Leading Horses to Water
Posted: 13 August
2013 Posted: whenever
As usual, the content here is my own personal opinion. If you
wish to add to the discusion of the topics herein, send them by email
to cdoswell + earthlink.net
(use the email link or cut and paste, replacing "_+_" with "@"
Don't waste your time or mine if you're unwilling to have your comments
appear here under your real name. If there are any glitches, please let me know so I can fix them!
This collection of essays began while I was participating on the American Heathen
Internet radio show, hosted and produced by R.J. Evans. The show was
mostly a collection of pre-recorded and live segments. The first
of my segments aired on 15
July 2011, the last on 21 April 2013. The show went off the air
at the end of 2012, so the last few of these essays were posted on the American Heathen website. I've lost track of the show dates for a few of them.
Anyway, it got started when RJ asked me to write a segment for the show
on a quasi-regular basis focusing on my views about how science related
to the show content, and to inform listeners about how science works.
Obviously, the segment title is based on the old proverb ... You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink. I've said this about my career, many times. Each segment began with a prologue:
began the way of thinking originally known as natural philosophy but
which we now call science. Science emerged as we know it during
the Renaissance, in an age dominated by fear, superstition, injustice,
and brutality. In other words, pretty much like the
present. These musings are aimed at explaining how science works,
and how science can serve even nonscientists in their efforts to make
sense of the world. I can try to explain things but it’s up to
you to decide whether or not you wish to drink from these waters.
and ended with an epilogue:
is not a religion but rather a tool for those who wish to think for
themselves about the natural world. Its primary characteristic is
its willingness to entertain questions from those who wish to obtain
This format was modeled after Ronald Bruce Meyer's show segment: This Week in Freethought History.
At this point, the future of this collection is uncertain. I may or may not add to it in the future.
Here is a listing of the segments, in chronological order
Simply click on the links to go to the segment. Before I started
LHTW, I had a few segments that were not as formalized. They're
included here as a bonus:
- What would it take to convince you?
- Science and, by inference, rationalism, under attack
- Moderates rationalizing the irrational
- Through the Wormhole?
- The pathetic inadequacy of the “god” myth
- Do science and religion overlap?
- Arguments with religious and political believers
- Standards for evidence in science and religion
- The Language of Science
- Why does god speak in parables and metaphors?
- Should there be limits to knowledge?
- The industry standard for science: Peer review
- A specialist’s perspective
- Not Man Apart
- Government funding of science – how it works
- The role of disagreement in science
- Confirmation bias
- Thoughts on science and the spiritual life
- The Hidden Meaning in the Discovery of the Higgs boson
- Do Scientists Need to Have “Faith”?
- Mars Rovers
- Conspiracy Among Scientists?
- Learning Science by Soundbites?
- Science as a Career
- Entropy Arguments on Behalf of the Existence of a Creator
- How Does Science Relate to Public Policy?
- Science and Postmodernism
- Just What Are “Scientific Beliefs”?
- What Role Does Science Play in a Non-scientist’s Life?
- Science and Religion - Revisited
- What Am I Hoping to Accomplish Here?
- A Misplaced Equality