Are faith and science compatible?

Darwin Fish Evolution Faith Science Compatible Weekly Show

Since this blog’s inception, I’ve tried to keep it as non-partisan as possible. Regular readers can probably deduce my leanings, but I have purposely strayed from any controversial subjects. Today that ends. With the near year this blog is going to address some of the most controversial topics in science and shed some much-needed light on important issues. First up: the relation between faith and science.

Before diving in, let me clarify the question. I am not asking whether science and religion can coexist. Many scientists are religious and have been for centuries. This is a fact. Rather, I want to explore whether science and religion make sense together, if they are compatible systems of discovery. Let’s stir the water.

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Happy holidays! Your vitamins may be killing you

Pills Supplements Multivitamins Vitamins Health Industry Benefits Harm Damage Danger FDA Regulated Snake Oil

Happy holidays, everyone! I hope everyone is enjoying family, friends, and time to catch up on what really matters. We all have a lot of things to do, so I’m going to keep this post short and sweet: if you want to see many more holiday seasons, throw out your daily multivitamins.

According to new research, multivitamin supplements produce no health benefits and might even be harmful. Three major studies examined multivitamins’ effectiveness in preventing chronic disease, cancer, and cognitive decline. While researchers across the board found no benefits associated with the supplements, one study recommended against taking vitamin E or beta-carotene to prevent heart disease or cancer, finding they may put already at-risk individuals in increased danger.

Pills Supplements Multivitamins Vitamins Health Industry Benefits Harm Damage Danger FDA Regulated Snake Oil

New studies confirm that multivitamins, like most unregulated supplements, contain no health benefits. In other news, the above is not a complete breakfast. (Shutterstock)

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The scale of the universe

Of all the secrets and mysteries of science, I find myself most fascinated by the universe. It’s birth and evolution,  its future and unexplored depths–these stories keep me coming back for more. Perhaps the most exciting part is that there is so much we do not know. We sit on our lonely planet, pondering how everything came to be and where it is going. If one phrase can describe the history of cosmology, it is the proverbial “the more we learn the less we know.”

Rosette Nebula Nursery Picture Star Formation Colors Scale of Universe Weekly Show

The Rosette nebula, a stellar nursery approximately 5,000 light years away. How can we possibly understand scales that leave everything we know incomprehensibly large or small?

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Misconceptions about evolution: why natural selection is not random

Part 4 in a series. Click here for part 3: why transitional fossils exist.

There are some mysteries I will never understand, such as why Pikachus can’t exist in real life or how anybody could like cilantro (Trust me. It’s horrible). One such conundrum is the vehement denial of evolution that has dogged science for centuries. According to Bill Nye, this organized opposition appears only in the United States, where far-right religious groups hold political sway in the South and Midwest. I hope he is correct, though I can’t know for sure. In my time abroad I have encountered extremists of different kinds but none of this kind. Then again, these are not the types of people I tend to associate with. Before I digress further, let’s take a look at another of our misconceptions. Continue reading

5 mind-bendingly awesome optical illusions

Missing Triangle Appears Not There Mind Kiwis Optical Illusion Weekly Show

Part 1 in a series. Click here for Part 2: 5 More Mind-Bending Optical Illusions

Think you see the world as it is? Think again. As discussed in an earlier post, our brains filter input from the senses, piecing together a world that differs from reality. To shake up the old blogging formula (and to make room for these theoretical math midterms currently dominating my life), I’ve compiled a list of some of the coolest optical illusions on the web. Aside from being awesome, these give insight into how the brain interprets visual cues. I’ll be back soon with the science behind the coolest ones.

5. Peripheral Drift

The textbook “motion where there is no motion.” Tried and true. A classic.

Rotating Snakes Motion Circles Gears Optical Illusion Weekly ShowPeripheral Drift Optical Illusion Motion Waves Green Square Circles Weekly Show

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