The tale of the neuroscientists and the computer

Joshua Brown has a sobering editorial on the state of our understanding of the brain.  Warning: it requires some familiarity with how a computer works to understand his point: Frontiers | The tale of the neuroscientists and the computer: why mechanistic theory matters | Brain Imaging Methods. Once upon a time, a group of neuroscientists happened … Continue reading The tale of the neuroscientists and the computer

Rationally Speaking: Is information physical? And what does that mean?

I’ve been reading for a while now Jim Baggott’s Farewell to Reality: How Modern Physics Has Betrayed the Search for Scientific Truth, a fascinating tour through cutting edge theoretical physics, led by someone with a physics background and a healthy (I think) dose of skepticism about the latest declarations from string theorists and the like. … Continue reading Rationally Speaking: Is information physical? And what does that mean?

Time to ditch falsifiability?

Related to my last two posts, and our discussion, Sean Carroll turned in an answer to the "What Scientific Ideas Are Ready for Retirement?"  His answer?  Falsifiability. Modern physics stretches into realms far removed from everyday experience, and sometimes the connection to experiment becomes tenuous at best. String theory and other approaches to quantum gravity … Continue reading Time to ditch falsifiability?

Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof – Starts With A Bang

Perhaps no word in the English language generates as much misunderstanding as the word theory. In scientific circles, this word has a very specific meaning that’s different from everyday use, and — as a theoretical astrophysicist myself — I feel it’s my duty to help explain exactly what we mean when we use it. via … Continue reading Ask Ethan #17: The Burden of Proof – Starts With A Bang