Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Should Trees Have Rights?

Okay so this post is not like the normal posts about atheism, science or skepticism. I have an interest in Philosophy and this is my response to a Philosophical competition question entitled 'Should trees have rights?' in which the response had to be 180 words or less. Don't worry I am not saying trees have feelings! Here it is:

Trees do have rights to an extent, they have rights given by humans, legal rights protecting them. But these are not personal rights for the trees, they are rights that inhibit our actions towards the tree. Trees are vital for the existence of us humans and so we need to protect them in order to maintain our existence. These rights are man-made and artificial created and applied by humans to maintain society and the environment in what we believe to be a humane way. The ecological balance of nature requires no human rights to be implemented, it works prefect on its own from the subatomic level to the global scale. The very rights that protect trees allow for their destruction. But trees like everything in the world are protected by the fundamental laws of science and nature and these are the rights that are important to trees. 

Friday, 18 January 2013

The Beauty And Science Of Water

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With all the snow disruptions hitting the UK I thought I would look at the science behind water.

Water is the most important chemical compound on our planet, it covers 71% of our planet and is vital for all life. Water is a covalently bonded polar molecule, with the oxygen being slightly negative and the hydrogen being slightly positive with hydrogen bonding between molecules.

The properties of H2O make it perfect for providing life. Water has a high latent heat of vaporisation which put simply means that when water becomes a gas it removes energy from the source of where the water was. So when animals sweat energy is removed from the body and homoeostasis is maintained. Also, water has a high specific heat capacity which put simply again means it takes a lot of energy to raise a kg of water by 1 degrees Celsius. This means that water remains at a fairly constant temperature in large amounts which is vital for ensuring life continues by the little variation in oceans and seas.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Tolerance Within The Atheist Community

The atheist community is always busy fighting against the inequalities of religion across the world and I believe sometimes we need to step back and take a look at the whole picture. One of the readers of this blog suggested I write about tolerance within the atheist community for religion and this is my response.

Whilst there are of course horrifically disturbing religious discriminations happening right now, what about the ‘normal’ and peaceful religion that is being practised? As atheists how should we react to them? I enjoy a good old heated debate, but arguing at every moment possible is not the right thing to do. Sometimes leaving a religious person with their faith is fine, if they start preaching about their beliefs to you then please feel free to intervene and talk about your well backed up beliefs. After all, well backed up ideas are always better than preaching. Debating will probably not get you anywhere, as the religious person already has beliefs that are based on faith. And evidence only destroys faith. As long as the debaters respect each other’s views no harm can be done, debating correctly allows respect and critique of views.  

Tuesday, 1 January 2013

Looking Back...Science Highlights of 2012

2012 was certainly a great year in terms of science, as per usual many amazing advances in the scientific community were made. Here are some of the highlights...

1.) Probably the most famous in 2012 was the discovery of the previously theoretical Higgs Boson. Its discovery gave particle physics a great leap in knowledge and positively raised its awareness and educated the general public. 

2.) Just above I said the discovery of the Higgs Boson was the most famous, I guess the next event is globally even more well-known about. In October, Felix Baumgartner skydived from the 'edge of space' and fell faster than the speed of sound. Despite some difficulty that he experienced he successfully completed the dive.