Quantum Theory Won't Save The Soul. Could quantum mechanics save the soul?
In the light of 20th century physics, is free will plausible? Such as been the hope of some philosophers, scientists (and pretenders to those titles) – but neuroscientist Peter Clarke argues that it’s just not happening, in an interesting new paper: Neuroscience, quantum indeterminism and the Cartesian soul Clarke first outlines the dualism of Rene Descartes, who famously believed in an immaterial human soul separate from the brain, and responsible for rational thought. But this implied that an immaterial soul could break the laws of physics, and affect some physical processes in the brain, in order to control our actions. Even in the 17th century, this was regarded as a bit much: Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia (oldest daughter of King James VI), wrote: “…it would be easier for me to concede matter and extension to the soul, than to concede the capacity to move a body and to be moved by it to an immaterial thing.”
How to Spot a Pseudoscientific Paper. With the rise of low-impact journals and predatory open-access journals, the journal jungle has become considerable more difficult to navigate for the informed reader.
There are even journals started by groups promoting pseudoscience: young-earth creationists have Answers Research Journal, intelligent design creationists have the BIO-Complexity journal, homeopaths have the Homeopathy journal, proponents of acupuncture have the Journal of Chinese Medicine & Treatment and so on. Even more alarmingly, high quality journals (such as JAMA) have on rare occasions published what appear to be promotional pieces of quack treatments (Gorski, 2013). Thus, it is more important than ever to be able to sift the gems from the trash and approach published research papers with a skeptical eye.
Abstract: In a real scientific research paper, the abstract contains a summary of each major section of the article. Watch out for: Student Experiment Proves RF Kills Plants… or not… A recent story that has been making the rounds is one that seems to have it all: brilliant young aspiring scientists, underdogs shaking up the world and fear of wifi and phone RF radiation.
Via the Daily Dot: Your wireless router could be murdering your houseplantsAre you slowly killing your houseplants? Probably! But there might be a reason (other than neglect) why they’re all yellow and wilty: your Wi-Fi router.An experiment by a handful of high school students in Denmark has sparked some serious international interest in the scientific community.Five ninth-grade girls at Hjallerup School in North Jutland, Denmark, noticed they had trouble concentrating after sleeping with their mobile phones at their bedsides. They tried to figure out why. Well, the photos are certainly pretty dramatic, but that does not mean that this should be considered hard confirmed science. The Problems With This Experiment: I am all for teaching students about science through hands-on demonstrations. William Lane Craig: “5 Reasons why God exists” – debunked. Well-known Christian Apologist, William Lane Craig, has written an article in which he lays out five items that he claims to be “evidence” that there is a God.
The site in which he promotes all this from is …. (insert drum roll) … Fox News. Well yes, I guess my first thought is to wonder why he uses a platform that has no credibility for the presentation of factual information to promote a claim that he would assert is factual. Anyway, that aside, let’s take a look and see what is on offer … Item 1 God must have made the universe In essence .. his argument distills down to this … “I have no clue how the universe could have happened naturally, therefore my specific god concept must have done it” What he presents is a very brief summary of the infamous and oft debunked Kalām cosmological argument, which has some rather glaring flaws, and if he wishes to assert this claim, then he really should also address the flaws as well. So is item 1 “evidence”?
Item 3 We have Morality, therefore God. Noah’s reality check. The grandiose “artist’s conception” of the Ark Encounter.
Already, many of these elements have been canceled due to problems in fundraising A few weeks ago, I blogged about the problems that creationist minister Ken Ham is having with his proposed “Ark Encounter” project, to be built near his Creation “Museum” in northern Kentucky. Fundraising for the “Ark Park” is woefully behind schedule so his organization is trying to finance it with junk bonds. In the meanwhile, his original Creation “Museum” is losing more and more money as fewer visitors bother to show up to a carny act that is five years old and has nothing new to offer.
His organization may have risen rapidly to become the loudest and biggest of all the major creationist ministries in the United States, but now it looks like they’ve gone beyond their level of competence. It comes as no surprise then, that his organization also has no clue how to take care of animals.