I sit upon this old stone, and dream my time away.
Reblogged from thedemon-hauntedworld
How the Moon Formed: Lunar Rocks Support Giant Impact Theory
A new analysis of lunar rocks now supports the idea that the moon was born in a gigantic collision between the nascent Earth and a mysterious planet-size rock, scientists say.
Earth formed about 4.5 billion years ago, and scientists think the moon came into being shortly afterward. The prevailing explanation for the moon’s origin, known as the Giant Impact Hypothesis, is that it resulted from two protoplanets (or embryonic worlds) that slammed together — the Earth as it was forming, and a Mars-size object called Theia. A lot of debris went on to form the moon.
[Scientific theories can be accurate and even make novel predictions, whilst being ultimately wrong. Scientific theories can also be inaccurate, whilst being ultimately right.]
Consider specifically the state of ætherial theories in the 1830’s and 1840’s. The electrical fluid, a substance which was generally assumed to accumulate on the surface rather than permeate the interstices of bodies, had been utilized to explain inter alia the attraction of oppositely charged bodies, the behavior of the Leyden jar, the similarities between atmospheric and static electricity and many phenomena of current electricity.
Within chemistry and heat theory, the caloric æther … explain[ed] everything from the role of heat in chemical reactions to the conduction and radiation of heat and … standard problems of thermometry.
Within the theory of light, the optical æther functioned centrally in explanations of reflection, refraction, interference, double refraction, diffraction and polarization. (Of more than passing interest, optical æther theories had … made … startling[, true] predictions, e.g., Fresnel’s prediction of a bright spot at the center of the shadow of a circular disc; a surprising prediction which, when tested, proved correct. If that does not count as empirical success, nothing does!)
There were also gravitational (e.g., LeSage’s) and physiological (e.g., Hartley’s) æthers which enjoyed some measure of empirical success. It would be difficult to find a family of theories in this period which were as successful as æther theories; compared to them, 19th century atomism (for instance), a genuinely referring theory … was a dismal failure. Indeed, on any account of empirical success which I can conceive of, non-referring 19th-century æther theories were more successful than contemporary, referring atomic theories.
[According to] J.C. Maxwell…the æther was better confirmed than any other theoretical entity in natural philosophy!
Reblogged from isomorphismes
Larry Laudan’s ‘A Confutation of Convergent Realism’, Philosophy of Science, 48(1), 19-49
via David Corfield(via isomorphismes)
Reblogged from thedragoninmygarage
For a group of paleontologists, a tour of the Creation Museum seemed like a great tongue-in-cheek way to cap off a serious conference.
But while there were a few laughs and some clowning for the camera, most left more offended than amused by the frightening way in which evolution — and their life’s work — was attacked.
"It’s sort of a monument to scientific illiteracy, isn’t it?" said Jerry Lipps, professor of geology, paleontology and evolution at University of California, Berkeley.
"Like Sunday school with statues… this is a special brand of religion here. I don’t think even most mainstream Christians would believe in this interpretation of Earth’s history."
The 27 million dollar, 70,000-square-foot (6,500-square-metre) museum which has been dubbed a "creationist Disneyland" has attracted 715,000 visitors since it opened in mid-2007 with a vow to "bring the pages of the Bible to life."
Its presents a literal interpretation of the Bible and argues that believing otherwise leads to moral relativism and the destruction of social values.
Creationism is a theory not supported by most mainstream Christian churches.
Lisa Park of the University of Akron cried at one point as she walked a hallway full of flashing images of war, famine and natural disasters which the museum blames on belief in evolution.
"I think it’s very bad science and even worse theology — and the theology is far more offensive to me," said Park, a professor of paleontology who is an elder in the Presbyterian Church.
"I think there’s a lot of focus on fear, and I don’t think that’s a very Christian message… I find it a malicious manipulation of the public."
The museum argues that the fossil record has been misinterpreted and that Tyrannosaurus rex was a vegetarian before Adam and Eve bit into that sin-inducing apple.
Jardine, a palaeobiologist graduate student from the University of Birmingham, was having fun on the tour, but told a reporter that he was disturbed by the museum’s cartoonish portrayal of scientists and teachers.
"I feel very sorry for teachers when the children who come here start guessing if what they’re being taught is wrong," Jardine said.
Arnie Miller, a palentologist at the University of Cincinnati who was chairman of the convention, said he hoped the tour would introduce the scientists to “the lay of the land” and show them firsthand what’s being put forth in a place that has elicited vehement criticism from the scientific community.
"I think in some cases, people were surprised by the physical quality of the exhibits, but needless to say, they were unhappy with things that are inaccurately portrayed," he said.
"And there was a feeling of unhappiness, too, about the extent to which mainstream scientists and evolutionists are demonized — that if you don’t accept the Answers in Genesis vision of the history of Earth and life, you’re contributing to the ills of society and of the church."
Daryl Domning, professor of anatomy at Howard University, held his chin and shook his head at several points during the tour.
"This bothers me as a scientist and as a Christian, because it’s just as much a distortion and misrepresentation of Christianity as it is of science," he said.
"It’s not your old-time religion by any means."
Source: Phys.org; Photos via Vice article 'The Science of the Creation Museum'; Main image: Creation Museum CEO Ken Ham, who will be "debating" the CEO of the Planetary Society - Bill Nye "The Science Guy"