Friday, December 25, 2015

A Wonderful Day

Here is wishing that all have had a wonderful Christmas Day and the best for 2016 (that may be tougher, but good wishing is not only allowed, it is encouraged hereabouts)


E. Swanson said...

From a historical point of view:

Why is Christmas on Dec. 25?

Propaganda..."A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth"...

Cynthia said...

The best thing that could ever happen to this country would be if people bought nothing for Christmas. To turn a religious holiday into a gluttonous debt-driven shopping frenzy is a true sign of a disintegrating culture. There is no Christ in Christmas and hasn’t been for decades. Shop ‘til you drop! Get out the plastic, become an Amazon Prime member! Buy more useless crap you don’t need and can’t afford; all made in China. Maybe this X-Mas will be a complete bust, good! Then the Fed will be forced to do QE 4, 5 and 6… Then it will all come apart and the final battle between good and evil (ISIS, etc) can begin. Stocks will plunge and Black Friday will be real black, indeed!

jqb said...

It's good to see this article. For too long, the cranks and crackpots have been allowed to get away with the nonsense claim that consensus has nothing to do with science ... and with the absurd equation of consensus to "voting". Without consensus (agreement among those whose opinions are relevant -- practitioners in the field), we would be in no position to say what is or isn't science -- which is precisely why the cranks and crackpots oppose the notion. Without consensus, science could not progress -- we would just have a bunch of competing claims, with nothing every settled and no way to settle it ... which suits the deniers and delayers just fine.

Unfortunately, far too few scientists are familiar with the philosophy of science, with what science is or how it works, or with what words such as "consensus" mean. We see the same sort of ignorance when scientists, who should know better and could know better simply by cracking a dictionary, say silly things such as that belief plays no role in science, foolishly mistaking the word "belief" for the word "faith", which is unreasoned belief. Consensus refers to shared belief among those whose beliefs rest on the available evidence and on sound logic.

David B. Benson said...

I had understood that the 12 days of Christmas were set to compete with the Roman Saturnalia.

Bernard J. said...

For a humourous view of Christmas, with some tangential hints of its analogue's histories and for some incisive comments on human nature, I would commend Terry Pratchett's The Hogfather.

The opening sentence:

"Everything starts somewhere, although many physicists disagree."

Then, in the next few paragraphs:

"...most people forgot that the very oldest stories of the beginning are, sooner or later, about blood."

And buried in the depths of the novel, one of my favourites:

"His name is Bilius. He's the Oh God of Hangovers."