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Book review: Karl Popper, Conjectures and Refutations

Karl Popper’s 582-page Conjectures and Refutations: The Growth of Scientific Knowledge seemed a daunting read. It need not have done: the essays within are written in plain English and a lively style. The central theme of the book is that our knowledge, our aims and our standards develop through trial and error: that is, by making conjectures and seeking their refutation. I was glad I read the book knowing Popper had turned from the so-called “scientific socialism” of Marxism. In […]

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Book review: Popper, All Life is Problem Solving

Karl Popper’s All Life is Problem Solving is a wonderful collection of his speeches and shorter writings in two parts: Questions of natural science and Thoughts on history and politics. I first discovered Popper through The Open Society and its Enemies, a vehement defence of democracy against totalitarianism. Many of the themes he explored there are naturally to be found in this much slimmer book. Two particular ideas are relevant today: the logic and evolution of scientific theory and his […]

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In the WSJ: No Need to Panic About Global Warming

Sixteen scientists write in the WSJ: A candidate for public office in any contemporary democracy may have to consider what, if anything, to do about “global warming.” Candidates should understand that the oft-repeated claim that nearly all scientists demand that something dramatic be done to stop global warming is not true. In fact, a large and growing number of distinguished scientists and engineers do not agree that drastic actions on global warming are needed. It’s a fascinating article and I […]

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“Sifting climate facts from speculation” – New Scientist

Via the New Scientist: IT WAS a dramatic declaration: glaciers across much of the Himalayas may be gone by 2035. When New Scientist heard this comment from a leading Indian glaciologist, we reported it. That was in 1999. The claim later appeared in the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s most recent report – and it turns out that our article is the primary published source. The science deserves to be taken more seriously than this.

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Shocking Science 2008 | The smell of fear

Having exposed volunteers to the whiff of sweat from skydivers, researchers concluded that humans can smell fear via Shocking Science 2008 | Science | guardian.co.uk .

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“The effect of resonance on rice” [sic]

An interesting demonstration of standing waves. The Digg poster suggests the effect is on the rice, but I rather think the waves are in the plywood over the speaker and the rice just illustrates the nodes. read more | digg story