Tag Archives | Science

Virtual Reality is the Future of Religion

Dali_Crucifixion_hypercubeRev. Dr. Christopher Benek via H+mag:

25 years ago most people didn’t imagine that the Internet would reshape the way that they existed on a day-to-day basis. 25 years from now people will think about Virtual Reality the same way we think about the Internet today – we won’t even be able to imagine our global existence without it.

One of the largest beneficiaries of this technological development could be the global church because VR is going to change the way that Christians participate in worship.

The main impact that VR is going to have on the global church is that it is going to, one-day, enable Christians to easily gather from a variety of places without being in the same physical location.   This will enable persons who are homebound, sick, caregivers, without transportation, on vacation, or severely disabled to participate in worship with the larger community of faith without needing to leave the place where they are physically residing.

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Evangelical Christian Climate Scientist Interviewed on Christian Broadcasting Network. Ruckus Ensues.

Via Climate Crock of the Week:

Evangelical Climate Scientist Katharine Hayhoe was interviewed, along with her Pastor husband on a popular Christian broadcasting news program.  The comment storm is ongoing…

CBN News:

WASHINGTON — Climate change is one of the most contentious issues of our time. Many conservative Christians don’t agree that humans help cause it or that people can affect the Earth’s warming or cooling.

They might be surprised to find, however, that two of the more respected believers in climate change are evangelical Christians with conservative leanings.

Pastor Andrew Farley leads Ecclesia: Church Without Religion in Lubbock, Texas, and heads up Network 220, a national association of counseling, discipleship, and training ministries.

His wife, associate professor Katharine Hayhoe, is a climate scientist that in 2014 TIME magazine named one of the most influential people in the world.

26,500 Points of Proof

And that influence is growing with audiences both religious and secular because Hayhoe’s job adds weight to her contention there’s overwhelming evidence of climate change.

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10 of the Most Deceptive Scientific Frauds


Josh Epstein writes at OMNI Reboot:

Charges of cheating, corner cutting, and deception are not new. Many great scientists, including Galileo, Mendel, Newton, and Dalton, have fudged or concocted data to make their theories more compelling or to demolish the arguments of their rivals. But on the whole, science used to resemble the priesthood; individuals were called to the profession, which operated on the honor system. Scientists were, says one Congressional aide, “the white-coated guardians of truth searching after the grail of knowledge.” Researchers chafed at outside intrusions and insisted their self-correcting system of internal checks was enough to catch any miscreants. Research has proved that the following 10 facts were based on scientific frauds.

10. Galileo

Galileo or Gali-liar? Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) is considered the founder of the modern scientific method. But he wrote about experiments that were so difficult to reproduce that many doubt he actually conducted them.
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“Brain Study Confirms Gender Stereotypes”: How Science Communication Can Fuel Modern Sexism

Figure from the PNAS study mentioned below. br/> Representative regions of the brain that have a higher PC at a significance level of P  males) are listed in Table 3. These tests revealed that although multiple regions have higher PCs in females, the cerebellum has a higher PC in males. L, left; R, right.

Figure from the PNAS study mentioned below.

Cliodhna O’Connor writes at LSE’s Impact Blog:

“Brain Study Confirms Gender Stereotypes”, “Why Men Are Better at Map Reading”, “Women Wired to Multitask”, “Women Crap at Parking” – such were the headlines that hailed the publication of a recent neuroscience study, which claimed to reveal marked differences between the brains of men and women. This study, published in late 2013 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), applied a brain imaging technique called Diffusion Tensor Imaging to model the neural connectivity of the brains of 949 young people. Statistical analysis suggested that males showed greater neural connectivity within each brain hemisphere, while female brains demonstrated greater connectivity across hemispheres. Here, apparently, was scientific proof of the fundamentally dichotomous nature of human gender. A storm of media attention ensued.

In many respects, the PNAS paper is emblematic of a renewed interest in neuroscience research on sexual dimorphism – that is, research examining how men’s and women’s brains differ in structure and function.

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No “Mini Ice Age” after all?

Screen shot 2015-07-15 at 9.58.21 AM

Montage of images of solar activity between August 1991 and September 2001. (Yohkoh/ISAS/Lockheed-Martin/NAOJ/U. Tokyo/NASA)

Sarah Kaplan via The Washington Post:

“Scientists warn the sun will ‘go to sleep’ in 2030 and could cause temperatures to plummet,” blared one headline from this weekend.

“Earth heading for ‘mini ice age’ within 15 years,” warned another.

By Sunday evening, news that the Earth could be headed for a period of bitter cold was trending on Facebook and whizzing across Twitter. The story — which has been reported everywhere from conservative blogs to the Britishpress to the Weather Channel to the Huffington Post — was based on a recent presentation at the Royal Astronomical Society’s national meeting. Researchers studying sunspots found that solar activity is due to decline dramatically in the next few decades, reaching levels not seen since the 17th century, during a period known as the Maunder minimum. Back then, the decline coincided with what’s called the “Little Ice Age,” when Europe’s winters turned brutally cold, crops failed and rivers froze over.

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What if the Yellowstone Volcano Erupted?

The folks at Alternate History Hub tackle a big, impending question: What would happen if the Yellowstone Volcano erupted?

YouTube Description:

Underneath Yellowstone is a supervolcano with enough energy to wipe out the United States, and a bit of the world with it. It won’t erupt for another thousand years, but what if it did? What would happen? Well here is one scenario.

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Is your fear of radiation irrational?

John Jones (CC BY-ND 2.0)

John Jones (CC BY-ND 2.0)

Radioactivity stirs primal fears in many people, but Geoff Watts argues that an undue sense of its risks can cause real harm.

Listen to or download an audiobook of this story on SoundCloud and iTunes.

Bad Gastein in the Austrian Alps. It’s 10am on a Wednesday in early March, cold and snowy – but not in the entrance to the main gallery of what was once a gold mine. Togged out in swimming trunks, flip-flops and a bath robe, I have just squeezed into one of the carriages of a narrow-gauge railway that’s about to carry me 2 km into the heart of the Radhausberg mountain.

Fifteen minutes later we’re there and I’m ready to enjoy what the brochures insist will be a health-enhancing environment. Enjoyment, of course, is a subjective term. The temperature inside the mountain’s dimly lit tunnels is around 40°C, and the humidity is 100 per cent.… Read the rest

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Sharks Discovered Inside the Underwater Volcano, Kavachi

Recently, scientists discovered sharks swimming in the underwater volcano, Kavachi. This raises some interesting questions for scientists. Mainly, because the volcano is active, how do the sharks know when it will erupt?

Via the National Geographic YouTube description:

A real life sharkcano? Ocean engineer Brennan Phillips led a team to the remote Solomon Islands in search of hydrothermal activity. They found plenty of activity—including sharks in a submarine volcano. The main peak of the volcano, called Kavachi, was not erupting during their expedition, so they were able to drop instruments, including a deep-sea camera, into the crater. The footage revealed hammerheads and silky sharks living inside, seemingly unaffected by the hostile temperatures and acidity.

Phillips said, “You never know what you’re going to find. Especially when you are working deep underwater. The deeper you go, the stranger it gets.” They knew they would see interesting geology but weren’t sure about the biology.

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Argentine Artist Creates Solar-Powered Balloon From Used Plastic Bags


Argentine artist, Tomás Saraceno, creates Anthropocene art that confronts humanity’s influence on the environment.

Becoming Aerosolar is “a set of creative propositions that tries to imagine a metabolic and thermodynamic transformation of human societies’ relation with both the Earth and the Sun. It is an invitation to think of new ways to move and sense the circulation of energy and resources…”

Saraceno is currently running his first solo exhibit in Austria at the 21er Haus. “Through a series of sculptures, objects and installations, the show presents the results of a long-term research project conducted through the interdisciplinary collaboration with institutions and individuals all over the world.”

To learn more of Saraceno’s solo exhibition in Austria, click here.






H/T Junk Culture.


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Big Oil Knew. Big Oil Lied.

A new report, The Climate Deception Dossiers, chronicles how Exxon and other major fossil fuel companies did not take action to disclose or reduce climate risks in the ensuing years, but instead actively misled the public and policymakers about them. (Image: Union of Concerned Scientists)

A new report, The Climate Deception Dossiers, chronicles how Exxon and other major fossil fuel companies did not take action to disclose or reduce climate risks in the ensuing years, but instead actively misled the public and policymakers about them. (Image: Union of Concerned Scientists)

This post originally appeared on Common Dreams. See more of Jon Queally’s articles here.

They knew. They lied. And the planet and its people are now paying the ultimate price.

It’s no secret that the fossil fuel industry—the set of companies and corporate interests which profit most from the burning of coal, oil, and gas—have been the largest purveyors and funders of climate change denialism in the world.

Now, a new set of documents and a report released by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) answers the age-old question always asked when it comes to crimes of corruption, cover-up, and moral defiance: What did they know and when did they know it?Read the rest

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