October 28th, 2013
The following are a list of podcasts that I’ve been following and listening to that have been quite helpful in my philosophical, scientific, and theological studies. The criteria for consideration are based on 1) quality of content, 2) accurate presentation of the material, 3) constructive and respectful criticism of opposing views, 4) frequency of podcast release, and 5) a broad range of topics/issues discussed.
Aside from my ‘official’ list I have my own podcast: Eavesdropping: Eavesdropping provides a conversational, informal podcast that is sometimes a monologue or dialogue with guests concerning various topics including philosophy, theology, science, contemporary events, and random meanderings of a philosopher. The primary focuses are philosophy of science, multiverse scenarios, and Molinism.
#1. Unbelievable? – Hosted by Justin Brierly with Premier Christian Radio. Unbelievable? is a UK-based public radio program, which airs every Saturday afternoon with an occasional podcast posting mid-week. Justin brings in several leading scholars in theological and philosophical matters and they debate and dialogue particular issues ranging from ethics, comparative religions, the existence of God, science, doctrinal differences, and current events.
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August 29th, 2013
Original source from Evolution News & Views.
In a new peer-reviewed paper in BIO-Complexity, Michael Denton challenges the view that biological organisms are accidents of random mutation and natural selection, instead adopting a structuralist view that body plans are like Platonic “types,” woven into the fabric of nature.
According to Denton, a biochemist and Senior Fellow with Discovery Institute’s Center for Science & Culture, this perspective, popular before Darwin wrote Origin of Species in 1859, “was not based, as Darwinists often claim, on a priori philosophical belief in Platonic concepts, but rather upon the empirical finding that a vast amount of biological complexity, including the deep homologies which define the taxa of the natural system, appears to be of an abstract, non-adaptive nature that is sometimes of a strikingly numerical and geometric character.”
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April 28th, 2013
For every particle there is a corresponding symmetric particle. Physics has a translational symmetry, which means that the laws and values of physics are the same at every location in the universe. If an observer were to travel from one point to a much farther distant point the observer we see no change in the physics. A broken symmetry introduces change—a non-absolute uniformity. The breaking of symmetries creates complexity in the laws of nature in the outcome of laws. There’s a symmetry and uniformity between the strong and weak nuclear forces, which have been unified as electromagnetism by James Clerk Maxwell. A typical example of vital symmetry breaking is that which gives rise to the balance between matter and antimatter in the early universe. However, there is an asymmetry between the quantum and the large (a la gravity). String theory is the attempt to unify all of physics.
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April 26th, 2013
In 1865 James Clerk Maxwell had unified electricity and magnetism by developing his equations of electromagnetism. It was soon realized that these equations supported wave-like solutions in a region free of electrical charges or currents, otherwise known as vacuums. Later experiments identified light as having electromagnetic properties and Maxwell’s equations predicted that light waves should propagate at a finite speed c (about 300,000 km/s). With his Newtonian ideas of absolute space and time firmly entrenched, most physicists thought that this speed was correct only in one special frame, absolute rest, and it was thought that electromagnetic waves were supported by an unseen medium called the ether, which is at rest in this frame.
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March 18th, 2013
My name is Chad Gross and I am the director of Truthbomb Apologetics. Brian Auten of Apologetics315 recommended that I email you with a question that I have.
My question deals with gravity and whether or not it is immaterial. It seems to me that gravity is not composed of matter and/or energy; therefore, it is immaterial. However, when interacting with an unbeliever on the topic on this post and he said the following:
“Without mass there would be no gravity, right? It’s true that gravity itself isn’t made of atoms, but you must admit that the material world is more than just particles. Einstein showed that matter and energy are equivalent and can transform into each other. When I talk about something being material, therefore, I’m thinking of both matter and energy.
It’s true again that gravity might not be a form of energy, since it’s just a force. Maybe gravity arises due to the nature of space and time. But without matter, there would be no space and time. So I think it’s uncontroversial to consider the physical forces to be “material.”
When I think of things that are not material, I’m thinking of spirit, or soul. God isn’t made of matter or energy, and God would still exist even without any matter or energy, right?”
Now, I realize gravity is not immaterial in the same way that moral judgments, mathematics, logic, etc. Here is my reply to him:
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March 11th, 2013
Reblogged from Clara Moskowitz.
The findings are detailed in a paper to appear online in [the Feb. 28] issue of Astrophysical Journal Letters…
Astronomers have captured what may be the first-ever direct photograph of an alien planet in the process of forming around a nearby star.
The picture, which captured a giant alien planet as it is coming together, was snapped by the European Southern Observatory’s Very Large Telescope in Chile. It shows a faint blob embedded in a thick disk of gas and dust around the young star HD 100546. The object appears to be a baby gas giant planet, similar to Jupiter, forming from the disk’s material, scientists say.
“So far, planet formation has mostly been a topic tackled by computer simulations,” astronomer Sascha Quanz of ETH Zurich in Switzerland, leader of the research team, said in a statement. “If our discovery is indeed a forming planet, then for the first time scientists will be able to study the planet formation process and the interaction of a forming planet and its natal environment empirically at a very early stage.”
The star HD 100546, which lies 335 light-years from Earth, was already thought to host another giant planet that orbits it about six times farther out than the Earth is from the sun. The new potential planet lies even farther, about 10 times the distance of its sibling, at roughly 70 times the stretch between the Earth and sun. [Giant Planet In the Making Spotted? (Video)]
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