Monthly Archives: February 2011

Good Ideas Have a Lot of Sex

Here’s a proposed answer to the question of where good ideas come from, presented in style, courtesy of the RSA. In an attempt to revolutionize how education is delivered, the RSA has been converting lectures from all disciplines into visually stunning stories. This one is presented by science writer Steven Johnson, author of Mind Wide Open and Where Good Ideas Come From :

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The end of the world, parenting, and stars

Short post:

Ever wonder how to prevent the end of the world? Or how to be a good parent? Or how Newton invented calculus just to prove a point? With characteristic wit and excitement, astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson answers 10 questions for Time Magazine and shares a few gold nuggets of scientific wisdom.

Imagine having him as a professor (why freshman year WHY)? This is how to make science accessible to everyone — by sharing Tyson’s passion for doing science and understanding how reality unfolds. Scientists break nature apart, one unit of reality at a time, and put her back together to figure out how she works… and enthusiastically present the findings with lots of hand motions.

That’s the purpose of science, fa sho.

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Brains, magic tricks, and Neil Tyson

NOVA scienceNOW deserves all the funding it gets. Here’s an absolutely wonderful segment on how the brain works, aptly titled “How does the Brain Work?” It’s 50 minutes long and undoubtedly worth watching, as it is a clear example of science education at its best. Besides, host Neil Tyson is as good of a speaker as it gets, and there are even a bunch of nifty magic tricks that expose the brain’s gullibility (or evolution’s genius, depending on how you look at it.)

!!!

There’s also some real life mind-control in humans! And, you know, robots playing jeopardy and stuff, too. Watch here:

http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/nova/body/how-does-the-brain-work.html

Why Neuroscience Will Win

Oh no they deh-ent.

Creationists and Intelligent Design Iterators of “True” Science (IDiots) have given up on attacking evolution and now have taken aim at neuroscience. The article is reproduced fully over at NeuroWhoa! The ring-leader is psychiatrist Jeffrey M. Schwartz, M.D.:

YOU cannot overestimate how threatened the scientific establishment is by the fact that it now looks like the materialist paradigm is genuinely breaking down. You’re gonna hear a lot in the next calendar year about… [how] materialism needs to start fading away and non-materialist causation needs to be understood as part of natural reality.

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Bill and Bill on Religion

I love Bill O’Reilly as much as the next person (omg jk’z), but this is a fantastic back-and-forth between O’Reilly and Maher, in characteristic fashion, on religion and how to interpret the Bible.

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