‘Science’ Category Archives

1
Jun

MR PYNE WANTS SCIENCE COMPULSORY FOR ALL SENIOR STUDENTS: why it may not be such a good idea.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Education, Ethics, Science

Federal Education Minister, Mr Pyne, has suggested Science and Maths as compulsory subjects for senior secondary students.

Why Science?

Science creates radio-isotopes useful for cancer treatments – but also others for making nuclear bombs to kill people . . . .

Science creates medical drugs to relieve people’s infections, ulcers etc. — but also others (heroin, ice etc.) which kill people . . . .

Science teaches how to do clever things — but can’t make people choose to do good things.

If only our schools could somehow teach students the reasons why it’s better to do good than to do evil.

How? More Science lessons won’t do it.

Virtue Ethics and Moral Philosophy aren’t compulsory subjects at present.

Perhaps they should be.

 

Students could study, for example, the books of Alasdair MacIntyre and Edward Feser.

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14
Oct

SURROGACY AND SCIENCE: using the appropriate side of one’s brain?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Ethics, Justice, Politics, Science

Some Council of Europe politicians, petitioning for an inquiry, have written how commercial surrogacy “manipulates the identity and parentage of children and robs them of any claim to their gestational carrier, which recent research points to being harmful to the development and wellbeing of the baby.”  *

Research? Did we really need research to work that out?

Research smacks of science . . . science implies statistical manipulatings . . . with results likely favouring the entity commissioning the research.

Don’t answers to ethical questions ultimately come down to considerations of right and wrong.

* source:  www.assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-EN.asp?fileid=21092&lang=en

 

26
Jul

SCIENCE HAS ALL THE ANSWERS: or has it?

by Arnold Jago in Science, Truth

It isn’t easy to think straight.

Three enemies of thought today are our over-emphasis of (a) celebrities, (b) sport and (c) science.

And the worst of these is, perhaps, science.

Science?

One famous writer had this to say:

“Science is a system of second causes, which cannot describe the world adequately, much less account for it . . .”

Likewise you could say that science answers all our questions except the ones that matter.

You want to know how to make an efficient bomb? Science can tell you. Should you use that bomb in advancing your political purposes? Science cannot tell you.

***

Charles Darwin was willing to admit it, saying, “I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can.”

The point is that there is no substitute for religion.

But not all religions are equally good or true.

 

 

1
Jul
20
Jun

ALCOHOL IS BAD FOR YOU: very bad for women.

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Health, Lifestyle, Science, Women

Middle aged Australian now drinking, on average, more alcohol than their young daughters.

According to Queensland University of Technology research, about 13 per cent of women aged 45 to 59 drink over 200cc. of 12 per cent alcohol solution (wine) daily.

That’s enough alcohol to risk early death from alcohol-related diseases.

Everyone knows that liver disease, brain damage, domestic violence injuries etc. are commoner in alcohol drinkers.

There is also a possible link with breast cancer.

Published research suggests that the relative risk of breast cancer may increase 7 per cent for every additional standard drink (10g alcohol) intake per day.

Which would suggest that about 4 per cent of breast cancers in developed countries are attributable to alcohol.

4 per cent doesn’t sound a big percentage, but it means thousands nation-wide.

If you are one of them, your risk was 100 percent.

Sources:

www.survey.qut.edu.au/f/180293/2fcb/

www.nature.com/bjc/journal/v87/n11/full/6600596a.html

 

24
May

TITANOSAURUS: a big boy, but where did he come from?

by Arnold Jago in History, Media, Science

Dinosaurs are in the news.

Bones discovered in Argentina last week are from “the biggest dinosaur ever” — if you can believe the BBC reports.

40 meters long and 80 metric tons.

Orthodox science teaches that the first mammals evolved 100 million years ago and were no bigger than possums. The big animals were the dinosaurs. But 65 million years ago, something apparently happened, and the dinosaurs disappeared. The mammals then having more accessible food — some grew into the bigger modern mammals.

And so forth . . . .

* * *

These days, to be taken seriously, new scientific ideas must fit in with Darwin-style evolutionary theory.

Of course some people distrust Darwinism on religious grounds.

Others doubt it on straight scientific grounds — but hesitate to say so out loud, for fear of being howled down and told their arguments are mere “religion-in-disguise“.

* * *

Is there no common sense middle ground?

Pope Benedict XVI said:

“There is no opposition between faith’s understanding of creation and the evidence of the empirical sciences . . . .

“In order to evolve, the world must first exist, having come from nothing into being. It must be created by the first Being, who is ‘being’ by nature.”

To Pope Benedict “creation” means, not only how things began, but “the foundational and continuing relationship that links the creature to the Creator . . . .”