Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Science. Show all posts

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Settled Science

Science promoters reassure us of the safety of the peer review process. Most people imagine peer review consists of teams of scientists performing experiments to verify claims made in published studies. In reality, peer review often consists of little more than proofreading, and vast numbers of allegedly peer-reviewed studies have been demonstrated to be fraudulent. The editor of one of Britain’s top medical journals opined that “much of the scientific literature, perhaps half, may simply be untrue”.


Friday, April 28, 2023

Cognitive Dissonance

My youngest son was going out the door this afternoon, trying to figure out what to wear. He asked, “Is it a warm twelve degrees or a cold twelve degrees?” I said, “You’ll be fine the way you are. Unless we get the rain they have been saying is 100% likely for the last four hours.”

It was a bright sunny day. Not a drop of rain to be seen anywhere. Not a cloud in the sky.

Halfway up the stairs he stopped and said this: “They can’t tell us what’s going to happen in the next twelve hours, but they can tell us what’s been happening for the last six billion years.”

I said, “You have now learned everything important I could ever teach you.”

Tuesday, November 08, 2022

The Speed of Science

Do you know where this new term “speed of science” comes from? It showed up in memes a few weeks ago and I had no idea. I had never heard it used. Well, I found out today. If you already know, take a bow.

It comes from the answer to a question posed in a European Parliamentary hearing. Dutch MEP Rob Roos asked Pfizer’s Director of International Developed Markets whether Pfizer tested or studied transmissibility before releasing their version of the COVID vaccine to market.

Thursday, May 26, 2022

Do Christians Hate Science?

If you pop around on the Internet for very long, you’ll find that one of the most common screeds against us is that Christians hate science.

I don’t think it’s true, of course, but it does seem a rather general perception among our detractors. They think we see in science a direct threat to our beliefs; and since science undeniably does many good things for us, secularists of various kinds have a duty to deprive us of our illusions in this regard. We will thank them later: or if we do not, it will only be because we couldn’t be helped.

Friday, May 06, 2022

Too Hot to Handle: A Zipper-Lipped Life

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

Evolutionary biologist Colin Wright, who believes sex-associated personality differences are at least partly genetic, is deeply unhappy anyone would dare to challenge his worldview, set limits on his contribution to the public discourse, and disrupt his ongoing pursuit of intellectual fulfillment.

Who is doing such a thing, you ask? Why, it’s not the “moral majority” or the Christian Right; Wright dismisses Creationists as irrelevant. No, it’s the social justice Left.

Tom: It turns out the current state of evolutionary psychology has finally collided with the “blank slate” ideology of progressives, IC, and the sparks are making both sides unhappy. How unfortunate for “science”!

Tuesday, October 05, 2021

Making It ‘Moral’

Well, that certainly didn’t take long.

Less than two weeks back I observed that people are getting vaccinated for all sorts of reasons, the vast majority of which are pragmatic rather than moral or religious.

The difference is easy to illustrate. Pragmatic arguments for vaccination include “If you don’t get vaccinated, you may lose your job”, “If you don’t get vaccinated, you won’t be able to go to a restaurant or a football game”, or even “If you don’t get vaccinated, you won’t be welcome in my home for Christmas.”

Contrast that with my favorite strained and unconvincing recent attempt at making the issue moral: “If you don’t get vaccinated, you’ll kill your grandmother.”

Okay then ...

Monday, August 30, 2021

Anonymous Asks (160)

“Has science disproved the miracles of the Bible?”

A question like this one reveals a fundamental misunderstanding of both science and miracles.

Here are a couple of modern definitions of science. The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language calls it “the observation, identification, description, experimental investigation, and theoretical explanation of natural phenomena”. The Collaborative International Dictionary of English calls it “Accumulated and established knowledge, which has been systematized and formulated with reference to the discovery of general truths or the operation of general laws”.

So then, science deals in generalities and natural phenomena. It attempts to explain the way the world normally works, all else being equal.

Wednesday, July 07, 2021

Under the Science Bus [Part 2]

Before Christians join Michael Gungor and a growing number of fellow believers in throwing Noah, Adam, Eve, Jonah and a bunch of other Old Testament standards under the big ol’ scary Science Bus, I’m going to suggest we ask ourselves a few more questions about science:

5.  Are Scientists Infallible?

One only needs a quick glance at Wikipedia’s lengthy list of superseded scientific theories to recognize that they are not.

Tuesday, July 06, 2021

Under the Science Bus [Part 1]

I have a degree of respect for the intelligence of critics who dismiss scripture in its entirety on the basis that it is unscientific or incredible, though I don’t agree with them (and, in many instances, their arguments would be more convincing if they would take the time to actually read what they are criticizing).

At least, if wrong, their position is intellectually coherent.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Too Hot to Handle: Will Science Survive Our Politicized Culture?

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The Autumn 2016 edition of City Journal is home to a lengthy but remarkably even-handed piece entitled “The Real War on Science”, in which author John Tierney points out that it’s actually Progressives rather than right-wingers that are holding science back.

Tierney reveals that academia has become what he calls a “monoculture”, much like the media, that is in danger of losing public trust because so many scientists insist on mixing politics with their jobs.

Tom: We’ve documented this trend here a number of times, Immanuel Can. [Way too many times to link to, in fact; click “science” in the topic sidebar on our main page to view all our articles on the subject.]

Monday, December 21, 2020

Anonymous Asks (124)

“I have to write an essay for my university class on the Christian view of a technology. The topic that I choose is regarding genetic engineering and how we as a Christians view it.

So, some background information:

Genetic engineering is a procedure that could be done pre-natal (meaning before birth or during embryogenesis) or post-natal (on adults the procedure is called ‘gene therapy’).

The argument revolved around the question is whether this is allowed or not because ethically it’s as if we’re playing god.

I’ve asked my pastor about this some other time and he said that it’s allowed but only for medical purposes, not to change one’s aesthetics or to make someone racially superior.”

That’s an interesting question.

Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Not Done in a Corner

From the scientific perspective, peer review is the litmus test of reliability.

The idea is this: that in order for a newly published academic theory to have any credibility with either the scientific community or the general public, it is necessary for independent parties to test it: to carefully read through the documentation that supports it; to re-calculate the mathematical formulas that lie behind it; to examine the steps by which the theory was constructed and certify that its conclusions were arrived at in accordance with normal scientific procedures; in some cases even to re-perform whatever experiments are alleged to prove it and examine their results for consistency.

You cannot do science off in some dark corner and then refuse to allow anybody to see what you have been up to. If you do, nobody will believe you at all.

Friday, January 10, 2020

Too Hot to Handle: Biocentrism and Reality

In which our regular writers toss around subjects a little more volatile than usual.

The soul: it’s a heavy topic, and one that not everyone agrees about. Dr. Robert Lanza is a biologist who says that consciousness creates the universe rather than the other way around. He’s what is called a “biocentrist”. His is a relatively new theory, having come into play around 2007. The fundamental notion behind it is that the much sought-after “Theory of Everything” scientists are looking for cannot be found until biology is placed at the head of the sciences.

Tom: It’s interesting, Immanuel Can, to see the spiritual dimension of life acquiring some scientific credibility. Do you want to take a shot at explaining Dr. Lanza’s theory?

Friday, December 14, 2018

Too Hot to Handle: A Zipper-Lipped Life

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Do Christians Hate Science?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Quote of the Day (30)

If you’ve been reading here for any length of time, you’ve almost surely noticed that in attempting to understand the meaning of the any given Bible text, I am reluctant to allow too much weight to the opinion of historians.

This is not because I automatically suspect all historians of having agendas, even though the politicization of history is arguably more pervasive than the politicization of science. Science deals (or ought to deal) in events we can replicate experimentally, and should in theory be far less likely to cede territory to the circumscriptions of PC ideologues than should the humanities.

But practitioners of the hard sciences are now demonstrating almost daily that even they cannot always be trusted to stick to the facts. It would be imprudent for us to exercise greater faith in historians, notwithstanding their relabeling of history as a “social science”.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Quote of the Day (29)

Fred Reed is a smart guy. Definitely smarter than me. Closing in on seventy and anticipating the economic, cultural and political disasters looming over the United States, the former journalist bolted to Mexico to write away his retirement, mostly online.

Fred is that special sort of smart that sees the holes in both sides of an argument. The great thing about being alert in that particular way is that it generally means you are humble enough to say “I don’t know” on a regular basis, something you never hear from the majority of scientists, politicians and media pundits.

Friday, December 02, 2016

Too Hot to Handle: Will Science Survive Our Politicized Culture?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Everybody Take a Deep Breath

You may be familiar with Mark Armitage, the Christian microscopy technician formerly at California State University Northridge, who (allegedly) discovered soft tissue in the horn of a fossilized triceratops just a few years ago, ended up having his employment terminated over it, and subsequently sued the university.

The presence of soft tissue might be taken to imply that at least one triceratops was around much more recently than 65.5 million years ago, the time frame currently posited for the much-debated dino extinction event, whatever that may have been.

In short, if legitimate, Armitage’s discovery would be hard to account for under the current evolutionary paradigm.

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Myth, Allegory, Metaphor

Tim Challies has a few relevant queries about the way theistic evolutionists allow their scientific opinions to trump scripture:

1. If the description of the creation of the world is either just a vague metaphor for what actually happened or perhaps some kind of allegory, where do we determine that historical narrative actually begins?

My comments: The can of worms we open when we allegorize the creation narrative is quite a bit bigger than we may think.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Recommend-a-blog (20)

Sarah Salviander, PhD is a physicist, Astronomer at the University of Texas, Christian apologist and writer of homeschooling curriculum and science fiction. Her blog is called SixDay Science.

She is also a former atheist, the child of socialists who were diligent about not exposing their daughter to religion in her formative years. In Sarah’s first 25 years of life, she says she met exactly three self-identified Christians.

I trust that’s not true of everyone growing up in British Columbia. Canada is most definitely post-Christian, but I hope we’re not THAT post-Christian.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

The Myth of Ideological Neutrality

Hmm ... which one is neutral?
I remember a time very, very long ago when this sort of thing may actually have gotten traction between my ears:

“As an open-minded nonreligious parent, it’s important to me that my daughter make up her own mind about what to believe — independent of me, independent of her grandparents, independent of her friends and neighbors. I want her to learn about various systems of belief, and about science and evidence, and then decide what seems right to her. If she changes her mind along the way, that’s fine! As long as it’s her own inquisitiveness and independent thought that prompts each change of heart.

You’re with me on this, right?”

No, but Wendy Thomas Russell is not alone in her desire to step back and avoid unduly influencing the way her child forms her beliefs about religion.

Monday, February 22, 2016

Quote of the Day (17)

This summary of a recent series of Twitter exchanges reminds us the claims of scientists are frequently overstated:

“To put it in context, some scientists and science fetishists on Twitter were in an uproar over my assertion that scientific peer review was not only unreliable, but was nothing more than glorified proofreading. They argued that scientific peer review was all about replicating experiments and testing conclusions, not merely reading over the material in order to make sure the author wasn’t smoking crack.”

Fair enough. The Russian proverb, Doveryai no proveryai (“Trust, but verify”) remains sound advice. Except it doesn’t seem there’s much actual verifying going on.

Thursday, November 05, 2015

I Stand Amused

So, you know, Christians have answers to atheist objections.

What’s funny to me is how different those answers may be without being contradictory. God has given different members of the Body of Christ a variety of complementary ways of looking at the world around us, and completely different, often totally unexpected responses to the diverse needs evidenced in that world. An intellectual perceives a need for an intellectual answer. A historian looks for someone who understands his discipline and responds to it credibly. A plumber or carpenter may expect common sense. A stay-at-home mom ... well, we don’t have many of those anymore anyway.

And if anecdotal evidence means anything, any honest seeker may find himself under conviction by means of encountering other kinds of evidence entirely. We don’t always know what we’re looking for after all, and we may not know ourselves as well as we think we do.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Insulting Our Intelligence

Another Stand to Reason atheist challenge, this one plucked out of an article in Salon:

[I]t insults our intelligence to be enjoined to believe, now that we have split the atom, discovered the Higgs Boson, and sent a probe to Pluto, in the veracity of a supernatural account of the origins of our cosmos.”

There are probably half a dozen ways to approach a statement like this. I’m just going to go with the obvious …

Friday, October 02, 2015

Too Hot to Handle: Biocentrism and Reality

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Has Science Buried God?

Mathematician Dr. John Lennox addressed the question at Rice University Monday night, and his answer is well worth the time:

Don’t be put off by the length of the video (1 hr 53 min). Lennox is not introduced until 00:13:20 and does not address his subject until around the 26 minute mark. He winds up by approximately 01:12:00, so the actual speech is only about 45 minutes. Everything after that is simply Dr. Lennox answering questions posed by the audience.

Friday, June 26, 2015

Who’s Afraid of Science?

[Originally presented February 1, 2014]
I often refer to Wikipedia, that unassailable bastion of compiled wisdom, not because I believe it to be particularly accurate, but because it provides as good an understanding of how people currently use language as can possibly be obtained. A Wikipedia definition is the gold standard for lowest common denominator human knowledge. So while it may not represent what everyone down through human history understood by the term “science”, let’s give their definition a browse:

Science (from Latin scientia, meaning ‘knowledge’) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.”

Sounds reasonable, no? So let’s get some things clear here:

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Consensus and Truth

Truth is an interesting thing.

If every intellectual, expert and scientist in the world could be simultaneously brought to consensus by some particular piece of evidence, would that constitute “truth”?

More importantly, how would we know?

The climate change folks attempted to convince us their popular theory has just about that level of consensus. Motherboard ran an article in 2014 that insisted “0.01 Percent of Climate Scientists Reject Global Warming”.

Hey, if only 1/100 of 1% of climate scientists are against global warming, that must mean everybody important is already on board. So break out the sunblock: anyone who disagrees with us must be nuts!

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Recommend-a-blog (6)

The Christian blogosphere: you get content or you get good delivery. One rarely seems to find the two together.

Rachel Held Evans’ site and many like it are state of the art, if you can stomach the social justice whining: nice graphics, clean presentation and efficient messaging perfectly calibrated for her target audience. She and others like her market themselves and their opinions with a scrupulous professionalism and — oh yeah —reliably mutilate scripture on an almost-daily basis, if you enjoy that sort of thing.

Meanwhile numerous well-written and biblical posts get ignored because their authors haven’t the wherewithal to format them attractively and make them even slightly readable or their host sites convenient to navigate.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Do Christians Hate Science?

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The Science Is Settled … Until It Isn’t

This little bombshell apparently necessitates reexamination of the theories of both Albert Einstein and Stephen Hawking. In the words of’s Thania Benios, it “not only forces scientists to reimagine the fabric of space-time, but also rethink the origins of the universe”.
“Black holes have long captured the public imagination and been the subject of popular culture, from Star Trek to Hollywood. They are the ultimate unknown — the blackest and most dense objects in the universe that do not even let light escape. And as if they weren’t bizarre enough to begin with, now add this to the mix: they don’t exist.”
Laura Mersini-Houghton, professor of physics at University of North Carolina has done the math:
“The take home message of her work is clear: there is no such thing as a black hole.”
Next they’ll be telling us the Grand Canyon is the product of a global flood.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Throwing the Old Testament Under the Science Bus [Pt 2]

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Throwing the Old Testament Under the Science Bus [Pt 1]

The most recent version of this post is available here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Who’s Afraid of Science?

I often refer to Wikipedia, that unassailable bastion of compiled wisdom, not because I believe it to be particularly accurate, but because it provides as good an understanding of how people currently use language as can possibly be obtained. A Wikipedia definition is the gold standard for lowest common denominator human knowledge. So while it may not represent what everyone down through human history understood by the term “science”, let’s give their definition a browse:
Science (from Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”) is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge in the form of testable explanations and predictions about the universe.”
Sounds reasonable, no? So let’s get some things clear here:

I am not anti-science — and more importantly, neither Christians nor the Scripture itself are anti-science — if by “science” we mean using our God-given intelligence to puzzle out how things work and make life better for each other. Who could reasonably be against the search for objective truth? Who wouldn’t like better hygiene, a cure for cancer or buildings that remain standing in earthquakes?

“Science” in this sense is a perfectly sensible concept, and something man was clearly designed for. It’s in our nature to ask questions and look for answers.

I am, however, profoundly anti-science, if by “science” you mean what most people actually mean by it: agenda-driven, government- or special interest-funded pseudo-authority masquerading as universal truth. 

Boiled down to its essence, it is a propaganda hammer used to bludgeon the most malleable minds into what are — today, at least — the most politically acceptable shapes.

It is about as far from the original concept as it is possible to have come.