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Monthly Archive: May 2006

May 17 2006

Can we ever be certain about scientific theories?

(I will be traveling for a few weeks and rather than put this blog on hiatus, thought that I would continue with my weekday posting schedule by reposting some of the very early items, for those who might have missed them the first time around.) A commenter to a previous posting raised an interesting perspective …

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May 16 2006

Wanted: ‘Godwin’s Law’-type rule for science

(I will be traveling for the next few weeks and rather than put this blog on hiatus, thought that I would continue with my weekday posting schedule by reposting some of the very early items, for those who might have missed them the first time around.) Mike Godwin coined a law (now known as Godwin’s …

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May 15 2006

Evolution III: Scientific knowledge is an interconnected web

(I will be traveling for the next few weeks and rather than put this blog on hiatus, thought that I would continue with my weekday posting schedule by reposting some of the very early items, for those who might have missed them the first time around.) In an <a href=http://blog.case.edu/mxs24/2005/02/09/evolution_ii_science_is_not_a_smorgasbordearlier posting, the question was posed …

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May 12 2006

Iran’s president poses some tough questions for Bush

During the run up to the invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq, the leaders of those countries tried to open a dialogue with the Bush administration but were summarily rebuffed, since Bush and his neoconservative clique were determined to go to war from the get-go and all their posturing about preferring diplomacy have been revealed to …

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May 11 2006

Burden of proof-3: The role of negative evidence

In my previous post, I suggested that in science, the burden of proof lies with the proponent for the existence of some thing. The default assumption is non-existence. So if you propose the existence of something like electromagnetic radiation or neutrinos or N-rays, then you have to provide some positive evidence that it exists of …

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May 10 2006

Burden of proof-2: What constitutes evidence for god?

If a religious person is asked for evidence of god’s existence, the type of evidence presented usually consist of religious texts, events that are inexplicable according to scientific laws (i.e., miracles), or personal testimonies of direct experience of god. Actually, this can be reduced to just two categories (miracles and personal testimonies) since religious texts …

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May 09 2006

Burden of proof

If a religious person asks me to prove that god does not exist, I freely concede that I cannot do so. The best that I can do is to invoke the Laplacian principle that I have no need of hypothesizing god’s existence to explain things. But clearly most people feel that theydo need to invoke …

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May 08 2006

Driving etiquette

Now that the summer driving season is upon us, and I am going to be on the highway today, here are some musings on driving. Driving means never being able to say you’re sorry We need a non-verbal sign for drivers to say “I’m sorry.” There have been times when I have inadvertently done something …

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May 05 2006

Madman theory: Bush and god

Recently trial balloons have been floated by the administration that they are seeking to carry out an attack on Iran, even to the extent of using nuclear ‘bunker buster’ bombs. Seymour Hersh reports in The New Yorker that: “One of the military’s initial option plans, as presented to the White House by the Pentagon this …

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May 04 2006

Dover’s dominoes-7: The Ohio domino falls

(This is the final installment of the series, which got pre-empted by more topical items. Sorry! See part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4, part 5, part 6.) The domino effect of the Dover verdict was seen soon after in Ohio where on February 14, 2006 the Ohio State Board of Education reversed itself …

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