Rob Sheldon: If you want laws of nature, you must accept miracles

And Christianity too, says our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon. He explains: Proposition: Miracles are violations of natural law. 1. What is natural law; Who invented it? Who enforces it? Who interprets it? a) One argument is that natural law is merely inductive. The sun has risen daily for the past 5000 years of written […]



Food, sex, and memory in one-celled algae, once again

Recently, we looked at the claim that diatoms (one-celled algae with glassy shells) demonstrate the ability to make choices. That seems hard to account for in the absence of a brain (though the researchers were convinced they saw it happen). Our physics color commentator Rob Sheldon writes to clarify a point about the diatoms: The […]

Saturday Fun: When the Lottery Bet Has a Positive Expected Value

This is one of those very rare times when the lottery bet has a positive mathematical expected value. Expected value is calculated as: (Amount possibly won * probability of winning) minus (Amount of bet * probability of losing). The probability of winning Mega Millions is 1 in 302,575,350. The next jackpot is $904 million (cash […]

If thinking so makes a man a woman…

… not only is the mind real but it is so real that nature doesn’t even matter. Barry Arrington wrote here recently, Elizabeth Warren says that a DNA report that shows she is between 1/1024th and 1/64th Colombian, Mexican or Peruvian absolutely scientifically proves her claim that she was a Cherokee Indian, so President Trump […]

Moonmoons

You read the title right. Recently, some astronomers thought they had spotted an “exomoon,” a moon orbiting an exoplanet. There are, of course, bound to be some. But now Gizmodo introduces us to the concept of the moonmoon, a submoon orbiting a moon. One research team is taking on the possibility: The team’s short analysis […]

Electron’s nearly perfect roundness stymies the search for “new physics”

The Standard Model of physics holds that electrons should be almost perfectly round. As it happens, The electron gets its shape from the way that positive and negative charges are distributed inside the particle. The best theory for how particles behave, called the standard model of particle physics, holds that the electron should keep its […]

Ayn Rand had misgivings about “evolution”

That might not be what we’d have expected to hear about the twentieth century novelist and philosopher but reader Eric Holloway sends us this item: I am not a student of the theory of evolution and, therefore, I am neither its supporter nor its opponent. But a certain hypothesis has haunted me for years; I […]

Dandelion flight is unique, “impossible”

They don’t usually write this way at Nature: Dandelion seeds fly using a method that researchers thought couldn’t work in the real world, according to a study1 published on 17 October in Nature. When some animals, aeroplanes or seeds fly, rings of circulating air called vortices form in contact with their wings or wing-like surfaces. […]

Education prof: Upend science to benefit the oppressed

Published in a Springer journal: Another University of Alberta professor published a piece in the Canadian Journal of Science, Math, Technology, and Education, saying that to simply teach students science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) is objectively bad, apparently because it cultivates, and I am listing this directly from the document: “[P]atriarchy, heteronormativity, white supremacy, […]

Those most ancient Greenland “fossils” are not really life, new team says

Getting it right is important for the search for life on Mars: Found in 3.7-billion-year-old rocks in Greenland, the mounds strongly resemble cone-shaped microbial mats called stromatolites, researchers reported in 2016. But a new analysis of the shape, internal layers and chemistry of the structures suggests that the mounds weren’t shaped by microbes but by […]

Elizabeth Warren and the progressive war on science

Here’s a reasonable take on Warren’s DNA results: Using this data, the original analysis, which was prepared by a respected geneticist, determined that five segments of Sen. Warren’s DNA — totaling about 12.3 million bases (“letters”) — are of Native American ancestry. That might sound like a lot, but the human genome contains more than […]

Researchers: Diatoms demonstrate “behavioral biology”

From ScienceDaily: Unicellular diatoms are able to adapt their behavior to different external stimuli based on an evaluation of their own needs. This was discovered by scientists of the Friedrich Schiller University and the Max Planck Institute for Chemical Ecology in Jena, Germany, together with partners from Belgium. The algae depend on nutrients in order […]

How the Warren Debacle Demonstrates the Insanity of the Progressive War on Reality

Elizabeth Warren says that a DNA report that shows she is between 1/1024th and 1/64th Colombian, Mexican or Peruvian absolutely scientifically proves her claim that she was a Cherokee Indian, so President Trump must pay up on his $1 million bet. But Elizabeth Warren is also a strong supporter of the trans-gender movement.  So she also […]

Psychology undergrads misled about science by their textbooks?

Could that be a factor in the recent meltdowns? A recent open access study of textbooks out of the University of Nevada addresses that case: Almost a quarter of the sampled textbooks explicitly and boastfully stated that there is no difference between psychology and other “hard” sciences such as chemistry and physics. Yet only one textbook […]

Bob O’H Sets Us All Straight (Thank You Bob)

Elizabeth Warren: I am a Cherokee Indian. Trump: Liar. I bet you $1 million you are not an Indian. Warren: Here is a DNA report that “strongly indicates” that I am between 1/1024 and 1/64 Mexican, Colombian, or Peruvian. I win the bet. Pay up. Trump: Wait, what? Main Stream Media: Yep, she won. Pay […]

What’s Left of Darwinism?

In a previous post, I indicated that Dr. Frances Arnold’s Nobel Prize in Chemistry points out that Artificial Selection is more powerful a force than Natural Selection. In a new paper, the authors show that the idea of the ‘gradual’ evolution of foraminifera turns out to be wrong and that what actually happens is an […]

Researchers: Bizarre Antartic particles might shatter modern physics

Recent cosmic ray activity in Antartica is  provoking question and speculation: Physicists don’t know what it is exactly. But they do know it’s some sort of cosmic ray — a high-energy particle that’s blasted its way through space, into the Earth, and back out again. But the particles physicists know about — the collection of particles that […]

Extinction: When evolution is suddenly found to have a purpose

And human beings do too, apparently. From ScienceDaily: The sixth mass extinction is underway, this time caused by humans. A team of researchers have calculated that species are dying out so quickly that nature’s built-in defense mechanism, evolution, cannot keep up. If current conservation efforts are not improved, so many mammal species will become extinct […]

Oldest evidence for animals found at 635 mya

Instead of looking for fossil at that age, the researchers looked for biomarkers: Rather than searching for conventional body fossils, the researchers have been tracking molecular signs of animal life, called biomarkers, as far back as 660-635 million years ago during the Neoproterozoic Era. In ancient rocks and oils from Oman, Siberia, and India, they found a […]

The quantum world remains weird: Remembering the doomed “pilot wave”

French physicist Louis de Broglie (1892-1987) hoped that quantum mechanics could be brought within the same frame as classical physics via pilot wave theory, which envisioned “concrete particles, always with definite locations, that are guided through space by real pilot waves.” Apparently not. But a series of bouncing-droplet findings since 2015 has crushed this dream. […]

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