Physicist Acknowledges Positive Role of Religion in Science

first_img(Visited 450 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 How can science reject religion, when many of the founding fathers of science were men of strong Biblical faith?In a headline unusual for The Conversation, which often acts as a podium for atheists, Tom McLeish says, “Religion isn’t the enemy of science: it’s been inspiring scientists for centuries.”  His opening sentences summarizes the angle he takes:Take notice of any debate in the media and you’ll see that science and religion are, and always were, at loggerheads. Science is about evidence-based fact, religion is about faith-based belief.But repeating statements endlessly in the media doesn’t make them true. The actual entanglements of religious tradition and the development of science are far more interesting than the superficial conflict common today – and far more important. And rethinking how we view the relationship between science and religion could help give scientific thinking the wider public support it needs.McLeish, a Professor of Natural Philosophy in the Department of Physics at the University of York, specializes in soft matter, rheology and biological physics, his author profile says. He works as a theoretician, but keeps in close touch with experimentalists. And he knows something about the history of science, an expertise often lacking in today’s Big Science communities. Many assume, for instance, medieval scientists blindly followed Aristotle, but McLeish knows the history is more nuanced than the picture of 17th century scientific giants finally casting off old myths of darkness and seeing the light for the first time.When Aristotle was reintroduced to Europe in the 12th century, his scientific work had a great influence on medieval scholars, who were invariably thinkers within a church, synagogue or mosque. A key example is the 13th-century Oxford theologian and later Bishop of Lincoln, Robert Grosseteste, who was also a pioneering early scientist. He presented a vision for how we might obtain new knowledge of the universe, the dawning of the first notions of experiment, and even a “big bang” theory of the cosmos and a concept of multiple universes.Art by J. Beverly Greene commissioned specifically for CEH. All rights reserved.The views of Grosseteste are not exactly like those of modern secular cosmologists, to be sure. Most importantly, he saw the investigation of nature as an act of worship that glorifies God. Like Roger Bacon, his pupil, Grosseteste denounced magic, superstition and irrationality. To these scholars, nature reflected the rationality, orderliness and beauty of their Creator. Their views influenced many subsequent natural philosophers.Yet underneath Grosseteste’s work lies a much deeper and developing philosophy of nature. In a commentary on Aristotle’s Posteria Analytics, he describes a uniquely human propensity he calls (in Latin) “sollertia”. By this he means a sort of intense and perceptive ability to look beyond the surface of the material world into its inner structure.This is remarkably similar to our approach to science today. Isaac Newton described his science as “seeing further than others”. For Grosseteste, our sollertia comes in turn from being created in the image of God. It is a theologically motivated task that contributes to the fulfilment of being human.McLeish continues with other Bible-believing scientists which we describe in our biographies at this site.Francis Bacon (1561-1626)Robert Boyle (1627-1691)Isaac Newton (1642-1727)These and others “saw their task as working with God’s gifts of senses and minds to recover a lost knowledge of nature.” McLeish takes this spirit all the way back to the Biblical Book of Job, especially chapters 38-41, in which God quizzes Job on a list of scientific questions he knows Job cannot answer. Calling the book of Job a “foundation pillar for modern philosophy” on par with Plato. McLeish sees parallels with the kinds of questions scientists address today:This is because Job deals head-on with the problem of an apparently chaotic and fitful world, alien to the human predicament and unmoved in the face of suffering. And this, [Susan] Neiman claims, is the starting point for philosophy.It might also be the starting point for science, for Job also contains at its pivotal point the most profound nature poem of all ancient writings. Its verse form of questions is also striking to scientists from all ages, who know that asking the right creative questions – rather than always having the correct answer – is what unlocks progress.In all, the book contains as many as 160 questions from the fields we now know as meteorology, astronomy, geology and zoology. The content of this timeless text has clearly steered the story of science for centuries.McLeish hopes that “faith communities” will embrace this history. He thinks this will help them be “hugely in support of science,” but he fails to expect a reciprocal action on the part of scientists. “By embracing and supporting science, in turn, religious communities can contribute important perspectives on how we use it in our global future.”This is a welcome change from the usual creation-bashing by atheists on The Conversation, but I wish McLeish would have stated the need for scientists to repent and recognize their debt to the Bible. Instead, these kinds of articles always view the motion in one direction: “faith communities” need to embrace science—or, more cynically, the People of Faith (whatever that is supposed to mean) need to knuckle under to the People of Froth. Lawrence Principe at Johns Hopkins commits this lopsided error in his otherwise interesting Teaching Company course on science and religion. A large part of the divide today comes from arrogant scientists pridefully looking down their snooty little Yoda noses at anyone who doubts their idol, King Charles (see 26-Jan-2018). From my experience that is a far bigger problem than “people of faith” refusing to embrace science.I would also add Solomon to Job as a science promoter. Solomon undertook massive projects to study birds, plants, and other phenomena (I Kings 4:29-34). Although as an old man he lumped research, pleasure and writing books as “chasing after wind,” his zeal at investigation of nature, applying his God-given wisdom, clearly brought him pleasure and satisfaction for many years. His conclusion, “Fear God, and keep His commandments, for this is the whole duty of man” (Ecclesiastes 12), does not negate the value of science, because he also said, “Remember your Creator in the days of your youth.” Other Bible writers advocated study of God’s works as a way of fearing God and keeping His commandments. Psalm 111, for instance, includes research as an element of worship:Praise the Lord! I will give thanks to the Lord with all my heart, in the company of the upright and in the assembly.Great are the works of the Lord; they are studied by all who delight in them.Splendid and majestic is His work, and His righteousness endures forever.He has made His wonders to be remembered; the Lord is gracious and compassionate.He has given food to those who fear Him; He will remember His covenant forever.He has made known to His people the power of His works, in giving them the heritage of the nations.last_img read more

SA ‘explorer’ for National Geographic

first_img22 August 2013 Palaeoanthropologist Lee Berger from the Institute for Human Evolution at South Africa’s University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) has been named an explorer-in- residence for US magazine National Geographic. Berger is renowned for his discovery of the most complete early hominin fossils discovered, Australopithecus sediba, at the Malapa cave at the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Gauteng. “The explorers-in-residence programme was created to enhance National Geographic’s long-standing relationship with some of the world’s best explorers and scientists,” the magazine said. “Our explorers’ groundbreaking discoveries fuel the kind of critical information, conservation initiatives and compelling stories that are the trademark of the National Geographic Society.” Berger will continue his work at Malapa as an explorer – leading one of the largest palaeontological projects of over 100 scientists studying fossils. “We’ll be opening excavations again at the Malapa site and creating a virtual online laboratory where people from around the world can observe and interact with the preparation of early-human fossils,” Berger said. “We’ll also be developing an exploration academy to impart basic and advanced skills in exploration sciences to the next generation of explorers.” Berger was awarded the National Geographic Society’s first Prize for Research and Exploration in 1997 and has written over 200 papers, several of which have been awarded “top science stories of the year” by Time, Scientific American and Discover magazines. “Lee Berger perfectly embodies the new age of exploration that the National Geographic Society is celebrating in its 125th year,” said Mission Programs’ executive vice-president, Terry Garcia. Mission Programs is run by National Geographic and offers conservation, research and exploration grants; the explorer programme falls under it. “We’re honoured to have the chance to work directly with this dynamic explorer who is a pioneer in his field,” Garcia said. SAinfo reporterlast_img read more

a month agoMan Utd defender Axel Tuanzebe wants more Cup action

first_imgAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Man Utd defender Axel Tuanzebe wants more Cup actionby Paul Vegasa month agoSend to a friendShare the loveManchester United defender Axel Tuanzebe hopes to keep his place for the next round of the Carabao Cup.Tuazebe captained United to their shootout win over Rochdale this week.United travel to Chelsea for the fourth round next month in an all-Premier League blockbuster. “These are the kind of games you want to be playing,” said Tuanzebe. “People dismiss the Carabao Cup and say it is a nothing kind of trophy. But you respect the teams who are in it and you respect the competition. Chelsea will be a big game and we want to win it and march on.” last_img

Cincinnati Apparel Company Has Hysterical New Ohio State Shirt Featuring Depressed Michigan Fan

first_imgOhio State Buckeye fans doing the "O-H-I-O" chant.COLUMBUS, OH – SEPTEMBER 27: Ohio State Buckeyes fans cheer on their team against the Minnesota Golden Gophers on September 27, 2008 at Ohio Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)Michigan State fans are not the only ones delerious with joy after Michigan’s last play collapse on Saturday. Ohio State fans aren’t afraid to revel in any loss by the “Team Up North.” “Cincy Shirts,” an Ohio apparel company, printed a new shirt called “The Disappointment Up North” after the game, featuring the depressed Michigan fan that went viral after the Wolverines’ loss. It is pretty perfect.Sorry folks, but we had to! Depressed Michigan Fan shirt now available!Get yours here –> http://goo.gl/Y0zxowPosted by Cincy Shirts on Saturday, October 17, 2015The shirts are available for order at CincyShirts.com. We expect a few Buckeye fans will be interested in them.[CincyShirts.com]last_img read more

Search for Denny Poole this Thursday

first_imgWhistles, bear bells, bug spray, reflective vests, water and snacks will be supplied by Horne.Horne is hoping someone can help with Walkie-talkies and an elder that could help smudge the group and say a prayer before the search.To view the FB event page; CLICK HERE DAWSON CREEK, B.C. – Jessica Horne shares she would rather have a search party than a Birthday party this Thursday, July 25, 2019.Horne shares further the search party will meet at the brake check on the Dawson side of the Kiskatinaw Bridge at noon and will proceed to search until 5 pm.last_img

People dont verify fake news before sharing

first_imgMost people do not verify whether a new piece of information is accurate or fake before sharing it on social media, regardless of age, social class or gender, a study has found. Researchers at Ohio University in the US found that several factors can be used to detect misinformation, otherwise known as “fake news,” on social media. The study, published in the journal Behaviour & Information Technology, found that, by looking at certain factors, it is possible to predict if someone is likely to share misinformation based on the same factors. “This is a pioneering study that helps understand why individuals would share misinformation on social media using a theoretical lens and information literacy factors,” said a professor at Ohio University. “Fake news and misinformation could be rightly termed as the major issues of our time. Almost every other study in this realm falls short of highlighting the vital role of individuals in halting the spread of misinformation,” he said in a statement. To test the research hypotheses that predict the sharing of misinformation, he extended his work from a US framework to gather data in Indonesia. Indonesia is not only one of the largest social media markets in the world, the country has caught news headlines for fighting misinformation and hoaxes, especially during its election season, researchers said. The study asked participants to rate their perceived internet skills, self-esteem and internet experiences as well as their attitudes towards fact-checking online information, belief in reliability, and how often participants shared information without fact checking. There were 396 participants in the study, which found that age, social class and gender did not play a huge part, but rather media and information literacy was found to be the biggest factor in recognising misinformation. Those who have a strong belief in the reliability of the information are more likely to share information online without verification, researchers said. The study found that people from lower education levels, lower income and those newer to the internet would benefit most from learning additional information literacy.last_img read more

Obama income inequality a threat to American social cohesion

first_imgWASHINGTON – US President Obama says that combined trends of increased income inequality and decreased mobility pose a fundamental threat to American dreamUS President Barack Obama speaking at the Center for American Progress (CAP) said on Wednesday that they would take measures against income inequalities in the US, one of which would be to raise the minimum wage which is currently below where it was when Harry Truman was in Office in the 1940s.Obama states that the US often accepts more income inequality than many other nations, “because we are convinced that America is a place where, even if you’re born with nothing, with a little hard work, you can improve your own situation over time and build something better to leave your kids.”“But starting in the late ‘70s, this social construct began to unravel. Technology made it easier for companies to do more with less, eliminating certain job occupations. A more competitive world led companies to ship jobs anywhere,  and as good manufacturing jobs automated or headed offshore, workers lost their leverage; jobs paid less and offered fewer benefits,” declared President Obama.Obama stated that since 1979 the US economy has more than doubled in size, but most of the growth has laned with the fortunate few, “The top 10 percent no longer take in one-third of our income; it now takes half,” he said.Obama referring to recent studies said that growth is more fragile and recessions are more frequent in countries with greater inequality.“The opportunity gap in America is now as much about class as it is about race. And that gap is growing. So if we’re going to take on growing inequality and trying to improve upward mobility for all people, we’ve got to move beyond the false notion that this is an issue exclusively of a minority concern. And we have to reject  politics that suggests any effort to address it in a meaningful way somehow pits the interests of a deserving middle class against those of an undeserving poor in search of handouts,” added Obama.last_img read more

A Website Went Offline And Took Most Of Womens College Basketball Analytics

If you’re filling out your bracket for the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and want some statistical background to the broader forecasts, you have a slew of options. Start at Sports-Reference.com: powerful search tools; team rankings for anything from pace to point differentials adjusted for strength of schedule; and player pages with stats such as usage percentage, win shares and Box Plus/Minus. Ken Pomeroy’s site offers more detailed and adjusted team rankings and a wide array of individual player metrics. For $100 a year, Shot Analytics delivers detailed spatial analysis of shot selection, including weighted shot charts.If you’re looking for similar information to help you fill out an NCAA women’s basketball tournament bracket, you’re out of luck.Last week, leading into the MIT Sloan Sports Analytics Conference, Sue Bird wrote a piece for The Players’ Tribune about this analytic gender gap, noting, “The disparity between NBA data — even data across all male sports — and WNBA data is glaring. Data for the WNBA is relegated to basic information: points, rebounds, steals, assists, turnovers, blocks. While worthy of being noted, those are the most rudimentary numbers in our game.” There are a few slightly richer sources of data for the women’s professional game — Basketball-Reference.com will let you see the true shooting percentage and usage rate for WNBA players, for example — but Bird’s overall characterization of the data disparity is dead-on, and the effect is even stronger in college basketball. That’s true this month more than most.Until recently, the one repository for advanced statistics such as usage, true shooting percentage, pace-adjusted player statistics and adjusted team ratings for women’s college ball was WBBState.com, a vertical of data company National Statistical. But that source disappeared Feb. 29, when ServerAxis, the company that provided server space to National Statistical’s hosting company, suddenly took all its equipment offline. There are reports that ServerAxis was having financial problems, but the company has so far not responded to requests for comment. National Statistical also declined to comment on the situation on the advice of lawyers as it works to recover its data and bring the site back online.Exactly how a web hosting company pulls up anchor, ditches its Miami headquarters, and ends up 1,300 miles away in Chicago, allegedly waiting for its servers to find their way home, is almost certainly a fascinating story, but it’s secondary to the reality that an entire sport’s advanced metrics wing can be wiped off the map by a few nerds absconding with a few hard drives and turning off their phones. This is a corollary to the more global lack of statistical interrogation of women’s basketball — the data isn’t just shallow, it’s scarce, and that scarcity makes it fragile.What’s left behind is a patchwork collection of disparate scraps of data. ESPN has some statistics available for players and teams, but these cover only basic stats and are organized as leaderboards, so they can’t be searched or sorted beyond the top 50. You can find the full lists for most of those statistics, and a few others, on the NCAA’s website. It’s a thin statistical slice, and they are available for only the current season. Right now, if you wanted to find out where Breanna Stewart’s true shooting percentage ranked this season, or how many points per 100 possessions Baylor allowed, you’d need to scrape the data and calculate it yourself.A paucity of data in any sport doesn’t just trim down the “analytics” branch — it fundamentally changes the types of stories that can be told about teams and athletes. “The more data you have,” says Howard Megdal, a contributing editor for the women’s sports site Excelle Sports, “the more you have the ability to parse it, and to compare it, and to do it more easily, the more stories that are out there.”That’s no small point. In the landscape of women’s sports, college basketball in general and the NCAA Tournament in particular are enormously important. The nation’s attention has turned to college basketball, expecting rich, compelling and thorough analysis, and the women’s side, already handicapped by neglect, has lost one of its legs to a freak woodchipper accident. This leaves the writers who cover the tournament, missing servers be damned, in quite the lurch.“The NCAA has the standard points and rebounds,” Megdal says, “but I’m writing today and trying to make the point that South Carolina’s offense is actually more efficient than its defense. You know people talk about South Carolina’s defense all the time. I only knew that because of WBBState, and being able to see the tempo-free stats. So when I went to go and prove it, I can’t right now; I can’t reference those numbers. All I can do is say that they’re 17th in points per game, or whatever. And as I’m doing it, I’m well aware that I’m using a highly flawed stat that doesn’t begin to capture what I’m after.”In a way, that sums up the state of analytics in women’s basketball: Everyone knows that there are more powerful tools of observation waiting just out of reach, but there just isn’t much to do about it. Sometimes that’s because women’s leagues lack the financial might or institutional support to run in the lead pack; other times it’s because the wrong web host picked the wrong month to blow town. Our sports podcast Hot Takedown previews March Madness. More: Apple Podcasts | ESPN App | RSS | Embed Embed Code By Ian Levy read more