Sure this Pope is better than the last one but he’s still not worthy of your praise.

You probably won’t find many meme’s comparing Pope Francis to the Emperor from Return of the Jedi. The last Pope looked very much at home hurling force lightening at unsuspecting dignitaries in hilarious if disturbing memes. Whereas Francis is a much more human…ermm…human and it seems for the most part his views are more in line with what we in the 21st century might consider to be “Progressive thought” (except for his whole ideas on when it’s acceptable to hit people) than a guy who looked like he could, at any second decide to start burning witches again and then have a bit of a laugh about it over some blood wine.

Ha Photoshop has gotten so go....wait...

Ha! Photoshop has gotten so go….wait…

Catholic’s for the most part seems to be a nice bunch of people. Certainly I can detect no significant rise in background dickhead radiation that you get in any large group. A good people deserve a leader that reflects that, and Benedict was not that Pope. Sadly when Benedict was in charge the overwhelming feeling was that they were a group of people who are good and kind despite their church rather than because of it. So it’s natural that Francis would be welcomed.
There is a question that all Catholics should ask themselves and that is “Why did Benedict Leave?” it’s been tradition for Popes to be wheeled out after they go tits up. The last Pope to retire was Gregory XII in 1415, yes that’s 600 years and he had an Anti-Pope to contend with who wanted him gone. Yes I said ANTIPOPE! If you get the chance you should read about the history of Popeing it’s fascinating.

Because....something, something...

Because….something, something…

So what would make Benedict break with nearly 600 years of tradition when in all other aspects he was a very traditional pope? Well some say (using Ancient Aliens parlance here) that there is a massive scandal that is going to come out at some point. But I think he was part of an image problem for the church that meant he HAD to leave. Let’s face it he was doing nothing for declining numbers and a wave of feeling that the church was out of touch, this amid scandal after scandal and someone at the helm that seemingly not only didn’t care but felt that the Church was unimpeachable and untouchable. He had to go.

Here he is catching dinner for the cardinals.

Here we see Pope Francis catching dinner for the cardinals.

Pope Francis meanwhile is the peoples Pope, he washes feet, he says nice things about homosexuals and Atheists he believes in climate change, he condemns paedophiles, He wants “more space” for women in the church! He lives in more modest accommodation than his predecessor. He says “Who am I do judge?” How much more of a rock star could he actually be?

Oh....this is going to piss off Zombie Frank Zappa

Oh….this is going to piss off Zombie Frank Zappa

Well he could actually be doing something about these things. You will notice that the garish accommodation that the pope refused hasn’t been sold off or given to the poor.
Francis offers us lip service, but no real change. If one were of a suspicious nature it might seem to one that he is distracting one from the real issues that plague the church rather than tackling them head on. He is excellent at letting us forget that nothing has actually happened.

Sure...it's irrelevant, but lets all agree that we needed to see this.

Sure…it’s irrelevant, but lets all agree that we needed to see this.

In early 2013 Francis announced that a Vatican commission would address sexual abuse in the Church, but over the course of his first year in office he made little headway on this critical issue. As late as December of that year the Pope’s representative in Australia and his bureaucrats in Rome, were refusing to hand over documents about clergy child abusers to the NSW Special Commission of Inquiry into sex abuse, and only doing so after the Commission went public about the refusal.
Now that the commission has uncovered case after case after case of horrific abuse there has been no comment from Francis on the issue and no word on the commission that was going to be set up. So…still waiting on that one?
Recently the Pope gave permission for his priests to “Absolve women from the sin of abortion”. Wow! How progressive. Much forgiveness.
Except that under cannon law they already had such a power. The difference was that under cannon law abortion held with it an automatic censure and that censure was automatic excommunication. So now the priests have the power to life the censure where are before that had to be handled by a bishop all well and good. But it’s not exactly a huge step forward considering that most modern morality would say that there should be no legislative hurdles you have to jump through in order to control your own body. The pope has essentially dragged the church out of the1920’s and into the 1950’s.

“I like what you did there…”

In an interview with veteran Italian journalists Andrea Tornielli and Giacomo Galeazzi, the pope compares genetic manipulation and nuclear weapons with gender theory, a broad term for how people learn to identify themselves sexually and how it’s transmitted culturally.
“Let’s think of the nuclear arms, of the possibility to annihilate in a few instants a very high number of human beings,” the pope said. “Let’s think also of genetic manipulation, of the manipulation of life, or of the gender theory, that does not recognize the order of creation.”
“With this attitude, man commits a new sin, that against God the Creator,” he continued.

NO! Your Macaulay Culkin impression isn't going to get you out of this one. Although...it's pretty good.

NO! Your Macaulay Culkin impression isn’t going to get you out of this one. Although…it’s pretty good.

Here’s how I know that this Pope isn’t the moral crusader that we all want him to be.
The immoral criminals that the Catholic Church has routinely protected and fostered and kept safe from the law have not been turned over to police. In ANY country. All the lip service in the world won’t change that fact. They have covered it up, they have moved priests around, and they have “self-policed” the situation. For the rape of children, probably the most reviled crime there is. Despite literally hundreds of abusers in every country in the world. There are almost ZERO priests in jail.
If he were a moral person he would have turned all of the priests over to police saying “We are sorry, we covered up these terrible, unforgivable things, but no more. Here are the perpetrators, they are not men of God, they are pederasts they are the men who ruined lives, do with them as you wish”.
But the systemic issues within the church continues.
In fact when you read one of those lists “9 things the Pope did that was awesome” it is things like “Appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone” or “Auctioned his Harley Davidson for charity” (yes apparently he owned a Harley…no even that’s not enough to make me like him) “Gave two kids a ride in his Pope mobile” or “Gave paedophiles a stern talking too” all of these things are symbolic rather than substantial most of them are popularist and more than a few self-serving. Giving the rapists a good tongue lashing is nothing.

We liked it....

“We liked it….”

Cannon law has changed not one iota and in Africa where the Church does the most damage where the lack of contraception kills people where the church tells people that condoms carry Aids. Nothing has changed and nothing has even been acknowledged.
Now you might argue that he is just one man a man of compassion and integrity cloistered in the gears of a mighty machine that does not want to change. After all the Vatican sees itself as the “Magnum Societis” it’s perfect and does not need to change. But he is THE Pope. If he can’t change it, then no-one can. It’s fine to be the huggable Pope but without substance it means nothing.

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And the most hateful person in Australia award goes to…

There was an article in the Age today called “Ice addicts: Why is it never their fault?”
If you want to read it go ahead:
http://www.theage.com.au/comment/ice-addicts-why-is-it-never-their-fault-20150920-gjqtnl

Wow…
There is a psychological concept called “deindividuation” a functional subset of which can be boiled down to these basics; “I see faults in others that I can’t see in myself, even though they are evident”

Um...image unrelated? Don't sue me.

Um…image unrelated? Don’t sue me.

For me this is shown most often and clearly in car parks: I drive into the car park, the pedestrians annoy me, why can’t they get out of the way of my car?!? I park my car and walk through the car park to where I need to get to…jeez these drivers are annoying can’t they see I’m walking here?” There’s a certain blindness that means I am fine with such hypocritical behavior.
The reasons for this are numerous but one of the big ones is: When I am doing something I have context. I know what the issues are. Road rage is another area where this is evident. I might be a learner driver or I might be in a hurry, or I might not be feeling well so I forgive my own behaviour however if someone displays these behaviours around me I have no context…therefore there is no forgiveness.
Addiction isn’t simple, it’s not clear cut and it’s not black and white. We have been studying addiction for the last 50 years without and real hard and fast conclusions being drawn. This isn’t the fault of the people studying it, or the addicts. It’s because it’s not easy.

mackey-drugs

The question “How do people become addicted?” is really “Why do people make bad choices?” of course the author or the Age article forgives themselves for all their bad choices, after all they (presumably) haven’t led to addiction. But can’t forgive bad choices in others.
My bad choices have not led to addiction either but that does not mean that I don’t make bad choices. I most certainly do, sometimes this is because of having to make choices with incomplete information as we all do, sometimes it’s because of my own drives and needs trumping my logical brain to make good choices sometimes a bad choice was made due to a lack of good choices. But the author seems unable or unwilling to examine their own life and make those connections.
”The fact is I, like so many other responsible members of our society, am angry that there is a cohort of people who never seem to stop and think what life is like for the rest of us. Yet we are the ones who are continually picking up the pieces of these selfish individuals.”

Addiction makes you selfish, there’s no doubt about it. But it also leave you impaired. Your ability to make good decisions takes a steep dive. It also seems selfish to say “I’m sick of picking up the pieces for drug uses” um? What exactly do you do on a day to day basis for drug users?

People say that “just saying no” doesn’t work. Well it’s obvious that “just saying yes” doesn’t work either.

Because of course there are only two options and famously the “Just say yes to drugs” campaign was a flop.

When a person selfishly decides to take their first hit of ice, don’t tell me they didn’t know what they were doing. Oh, did they think they were better than others before them?

I would not dare to try to dent that armour of ignorance with new information but the fact of the matter is that most addicts genuinely do not believe that they are going to become addicted to the drug. Addiction is not a choice that people generally make. If you took someone aside and said “I’m going to give you this pill, it’s going to feel really good to start off with but its diminishing returns will eventually leave you unsated and in pain, not to mention your faculties and capacity ravaged. As well as the economic cost there will be a loss in status, friendships, trust and family.” People don’t jump at that kind of offer without a massive push factor. People in pain take drugs. That was the big take away from my time as a Councillor. And that was the one thing that every addict had in common. The decision to take drugs is rarely informed, it’s never simple and it’s always under duress.

Yes, life is not always a bed of roses. But when things get tough most people choose to suck it up, tough things out and do the best they can without succumbing to the scourge of drugs. People need to be strong enough to face up to their responsibilities.

This I think is the most insulting paragraph in the whole article. It assumes that everyone has a similar experience, a similar capacity to deal with pain and indeed a similar tolerance to pain. Five minutes talking to other people will demonstrate to you that is not the case. Worst of all it says that all pain is equivalent. All choices are the same and all people born with the same opportunities and privilege as the author and the same information. “All things being equal” but they are not equal. The author wants to live in an idealistic fantasy land where nothing worse than their own experience has ever happened to anyone else, where circumstances don’t conspire against people. It’s almost as if the author is on on drugs.
In one aspect I agree, I think people should take responsibility for their own actions. But the flip side of asking people to do that that is being compassionate when things happen to people that is outside of their control. This of course would require context. This would require communication, this might also require understanding. Why if you engaged all those things you might find that drug addicts are not so far from you or I. And then where would we be?
What disturbs me about the author is how lacking in human feeling they are. It’s like they do very bad things but tell themselves “It’s ok, I’m not an addict”.

If you don’t get that job you have applied for, the answer is not to go and find your nearest dealer.
If you cop negative criticism in any aspect of your life, the answer is not to go and find your nearest dealer.
If you feel like you are missing out on something that you didn’t get the chance to do when you were a teenager, the answer is not to go and find your nearest dealer.

It actually reminded me of the old Mad TV sketch where a patient goes to see Bob Newhearts psychologist saying “I’m cripplingly afraid of being buried alive in a box”. “Well….Just stop it” is his solution. Well of course that’s the solution. The only problem? It doesn’t work.

The Mystery of “Fogbank”

What is “Fogbank?”

I am not a nerd, you take that back!

I am not a nerd, you take that back!

If you don’t know….don’t feel bad. No-one is really quite sure what Fogbank is, that’s fine because it’s classified so no-one is meant to be quite sure what it is. But it’s worse than that. Really….no-one is quite sure what Fogbank is even people who are SUPPOSE to be sure what Fogbank is or how to make it. Which is bad because it’s a super important component/substance in the US’s nuclear weapons.

Not shown...how to make those things.

Not shown…how to make those things.

The best theories on Fogbank is that it’s an aerogel, some kind of super light insulating substance that goes around the warhead. Aerogels are pretty impressive things. Sometimes known as “Frozen smoke” their tensile strength to weight ratio is off the charts. Exactly what aerogel is doing in a warhead is up for debate but people have some interesting theories.

Aerogelbrick

Fogbank was manufactured from 1975-1989 at Y-12 National Security Complex in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. Just seven years later in 1996, the US government decided that large numbers of its nuclear weapons would require replacement, refurbishing, or decommissioning. Which was fine except when it came to nuclear weapons such as the W76, W78 and W80 warheads that are in MK-12A re-entry vehicle (amongst others) there was a problem. At first no-one knew what this stuff was, then no-one knew what to do with it and finally when it needed to be replaced….no-one knew how to make it.

Now that seems impossible. The U.S. military just “forgot” how to make an important component to a nuclear missile? But it happened. And it seems that the most likely culprit was institutional memory and their own secrecy guidelines. It’s probable that the ingredients and detailed instructions on how to make Fogbank were written down somewhere. But since it was classified no-one could get a hold of these documents, no-one even knew really where to start. (Yes it seems that these kind of things really do happen) then the people who knew what it was for, how to make it and what to do with it had moved on. And were seemingly impossible to track down. There is apparently an old joke around the such complexes: That there are things that we keep secret from our enemies ( i.e. Russians and Chinese ) and then there the really important things that we keep secret from the competition ( i.e. the other design labs ).

Of course the people that were in charge at the time thought what you are probably thinking. “We made it before, we can make it again! How hard can it be?”

Seriously...they did not.

Seriously…they did not.

By 2006 they had a replacement substance up and running….yep that’s 10 years. But there were massive problems with it, the process used to re-create it used the moderately toxic, highly volatile solvent acetonitrile, which presents a hazard for workers (causing three evacuations in March 2006 alone). By 2007 they had a nice solid (or not) Fogbank in place, except it didn’t work…or at least do what it was supposed to do…whatever that was. Two years later in 2009 a Fogbank was being made and of a sufficient quality to refurbish existing weapons. The price tag for this exercise? Somewhere in the vicinity of $100 million dollars. Honestly…..I think given 10 years and $100 million dollars…I could basically do anything you want me to do…seriously…I doubt that there is something I could not crack or fix.

And people wonder how on earth we could have forgotten how we made the Pyramids, Roman Concrete, The Antykytia mechanism….etc, et al. Well those were all thousands of years ago. This happened in seven years.

Ain’t science something?

We dream of dark futures

It used to be all about utopia. Dreaming of a better future. A future where all of mankind will live in peace, harmony and know no fear.

The problem of such optimistic fiction is of course that it’s boring. Narratively it sucks. “Hey, I’ve fallen through a hole in time to a prefect future, and I’m not coming back….the end”. The optimism that all would be fine once humanity “Grew up” also took the onus off now, we didn’t need to worry about changing the world now. Future us will see to it. Also it’s inherently flawed. Humanity cannot envisage a utopian society where everyone is happy. Perhaps there isn’t one. There will always be the clash between what is good for society and personal freedoms. There will always be outcasts and people who feel that they don’t belong. The group think that permeated early utopias was later turned on its head and re-imagined as a hive mind infecting humanity in books like “Invasion of the body snatchers” and so on and so forth.

"Your individuation is dangerous to the collective, also you leave the oven on"

“Your individuation is dangerous to the collective, also you leave the oven on”

Most early dystopian works were direct satires of earlier Utopian works. HG Wells was parodied by E.M.Forrester (Yes the Howards End and Remains of the day guy) in the excellent novella “The Machine Stops”. And that’s a perfectly cromulent idea. Most all art comes in movement followed by counter-movement. In visual arts the Dadaists (were art has no form or function) were a reaction to the Bauhaus movement where art was required to have both form and function.

"The function of this chair is to give you a bad back, see how perfect the form is for that"

“The function of this chair is to give you a bad back, see how perfect the form is for that”

So there’s no reason why the optimism of the late 19th century wouldn’t have given way to despair especially after the Great War. What is strange though is that there’s hasn’t been a swing back even in the 1950’s where optimism and love of science were at a peak in the public conciseness you would be hard pressed to find a scrap of optimistic science fiction. Indeed instead of a swing back towards utopia the collective fantasy of the west has mutated to become darker and more disturbing. I could point out particularly disturbing examples but I think that would be unfair instead look at movements in books and cinema. The dystopian society, the post-apocalyptic society are both prevalent in movies, television shows and novels. The tremendously popular Hunger Games books and movies, Mad Max, The Walking Dead, The Last ship, Terminator all depict various visions of the end of society. From human greed, limited resources, being eaten by our own dead, the rise of our progeny, plague and nuclear winter.

Amongst other things.

Amongst other things.

Is there something wrong with a society that dreams so often and publicly of its own destruction?

Is it a hangover of our religious upbringing as a society that we still think the end is nigh?

Do other cultures have this? Or is it a western luxury, we can play in the fantasy realm where buildings fall and crumble and there isn’t enough to eat and someone is coming to get us in the dark because our day to day reality is nothing like that. No matter what the fear mongers in the media might want to engender. Where as in other cultures that’s a reality and why would you fantasise reality?

Of course Japan dreams of being stomped by a giant lizard………

Fear not Japan, a hero will rise.

Fear not Japan, a hero will rise.

But that could be argued that dystopian fiction is escapism, all be it escapism with horrifying consequences. If you’ve ever wished that a bomb would hit your workplace so you wouldn’t have to go in on a Monday then you’ve dabbled in dystopian futures yourself. Of course we are never the people who don’t make it, we are always the few survivors struggling against the odds to make a new world. Both for egotistical and narrative purposes. As Will Storr points out this narrative fits in neatly with what we already tell ourselves about our lives that “We’re all the plucky hero struggling against great odds to live a better life”

But is there something at the root of all this, something like that is embarrassed about all this excess, all this success? Perhaps we as a species can’t quite believe how good we have it? So we have to destroy it, over and over and over again in our imagination. Or maybe it’s a spell, if we destroy it in our minds the gods will not destroy it for real. Maybe this is just shame, were we even meant to be here this long? What does our subconscious have against the Sydney opera house? Or the Golden gate bridge? Or the statue of liberty? These symbols of culture and advancement and our society cannot last a movie. As a society we catastrophize all the time. We engage in paranoid fantasy en mass. I wonder what it says about us?

For Saffy

“My parents are getting rid of a cat?”

“Why? What’s wrong with it?”

“Nothing, it’s in good condition, but they just don’t want it anymore, you guys have been talking about a cat right?”

“Talking….yes….I’m not sure we wanted a second hand model”

“It’s great!…well…a bit mad but great! It’s chilled and awesome. And you’ll love it, besides Dad said that if no-one wants it he’ll tie a brick to it and throw it down the well”

J and I look at each other…well if it was a mission of mercy I guess the answer was yes our expressions said to each other.

But I still had questions.

“Long or short hair?”

“Do you have a preference?”

“Yes”

“Long”

“Damit!”

“But she’s really low maintenance”

“How old?”

“er…..we don’t know…six…maybe older?”

“That’s one high mileage second hand cat!”

“You’ll love her”

“What about shedding?” I asked as the black cat carrier was put down in our living room.

“She hardly ever sheds”

This was a blatant lie, by the end of her first month residing with her I had enough cat hair saved up to choke our Dyson and still have enough left over to create a life size simulacrum of her and it was HAIR not fur she turned out to be a reasonably pure Turkish Angoran which meant that she shed fine hair that got into everything and was difficult to escape, somehow it snuck onto clothes that were hanging up in the closet whilst you slept. I often took the wrapping off a freshly dry cleaned pair of pants only to find hair already present. She also needed to be brushed at least once a week which should have been fine, cats love brushing! Saffy didn’t, she HATED it. More than once J or I nearly lost an eye to her just freaking out about being brushed. In the end we decided to just get her shorn during summer.

Then she came out of the cat carrier. I was not impressed, she was a small, thin, scraggly looking thing. She immediately went and found a bed to hide under.

Slowly over time she started to get acclimatised to her new subjects and her new surroundings. Saffy was loving, affectionate but STRIDENT oh my god was she strident. She wanted what she wanted when she wanted it. And she wanted food when she wanted it. She had this way of meowing when you got home that gave you the distinct impression that she had never been fed, ever, in her life. Her owners were cruel hoarders of food and should be whipped for their insolence, visiting such inconvenience on a poor cat. More than once both J and I were fooled and she got fed twice. People who were visiting sometimes fed her by mistake.

I often got woken up with a demanding cat to the face. When suddenly the warm furball that I had been innocently sleeping next too decided we had all had enough sleep and it was time for the feeding. She had this habit of trying to sleep on either of us in the most inconvenient of positions. For me she loved the arm facing the ceiling when I was rolled on my side in bed. This gave her convenient access to my ear for the meowing you see. She used to head-butt both of us which was lovely when it wasn’t accompanied with drool. With us she thrived. She gained weight and hutzpah. I liked the fact that she didn’t really like anyone else, she liked Me, she liked J and she liked my Grandfather but that can be forgiven because everyone likes my grandfather. Everyone else she could take or leave. Mostly leave.

“Your cat is giving me an evil look”

“Yes, she does that”

“I don’t think she likes me”

“That’s true”

But she liked us.

A vet once said to me “The only consolation you can ever have when a pet dies is if you gave them a good life, if you did, you did all you could”

We gave her a second chance and a good life.

I’ll miss her though.

Saffy

We gave her a second chance and a good life.

I’ll miss her though.

I don’t want to shock anyone….but some people don’t know what they are talking about…..

As an apologist for science, I’m not very good. I am critical of science, I am often more likely to agree with those who are critical of science. Its in-exactitude, the people who are confirming their bias as often as possible, and the issues we have with peer review and pseudoscience creep.

However there are some attacks on science that are just too exasperating to ignore there is a new kind of attack on the rise from Creationists and that is attacking the fundamentals of science, using quotes from famous scientist to bolster their position and trying to tear down how we best observe the universe from a stance of logic.

I’ll give you a taste shall I?

I recently got this from a creationist who was e-mailing me to explain that I was wasting my life because science can’t provide me with “truth”.

There are three things wrong with science:

  1. Science is limited by induction – it can never be sure of all possibilities
  2. It like everything else has an axiom or first principle which by definition cannot be proved.
  3. Science proceeds by logical fallacy: If p then q, q then p neglecting other reasons for p.

E.g.   If my battery is dead, my car won’t start. My  car won’t start therefore my battery is dead.

This argument is fallacious

Ok well let’s examine these claims shall we?

  1. Science is limited by induction – it can never be sure of all possibilities 

Lots of scientists and philosophers have been critical of induction, Francis Bacon, David Hume and Karl Popper et al. And there are some legitimate issues with it. Although almost all criticism stems from the human desire to draw conclusions from a small sample set. But Hume stated that even if induction were proved unreliable, we would still have to rely on it. Which we do. Then there’s the problem of inductive bias which is a real issue but of course it’s those pesky humans that introduce this bias into the machine. Stupid Humans. Karl Popper wanted scientists to drop induction and instead use Critical Rationalism, Critical rationalists hold that scientific theories and any other claims to knowledge can and should be rationally criticized (duh), and (if they have empirical content) can and should be subjected to tests which may falsify them. Thus claims to knowledge may be contrastingly and normatively evaluated. They are both falsifiable and thus empirical (in a very broad sense), or not falsifiable and thus non-empirical. Critical Rationalism does share with induction one of its most important elements – disconfirmation – an element which has not lost one iota of its importance since Francis Bacon first drew our attention to it in the 17th Century. We are not omniscient. We are fallible. Disconfirming instances must be sought and, where not found, anticipated at any and all times. But not everyone agrees with Popper that this is necessary. Although I have to say that I’m almost convinced.

  1. It like everything else has an axiom or first principle which by definition cannot be proved.

Sure that’s what an Axiom is. In science those axioms would be:

  1. There are natural causes for things that happen in the world around us
  2. Evidence from the natural world can be used to learn about those causes
  3. There is consistency in the causes that operate in the natural world.

The problem with attacking these fundamental assumptions is that if they are not true our entire framework for reality and reality falls apart, not only can we never know anything for sure you cannot trust any of your senses because you can never rely on anything happening the same way more than once, including by the way the senses you use to take in information about the bible, after this any claims you make about God become special pleading. These may well be unprovable assumptions but they are necessary unprovable assumptions. Any argument that can be reduced to an absurd conclusion is false.(citation needed)

  1. Science proceeds by logical fallacy: If p then q, q then p neglecting other reasons for p.

E.g.   If my battery is dead, my car won’t start. My car won’t start therefore my battery is dead.

This argument is fallacious

Yes that argument is fallacious because we call that argument “Affirming the consequent”. And the only problem with this argument is that it’s total bullshit. This is basically the ultimate straw man. The scientific method is not based on the formal fallacy of Affirming the Consequent.  The scientific method is based on the valid argument form known as Modus Tollens.  Science is not attempting to prove the truth of a hypothesis via experiments.  The sole purpose of experiments is to falsify hypotheses.  Let’s examine this claim by clarifying the valid argument form known as Modus Tollens:

1. If p, then q.
2. not-q.
Therefore, not-p.

Let p= “If my battery is dead” and q= “Then my car won’t start.”  Now we have:

1. If my battery is dead, then my car won’t start.
2. My car will start
Therefore, my battery is not dead.

This argument form is valid in that if the premises are true, then the conclusion necessarily follows.  The condition given for my car not starting is a dead battery.  If my car will start (given that condition), then it follows that my battery is not dead.  In the same way, the scientific method proceeds not by affirming a hypothesis by experiments, but by trying to dis-prove a hypothesis by experiments.  Hence, if p= hypothesis and q= experiments and the experiments do not show what was predicted, then the hypothesis is not accurate.  In short, scientific hypothesis can never be proven true, they can only be proven false.  This is why Einstein said,

“No amount of experimentation can ever prove me right; a single experiment can prove me wrong.”

Do you even logic? The galling thing here is that this is total miss-information, this isn’t “Oh I made a little mistake talking about science” this is bald-faced lying about what science is and does. This kind of thing needs to be challenged and I feel that not too many people are well enough versed in logic and science to do so. GAH!!! Makes me so angry.

And that is why you shouldn't lick science.

And that is why you shouldn’t lick science.

Of course the other issue with logic that we get into is definitions. My definition of “Truth” and “Fact” is different to the creationists. I’m wasting my time with science because science can’t provide me with “Truth” however their definition of “Truth” is an objective truth that is true in all circumstances and can never be wrong, it’s an absolute that exists independent from time, space and human experience. Of course science cannot offer that kind of truth because we do not have perfect knowledge. Creationists claim to have perfect knowledge but I suspect this is erroneous (although I don’t have proof of this). But science does not claim to offer perfect truth. Nor does if claim to offer the kind of concrete facts that such people seek or claim to have. It offers “Facts” that are revisable. Because that’s a function of a “fact” in the face of further evidence it can and will change. Science offers an approximation of “Truth” as our measurements improve and our knowledge expands we get closer and closer to what we can think of as truth but never quite attain perfect truth because whilst our instruments get better and better we can never know everything there is to know.

Now this might sound scary but it’s just a function of the world that you live in, we don’t know everything and if you think we do that’s simply human hubris that has taken you for a ride, you should have read the label.