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Why do we believe in electrons, but not in fairies?

Why do we believe in electrons, but not in fairies?
by Benjamin Kuipers No one has directly observed either electrons or fairies. Both of them are theoretical constructs, useful to explain observations that might be difficult to explain otherwise. The "theory of fairies" can actually explain more things than the "theory of electrons". So why do we believe in electrons, but not in fairies? Is the issue a political one, where the "electron" fans got the upper hand in the nineteenth century, so by the twentieth century the "fairy" fans were a scorned and persecuted minority? No, to both. Fairies are much more free. It's always possible that there really are fairies. The scientific method is an amazing procedure for incrementally improving certain kinds of theories: those that make testable predictions. The theory of evolution is a scientific theory, because it implies a large number of specific testable claims. The theory of intelligent design could be true. The scientific method is an enormous intellectual asset to the human race.

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A Case Study in Voodoo Genetics A new review of published studies looking at the relationship between a gene and brain structure offers a sobering lesson in how science goes wrong. Dutch neuroscientists Marc Molendijk and colleagues took all of the studies that compared a particular variant, BDNF val66met, and the volume of the human hippocampus. It's a long story, but there are various biological reasons that these two things might be correlated. It turns out that the first published reports found large genetic effects, but that ever since then, the size of the effects has dropped, with the latest studies finding no effects at all - A cumulative meta-analysis confirms that as more studies on BDNF val66met have appeared, the overall effect estimate has steadily declined - Finally, the authors found signs of publication bias: there were three small, imprecise studies that reported very large effects of the gene, but no such studies finding no effect (or a reverse effect).

storyboards What is a storyboard? Once a concept or script is written for a film or animation, the next step is to make a storyboard. A storyboard visually tells the story of an animation panel by panel, kind of like a comic book. Your storyboard will should convey some of the following information: What charaters are in the frame, and how are they moving? What are the characters saying to each other, if anything?

Is Free Will an Illusion? - The Chronicle Review Free will has long been a fraught concept among philosophers and theologians. Now neuroscience is entering the fray. For centuries, the idea that we are the authors of our own actions, beliefs, and desires has remained central to our sense of self. We choose whom to love, what thoughts to think, which impulses to resist. Eisenstein's montage theory Montage--juxtaposing images by editing--is unique to film (and now video). During the 1920s, the pioneering Russian film directors and theorists Sergei Eisenstein and Dziga Vertov demonstrated the technical, aesthetic, and ideological potentials of montage. The 'new media' theorist Lev Manovich has pointed out how much these experiments of the 1920s underlie the aesthetics of contemporary video. Eisenstein believed that film montage could create ideas or have an impact beyond the individual images. Two or more images edited together create a "tertium quid" (third thing) that makes the whole greater than the sum of its individual parts. Eisenstein's greatest demonstration of the power of montage comes in the "Odessa Steps" sequence of his 1925 film Battleship Potemkin.

Crochet a Gorgeous Mandala Floor Rug In this tutorial we’ll be making a beautiful crochet rug, made from T-shirt yarn. The pattern uses US terms and stitches include slip stitch (sl st); double crochet (dc); chain (ch); increase (inc) and a magic ring. T-shirt yarn (also called Zpagetti) in two colours that complement each other. You'll need about threes cones of yarn in total.A crochet hook in a size suitable for t-shirt yarn. I'm using a 15mm hook.A large darning needle for sewing in the ends.A pair of scissors. micro et macrocosme (Fludd) Robert Fludd here depicts the correspondence between the Human (the Ape of Nature) and the Universe as the human is held by a Great Chain of Being from the hand of God (inside cloud). Higher levels of being descended from God's Heaven through the sphere of stars and planetary orbs to the sphere of the four elements. Humans were thought to contain essences of all other parts of the universe. Fludd was a proponent of alchemical medicine and the theory of correspondences was important to alchemical notions.

colonizing virtual reality Chris Chesher Introduction New technologies do not appear from nowhere as a mystical spark of inspiration from the mind of one individual. Nor are they inevitably accepted for their self-evident benefits. A technology emerges through a process involving broader cultural, linguistic, institutional and technological contexts. One clear illustration of this process can be drawn with the appearance of "virtual reality" in 1989, and the subsequent popularization of the idea through the media.

esprit et matière (Fludd) Creation, for renaissance occultist Robert Fludd, springs from the union of two opposite forces: the creative power of God impressing itself upon a receptive anti-substance he called the Hyle. The Hyle Defining the Hyle is difficult, if not impossible. Indeed, Fludd states that "it cannot be understood in isolation, nor described by itself alone, but only by analogy." It is not created, for it is the material of which created things spring.