Friday, September 30, 2011

An Introduction to the Bible,

The Bible is the Christian cannon of scriptures. The Bible’s Old Testament is also the cannon of Jewish scripture. The Bible is a collection of 66 books. The Old Testament consists of 39 books and the New Testament consists of 27 books. The Bible is most printed widely distributed book ever both on and off line and it has been translated into more languages than any other book.

 The Bible is more than a collection of religious writings. Nor is it a collection of myths or a mixture of myth and history. The Bible is made up of mainly history, law, poetry, prophecy, wisdom, doctrine and theology. No other ancient historical document is as well persevered as the Bible since it has been carefully copied from the originals and carefully translated into many languages. The Bible’s historical accounts are unusually honest for ancient historical accounts since it lacks the flattering distortions of leaders found in other cultures. The Bible openly depicts the failings of even the godliest of kings such as David.

The Bible is the most loved book ever written being cherished by millions of Christians who read and live by the Bible. Ironically the Bible is the most heated book ever written since those who hate Christians also tend to hate the Bible. It contuses to exist despite numerous efforts to destroy it by burning it, banning it and attaching its legitimacy

The Bible is the Word of God written by God through human authors through divine inspiration of their vary words making it infallible. God’s preservation of his word explains why it is so well preserved.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

The Impact of Collisions as Used in Physics

Collision: An event in which two or more bodies exert relatively high forces on each other for a short period of time.

Elastic collision: A collision in which the total kinetic energy of the particles before and after the encounter is the same.

Inelastic collision: A collision in which the total kinetic energy of the particles before and after the encounter is not the same.

The danger of collisions occurs as a result of sudden high acceleration that can damage equipment, cause injuries and even kill. It can cause damage from the deformation of object. It can cause colliding objects to shatter and fly apart at high speeds.

On the other hand collisions can hammer nails. They are used in sports such as pool, golf, and baseball. They have also been used to probe the makeup of matter by way of near light speed collisions inside particle accelerators.

In conclusion collisions are sudden interactions that can be elastic or inelastic. They can be dangerous and destructive but yet they can be useful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Science of Astronomy.

Astronomy is the natural science that deals with the study of celestial objects and phenomena originating outside the Earth's atmosphere.

Astronomy’s basic activity is observation of celestial objects so as to measure their properties such a mss, diameter, brightness and composition. Observations are usually made by way of some form of telescope. The types of telescopes used include visible light, radio, inferred, ultraviolet, X – ray, and gamma ray telescopes.

The telescope produced a giant leap in astronomy allowing observations beyond the rage of the unaided eye. Further developments in telescope have opened up whole new ways of looking at the Universe. Professional astronomy has often come to be seen as equivalent to astrophysics

The 20th century saw the division of astronomy into two main fields. Observational Astronomy is the acquiring of data from observations and analyzing that data using physics. Theoretical Astronomy is the development of computer models to describe astronomical objects and phenomena.

Today Observational and Theoretical Astronomy complement each other. The theoretical Seeks to explain observations and observations used to test the theoretical. Amateur astronomers have also contributed to many important astronomical discoveries making astronomy one of the few sciences that amateurs can still play an active role.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Understanding Deductive Reasoning in Science

Deductive reasoning goes from general to specific by starting with a given set premises and draws conclusions from them. The conclusions made from deductive reasoning are only as valid as the premises that are used such that only one false premise can produce a false conclusion. A deductive argument is considered valid if its truth necessarily follows from the starting premises and it is sound if the argument is valid and all of its premises are true other wise it is considered unsound.

A common form of deductive reasoning is called a syllogism It has three parts.
All X has y.
A general characteristic of a category of objects.
A is X.
The object under discussion belongs to that category
A has y.
The conclusion that the object under discussion has that general characteristic.

Deductive reasoning is heavily dependent on the validity of premises being used. The premises used may be facts derived from observation or a totally philosophical assumption.

A good example comes from proponents of the Big Bang Cosmology. All observations of the universe are constant with the Earth being near the center of the universe. Starting with the philosophical assumption that we are totally the result of natural process; as opposed to being created by God; it is a logically valid conclusion that we can not be in a special place in the universe such as the center. As a result they invented an explanation for the evidence that eliminate the center by making all locations seem to be at the center. However if we were created by God then we could easily be near the center of the universe. This is why Creationists and Evolutionists can look at the same evidence and draw totally different conclusions.

Deductive reasoning is a very useful tool of reasoning however it does have its difficulties. It depends heavily on the accuracy its starting premises. However flawed premises result in flawed conclusions. These difficulties need to be properly understood to properly understand scientific statements including those of both Creationists and Evolutionists.

Monday, September 26, 2011

A Discussion of Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning is reasoning that draws a general conclusion based on a set of examples.

Basic pattern of Inductive Reasoning
a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h are part of group A.
a, b, c, d, e, f, g and h have property G.
All member of group A have property G.

When used in Science the process starts with observations and looks for the patterns in the observations to develop a hypothesis as general description of the observations. Inductive Reasoning allows for general conclusions to be drawn from specific observations and evidence. It there by allows conclusions based on patterns in observations and evidence. Inductive Reasoning risks the possibility that the sample size may be too small for a general conclusion. It is prone to being affected by philosophical assumptions and biases in selection of sample, in the patterns recognized, and in conclusions

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Measurements as a Tool of Science

Measurement is the process of obtaining a numerical value representing a physical property, such as length, mass, or time, by way of a unit of measurement. A unit of measurement is a magnitude representing a physical quantity by use of  a standard for measurement of that physical quantity. A measuring device is a piece of equipment used to measure a physical quantity based on a standard for measurement.

Measurement and Objectivity

Measurements are the most objective part of science since the resulting numbers are what they are. The mechanical devices used for measurement aide objectivity by removing the human factor that is human subjectivity. The validity of a measurement is only as valid as the theory behind it.

The Viewing and Recording of Observation.

Observation is the act of viewing and recording an event. Viewing and recording are simply watching a phenomenon and recording the observations including written records, photographs or other recording devices.

Observations  are not always accurate because real world observations some times miss stuff. A critical event may occur when observations are not being made. A critical event may occur outside the range of the observer’s sight.

Because of this observations can subjective since it is too easy for an observer to see what he wants to see because the observer is looking for what he wants to see So patterns resembling what the observer wants to see are more likely noticed.

It is too easy for an observer to not see what he does not want to see because the observer is not looking for what he does not want to see and patterns not resembling what the observer wants to see can be over looked. Knowing of such problems helps avoid them.

Observations  are an important scientific tool but it does have its limitations and pitfalls. Being aware of those limitations helps one to avoid them.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Reasonable Logic

Logic is the set of principles and rules for reasoning. If it is used correctly and has the right starting point one will arrive at the correct conclusion.

Deductive reasoning is reasoning that starts with a given set premises and draws a conclusion. Inductive reasoning is reasoning that draws a general conclusion based on a set of examples. So deductive reasoning goes from general principles to specific conclusions. Inductive reasoning goes from specific principles to general conclusions. Both forms of logic are used in science.

Inductive and Deductive reasoning are different and even opposite concepts but in practice deductive and inductive reasoning are often used together even without knowing it.  For example one may be drawing a general conclusion form observed evidence (induction) based on general principles called assumptions. (deduction)

Logical fallacies are mistakes in reasoning and can be both deliberate and accidental. It is important to avoid them since they resultant in erroneous conclusions.

A Discussion of Logical Fallacies in Logic

Logical Fallacy: An error within a logical argument that is a flaw in the argument’s structure that is said to invalidate the argument.

A logical fallacy is independent of the truth so a fallacy does not necessarily invalidate the argument's premises and conclusions. However arguments derived from logical fallacies often do lead to an incorrect conclusion due to faulty reasoning.


Ad hominem
Latin: “To the Man”
It is an argument that attacks people holding a particular point of view rather than attacking the point of view itself.
Example: The case where an opponent starts insulting you in some manner rather than countering your argument.

It is an argument which makes a statement so broad as to exceed the original point that was trying to be proved.
Often it involves taking a small sample and generalizing it to the whole group.

Non sequitur
Latin: "It does not follow"
It is an argument which moves from a premise to a conclusion where no connection exists between the two.

Proof by authority
It is an argument which is based on a person's authority, rather than on the merits of the authority's position.
Example: A argument is assumed correct because it comes from a person with a PHD.

Proof by assertion
It is an argument which simply states something as true without evidence or argument to support it.

Circular reasoning
It is an argument that tries to prove something by first asserting it and then trying to "prove" it.

Straw man
It is an argument where a person argues against a position similar to but weaker than their opponent’s real position.

Manufacturing facts from a theory
It is an undemonstrated or unobserved idea that is stated as fact because it agrees with a particular theory.

Your theory does not work under my theory, so your theory must be wrong
Often used by Evolutionists against Creationists it is a form of circular reasoning where the person tries to disprove a point of view by interpreting the facts through a different view.
Originated from discussions with evolutionists, where interpretation from Evolutionary theories are used as arguments against Creation Scienc, despite the fact that Creation Science interprets the same thing differently.

There are many more logical fallacies avoid them.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Burden of Proof in Science

Burden of Proof:  The obligation of a party to provide sufficient evidence in support of their side of a dispute or issue.

Actually the term “burden of proof” is a little strong since it implies the need to prove beyond any doubt so in practice it is really the burden of evidence. The side that has the burden of proof is obligated to provide evidence to back up their view point.

Determining the burden of proof is not always easy to do because it varies in different circumstances and changes in the course of the discussion.

Finding the Burden of Proof
The burden of proof usually goes to the party making the claim. A criminal trial in the United States is a good example of this since the prosecution has the burden of proof since the defendant is assumed innocent until proven guilty. However this is not an absolute rule given thay some circumstance can change the burden of proof to some one denying a claim. A party making the new claim about an accepted idea has the burden of proof. For example those claiming that the Apollo Moon landings did not really happen have the Burden of proof.

Burden of Proof Fallacy
The Burden of Proof Fallacy is the act of wrongfully trying to switch the burden of proof to your opponent. As an example proponents of abiogenesis need to prove that it is possible because it is already know that intelligence can produce complex organized systems. On the other hand there is no real evidence for abiogenesis. Al its proponents provides is unproven stories about how it could have happened.

Legitimate Switching of the Burden of Proof
The Burden of Proof can legitimately switch sides if new arguments have been made or evidence presented. If the opposition wishes to dispute the new evidence or argument, they have the burden of proof in doing so. Hence the burden of proof has switched.

The biggest problems in a discussion is agreeing on who has the burden of proof. It can consume much time and render a debate useless. Another problem is that since each side sees the issue differently it may be hard to agree on burden of proof.

The Use of Debate in Science

Debate: A formal interactive discussion of opposing ideas on a specific topic.

Debate in science is a way of handling disputes over theory since both sides get to make their case. A common example of this is debates on Creation Vs Evolution how ever it seldom actually settles the dispute.

A long as both sides get to make their case it is a chance to learn about the other side as well as one’s own. It works best when both sides are given equal footing and respect which doses not always happen.

Since debate seldom actually settles the dispute and one side can actually get insulting ruining the discussion in practice it is only as useful as the participants’ ability to learn from it. If no one learns anything from a debate it’s a waste of time.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Talk About Repeatability in Science

Repeatability is the ability of a scientist to replicate the experiments and results of other scientists. The concept is that since physical laws are the same every place an experiment conducted by one scientist should work for any other scientist so as to double check results. Repeatability is not to be confused with replicating passed events which is done to show the possibility or feasibility of that event which is a totally different from the repeatability being discussed.
Repeatability is at its best with experiments were variables can be controlled and hence replication can be as complete as possible. It does not work well for all situations. Those situations where there are difficulties in controlling variables are not easily replicated. The degree of repeatability varies from field to field.

In conclusion repeatability is important to science but it is not an absolute principle and some fields are more repeatable than others.

The Process Experimentation in Science

Experimentation: The investigation of the causal relationships among variables or the testing of a hypothesis.

Albert Michelson and Edward Morley performed the Michelson-Morley Experiment in 1887 by splitting a beam of light in two sending in two directions to measure by interference the difference in the transition of the two beams. It is considered the first strong evidence against the theory of a luminiferous aether helping lead to the development of Special Relativity.

Science at its Purest

Controlled Experimentation is the embodiment of the ideal of science. This is where the scientific method works best. It is also where scientific repeatability works best. The difficulties are that not all area of scientific study lend them selves to experiments. In fact most real world observations are beyond the possibility of a controlled experiment do to things like distance, size and time. In many case experiments can only be used to test the possibility of a hypothesis which is some times done in historical sciences. Trying to replicate a past event to show it could have happened.

The Ideal Experiment should reduce the number of variable to one and be easily repeated by other scientists to increases the likely hood that someone will try to repeat it. It also makes it more likely that the attempt to repeat it will succeed. It should also limit complexity and cost so as to increase the likely hood that someone will try to repeat it making it more likely that the attempt to repeat it will succeed.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

The Use of Theoretical Systems in Science

A Theoretical System is the conceptual structure used by a scientific community that forms the bases for developing testable theories and interpreting data it is also referred to as a paradigm.

A theoretical system of a scientific community is accepted as true by that community and it is generally fixed and not subject to change with new data. This is true only of  core concepts to which theoretical patches are often added to make a theoretical system fit reality when reality is not what was originally expected. The theoretical system forms the bases for developing testable theories and interpreting data.

Examples of this come from origins sciences where there are two main theoretical systems. Biblical creation has a 6 days creation, a global flood and a young Earth. General evolution has the Big Bang cosmology, Nebula theory of star and planet formation, Uniformitarian Geology, Abiogenesis and Biological evolution. All other theoretical systems are basically mixtures of these two including old earth creation and theistic evolution.

A key to understanding theoretical systems is that they can only be evaluated internally because they are self contained systems. Different theoretical systems can produce different and even contradictory interpretations for the same evidence so that an interpretation from one theoretical system can not be used to disprove another because an interpretation from one theoretical system may not be valid in another.

Parts of a theoretical system can start out as testable theories and become so entrenched that they loose all testability by being patched to the point where they can absorb any new data. The Big Bang is a good example of this. It has be come so entrenched that there is no mainstream thought of abandoning it because contradicting data is absorbed when possible such as the accelerating expansion of the universe; which was  by the invention of dark energy; or ignored such as the relationships between active galaxies and quasars.

Theoretical systems can have concepts in common but while different system may share some concepts while concepts are totally different. They are an unavoidable but little understood part of Science because data is not self interpreting and needs a theory on which to base the interpretation. Unfortunately it is often unclear as to where a testable theory end and theoretical system begins.