Scientific Heresy

There are a lot of ideas in science that persist, even in the face of little or no experimental support.  For instance, the famous chemist Linus Pauling, recipient of two Nobel Prizes, suggested in 1970 that large doses of vitamin C would ward off the common cold.  As a side benefit, he claimed that this…

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Life On Mars

Ron Hughes:  Recently, I’ve been seeing some interesting articles in magazines about water existing on Mars.  Some people, some secular scientists are looking at water on Mars as meaning that there could be life on Mars which may challenge the whole Christian paradigm.  I’d be interested to hear from a man of science about this…

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Scientists Are All Too Human

It’s important to remember that scientists are human beings who display all the same weaknesses as the rest of us. Take, for example, the famous mathematician and physicist Sir Isaac Newton. He essentially rewrote the laws of physics, invented calculus and was first to understand the nature of light. As well, he proposed the theory…

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Where Did that Itch Come From?

Much of what goes on in our brains happens without our awareness. The cells in our brain constantly exchange messages with various parts of our body through nerve cells called neurons, which pass on messages via electrical impulses. We see, hear, feel, taste, and are aware of our body sensations and position, not at the…

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Can Lightning Strike Twice?

Lightning is caused by an electrical charge, which builds up between a cloud and an elevated object on the ground. Since there is a strong attractive force between positive and negative charges, lightning is very energetic, but unpredictable in its timing and effect. Lightning can be attracted to the same object repeatedly, either during a…

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Just Where Am I?

I reflected recently on how technology has changed map making. In ancient times map makers had to face innumerable dangers, disease and shipwreck, in their efforts to make an accurate survey of a coastline. And mapping the interior of a country involved battling deserts, mountains and impassable rivers. Even after the field data was collected,…

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Effective Chemical Defence Systems

The most numerous species on Earth are the insects. They outnumber humans by several hundred million to one. For beetles alone, we’ve identified over 300,000 different species. Many beetles have a very versatile and effective defence system. Take for example, the bombardier beetle. Whenever the bombardier beetle is threatened by an enemy, it blasts its…

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An Unsung Hero of Science

I recently reviewed some of the inventions of a Canadian mechanical engineer called George Klein, who died in 1992.  Klein has been called the most productive inventor in Canada in the twentieth century.  He was an unsung hero of science, who played a key role in some of Canada’s greatest engineering achievements. As a boy…

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Chased by the Shower Curtain

One of the annoying properties of hanging shower curtains is their persistence in trying to embrace you when you take a shower. The main reason for this frustrating tendency is the speed with which the water moves from the shower head.  Fast moving drops of water drag air nearby along with it, causing a circulating…

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How Long Will I Live?

The life expectancy tables used by insurance companies give a clear picture about our longevity.  This explains why smokers pay fifty percent more on their insurance policies.  Research has verified that the cost of smoking entails more than the money spent on cigarettes. Life expectancy in Western countries has been increasing steadily over the last…

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