Right and Wrong

Category archives for Right and Wrong

“Never waste your time trying to explain who you are to people who are committed to misunderstanding you.” -Dream Hampton As any scientist knows, it’s true that no scientific theory, no matter how well-tested, how validated, or how universally applicable it is, can ever be 100% proven. But is this a flaw, or is it a feature…

Fixing Occam’s Razor (Synopsis)

“It is always the simple that produces the marvelous.” -Amelia Barr All things being equal, the simplest explanation is usually the best. At least, that’s how Occam’s razor is most commonly phrased these days. Yet, when it comes to the headlines — whether it’s a “discovery” of dark matter or “evidence” for life on Mars…

“Every dreamer knows that it is entirely possible to be homesick for a place you’ve never been to, perhaps more homesick than for familiar ground.”  -Judith Thurman You’d think that landing on a comet for the first time, with all ten instruments functioning, and collecting more than two full Earth-days worth of data would be…

“There is just one thing I can promise you about the outer-space program — your tax-dollar will go further.” -Wernher von Braun Over the past 100 years, we’ve gone from looking out at a Universe whose very nature — the stars, nebulae, and even the planets — were virtually unknown to us. And because of the investment…

“I will not let anyone walk through my mind with their dirty feet.” -Mohandas Gandhi When it comes to figuring out what’s going to happen in our material world — as far as energy, particles, interactions, space and time are concerned — science is perhaps the only real tool of knowledge we have to guide us in…

An Open Letter to all Men in Science

“‎Bad men need nothing more to compass their ends, than that good men should look on and do nothing.” -John Stuart Mill No one becomes a master overnight, and practically no one does it without the outside help and support of not just a mentor, but of a number of peers, advisors and other allies along the…

“Education is the ability to listen to almost anything without losing your temper or your self-confidence.” -Robert Frost Middle school — or junior high, which we called it when I went — should really be classified as a form of child abuse. I recognize that it isn’t as bad for everyone as it was for…

“I prefer to be true to myself, even at the hazard of incurring the ridicule of others, rather than to be false, and to incur my own abhorrence.” -Frederick Douglass I thought we were past this, I really did. Having grown up in New York, having lived in eight different states and traveled to 39…

Why Science Is Anything But A Crime

“Talent hits the target no one else can hit; genius hits the target no one else can see.” -Arthur Schopenhauer You’ve probably heard the story, by now, of Kiera Wilmot, the 16-year-old girl who performed a mildly dangerous chemistry experiment on school grounds, mixing together household cleaner and aluminum inside a sealed container. You can…

“Fluoridation is the single most important commitment a community can make to the oral health of its children and to future generations.” -C. Everett Koop Most weekends, I take on a lighter topic, as a way of taking a break from the deep physics, astronomy, and science we share during the week. But every once…