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Sascha VongehrRSS Feed of this column.

Dr. Sascha Vongehr [风洒沙], physicist and philosopher, studied phil/math/chem/phys in Germany, obtained a BSc in theoretical physics (electro-mag) & MSc (stringtheory) at Sussex University... Read More »

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A court in L'Aquila, Italy, handed six-year-prison sentences to members of a national "Great Risks Commission". Residents noticed increased seismic activity. They were used to tremors, because L’Aquila sits on a major fault line, and they clearly noticed differences. Despite the increase in both size and frequency of the tremors, the scientists rejected the possibility of a major earthquake:

“It is unlikely that an earthquake like the one in 1703 could occur in the short term, …”


Six days later, the disaster struck. The L'Aquila 2009 earthquake killed over 300 people and left 1,500 injured.

Design, according to some, needs a designer. However, famous biologists and neo-Darwinists such as D. Dennett say that evolution “designs” by natural selection. If we accept that usage of the term, “design” does not by definition imply an intentional act (much like “the hand evolved in order to grasp” does not imply that evolution desires to achieve anything). If there are “blind watchmakers” who do “design”, then the following question is scientific:


Can we possibly, for example by investigating the designed “creation”, distinguish an intelligent designer, one that did have intentions, from an aimless design process like algorithmic evolution?

And once again I am amazed at the shortsighted, self-righteous moralizing of those who pretend to be all progressive, hip cyber age people.

As pointed out recently, a new type of creationism has entered popular discourse through the backdoor. That was mostly about computer geeks and physicists trying to outperform "old atheists" in fashionable, gadgety ways, thus unwittingly bringing God back in. But there is another form of implicit denial of evolution worth mentioning, and it is similar in that it is again mostly done by “progressives”, atheists and humanists who claim to defend science, especially evolution!

Science based creationism has arrived and is fashionable: Established academics and NASA scientists claim that evolution is merely a deception, the fossil record planted; darlings of “new-atheists” get away with basically saying that the universe is made for humans; arXiv is not above promoting considerations of we-are-in-a-simulation scenarios that are hidden variable realities blatantly inconsistent with quantum mechanics.

Small Is Ugly

Small Is Ugly

Oct 08 2012 | 8 comment(s)

A topic that should get more attention in science outreach is the weirdness of the small. And no – I do not mean the ad nauseam covered ‘quantum weirdness’, which is not* about small stuff anyway. The classical (non-quantum) behavior of the small is counterintuitive enough. Many misconceptions could be avoided with some awareness about how the surfaces of objects, even smooth looking metal surfaces, look like at small scales (think mountainous battle fields).