Faithful to Science

blog on science and religion

Year: 2015 (page 1 of 4)

Science jokes 2

Here is a second collection of science jokes. The first collection is here.


 

“Do you know the name Pavlov?”
— “It rings a bell.”

What does a subatomic duck say? (The answer is so obvious that you will have to supply it yourself.)

There is no logical foundation of mathematics, and Gödel has proved it!

A neutron walks into a bar and asks how much for a beer. Bartender replies, “For you, no charge”.

 

offthemark02  atesomepi b5badea5dad3e68be56cc5e987fcdadd kids


 

(An old one, carefully reworked:)

An engineer, a logician and a mathematician are staying in a hotel.
The engineer wakes up and smells smoke. He goes out into the hallway and sees a fire, so he fills a trash can from his room with water and douses the fire. He goes back to bed.
Later, the logician wakes up and smells smoke. He opens his door and sees a fire in the hallway, and also a trash can lying there with some water in the bottom. He thinks a little and then he says, “A solution exists!” and goes back to bed. Fortunately the engineer woke up again and put the fire out.
Later, the mathematician wakes up and smells smoke. He looks in the hallway but there is no sign of any fire. But he notices the wet trash can, and thinks hard. Then he lights a match and sets the hallway on fire, saying to himself as he returns to bed, “Thus we reduce the problem to one which has already been solved.”


 

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The following are from http://www.jupiterscientific.org/sciinfo/jokes/astronomyjokes.html

“Why does the Moon orbit the Earth?” An auto mechanic: “To get to the other side?”
(This is sort of an intriguing answer if you think in terms of the principle of least action.)

“Which is more useful, the Sun or the Moon?”
A thirteen-year old: [Pause] “I think it’s the Moon because the moon shines at night when you want the light, whereas the Sun shines during the day when you don’t need it.”

Before docking with the International Space Station, what must the pilot of a space module first do?
A: Put money in a parking meteor.   (sorry)

Niel Armstrong: “Oh no, Mission Control, I just stepped on Buzz Aldrin’s toe. What should I do? Over.”
Mission Control: “What do you think? Apollogize.”


 

There are two types of people in the world. Those who can extrapolate from incomplete data.

How can you tell the difference between a chemist and a plumber?
Ask them to pronounce “unionized”.

Why did sin get a tan?
Just cos.

Dean, to the physics department. “Why do I always have to give you guys so much money, for laboratories and expensive equipment and stuff. Why couldn’t you be like the math. department – all they need is money for pencils, paper and waste-paper baskets. Or even better, like the philosophy department. All they need are pencils and paper.”

An engineer, and physicist and a statistician are walking in the woods when suddenly a hungry grizzly bear comes running towards them. The engineer fires his rifle, but shoots high. The physicist has a go, but shoots low. They look at each other. “Hooray!” says the statistician, “we got him!”

sch_cat

Happy Christmas!

A short positive post

Dear regular readers,

this is just to let you know that I realise I have been a bit intermittent posting recently. I have lots of ideas of things to post but have held back a bit while I consider them. The terrible events in Syria and Iraq, and their spill-over to other parts of the world, have been giving all of us pause. Today though I will share a good news story, and will follow this brief post with a light-hearted one in a few days.

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But the silence in the mind

But the silence in the mind

But the silence in the mind
is when we live best, within
listening distance of the silence
we call God. This is the deep
calling to deep of the psalm-
writer, the bottomless ocean
we launch the armada of
our thoughts on, never arriving.

It is a presence, then,
whose margins are our margins;
that calls us out over our
own fathoms. What to do
but draw a little nearer to
such ubiquity by remaining still?

 

by R.S. Thomas, from the collection Counterpoint, 1990

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Faith and Reason

You can find much discussion of the concept of faith in the talks and books in the resources section of this blog. Here I will say some more about the roles of faith and reason.

Reason is about being receptive to persuasion, and honest enough to follow a sequence of steps where the connections can be shown and seen.

Faith is essentially a kind of willingness combined with a sense of value.

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The Zygon Inversion

[The above image is from the BBC website, http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06phcqv]

This week I watched the latest episode of Dr Who. It was an episode called “The Zygon Inversion”, written by Steven Moffat and Peter Harness. The climactic scene was thought-provoking, and I am quoting it here. Dr Who is a science fiction series, so it is loosely connected to the science theme of this blog, and I will explain the connection to faith at the end.

The scene is very well played by Peter Capaldi and Jenna Coleman. Capaldi is in the role of the Doctor, trying to persuade the alien (Zygon) called “Bonnie” (played by Jenna Coleman) not to launch on all-out attack on the human population. In the middle we hear briefly from a human character called Kate (Jemma Redgrave).

Here is the script, picking up with the Doctor speaking: Continue reading

Prayer

image: Prayer by Graham Dean, see http://paintingandframe.com/prints/graham_dean_prayer-8947.html

 

We have to abandon all claims to know, and opt instead for the choice of seeking to learn, admitting that we have much to learn, and humble enough to allow that seeking to learn can include, yes, simply asking.

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A short explanation of a short introduction to what may well be

The title to the previous post, “A short introduction to what may well be,” was chosen carefully. The sketch I gave there was a sketch of something that may be right, and also, and perhaps more importantly, it is a good possibility—something that may well be, in the sense that it would be well, good, if it were so. All manner of things would be well. And, of course, it might be right in the sense of actually true, too. Or it might not.

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A short introduction to what may well be

I have not posted for a couple of weeks because I was ruminating on what to say. There are a variety of issues I could write about, but I decided in the end to present, in an informal way, some general thoughts on theism, world-views, atheism, faith, science and religion.

What this blog advocates is a broadly positive stance on both science and that aspect of human life which is about refusing materialism and scientism, in favour of a richer notion of what may be said to be true and real. That lengthy expression refers, broadly, to what has often been called “religion”, but I have been cautious about the use of that word in this blog, because of all the obvious dangers and abuses that often accompany religion. I think that there is both good religion and bad religion, and in the end what I want to do in the blog is not about religion as such, but about encouraging one another to realize and live out the most complete expression of what human life is, whatever that may be.

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Talking about faith and science

This post is mainly to announce that I have now added a further talk to the resources section. You can find it here:

http://grievingturtle.com/resources/talks/faith-and-science-hbc-oxford-0915/

Here is an extract from the talk:

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Not what to think, but to think

image: detail: Mother and Child by the Sea, Jozef Israëls

 

I have been reading We make the road by walking  by Brian D. McLaren (Hodder and Stoughton, 2014). Here is a quotation from it. I will not comment further; he makes the point so well.

A little girl once asked her mother if the Bible story of Elijah flying to heaven on a chariot of fire was ‘real or pretend’. How would you have answered here question?

You might try to explain that sometimes a ‘pretend’ story can tell more truth and do more good than a ‘real’ one—as Jesus’ parables exemplify so powerfully. You might explain how real stories are often embellished with pretend elements. Or you might respond as that little girl’s wise mother did: ‘That’s a great question! Some stories are real, some are pretend, and some of the very best ones use a mix of both reality and make-believe to tell us something important. What do you think about the Elijah story?’ The mother’s answer didn’t tell the little girl what to think. It invited her to think — as a bona fide member of the interpretive community.

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