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Tag Archive: knowledge

Aug 15 2011

Abiogenesis, chirality and narrowing down the alternatives

In the great “mythmaking” that is the scientific process, discovering things about events long lost to history is done a little bit differently than the method might suggest in more mundane circumstances. We develop plausible hypotheses regarding events like the abiogenesis event that occurred here on Earth, and then test them rigorously attempting to falsify …

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Aug 08 2011

How we know things in science, and how we can know things about abiogenesis

On this blog post over at Greg Laden’s, I’ve made a damn fine effort (if I do say so myself) at explaining the process of scientific inquiry to a pair of commenters who’ve taken issue with the idea that anyone could know anything about the event of abiogenesis — the “Origin of Life”, when the …

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Aug 03 2011

How we know all life shares a common origin

According to Anthony McCarthy over at Greg’s blog, extrapolating from this information to determine something about how life began on this planet is purely ideological mythmaking. Never mind that every species on the planet shares the same metabolism, by the same enzymes, which must be coded for by the same combinations of chemicals, and these …

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Jul 30 2011

How do you truly “lead”, in a community so loosely organized and full of in-fighting?

Stephanie Zvan lives up to her nickname once again, this time by putting together an excellent and thorough discussion on leadership in context of the big ol’ privilege blowup (AKA, this month’s Great Rift In The Community (TM)). This is important stuff, if you want to understand exactly where people have gone wrong in arguing …

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Jul 14 2011

The Problem with Privilege (or: after this, can we get back to the actual issues?)

I’ve been arguing recently with one of my Twitter followers about the specifics behind the Elevatorgate incident and the fallout that ensued. It seems that she’s seen fit to make private the extraordinarily long blog post that she put up about the subject. Completely coincidentally, I assume, after I showed her that the guy that …

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Jul 08 2011

The Problem with Privilege (or: no, you’re not a racist misogynist ass, calm down)

Part two of a series, evidently. Told you I had more to say. So you’re white. So you’re a man. So you’re well-to-do. That surely doesn’t make you evil! … OR DOES IT!?!? People honestly don’t seem to understand what it means to say that there’s a privilege problem in the skeptical community, it seems. …

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Jul 04 2011

Paul Baird vs Sye Tenbruggencate Round 3

When a debate begins with an opening statement like this one, you know it’s going to be a doozy. And this is actually Paul and Sye’s third go-around. I’d like to thank the viewing audience for taking the time to join us for this debate, I’d like to thank Eric Hovind for hosting this debate …

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Jun 17 2011

Psychic fails to predict her utter failure

This isn’t surprising, but it is an excellent example of what not to do if you’re trying to win fame and fortune as a psychic. It should hopefully serve as an object lesson for why one needs to consider the simpler solution when someone claims special knowledge, but honestly, I don’t expect it will change …

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Jun 08 2011

A few podcasts from this weekend on skepticism and atheism

Meant to get these up on Monday, but I was hoping for a chance to listen to them first. Unfortunately, I’m now on a road trip to PEI for work, in the car with some coworkers, and am probably expected to interact with them rather than holing myself up in my iPhone’s ear buds. So, …

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May 27 2011

We are free to “presuppose” that there is a reality here, because there is.

Sorry for the sporadic posting schedule, once again. Been running myself ragged over work. Need to tone that down a bit. There’s a piece over at Cosmic Variance by Sean M Carroll, the brilliantly titled Physics and the Immortality of the Soul, that dovetails perfectly with the “denouement” to an otherwise ongoing “conversation” (and I …

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