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Dialogue 2006 #2


I really hate to admit it, but in certain situations I am old fashioned! In the good old days, biology students were taught about living organisms. We learned the appearance, life cycles and ecological preferences of various groups of plants, animals, fungi and microbes. Read the rest of this entry »

Imagine that you had never seen a car or any automobile before. You might well be curious as to how the device is able to move. So you examine some vehicles in motion and you come to the obvious conclusion that the wheels are the agents of motion. This is all very obvious and all very true. However if you build a device with chassis and wheels only, you will not get very far. What a car requires is an engine manufactured in a factory and fuel to run the engine. Of course your car needs mechanics to maintain the engine too. It is immediately evident to you that the whole system is the result of designers who conceived of the whole idea and who specify how your car is to be manufactured and operated. Read the rest of this entry »

It is easy to remind ourselves not to believe everything which is confidently declared as fact, but it is quite another to actually follow that good advice. How many generations of English students, for example, have memorized Shakespeare’s ominous declaration in Merchant of Venice: “All that glitters is not gold–/ Often have you heard that told.” (Act II Scene 7). Even today however, centuries after Shakespeare’s time, we all too often believe appearances, whether they be objects for sale or statements of scientific fact. Read the rest of this entry »