Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Science for Judges

Judges generally do not have the training of a scientist, but may be called upon to make decisions involving scientific evidence.

The University of Nevada, Reno has published course material for Judges entitled A Judge's Deskbook on the Basic Philosophies and Methods of Science.

  1. Introduction and Overview
  2. The Judicial Role in Evidentiary Decision-Making
  3. An Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
  4. Quantitative and Qualitative Research
  5. An Introduction to the Experimental Method
  6. An Introduction to the Scientific Methods of Survey Research
  7. An Introduction to Qualitative Methods
  8. Peer Review, Publication, and General Acceptance
  9. Data Analysis: An Introduction to Statistics
  10. Psychological and Psychiatric Evidence: A Brief Overview
  11. DNA Evidence

This material has been available for several years, but I am just pointing out that I think it could be helpful to any non-scientist looking to become more familiar with science and scientific methods.

[edited 12/15/09 to link to the pdf]


Friday, April 13, 2007


The Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act passed the Senate 63-34, but President Bush promises a veto. He said the use of embryonic stem cells in research "crosses a moral line." In case you're wondering where this "moral line" is drawn, WN has looked into it. George W. Bush and other conservative theologians believe a "soul" is assigned to the fertilized egg at the instant of conception. That makes it a person, even though it's not counted in the census. In-vitro fertilization makes a lot more of these one-celled people than it needs; leftovers are stacked in the freezer until it starts filling up. President Bush cares deeply about these helpless one-celled people and wants to ensure they are properly flushed down the disposal rather than exploited by godless scientists interested only the reduction of suffering.

From What's New Friday, April 13, 2007.

I think imbecile may be too kind a word to describe Dubya and others who think flushing the future down the toilet is the way to heaven.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Blog Against Theocracy

  1. A delusion is an erroneous perception of reality.
  2. There is no evidence to support the existence of anything supernatural.
  3. Belief in the supernatural is thus a delusion.
  4. A theocracy is government by deity or divine power.
  5. Deities and divine power are based on belief in the supernatural.
  6. A theocracy is thus a government based on delusion.

Do you want a government based on delusion?

Not me, I'm against it.

To read what others have to say, go to the Blogswarm Site:

Also check out the First Freedom First site.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Testing the God Hypothesis

In a sense, every science experiment is a test of the God hypothesis. This is because of the assumption of methodological naturalism, that is, the null hypothesis that God does not affect the outcome of experiments. If scientists ever obtained consistent data that could not be explained by any known natural processes, this would lend support to the hypothesis that God exists, and scientists would eagerly pursue this line of research. But the assumption of methodological naturalism holds; that is, we find no evidence of God's intervention in the natural world. Hence, we conclude that a god of the Judeo-Christian-Islamic type does not exist. While it is true, as the apologist will argue, that absence of evidence is not evidence of absence, it is nevertheless reasonable grounds for an assumption of non-existence, at least until reasonable evidence to the contrary is provided.

From a review of God: The Failed Hypothesis, by Victor Stenger.