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Thinking About Thinking


If you've found your way here, you're probably one of those people
who's curious about the world around you and how it works. 

While I've studied everything I talk about in some depth, I don't claim to be an expert in any of the topics discussed, and I not only do not suggest that I'm correct in every respect, I assert that there are things I've probably gotten wrong. This is exactly the reason I present this material in the way that I do, namely that, where I am wrong, I wish to be corrected.

Where I am wrong, the responsibility lies with me. Where I am correct, the credit goes to that huge list of friends more knowledgeable than myself. 

To borrow the motto of the Sirius Cybernetics Corporation Complaints division, Share and enjoy!

Physics and Cosmology

Part I of a series dealing with our best pre-Planck models
Part II of a series dealing with our best pre-Planck models
Heisenberg's uncertainty principle and its implications
Why a free-falling body is not subject to gravity
Entropy in evolution, information theory and statistical mechanics.
Scale Invariance and the Cosmological Constant
A brief analysis of two papers on cosmology
All Downhill From Here  
Why life and evolution are not a violation of the 2LT, but a consequence of it
The Idiot's Guide to Relativity 
What it says on the tin.
Where is Everybody? The Fermi Paradox and the Drake Equation 
Aliens, and why we haven't detected them.
Guest Post: Radionuclide Dating is Rigorous
A comprehensive treatment of radiometric dating methods and how they were derived. 
Give Us A Wave!
A treatise on the behaviour of waves in classical and quantum physics
Paradox! A Game for all the Family! 
A treatment of some famous paradoxes. A bit of fun.
DJ! Spin That Shit! 
How we know we live on an oblate spheroid that rotates
Stand Back! I Don't Know How Big It Gets!
A treatment of the asinine 'Expanding Earth' drivel
On the Shoulders of...
A tribute to women in STEM past and present
Wow, Man! That's Really Heavy!
A bit of physics sci-fi fun
Did You See That?!!
Consciousness and the observer effect.
There's a Hole in my Model...
A look at the recent discovery of a black hole that shouldn't exist.
Dying by Degrees
The physics of climate change
FTL Travel? Part 1 of a series.
Why fusion energy is our best strategy for the climate crisis
Fun physics and the failure of intuition
Demystifying quantum entanglement

Physics Shorts

Why Heisenberg doesn't only apply to particles
What it says on the tin


The relationship between mathematics and the natural world
NOTE: See addendum at head of this post.
Guest post: Definitions and Axioms
A critique of the above post, and a potted history of the foundations of mathematics.
Probably the Worst Argument in the World
A treatment of arguments involving spurious probability calculations
Evolution and Biology

Information theory and why DNA isn't a code
What evolution is, what it isn't, and some of the evidence 
Busting a popular apologetic canard on evolutionary theory
A demolition of a video by an alleged former atheist
Guest Post: Linnaeus, His Taxonomy, And Its Subversive Underpinnings
Calilasseia unleashed. A bit of fun with a serious side
Why neither sex nor gender is binary.
Guest Post: “Common design” vs Consilience of Independent Phylogenies
An overview of the common descent of higher primates.
Qualified Immunity
Herd immunity and evolution in viruses.
Creationists in the Wild
A creationist attempts a comparative analysis of evolution and creationism.

Logic and Philosophy of Science

Why philosophy doesn't deal with conclusions
How logic is used in the sciences and some common fallacies
Or How Not to Argue With a Scientist
Are Babies Atheist? Semantics and Communication 
A treatment of a common side-bar to discussion with apologists
Fuzzy Logic, Classification and the Fallacy of the Excluded Middle 
A treatment of some common issues with classical logic 
Argumentum ad Verecundiam and the Genetic Fallacy 
A treatment of fallacy in the context of scientific consensus
Patterns and the Inertia of Ideas
How we perceive and how our perceptions can be resistant to change
The Map is Not the Terrain: The Pitfalls of Language
A treatment of some common issues with natural language
I Had No Need Of That Hypothesis
A brief rant about burden of proof and scepticism
Consider the Source
Fake news, alternative facts, shoddy science journalism and anti-vax
On a 'Need to Know' Basis...
Deconstruction of a common truism; Certainty in the context of knowledge and faith
Guest Post: Goldenmane's Third
A treatment of a commonly held bit of nonsense
What's in a Name?
Scientific nomenclature and the vernacular
A treatment of a common fallacy; the category error
That's Racist!
More on the distinction between terms of art and the vernacular
On Whose Authority..?
A broad treatment of the class of fallacies known as the genetic fallacy
Don't Drink That!
A treatment of the well-poisoning fallacy
The Sherlock Holmes Fallacy
A deconstruction of a popular deepity
If it Weren't for Those Pesky Kids...
Another look at the genetic fallacy
Can You Hear Me?
An information-theoretic treatment of interactions and communication
Boundary Conditions 
Much of what I have to say about boundaries and borders
What is expertise, really?
In on the Secret
An attempt to demystify notation
A public talk I gave in 2019
Bad Form, What?
The atomic power of formal logic
A look at the lensing effects of history
Propaganda, self-propaganda, and algorithms
Subtle propaganda techniques in mainstream media
How to evaluate scientific sources.
How much can we know, really?
Absolutes in science and defining sex
Consilience and measurement uncertainty in science


A partial debunking of the Kalam Fallacy
Morality and the False Dichotomy 
A treatment of the moral argument for God
Water, Water, Everywhere, Nor Any Stop to Think!
A treatment of the Noachian Fludd
All Kinds of Everything
The three omnis and free will
The Executioner's Argument
A debunking of presuppositionalism
But, But... You Have Faith Too!
A treatment of the assertion that science and reason require faith
\(C=2\pi r\)
A treatment of the assertion that reliance on reason and science is circular
Mind the Gap!
A treatment of the god-of-the-gaps fallacy
There's This Book...
A polemic on holy books
Careful With That Dial!
Why fine-tuning arguments for god fail at every turn
Didn't See That Coming!
Psychics, prophecy and prediction
Calling Doctor Christian
The incompatibility of faith and science
Where do You Draw the Line?
A look at attitudes toward expertise
And After A Sudden Surge... Still No Evidence For God.
Somebody attempts an iteration of the Kalam Fallacy
7 Reasons Why Apologists Should Stop Trying to Logic
An apologist attempts a rebuttal of my argument against multi-omni sky-guy
7 Reasons Redux
Another visit from an apologist who really should stop trying to logic


A debunking of an irresponsible hatchet-job on astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson
A robust defence of RRS Boaty McBoatface
The Unbearable Shiteness of Beings
A counter-attack on cowardly anti-vaxxer treatment of a young scientist
First, Do No Harm 
 Britain's role in the EU and the world economy
Guest Post: Living in the Last Days of Liberalism
A sober analysis of the current geopolitical landscape
Take Me To Your Leader 
Some comments on the Labour Leadership race and politics in general 
Promoting Atheism... And Why I Don't 
A treatment of rights and responsibilities
When Snacks Attack... Bigly!
Me being stunt double for the Hitch on Trump
The Unbearable Shiteness of Beings... Redux
Polemic against some fuckwits
Permission to Speak Freely?
Freedom of speech, violence and who can say what.
On Death
A eulogy for a deceased friend and comrade
Prejudice Declared
An admission of guilt, and a promise to do better
Does My Class Look Big In This?
A debunking of 'Learning Styles'
Give a Man a Fish...
How simple ideas can change the world.
Ich Dien
Service, protest and taking a knee.

An Open Letter to Twitter
What it says on the tin.
Cold, Dead Hands
Gun control, rights and dead children.
Was That It?
A wander through some end-of-the-world scenarios.
The Most Wonderful Time...
Christmas is shit. Learn this.
A Hitch in Time
My tribute to Christopher Hitchens, written on the day of his death
A Light in the Black
I guest on the blog of a dear and wonderful friend
A Death In The Family
A call to arms. A plea for a domestic violence support organisation.
17 Shards
A tribute to the victims and survivors of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting.
The Emperor's New Palace
An allegory on the destruction of a vibrant community
An Open Letter to Twitter: Part the Second
A communique about shadow bans
Wake: Part 2
More cold, dead hands
Selfish! Weak!
A look at popular attitudes to suicide
Suffer the Children
The imprisonment of innocent children for political expediency
The Empty Chair
Why we need to give toxic views a platform
Undermining Democracy
Or the free and open practice of democracy
Three Pointing Back
Self-harm, suicide and crime in the context of blame culture
Our Lady's Not For Burning
Hur-hur atheists and cheap jokes
It Would be my Privilege
An exposition of privilege in society
Well, Actually...
Mansplaining. Yes, it's a real thing
A critical analysis of racism in England
How PCR tests work and why Piers Corbyn is wrong
A scientific case against vaccine passports
A tale of physics, shit and opinions with a sting in the tail.
Please get vaccinated.
JAQing the Vax
A dissection of some antivax apologia
How to present your brilliant idea to the world
Racism, actors, Dickens and Quantum Mechanics