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May 2019

The Origin of Life

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00May 13th, 2019|PFH2|

How would you create a life-like model of your face? A simple approach is to cover your face with papier-mâché, let it dry, detach it from your face, then fill the inside of the mask with plaster, let that dry as well, and detach the papier-mâché from the plaster. The result of this process is [...]

April 2019

Artificial Life

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00April 29th, 2019|PFH2|

It is raining DNA outside. On the bank of the Oxford canal at the bottom of my garden is a large willow tree, and it is pumping downy seeds into the air. […] [spreading] DNA whose coded characters spell out specific instructions for building willow trees that will shed a new generation of downy seeds. [...]

Chemical Evolution

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00April 15th, 2019|PFH2|

It is mere rubbish, thinking at present of the origin of life; one might as well think of the origin of matter. —Charles Darwin, Letter To J. D. Hooker [Darwin, 2012] What are some specific examples in nature of complex processes or entities assembling themselves, with no other help but environmental influences? As we have learned in the [...]

Basics of Evolution

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00April 1st, 2019|PFH2|

What are the three major properties a system needs to have in order to evolve? Still, it needs to be said that the light of evolution is just that—a means of seeing better. It is not a description of all things human, nor is it a clear prediction of what will happen next. —Melvin Konner, The [...]

March 2019

Evolution

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00March 18th, 2019|PFH2|

It makes one wonder what the evolutionary tree of this idea [the theory of evolution] would look like, were it an organism that could be mapped out by fossil record rather than words. The concept is one that faded nearly into obscurity, only now to be revived with slight mutation. What I personally gather from [...]

The Big Bang

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00March 4th, 2019|PFH2|

If the “big bang” created the universe, and if nothing existed before the big bang, where did the big bang come from? Imagine an infinite sea of energy filling empty space, with waves moving around in there, occasionally coming together and producing an intense pulse. Let’s say one particular pulse comes together and expands, creating [...]

February 2019

Chaos Theory

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00February 18th, 2019|PFH2|

Nature uses only the longest threads to weave her patterns, so each small piece of her fabric reveals the organization of the entire tapestry. —Richard Feynman, The Character of Physical Law [Feynman, 1994, p. 28] How can structure emerge from chaos? Why isn’t everything just “noise”? And how does “complexity” differ from “chaos”? Example Imagine a droplet of honey [...]

Interpretations of the Quantum Theory

By |2018-12-24T09:13:06+00:00February 4th, 2019|PFH2|

Many Worlds Interpretation Why could the many worlds interpretation be called ontologically wasteful? An approach to explain what is going on at the ontological level is the so-called many worlds interpretation. Instead of claiming that until something is measured, it is not defined, it states that at all times, we have a definite history. This means [...]

January 2019

Copenhagen Interpretation

By |2018-12-24T09:13:07+00:00January 21st, 2019|PFH2|

What is the ontological view of the Copenhagen interpretation? The unexplained mystery of thermal radiation (among others, like the photoelectric effect) led to the theory that light comes in packages: the quantum theory. The first interpretation to explain the quantum theory epistemologically was the Copenhagen interpretation. It was first formulated in 1927 by Niels Bohr, John [...]

December 2018

Popular Science

By |2018-12-24T09:13:07+00:00December 10th, 2018|PFH2|

Science has become synonymous for “truthful.” This has led people to try to emulate science without following the scientific method. Some have even started calling themselves “scientists” and used their titles to give their statements more meaning. Likewise, expressions such as “pseudoscience” have become an insult. What is the role of the word “science” in [...]

November 2018

Occam’s Razor

By |2018-12-24T09:13:07+00:00November 26th, 2018|PFH2|

Given that for a phenomenon, explanations of arbitrary complexity can be made, which view of the world should we choose? OCCAM’S RAZOR PRINCIPLE ·  According to the Occam’s Razor principle, among competing hypotheses, the one with the fewest assumptions should be selected. It is attributed to the English Franciscan friar, scholastic philosopher, and theologian William of Ockham [...]

An Introduction to Science

By |2018-12-24T09:13:07+00:00November 12th, 2018|PFH2|

It is impossible for someone to dispel his fears about the most important matters if he doesn’t know the nature of the universe but still gives some credence to myths. So without the study of nature there is no enjoyment of pure pleasure. —Epicurus, Principal Doctrine 12 Why are ontology and epistemology simultaneous? As Epicurus put [...]

October 2018

Physics

By |2018-12-24T09:13:07+00:00October 29th, 2018|PFH2|

The ideal subject of totalitarian rule is not the convinced Nazi or the convinced Communist, but people for whom the distinction between fact and fiction (i.e., the reality of experience) and the distinction between true and false (i.e., the standards of thought) no longer exist. —Hannah Arendt, The Origins of Totalitarianism [Arendt, 1973, p. 474] The word “science” is [...]