Archive for February, 2014

February 28, 2014

Must we study history to understand science?

Why Evolution Is True

I am a big fan of the history of science—not because it’s helped me do better science (though some of my research, including that on “Haldane’s Rule,” derived from papers that were largely forgotten).  I think that it’s interesting to understand the history of one’s discipline, but not essential for practicing good science.

Alejandra Dubcovsky, an assistant professor of history at Yale, thinks that it’s essential for scientists to study history (she doesn’t specify what kind of history, or if she means the history of science), for another reason: because it gives us scientists “a sensitivity that only the humanities can teach.”

Or so she maintains in a new piece at The Chronicle of Higher Education, “To Understand Science, Study History.”

Like the reader who sent me the link, Dubcovsky seems not only defensive about her discipline, but stretching a bit to make her point.  To show…

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February 27, 2014

Jesus ‘n’ Mo ‘n’ Moses ‘n’ Templeton

Why Evolution Is True

I may have published this before, as it’s an oldie (but a goodie). And the Jesus and Mo artist republished this classic today.

2014-02-26

From Templeton’s site:

Picture 1Picture 3The Templeton Prize is the equivalent of  $1.8 million (US), while the Nobel Prize (which can be divided three ways) is the equivalent of $1.2 million dollars.  The Templeton Prize is deliberately designed to bestow more money than the Nobel.

h/t: Ant, Linda Grilli

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February 27, 2014

Is Whole Foods a bastion of pseudoscience?

Why Evolution Is True

Whole Foods is an American-founded “natural” grocery store that has now expanded into Canada and the UK. It specializes in “natural” foods, which Wikipedia characterizes as follows:

Whole Foods Market only sells products that meet its self-created quality standards for being “natural”, which the store defines as: minimally processed foods that are free of hydrogenated fats as well as artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners, preservatives, and many others as listed on their online “Unacceptable Food Ingredients” list. Whole Foods Market has also announced that it does not intend to sell meat or milk from cloned animals or their offspring, even though the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has ruled them safe to eat.

It also does not sell GMO foods.  Because of its high prices and the demography of its shoppers (young wealthy people), the store is sometimes called “Whole Paycheck.”

I went to one of these places last weekend, and although the foods were tempting, they were also…

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February 25, 2014

Why Don’t More People Know About This? | Atheist Revolution

 

Why Don’t More People Know About This? | Atheist Revolution.

February 25, 2014

Michio Kaku: This is Your Brain on a Laser Beam – YouTube

Michio Kaku: This is Your Brain on a Laser Beam – YouTube.

February 25, 2014

Is It Child Abuse to Teach Religion to Your Children? – YouTube

Is It Child Abuse to Teach Religion to Your Children? – YouTube.

February 24, 2014

Jogging Woman Arrested and Dragged Into Squad Car for Crossing Street Without ID | Filming Cops

 

Jogging Woman Arrested and Dragged Into Squad Car for Crossing Street Without ID | Filming Cops.

February 24, 2014

Imams issue fatwa against Muslims going to Mars – Salon.com

 

Imams issue fatwa against Muslims going to Mars – Salon.com.

February 24, 2014

Oil spill shuts down 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River – Salon.com

 

Oil spill shuts down 65-mile stretch of the Mississippi River – Salon.com.

February 24, 2014

GOP’s secret idiot? If George P. Bush is its future, the party’s in trouble – Salon.com

 

GOP’s secret idiot? If George P. Bush is its future, the party’s in trouble – Salon.com.