improving on itself. There is no scientific axiom – from the theory of evolution to Newton’s Laws – which will not be instantly questioned or even rejected in the light of compelling and rigorous evidence. When it a scientific notion is discovered to be wrong, then that notion gets changed to fit reality. Can the same be said for religion? How can it be considered a virtue that knowledge doesn’t change over the centuries?

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Posted in science, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »

Blogging… Redux

Posted by Jeff on January 18, 2010

So, as anyone who might still follow this blog has possibly noticed, I haven’t been very diligent with updating recently. In fact, I think it’s been 4 months since my last entry! I’m going to try to change this and post here at least a couple times a week from now on. I can’t guarantee that they will all be terribly compelling posts or extremely content-heavy, but I’ll try!

Starting with today. I wanted to mention something we were discussing in my lab class this quarter dealing with publishing scientific data and papers. One of the most important parts of writing a paper to be published in a peer-reviewed journal is properly performing the data analysis. To be even more specific, it’s properly performing error analysis on your data. Read the rest of this entry »

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Controversial Science: On the demarcation of scientific knowledge from scientific nonsense.

Posted by Jeff on February 3, 2009

I just stayed up all night writing this paper for my rhetoric class. It’s the first draft and will certainly be in need of revision so if any of you would care to read it and tell me what you think I would be most grateful. It’s after the fold…

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in science | Tagged: , , , , , , | 8 Comments »

The stupid… It hurts.

Posted by Jeff on October 25, 2008

Amazing. It’s simply amazing that someone can be so completely uninformed and ignorant. Even more amazing that this person is in position to assume one of the most important roles in the wordl… Behold:

http://onegoodmove.org/1gm/1gmarchive/2008/10/sarah_palin_is.html

That video is worth watching. It’s short. But what galls me more than anything else is the smug look on her face when she’s mocking scientific research as having ‘nothing to do with the public good.’ Seriously, she’s like that ignorant redneck in my family who told me that going to college is for lazy people who don’t want to do real work. Only this particular redneck could possible become president of the United States!

People, do NOT allow this vacuous bitch to assume any more power than she already has. If you think the economy and the state of our nation is bad now, just wait until this grade-school minded, ignorance-worshipping tool gets to the white house…

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LHC paranoia

Posted by Jeff on September 9, 2008

Why do people automatically fear and mistrust anything they don’t understand? The Large Hadron Collider is getting ready to go online. This device has the potential to revolutionize our way of viewing the world by exploring the nature of matter and energy at levels we’ve never been able to come close to before. It does not, however, have the potential to create a black hole which will destroy the entire Earth! 

I mean, think about it. You’ve got one ex-‘nuclear safety officer'(that’s the job Homer does!) in Hawaii who studied physics for a little bit ranting on about the end of the world (which he has done before) versus hundreds of actual scientists who study particle collisions for a living who are saying that this is absolute bullshit. Who do you believe? I know where my money is going.

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Science education needs help!

Posted by Jeff on August 7, 2008

I read this article the other day and had mixed feelings about it. It starts off great talking about issues with science education in America and I even sort of agree that false self-confidence can be a bad thing. But not that bad… Then I read this post by Chad Orzel at Uncertain Principles. Some of his commentary on this article reflects some things I’ve been saying for years… Read the rest of this entry »

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I just became 10% more nerdy by volume…

Posted by Jeff on August 4, 2008

As a result of watching this video…

I found this on Blog Around the Clock via Decrepit Old Fool. THANKS!!

Posted in Funny, science | Tagged: , , , | 3 Comments »

Randi is passing the torch???

Posted by Jeff on August 4, 2008

This is pretty big news! The Amazing Randi of the James Randi Foundation has decided to pass the position of President of the organization on to none other than the Bad Astronomer! This is a pretty huge honor and I can only imagine how Phil Plait must feel right now. Congrats!

Of course, I’m of two minds about this, as I fully expected James Randi to live forever and fight for the cause of skepticism right up to the ripe old age of 1000!

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MIT is at it again…

Posted by Jeff on August 3, 2008

I just read this article about a research breakthrough at MIT dealing with solar power. Basically, they’ve figured out a way for solar energy to be stored when there is no sun in a cost-effective way. This means that solar power is that much closer to becoming a primary energy source! Read the rest of this entry »

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Sometimes perspective can be quite inspirational

Posted by Jeff on August 2, 2008

Carl Sagan was a great man. It’s rare that a person’s writing or speech can simultaneously make you feel both insignificant and extraordinary. Sagan had a talent for doing just that. I think I’ll let this video speak for itself.

So, who inspires you?

Posted in Life, science | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »