Tag Archives | Debate

The Strangeness of Force [Debate]

The laws of science were founded on the idea of force. But Newton’s critics argued it was a mystical idea and the Standard model has replaced force with ‘interactions’. Does an account of force elude us because it doesn’t exist, or are forces essential if we are to explain why anything happens?

The Panel 

Philosopher of physics Eleanor Knox, eminent mathematician Peter Cameron and post-postmodern metaphysician Hilary Lawson untangle cause and effect.

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Dreams of the Universe: Is Particle Physics Unscientific?

From string theory to the multiverse, the theories of modern physics look increasingly exotic and untestable. But while they may be good for selling books, are they bad science? Do we need a return to empirical experiment, or should imagination be allowed its playground?

The Panel
Cambridge string theorist David Tong, experimental physicist Tara Shears, and author of The End of Science John Horgan seek the place where facts and fantasy collide.

This lecture was submitted via the Disinfo contact page.

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Two Jewish Voices Fiercely Debate Gaza Siege | Max Blumenthal vs. ZOA’s Morton Klein

Abby Martin Features a debate on Israel-Palestine you won’t hear on the corporate media.

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EPISODE BREAKDOWN: On this episode of Breaking the Set, Abby Martin remarks on the latest news regarding the conflict in Gaza, highlighting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s call for 16,000 additional reserve troops as well as the announcement of a 72-hour ceasefire. Abby then features an exclusive debate on the issue between Journalist and Author Max Blumenthal and President of the Zionist Organization of America, Morton Klein asking both guests their opinions on everything from what the appropriate Israeli response should be to Hamas rocket attacks to why the US refuses to allow the UN to investigate Israel for war crimes.

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Bill Nye vs. Ken Ham: The Debate

bill-nye-ken-ham-debateOn Tuesday night, Bill Nye the Science Guy debated Ken Ham (founder and head of Answers in Genesis) at Ham’s Creation Museum in Kentucky for a lively debate which centered around the following question: “Is creation a viable model of origins in today’s modern scientific era?” The debate was moderated by Tom Foreman (CNN) and he kept a tight leash on the evening, making sure that both Nye and Ham had equal time to comment and respond. They each gave a five-minute opening statement, followed by a half-hour presentation (each), then time for rebuttals, and ended the evening with quite a few questions from the audience.

Some scientists are annoyed with Nye for giving Ham what they consider to be unnecessary publicity and a platform from which to espouse his unique beliefs. While I understand these concerns, I have a slightly different take: as someone who was raised by young-earthers (I actually met Ham at a creationist conference in upstate New York when I was a kid…yes, that was our family vacation that year!) I am really hoping that parents of similarly-minded households the world over will sit their kids down and force them to watch this debate or that said kids will find their way to it on their own, because it may in fact be the first time in their young lives when evolution will be presented to them in a way that is logical, balanced, and non-biased.… Read the rest

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How Trolls Ruin Your Ability to Reason

Troll_Face_-_Internet_Meme,_May_2013Next time you want to call someone on the Internet an idiot or child, remember that you’re strengthening their opinion.  Chris Mooney writes at Mother Jones:

In a recent study, a team of researchers from the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication and several other institutions employed a survey of 1,183 Americans to get at the negative consequences of vituperative online comments for the public understanding of science. Participants were asked to read a blog post containing a balanced discussion of the risks and benefits of nanotechnology (which is already all around us and supports a $91 billion US industry). The text of the post was the same for all participants, but the tone of the comments varied. Sometimes, they were “civil”—e.g., no name calling or flaming. But sometimes they were more like this: “If you don’t see the benefits of using nanotechnology in these products, you’re an idiot.”

The researchers were trying to find out what effect exposure to such rudeness had on public perceptions of nanotech risks.

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Greening the Planet – Dr. Matt Ridley

Via Reason.com:
Matt Ridley, author of The Red QueenGenomeThe Rational Optimist and other books, dropped by Reason’s studio in Los Angeles last month to talk about a curious global trend that is just starting to receive attention. Over the past three decades, our planet has gotten greener! Even stranger, the greening of the planet in recent decades appears to be happening because of, not despite, our reliance on fossil fuels. While environmentalists often talk about how bad stuff like CO2 causes bad things to happen like global warming, it turns out that the plants aren’t complaining.
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The Difficulties of Discourse

Picture: City of Anthrax (PD)

The futility of political discourse seems all-too-evident in America, whether at the highest levels of power concerning the nonexistent ‘fiscal cliff’ or the debt ceiling, or around the family reunion dinner table concerning guns and health care. Both ‘sides’ are guilty of pseudoscientific claims, misrepresenting the opposition, sowing division with unnecessary ‘othering’, and usually no real clue as to where they actually stand on the issues or why they stand there at all.

Authors like Alex Berezow and Hank Campbell, Chris Mooney and Jonathan Haidt claim to have found the secrets behind flawed political brains, usually on the opposite ‘side’ than their own. Many studies and online polls posit to have found the mechanisms by which liberals and conservatives operate; liberals are smarter, conservatives are happier, liberals stereotype more, conservatives bow to authority more. While many of these trends can and do show up again and again, it ignores the diversity within and without party lines, the cognitive dissonance along the ideological spectrum, and the subtler reckonings of individual issue orientation.… Read the rest

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Climate Alarmism – Using Our Fear of Hurricanes

Via Wattsupwiththat.com

Climate alarmists excel at gathering government funding to “fight” climate change. Today, the U.S. government is spending almost $9 billion each year in grants to study man-made climate change. Tens of billions more are spent for green energy subsidies, grants and loans. The world is spending over $250 billion each year to try to “decarbonize” national economies. Yet, mounting evidence shows that climate change is natural and man-made influences are very small. Suppose we shift efforts away from misguided efforts to control climate and toward solving the real problems of our nation and the world?

Guest post by Steve Goreham

Hurricane Sandy has come and gone, leaving a path of destruction. More than 100 people have been killed and 8.5 million lost power. Nineteen states from Maine to Tennessee were impacted, with deaths reported in 10 states. Widespread flooding and fires caused extensive damage in New Jersey and New York.

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