“One cannot prove a universal negative” Oh really?

The Mad Hatter stuffing a teapotThis is a claim I've read so many times in comments that I think it deserves a little debunking. If you do a search on that little sentence, you'll see that it's very rarely if ever used in a scientific context but is repeated like a mantra by religious apologists. They seem to be persuaded that it is an established rule of logic.

Read more...

The fact checking generation

RotativeI'm not very good at predicting the future (because I'm just one individual out of several billion) but I'll give it a shot today, and try to make it some sort of message of hope.

Read more...

What did the European Court of Human Rights rule in the Irish abortion case?

Human RightsEverything and its opposite has been said about this new ruling of the ECHR. In this post, I’m trying to expose with a cold head what exactly was said by the court and what the scope of the ruling is. But yes, I’ll allow myself to express an opinion in the conclusion...

Read more...

Of taste and right

Portrait of James MadisonWhen a Dutch cartoonist drew the prophet Muhammad, the world split between those who thought that was a serious crime that deserved death, and those who thought freedom of speech was more important than anybody’s susceptibility.

Read more...

Stephen Hawking's The Grand Design

A model of the universeMany silly things have been written and said about this book, mostly by people who haven’t read it. Too bad, it’s a very short and easy read...

Read more...

Faster than the wind

SailboatThere is a vigorous debate going on about whether it’s possible to build a vehicle that uses only wind power to accelerate to a speed that is higher than the speed of the wind and in the same direction as the wind itself (a phenomenon referred to as Downwind Faster Than the Wind or DWFTTW). You can see a summary of the debate here and a video of an actual cart going at 2.8 times the speed of the wind here.

Read more...

What that guy believes

Fig. 68Michael Egnor has now answered his own questions so we can now review his answers and discover in amazement how they make a lot more sense than what non-theists and scientists could come up with. Or not. His new post can be found here. My own answers to those same questions can be read here.

Read more...

An answer to what does this atheist believe

TimeMichael Egnor doesn’t know me but as his question seems to be addressed to the community collectively I’ll take the liberty to give my answer here. If you haven’t already, go and read his post first:

What do new atheists actually believe?

Well, I don’t know if I’m new but I’m certainly an atheist.

Read more...

How the hell do we know?

Fig.8I was once asked “Why do you believe the Earth to be revolving around the Sun, and not the other way around?”

Read more...

Bret Easton Ellis' Imperial Bedrooms

Allégorie (la Mort) After the absolutely amazing Lunar Park, Bret Easton Ellis delivers a relatively short read with Imperial Bedrooms, the sequel to Less Than Zero. Let’s say it up front: if you’ve read all of his previous novels already, you have already read this one. It is almost entirely without surprise: perversion, murders, a nightmarish blend of the inner and outer worlds of the narrator and a desperate absence of feelings and empathy are all there.

Read more...