Some crazy for your Sunday

Those of you who can remember high-school physics will know that kinetic energy is the energy a body has due to its motion, or the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its current velocity. Not according to “psychic” and convicted fraud, Sylvia Browne, who defines it thusly in her latest book :

Kinetic energy is the unintentional, spontaneous manipulation of inanimate objects through no obvious physical means, causing its possessor to become kind of a hapless walking force field. There are several theories about what creates kinetic energy. And, of course, there are just as many skeptics who will swear it doesn’t exist at all, which I’d be happy to consider if I hadn’t witnessed it with my own eyes a few thousand times.

What? You see, Browne believes that your “kinetic energy” can can cause inanimate objects to be spontaneously manipulated without your volition.

(Hat tip to J-Walk Blog)


Critique of the Dembski/Marks papers

Since the Discovery Institute have recently been pimping the Dembksi & Marks dreck as “mainstream scientific paper[s]”, I’m going to take this opportunity to point out a new blog by computer scientist Tom English which directly takes on the claims and errors within the papers. English has worked on evolutionary computation since 1991 and six of his publications have been related to the “no free lunch” theorems that Dembski loves so much. Interestingly, in September 2007, English was briefly a member of the virtual Evolutionary Informatics Lab.

Feynman’s “Messenger series” lectures online


Microsoft has put seven videos of Richard Feynman lecturing at Cornell in 1964 online (“The Messenger Series” for the BBC, published in 1967 as The Character of Physical Law) in the form of streaming video with media extras.

  1. Law of Gravitation – an example of physical law
  2. The Relation of Mathematics and Physics
  3. The Great Conservation Principles
  4. Symmetry in Physical Law
  5. The Distinction of Past and Future
  6. Probability and Uncertainty – The Quantum Mechanical View of Nature
  7. Seeking New Laws

See here and enjoy.

Update: And as a bonus, four lectures from 1979 on quantum electrodynamics.

“Same old rubbish” from Dembski – film at eleven.

Mark Chu-Carroll has done it so that you don’t have to … read the Dembski & Marks paper that I mentioned a few days back. Shorter MC-C: “Same old rubbish.” Read his full verdict here.

Update (5/11): Dembski “responds” (and apparently cannot bring himself to actually name who makes the criticism) and Mark sets him straight.

The Tyndall Correspondence Project


The Tyndall Correspondence Project (of which I am a participant) has now gone online. Our aim is to follow in the footsteps of the Darwin Correspondence Project and transcribe the letters of the Irish physicist, John Tyndall. The site is a little bare at the moment, but more information and resources will be forthcoming.