Protons are forever?

The proton has never been observed to decay into other particles. So it is possible that it is an absolutely stable particle and will never decay. However, there are some grand unified theories that argue that the proton does decay and physicists have been carrying out experiments to detect them decaying. The catch is that these theories predict an extremely long lifetime for the proton, greater that 1031 years! How does one do such an experiment?
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E. O. Wilson’s strange attitude to religion

The renowned biologist and environmentalist E. O. Wilson wrote a book Consilience in which he argued for the unity of all knowledge. There is a chapter towards the end where he compares the transcendental view of morals and ethics and compares it with his own view, that of an empiricist. In describing his own view, he says (p. 246-247)
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CFI conference on the science of the future

Last Saturday’s Northeast Ohio Center for Inquiry conference was excellent. It is impressive how the volunteers who organize these events manage to put it together. The key people were Mark Tiborsky and Brian Harrington who are in charge of programming for the Cleveland and Akron areas and Monette Richards who is the president of the Cleveland chapter, and they and the other volunteers deserve congratulations.
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Stunning animals does not affect blood loss

Many countries adopt the policy of stunning cattle before killing them as it is supposedly more humane. But Muslims and Jews have religious prohibitions against consuming the blood of animals and so they oppose stunning and instead require that in order for the food to be certified as kosher or halal, that the animals must not be stunned and their blood must run freely when killed, presumable to drain the meat of all blood.
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Challenging the 10,000 hour rule for expertise

The nature vs. nurture argument has been around a long time and one area that has been much contested is about what it takes to achieve expertise at something, say at music or games or science or the professions. Is it innate ability or practice? The likely answer is ‘a bit of both’. But how much of each? In 1869, Francis Dalton argued, based on observations that certain kinds of expertise ran in families, that it must be due to something innate and genetic in origin. But others argued that it was due more to practice.
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Terrorists? We ain’t afraid of no stinkin’ terrorists!

As Paul Waldman writes, it is almost inevitable that some person who is angered by what is happening in the middle east will be inspired by ISIS/ISIL or whatever the terror group du jour is, to get a gun and shoot up a crowd somewhere in the US. Then instead of treating it as just another mass shooting of the kind that has become routine, the terrorist connection will cause everyone to flip out and hide under their beds and demand that the government do something so that they can come out.
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