Monthly Archives: February 2011

Wonders in Science

This is one of the Hubble deep field images: It is important to note that every little bright smudge on this image is a galaxy with billions of stars. This image is a very small piece of the sky, around … Continue reading

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A Reasonable Perspective on Global Warming

I’ve read a lot about global warming, taught issues about climate in my classes, and have a decent (but not expert) understanding of the physics involved. Among my colleagues I’m the only one who even entertains the notion that the … Continue reading

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Does Watson Think?

There has been a lot in the news about Watson. One article on CNN says “Watson doesn’t really ‘think’ anything, and it struggles with simple questions that most humans can answer without a second thought.” They continue, “a question like … Continue reading

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Creationism and Strawmen

I can’t tell you how much I cringe when I hear people say, “I just can’t imagine how we developed our complexity through random chance” and similar things, referring (incorrectly) to the “random” process of evolution. This is a strawman … Continue reading

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Wonders in Science

There is a tendency for scientists to be killjoys, raining on everyone parade, poo-pooing cherished beliefs and activities from acupuncture, religion, ufo’s, and homeopathy. Where is the wonder, the joy? I’ve had someone, after a particular session debunking UFO shows … Continue reading

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20 Years of Being an Atheist Ends Today

It was 20 years ago when I made the conscious decision to be an atheist. I had been agnostic before, and then made a decision that it was no longer a tenable position to hold, and that the atheist label … Continue reading

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The Role of Humanity into the Future

Yet again, IBM is creating AI to best humans in a task that has been, perhaps, a symbol of uniquely human activity: Jeopardy! The system, Watson, is doing quite well against the humans. The number of applications for this technology … Continue reading

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