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Reflections on a Wandering Life.....
Thursday, January 02, 2020
What is science? To me, science is anything in nature, the existence of which can be tested. Throughout history, there have often been conflicts between science and religion. Sometimes religious beliefs are presented as science. The Bible refers to this as "science falsely so called." Creationists look at Evolution and say, "This is not science. This is religion." Evolutionists look at creation and say, "This is not science. This is religion." So who's right? Well, in that case, there are probably elements of both that are religious and elements of both that are scientific. But generally, we call a belief "religious" if it cannot be proven scientifically, but you still believe it as truth. That is not to say that it is not true. Just that it is not scientific truth. So sometimes when there is a conflict between two ideas like creation and evolution, you have to ask, which of these two ideas is most in harmony with what can be tested?
Constant testing. This is the job of the scientist. And the mathematician. Think about it...when NASA first sent a craft to the moon, they had to know that the math was going to work. The first test had to be passed with flying colors. And the landing of the Space Shuttle (Lesson 8). Such a complex procedure. Every aspect of it had to be worked out mathematically ahead of time, and it had to work perfectly. This is the beauty of the harmony between science and math.
As you go through these lessons, the important thing is to enjoy the beauty of the consistency of science and math. For lectures, debates, and discussions, listen critically, but with an open mind. Take some time to pursue tangents on your own that may be suggested by each lesson. These lessons are meant to be a starting point—to point you in a direction and give you an idea what to look for. Always remember, if you're not having fun, you're doing something wrong.
|10 October 2019
|Mathematical Challenges to Darwin’s Theory of Evolution
|The book that stimulated this was written by Stephen Meyer of the Discovery Institute. David Gelernter of Yale was won over by Meyer's book. A noted scientist becoming a Darwin denier is not a small thing so I think it is important for you to consider watching this.
|13 November 2019
|Atheism and Its Scientific Pretensions
|David Berlinski is an agnostic who scorns the absolutism of atheists. He does not speak as a believer, but as a mathematician who shows the unlikeliness of Darwin's idea coming to pass by chance.
|26 November 2019
|The Origin of Life Has Not Been Explained
|James Tour uses a unique approach here. His lecture is divided into segments, each led by a question. So a question will be flashed on the screen, and then he answers it. This is a very intense, but easily digestible approach. This does not mean to say that you will understand everything. If you have no chemistry background at all you will probably feel lost. Even if you do, you will feel challenged. But if were a reasonably good chemistry student, this will make sense to you.
|30 December 2019
|What is a gyrocopter?
|It is the simple genius of the thing that attracts me to the gyrocopter. It just seems like a very clever way to create a light-weight wing. But this video is not too heavy on aerodynamics. I think it should serve as a good basic introduction to ultralight aeronautics.
|20 January 2020
|It's just kinda taken for granted, I think. But this amazing device is one of the most extraordinary developments in aerospace history, and very little that we do in space could happen without it.
|29 February 2020
|Red River of Life
|Very old but very current film on the importance and function of the bloodstream. Every middle school student in America should be required to watch this film. But what does it have to do with the issue of abortion?
|30 April 2020
|How to Fly a Paramotor
|What do you get when you cross a hang glider and a parachute? This lesson teaches you how to fly a paramotor, which I always used to call "motorized parachutes."
|30 May 2020
|How to Land the Space Shuttle
|Excellent description of the landing procedure for the now defunct Space Shuttle, which was used greatly in the building of the International Space Station.
|30 July 2020
|The International Space Station
|Very casual and informative tour of the International Space Station. There is some really good science in this lesson, and if you haven't seen the Space Station before, this will acquaint you with what it is like for the scientists who live and work there.
|2 January 2021
|What is a Glider?
|This is the first of a two-part series on gliders and sailplanes. It is not intended to be an exhaustive history, but a description of each and an explanation of the differences between the two.
|8 March 2021
|How Does a Sailplane Work?
|This is the second of two lessons on gliders and sailplanes. It is very interesting to see how World War I—particularly the Treaty of Versailles—influenced the development of modern gliders.
|14 May 2021
|If Darwin were alive today, would he endorse the work of the Intelligent Design movement and acknowledge that their conclusions are the most reasonable given our present knowledge of the complexity of the human cell?
|23 June 2021
|Electric Transmission Lines
|What does the flow of electricty have to do with being a riverboat pilot on the Mississippi River? Or to put it another way, what is the relationship between current and voltage with respect to moving electrical power over long distances?
|24 July 2021
|Building on what we learned in Lesson 12, we talk tonight about the concept of "irreducible complexity." What is it? The Wikipedia article on irreduciblel complexity defines it this way: "Irreducible complexity (IC) is the argument that certain biological systems cannot have evolved by successive small modifications to pre-existing functional systems through natural selection, because no less complex system would function."
|30 September 2021
|The Peregrine Falcon has a tough job. She feeds on birds that are very good at getting away. Because of this, the Peregrine Falcon has only a 20 percent strike rate. But this determined hunter will not be discouraged. This extraordinary video shows the Peregrine Falcon diving and catching up easily with skydivers who are falling at 158 mph."
|31 December 2021
|Bell and the Telephone
|I think you will enjoy this video presentation by Thomas Watson, Alexander Graham Bell's assistant. The audio isn’t perfect—this is from 1933. But it’s pretty good. Kinda interesting to see where it all came from, and the science that went into making it possible for people to communicate freely over long distances. The world is getting smaller.
|29 April 2022
|What is shortwave radio? What good is it? Why do you think most Americans do not know hardly anything about it? I grew up with shortwave radio, and it played a very important role in keeping me connected to the outside world.
|28 February 2023
|That Inscrutable Newton
|Who was Isaac Newton? In this post I explain how Newton's fascination with alchemy may be what opened his mind to discover the law of gravity. After all, the idea that two bodies in space would have an attraction no matter how far separated they are is something that strikes one as mystical even now.