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Feb. 10th, 2006 08:52 am
poliphilo: (Default)
OK- so most of the universe is made up of "dark matter"- which doesn't show up on any of our scientific instruments- and "dark energy"- which is even more elusive. As one of the sceptical participants in last night's Horizon grumbled, "this isn't physics, it's fairies at the bottom of the garden."

Exactly.

Am I being naiive, or does this mean that scientific materialism is finished? Or, to put it another way, who's to say that ghosts and fairies (and angels and demons and djinns and gods and goddesses and Bigfoot and the Loch Ness monster) can't exist when it's scientific orthodoxy that most of the stuff in the universe is something other than matter as we know it?
poliphilo: (Default)
There was a picture in the paper yesterday of a wild Gorilla wading through a stream. And the big news is that she was using a walking stick.

As the author of the accompanying article, Desmond Morris, said, what we are seeing here is the beginnings of "gorilla technology".

Does this mean that if gorillas are left alone (which they won't be) they will eventually (after several million years) get round to inventing the wheel, the toasting fork and the electric door chime?

Yes. Probably.

Gorillas are peaceable creatures. Vegetarian too. Just imagine the civilisation they might have created if they'd got to the walking stick before us.
poliphilo: (Default)
Are these summer storms anything to do with global warming?

I don't suppose anyone can be sure. These are early days and the only way we can know that things are changing is if the bad stuff keeps piling up year after year.

But according to one article I read recently, most of the relevant scientists take the line that global warming is happening and it's too late to do anything about it.

Cutting down carbon emissions- all that righteous stuff- won't change a thing.

Instead we have to start adapting- to climate change, new weather patterns, altered coastlines.

Sea Shells

Sep. 18th, 2005 11:38 am
poliphilo: (Default)
Explain to me again why we have winter and summer.

It's because the earth tilts on its axis as it flies round the sun and, um, er, something like that...

Sherlock Holmes pretended not to know even that the earth went round the sun. He didn't want to clutter up his peerless brain with useless information.

It amazes me the things scientists say they know. Like the age of the universe and the size of it and all that stuff about black holes.

I take these things on trust, just as I used to take things on trust from bishops and theologians.

I feel uneasy sometimes about being so scornful of creationists. Could I convincingly expound Darwin's Theory of Evolution? Could I fuck!

If Newton said he was like a man picking up shells on the edge of a vast ocean, what does that make me?

I know this, that and the other. Or think I do. Most of it at second-hand.

The leaves turn brown. The air smells cold...

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