Science


The discovery of atomic energy came from 19th century chemistry. Chemists identified the basic elements and weighed their mass. They found that all the elements seemed to be multiples of the weight of hydrogen, but not quite. Atomic energy explained these anomalies.
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Empiricism and Philosophical Idealism are complicated concepts in Philosophy so this is a broad description. I believe that the two are effectively at war with each other. Idealists and empiricists disagree about the fundamental nature of the universe, the human mind, and political interaction. The last two cause political disputes. This is my defense of Empiricism.

Epistemology must rank as one of the most boring topics possible. In short, Empiricism asks “How?” and Idealism asks “Why?”   One is answerable and the other is not.
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Freeman Dyson challenges the idea of scientific consensus and calls for more heretics.

All scientific and mathematical knowledge is inconsistent or incomplete. Obviously, science can never be settled and consensus means absolutely nothing. As Freeman says “Science is organized unpredictability.” Once some damn fool makes predictions, you know he is wrong. The scientific heretics must speak up and challenge beliefs.
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There is a growing amount of research into the evolution of cancer. This helps explain why the human immune system cannot defeat the disease and why treating cancer is difficult.

Carl Zimmer summarized the research in Scientific America. One of the findings is that there is a tradeoff between aging and cancer.
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There is new evidence that cosmic rays may have caused past
mass extinctions. These mass extinctions occured 55 million years ago and 115 million years ago. In both cases, the biodiversity declined by 10%. Every 62 million years an unknown event occurs that causes mass extinction.
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Time may not exist at all, as it turns out. We’re seeing an illusion. Sorta, at least within quantum mechanics. Time is still real enough on the macro-scopic level.

“One finds that time just disappears from the Wheeler-DeWitt equation,” says Carlo Rovelli, a physicist at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France. “It is an issue that many theorists have puzzled about. It may be that the best way to think about quantum reality is to give up the notion of time – that the fundamental description of the universe must be timeless.”

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Light and Matter are good introductory texts. It’s well written, so it does not just throw formulas at you like the junk textbooks in college.

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