Iconoclasts Anonymous

Inane ravings of an irreverent slacker

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Posts Tagged ‘science’

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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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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Open for criticism

Posted by Jeff on September 10, 2009

A while back I posted the first draft of a paper I was writing on scientific credibility. I had promised to also post the final draft when I was finished but then I forgot and went on with my life. Well, for anyone who is interested, here is the final draft that I turned in. I’d very much apprectiate any comments or criticism on my approach and/or writing style. I’d love to hear from anyone who has something to say, so read it after the fold and hold nothing back.

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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 »

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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:


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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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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A new study on mercury/autism…

Posted by Jeff on July 28, 2008

So, the July 17 issue of Nature published an article by Meredith Wadman on a new study planned by the US National Institute of Mental Health to investigate the alleged link between mercury in vaccines and autism in children. The article, which can be found here, is critical and well-written but can only be viewed with a subscription to Nature. Luckily I’ll be providing a synopsis with non-expert commentary… Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Jeff on July 27, 2008

I just came across this post on one of my new favorite blogs. Prof Orzel makes some pretty good point here, and honestly I’ve asked some of these questions myself. Read the rest of this entry »

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