The Electric Vocabulary

January 4, 2012

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Feature Image - The Electric Vocabulary

This article has now been published in Physics Education, and is available to read (for free) here: James Sheils 2012 Phys Educ 47 78 Below are extracts from a selection of the sources quoted in the article. Appendix – Original Sources Extract from Chaper 2 Book 2 of William Gilbert’s “De Magnete” (On Loadstone) (1600)… [Read more…]

Posted in: Education, Physics, Science

Double Twit Experiment – What Brian Cox Gets Wrong

December 23, 2011

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Feature Image - Double Twit Experiment

If you missed Brian Cox’s ‘A Night With The Star’ on Sunday’s BBC2 at 9pm, here it is: ————————- When I used to teach secondary school physics, I was very disturbed by the reverence in which Cox was held (so to speak) by teachers and students alike. I think the appreciation he receives is indicative of most what is… [Read more…]

In The Wake Of Christopher Hitchens

December 19, 2011

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Feature Image - In The Wake Of Christopher Hitchens

In my career, I have managed to undertake almost every task that the hack journalist can be asked to perform, from being an amateur foreign correspondent to acting as stand-in cinema critic, to knocking out pieces of polemical editorial against the clock. Yet perhaps I have misused the word “undertake” above, because two jobs only… [Read more…]

Posted in: Obituary

Kepler and Jesus’ Star

December 12, 2011

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Feature Image - Kepler and Jesus' Star

Who vagrant transitory Comets see, Wonders, because they are rare: but a new starre Whose motion with the firmament agrees, Is miracle, for there no new things are. From John Donne’s ‘To the Countesse of Huntingdon‘ [Appears in Arthur Koestler (1959) 'Sleepwalkers: A History of Man's Changing Vision of the Universe'] ———————— In 1604, while… [Read more…]

Arks and Bows

December 7, 2011

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Feature Image - Arks and Bows

In a previous article, I wrote about the sloppy representation of rainbows in art. Artists who usually demonstrate extraordinary observational skills for landscapes, animals, and human interactions, seems to have a terrible blind spot for the relatively simple rainbow. Considering that there is such a widespread misperception of this atmospheric phenenomon – certainly not restricted to artists - perhaps there… [Read more…]

Scientific Theories According to Christianity – Number 2: Work

December 4, 2011

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Feature Image - Scientific Theories According to Christianity - Number 2 - Work

Click here for part 1 (Buoyancy) [Click to enlarge]

What Christmas is Really About

December 1, 2011

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Feature Image - What Christmas Is Really About

‘Tis the season, for the free thinker, to be reminded of the mental slavery of others. Each year, large sections of our community, with considerable effort and resource, take this time to offer praise and thanks in dedication to a mythical being. A being that has performed, and some say still performs, astounding miracles. A… [Read more…]

Posted in: Comedy, Religion

The Two Euphemisms of ‘Reason’ and ‘Evidence’

November 23, 2011

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Feature Image - The Two Euphamisms of Reason and Evidence

If you’re a Christian or other theist, don’t get too excited. I’m not going to do you that much of a favour. What I am going to do, is to offer a stronger case for the opposition. If you are a non-beliver, I predict that you are likely to disagree with what I am about to say. Indeed,… [Read more…]

Why Are There No Christian Anti-Theists?

November 22, 2011

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Feature Image - Why Are There No Christian Anti-Theists?

It is important to clarify two distinct types of rejection of religion. There is a difference between non-belief of theistic religions (a-theism), and a loathing of the beliefs and practices of theistic religions (anti-theism). The first is to think something false; the second to want it to be false. Both of these views can be attained with the same kind of… [Read more…]

Posted in: atheism, Philosophy

In Conversation with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar (Part 2)

November 18, 2011

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Feature Image In Conversation with Faisal Saeed Al Mutar

Faisal Saeed Al Mutar is a 20 year-old Middle-Eastern Humanist. If this were not rare enough, in September 2010, Faisal created the ‘Global Secular Humanist Movement‘ Facebook page with aim to, “promote public understanding and acknowledgment of the secular humanistic worldview, including equal individual rights and acceptance for people who hold it.” In just over a year, his… [Read more…]

Posted in: Politics, Religion
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