News Briefs 23-12-2011

Happy holidays to all! Today’s news is as rich as a Xmas lunch…take your time digesting it all.

Quote of the Day:

My basic premise is that human beings are amphibious, in the etymological sense of ‘two lives’. We have one life in the solid material world that is most perfectly measured by science. Science is the most exquisite tool that we’ve developed for measuring that hard, physical, material world. Then there is the world of ideas which is inside our head. I would say that both of these worlds are equally real – they’re just real in different ways.

Alan Moore

Editor
  1. Nature mourns the death of Kim Jong-Il
    It snowed. That’s all. Nature could really not give a damn who lives or dies, the less of us the better in “Her” opinion. You know what else happened today, someone in the Mid-west USA died in a blizzard.

    So Merry Christmas….from Nature. Now can we get back to real news BBC?

  2. “impossible to imagine such a warped view of reality”
    Richard Dawkins finding it “impossible to imagine such a warped view of reality”, (not to mention his observation to the effect if the meagre idea of ‘God’ inspired Mozart’s compositions then think of the musical levels he’d’ve attained if only he’d had Darwin and Natural Selection for inspiration), reminds me of a bloke who’s so obsessed with his girlfriend he finds it inconceiveable no one else could fancy her so makes it his life’s work to convince everyone else it’s their duty to fall in love with her too.

  3. Young Sagan
    On a young Carl Sagan…

    He was my hero for so long. I was browsing ‘Cosmos’ while reading Jacques Vallee. I hadn’t yet gained a firm feeling for the great divide between the science of the known and the science of the unknown.

    Where Carl and I finally fell out was with his quasi-axiom, “Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence”. I find this oft-quoted line of text to be wholly unscientific because… anything that exists, is entirely natural and requires no more or less proof than anything else.

    The unknown… that which we do not yet understand, is out of our reach only because we have so far failed to understand it. There is no fault to be laid upon a truth just because we are not aware of it and no challenge that it must meet to prove its own existence.

    The quest… the test is upon us, not it.

    But I do miss Sagan and all those ‘billions’ he mentioned so eloquently… to draw us into to a universe that still awaits discovery.

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