Adventures in Ethics and Science

Archives for February, 2007

Following up on my query about what it would take for a Young Earth Creationist “to write a doctoral dissertation in geosciences that is both ‘impeccable’ in the scientific case it presents and intellectually honest,” I’m going to say something about the place of belief in the production of scientific knowledge. Indeed, this is an…

By now, you may have heard (via Pharyngula, or Sandwalk, or the New York Times) about Marcus Ross, who was recently granted a Ph.D. in geosciences by the University of Rhode Island. To earn that degree, he wrote a dissertation (which his dissertation advisor described as “impeccable”) about the abundance and spread of marine reptiles…

Score another point for my mother. My mother is a really good cook. She is also an unrepentant violator of recipes. My earliest cookbook related memory involves noticing that, while Mom had a recipe in front of her, she was flagrantly measuring different amounts of ingredients than those called for, and combining them in a…

Yesterday, while transporting the sprogs to Science Scouts aquatic training maneuvers, I caught a few minutes of a City Arts & Lectures interview with Lewis Black. In the part of the interview I heard, Black discussed his efforts (over the course of eight years) to make it as a playwright, and he revealed a couple…

Friday Sprog Blogging: combustion

Both Free-Ride offspring are charter members of the Order of the Science Scouts Special Children’s Auxiliary. They have not, as yet, built their own fire, either in a fire pit or a laboratory. However, a discussion this week about the strange vapor seen emanating from a car’s tailpipe one morning moves them further in the…

Yes, Valentine’s Day is in the top three Hallmark holidays of the year. No, it is not a holiday actually created by Hallmark, despite what half a dozen people have independently asserted to me in the last 48 hours. I am appalled that the commercialization of this holiday has people keeping score on who loves…

Scientists move through the world without needing badges to indicate their various achievements.This does not mean, however, that scientists might not want badges. If scientists all wore sashes of badges over their lab coats, it might well facilitate communication by letting them determine the relevant interests and experience of the other scientists with who they…

Basic concepts: elements.

I figured it was time I weighed in on a basic concept from chemistry, so let’s talk about what defines an element.

In my basic concepts post on theory testing, I set out what I take to be a fairly standard understanding of “theory” in philosophy of science discussions:

Last weekend, the sprogs and I were delighted to attend a late Australia Day/early Darwin Day party. Our hosts apologized for “not having much interesting kid-stuff” on hand. Little did they suspect that the abundance of cookies (not just ANZAC cookies, but rolled ginger and lemon cookies in the shapes of kangaroos and giant Galapagos…