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Archive for December, 2009

(This is Post 3 in a series of 3. See also the first post and second post.).

In response to the Michael Reiss affair, Harold Kroto has claimed that his sacking was necessary since Reiss (along with all religious people) show their lack of intellectual honesty by claiming religious knowledge.

Is religious knowledge possible? Surely, it is in principle. If an all-powerful God exists, there must be something that he could do to demonstrate to a reasonable person that he exists. If, before our eyes, all the stars in the heavens collected above Richard Dawkins house and spelled out: “That’s enough, Richard”  … (more…)

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(This is Post 2 in a series of 3. The first post can be found here.).

In response to the Michael Reiss affair, Harold Kroto has claimed that his sacking was necessary since Reiss (along with all religious people) show their lack of intellectual honesty by claiming to know anything that cannot be subjected to scientific testing. Let’s look closely at Kroto’s “lemma” (I’ll paraphrase slightly): only those statements that can be subjected to scientific examination may be significant, or valid. (more…)

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(This is Post 1 in a series of 3).

It’s been a while since I posted about the Michael Reiss affair, but I only just found a response to the controversy in the Guardian by Sir Harold Kroto. He is a Nobel Laureate in chemistry for discovering new kinds of carbon. I’ll respond to Kroto in three posts.

His central argument can be summarised as follows:

  • Science is based solely on disinterested examination of the physical world.
  • To be a scientist, we must accept nothing whatsoever for which there is no evidence as having any fundamental validity.
  • All religious people have sacrificed their intellectual integrity by accepting “irrational unsubstantiated claims [that have] no fundamental validity”.
  • Thus, Reiss cannot tackle the “fundamentally unresolvable conflict at the science/religion interface.” He was in the wrong job.

(more…)

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I handed in my PhD thesis at the start of October and successfully defended it at the start of November. So now I’ve taken up a postdoctoral research position at ETH, Zurich. The Swiss, as you would expect from the owners and operators of the LHC, have demonstrated a remarkable ability in their study of particle physics.

(more…)

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