Archive for ‘Science’

April 2nd, 2014

A List of Physical Values and What Happens When Changed

by Max Andrews

Constants of Space and Time.

  1. Planck length (the minimum interval of space), l= 1.62 x 10-33 cm.
  2. Planck time (the minimum interval of time), tp = 5.39 x 10-44 sec.
  3. Planck’s constant (this determines the minimum unit of energy emission), h = 6.6 x 10-34 joule seconds.
  4. Velocity of light, c = 300,000 km/sec.

Energy Constants.

  1. Gravitational attraction constant, G = 6.67 x 10-11 Nm2/kg2.
  2. Weak force coupling constant, gw = 1.43 x 10-62.
  3. Strong nuclear force coupling constant, gs = 15.

Individuating Constants (Composition of the Electromagnetic Force).

  1. Rest mass of a proton, mp =1.67 x 10-27 kg.
  2. Rest mass of an electron, me = 9.11 x 10-31 kg.
  3. The electron or proton unit charge, e = 1.6 x 10-19 coulombs.
  4. Minimum mass in our universe, (hc/G)½ = 2.18 x 10-8 kg.
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February 9th, 2014

Q&A 38: The Infinite Set of You in the Multiverse

by Max Andrews

Question

Dear Mr. Andrews,

I came upon your blog and I shall spend the better part of the night reading it, and I have a few questions about the multiverse that I don’t understand.

First off, why is it inevitable that some parallel universes would be identical to this one? Why would there be another me, identical down to each thought, instead of endlessly unique ones? That is to say, why would there be an infinite number of universes but only a finite variety of patterns?

Also, would endlessly different ones render the fantastic real? Unicorns and Greek gods roaming universes of their own?

Or have I missed what MWI supporters are trying to say?

Also, if the multiverse allows for at least a few super civilizations to exist, so powerful that they can create their own universes or cross others, then wouldn’t they essentially function as gods, albeit not our eternal one?

Thank you so much, and Happy New Year!

Sincerely,

Katy Meyrick

February 3rd, 2014

Max Tegmark and The Fluke Explanation for Life

by Max Andrews

our mathematical universe tegmarkI’m reading Max Tegmark’s newest and only book Our Mathematical Universe, which I will be reviewing for an academic journal. I wanted to share, as much as I could without copyright infringement an amazing point on the issues of fine-tuning in the most broad sense of the word (the existence of a universe that permits the existence of life).

 So what are we to make of this fine-tuning? First of all, why can’t we just dismiss it all as a bunch of fluke coincidences? Because the scientific method doesn’t tolerate unexplained coincidences saying, “My theory requires an unexplained coincidence to agree with observation.” For Example, we’ve seen how inflation predicts that space is flat and the spots in the cosmic microwave background should have an average size around a degree, and that the experiments…. confirmed this… Suppose the Planck team observed [something else being] much smaller average spy size, prompting them to announce that they’d ruled out inflation with 99.999% confidence. This would mean that random fluctuations in a flat universe could [author's emphasis] have caused spots to appear as unusually small as they measured, tricking them into an incorrect conclusion, but what with 99.999% probability this wouldn’t happen? In other words, inflation  would require a 1 – in – 100,000 unexplained coincidence in order to agree with the measurement…

December 20th, 2013

Science without Epistemology is Impossible

by Max Andrews

A robust epistemology is a sufficient condition for a successful pursuit of scientific inquiry.  There are many other factors and conditions that must be met for science but a vigorous epistemic model for how one pursues scientific inquiry is needed; otherwise, there may be sufficient reasons to doubt not only the conclusions of the scientific inquiry but as well as the pool of data, which must be assessed appropriately.  The scientist is more than welcome to pursue an empiricist model for his epistemology, though strict [naturalistic] empiricism is not very robust, but it must have certain allowances for metaphysical import—perhaps more rationalistic.

I believe the best way to construct a robust epistemology and scientific method is to be a realist.  What I mean by this is that the external reality is how it appears to be to an observer making an epistemic inquiry, the measurements from science accurately depicts reality.  This is in contrast to instrumentalism/anti-realism, which suggests that our inquiry of the world, scientifically, do not accurately depict reality but as useful fictions.  An instrumentalist is more concerned about data fitting theories and predictions than with an accurate depiction of reality.

For the scientific realist, the ontology of the world determines one’s epistemology.  They congruently correspond.  It is important to note the order of entailment.  Antecedently, reality determines our epistemology. 

December 10th, 2013

Nobel Prize Winner Starts a Boycott of Top Science Journals

by Max Andrews

After this I feel a huge sigh of relief coming… A relief that science hasn’t been hijacked by the one-track minded aristocrats of scholarship who only want to monologue. Remember what happened to Einstein and Higgs’ first major papers that led to amazing theories and confirmations? Oh, yeah…

Source: The Guardian

Leading academic journals are distorting the scientific process and represent a “tyranny” that must be broken, according to a Nobel prize winner who has declared a boycott on the publications.

Randy Schekman, a US biologist who won the Nobel prize in physiology or medicine this year and receives his prize in Stockholm on Tuesday, said his lab would no longer send research papers to the top-tier journals, Nature, Cell and Science.

Schekman said pressure to publish in “luxury” journals encouraged researchers to cut corners and pursue trendy fields of science instead of doing more important work. The problem was exacerbated, he said, by editors who were not active scientists but professionals who favoured studies that were likely to make a splash.

September 8th, 2013

New Study Suggesting that Near Death Experiences are Electrical Surges in the Brain Doesn’t Explain Everything

by Max Andrews

Screen Shot 2013-09-08 at 1.33.32 AMThe recent paper “The Surge of Neurophysiological Coherence and Connectivity in the Dying Brain” published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences argued that Near Death Experiences (NDEs) are a result of heightened states of consciousness just before death.

The research doesn’t explain all the data and assumes naturalism in its hypothesis.

The authors reasoned “that if NDE stems from brain activity, neural correlates of consciousness should be identifiable in humans or animals after cessation of cerebral blood flow” (p. 1). This begs the questions in favor of naturalistic mechanisms involved in NDEs. What this hypothesis does demonstrate is the physical correlation between the experiences and the physical mechanisms involved.

August 23rd, 2013

Q&A 32: Young Earth Creationism as an Apologetic Methodology?

by Max Andrews

Q&A GraphicQuestion:

Max,

First of all, I want to congratulate you on your opportunity to study in Scotland! What an honor! I look forward to seeing where that will take you. Secondly, I want to be clear that the motivation of my questioning is NOT to simply stir controversy, and not to put you in a difficult position to answer. However, the nature of the topic of my question tends to cause controversy among some, so be warned.

My question is one regarding the relationship between Young Earth Creationism, the science and religion “conflict”, and the ministry of apologetics. I have been wrestling with this topic for about six months now, and I am seeking your insight to gain some clarity, understanding, and advice.

Earlier this year, I completed the undergraduate Creation Studies class at Liberty University. Although I enjoyed the class, at the end of the six week course I remained unconvinced that the Young-Earth view is a proper interpretation of Genesis 1, or an accurate scientific explanation of the universe we observe. My skepticism of YEC raised several other questions regarding apologetic ministry and the supposed conflict between science and religion.
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July 22nd, 2013

Poetic Theories: Can Scientists Learn from Poets?

by Max Andrews

Poetic Theories” is a debate looking at whether poetry can contribute to the progress of science and if so how.

July 16th, 2013

The Pale Blue Dot

by Max Andrews

“Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.”  Carl Sagan, from a Public Lecture delivered October 13, 1994, at Cornell University

June 12th, 2013

Recommended Resources

by Max Andrews

The following is a list of ministries and organizations that I would recommend in helping your pursuit of truth in manners of theology, philosophy, science, ministry, and practical living.

  • Alexander Pruss’s Blog:  Alexander Pruss is a Christian philosopher at Baylor University who updates his blog with pressing questions and critiques of many ideas.
  • Alpha and Omega Ministries: James White’s ministry, which focuses on presuppositional apologetics, reformed theology, Islam, Mormonism, and Roman Catholicism.
  • Bio-Complexity:  Bio-Complexity is a peer review journal with a specific goal of testing the scientific merit of intelligent design.
  • BioLogos Forum:  An organization reconciling science with religion.  BioLogos is a key proponent of evolution in the TE-ID debate.
  • Center for Science and Culture at Discovery Institute:  The Discovery Institute is the leading organization on intelligent design pressing issues with the natural sciences and social sciences.
  • Christian Classics Ethereal Library:  The CCEL is a resource that makes classical writings from early Christian philosophers and theologians available for use.
  • Closer to Truth:  A website/show devoted to the pursuit of truth asking questions of science, philosophy, and theology presenting views from multiple sides.  Here you will find hours of audio/visual resources.
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