- Murdering opinions 02/12/2019
- You can’t exclude human influence from science 27/11/2019
- “Alexa, what is the real cost of your switching on my lights?” 25/11/2019
- Press credibility 21/11/2019
- Heads up on “The Generations of Heaven and Earth” 18/11/2019
Category Archives: Philosophy
The title of this blog could refer to a number of things I’ve discussed here over the years. It could mean the fact that science is entirely a human activity, which could be summarised as asking the near-infinite realm of nature particular questions of human interest, to which it will return equally particular and incomplete answers. Or it could refer to the mysterious effects of mind on quantum events. But in fact in this post it’s about something else: providence.
My attention was drawn to an important, but rather predictably neglected, 2004 article How science makes environmental controversies worse, by Daniel Sarewitz (Environmental Science & Policy 7 (2004) 385–403). It’s essential reading.
Chasing up, for interest, references to the 1908 “Tunguska Event” (now most commonly thought to be a meteroric or cometary air-burst), I came across this recent piece in Physorg.
Returning to my long thread on science in the media over at Peaceful Science, at one stage the accusations of irrational climate denialism were expressed, by a classics graduate, no less, thus: This is the language of the science denialist. Which anti-science cause will you champion next, chiropractic and homeopathy?
You may or may not have seen the following sports awareness test on YouTube. If not you can check your skills:
George Berkeley is most famous for his immaterialist view of reality, which is nicely, if incompletely, summed up in Monsignor Ronald Knox’s limerick:
In my last post I drew on George Berkeley in the context of probability theory, to show how western thought’s tendency to make abstractions from reality actually leads to a misleading view of the world. The generalisations of science are particularly prone to the reification of abstract notions.
I’ve been dipping into George Berkeley’s philosophy recently, mainly because his mind-only view of reality resonates with some other thinkers whose ideas on the matter of matter have impressed me over the years, such as Arthur Eddington, Werner Heisenberg and William Dembski.
A quick thought here, based on a heads-up to me on Peaceful Science on a thread that, for some reason, doesn’t give me the ability to reply. No matter, because I have more space to reply here.
In my recent piece about Francis Bacon’s New Atlantis, I mentioned how Bacon, supposedly the staunch supporter of methodological naturalism, included both a scientificcally detectable miracle and a providential answer to prayer in an apologetic for the new science that is only 22 pages long. He would appear to cut the world-cake rather differently from many of a scientific bent now, who divide the world sharply between the “natural” and the “miraculous.”