Wikipedia is a great reference!

Academic Reference police after Wikipedia

Wikipedia is a great reference!  Many college professors believe that they are the only people that can provide accurate reference information which coincidentally gives them job security and a monopoly on how good academic information is transmitted. They despise Wikipedia and brainwash their students to have the same condescending attitude. 

I think that Wikipedia makes a great initial reference to go to provided you cross check it against other sources. Some types of information are simply changing too fast for academics to keep up.and Wikipedia fills a void for these types of situations.  It is not that easy for false information to stay on Wikipedia for any length of time because it tends to be self correcting particularly if it has some type of content that people have strong emotions about. Also, any reasonable person knows enough to check on any information from any source and form their own opinion.

Not everything you read is true. What a shocking concept! Instead of accepting everything from a self protecting academic elite as true you should think for yourself and compare different sources. College professors do make mistakes and they have their own types of prejudiced thinking so make sure you never trust them completely.


Is evolution scientifically accurate and can it be reproduced in the laboratory?

Mushroom growing in my yard.

It should be possible to experiment on non-living matter and produce living matter if the hypothesis of evolution is true.  How did non-living molecules originally turn into life and why can’t science reproduce this event?  Suppose a scientist could start with a tank of non-living  molecules and experiment on them to produce a living creature that would come crawling out of that tank.  Wouldn’t that be a great item to put on the news and enhance that scientists career?  Why hasn’t this been done already?  If it happened by a combination of time and chance we should be able to do it again quickly using the modern resources at our disposal.


One of the biggest reasons we want to spend money on space trips to mars is that mars is similar to earth and should have spontaneously produced life.  We have not found life on mars but we have spent a lot of tax money sending robots there.  Let me say that I have nothing against going to mars or the exploratory space program at NASA.   There are a lot of planets similar to earth in our galaxy according to our observations and it may be possible that there is life on those planets but we still should be able to replicate the origin of life here on earth even if none of these planets can be shown to have living creatures.

Many atheists think that finding other life in our universe would prove evolution is true and that is a major driving force behind our space program.  Even if we created life from scratch in a test tube or found other forms of life in the universe it would not prove what happened in the distant past when life originated.  The greatest weakness of the evolution hypothesis is that its origin can’t be reproduced or observed in nature at this time.

Evolution according to Darwin general concepts probably proceeds at a very slow rate over a long period of time.  Darwin observed finches with variations in their beaks and I would agree that this is probably a form of evolution and could be reproduced by humans in the same manner as different types of cattle are produced by selective breeding.  Many atheists say that evolution requires long periods of time so we can’t observe it happening today because we don’t live long enough but why couldn’t we speed things up in an experiment.  Couldn’t we start with dogs and experiment on them until a rudimentary donkey is produced perhaps?  I would feel sorry for the experimental dogs but it might be educational for everyone to see if such an experiment could achieve a donkey.  I have observed animal reproduction on the farm and I would predict that a donkey could never be produced no matter what you did to the poor dogs to make their genes mutate.

Evolution clearly has limitations in my opinion.  I have seen no reproducible evidence that life has been spontaneously generated from non-living matter and I have seen no reproducible evidence that an animal can produce a completely different kind of animal by selective breeding even using gene mutations induced by humans.  Both of these things should be true if today’s life forms were made by random chance acting on molecules over long periods of time.  It appears to me that the fossil record shows a limited type of evolution in intervals that happened over a long period of time similar to Darwin’s finches and that radical evolutionary transitional forms are not present in sufficient quantities to explain the different types of life forms on earth.  The age of the earth and universe appears to be great in my opinion simply from observation but that does not explain the origin of life or the great differences in kinds of plants and animals.

I personally am a Christian so that means I am naturally biased in favor of Biblical writings however the Bible could be interpreted in different ways when considering events so long ago with limited physical evidence that were not the main purpose of the author.  The Bible is written to save people from their sins and show them the right way to live.  I believe that God knows more than what he chooses to tell us at this time and since he has done me no wrong so far, I will continue to put my trust in him.

























Lomira High School had a great Physics/Chemistry/Math teacher when I went there long ago….


The best teacher I ever had was Mr. S. at Lomira High School in Lomira, Wisconsin.  He taught physics, chemistry and various types of math.  Most of the teachers at Lomira were pretty good but Mr. S was stellar.  I never realized how lucky we were to have a great group of teachers like that at lomira until I got to college and encountered some of the unique personality’s of the professors there.

Mr. S. dealt with a wide variety students from the most basic math classes to the most difficult science classes and I am fairly certain that most of his students thought he was top notch.  He had an excellent way of imparting knowledge and maintaining a good attitude while doing it.  He always included “Enrichment” knowledge in his lectures which he would tell you was not on the test but I always thought it was interesting.  I borrowed the word “Enrichment” from him to add to my blog title because I always liked it.  He let us play chess in class provided we finished all our work ahead of time and he was nice enough to be the faculty person for the chess club during my senior year.

I didn’t have a lot of extracurricular activities so being the chairman of the chess club was a great thing to put on my college applications.  I applied to a lot of colleges and I was accepted at several but I was surprised that M.I.T accepted me because my grades were not that outstanding. The M.I.T. representatives told me that the chess club activity combined with my unusually high ACT score test results were critical in getting me accepted.  Unfortunately, once I saw how much it would cost me to go to M.I.T. I realized it was far beyond my financial reach.  My guidance counselor told me that I had plenty of financial aid if I just picked a college in wisconsin so I chose MSOE instead. MSOE’s primary entrance test is to make sure that you can pay the tuition although once you are in there they don’t pull any punches on the difficulty of the work.

I have no idea if Mr. S. is even still alive or where he would be living but he could still teach some of the professors I encountered about how to teach.  His level of organization was so much higher that I was spoiled in high school and had to totally readjust in college to the attitudes of some professors.

One of my college chemistry professors showed up on the first day and wrote a bunch of assignments on the board.  He said that there was no reason to talk to us until we had done the assignments and then walked out the door.  It was supposed to be a two hour lecture and I was paying good money for this lazy son of gun to talk a little so he could of at least said something.  Maybe a word of advice or some enrichment.  At that moment I realized what a good teacher Mr. S. had been and I was glad I was not going major in chemistry at MSOE.














Should we really believe in science like Bill Nye says?

via Bill Nye Quotes – BrainyQuote

Bill Nye made two statements that are not entirely accurate and may not be good for humanity if followed to a logical conclusion.  Perhaps he may have simply made a minor error while talking with great enthusiasm but here are his quotes.

“Science is the key to our future, and if you don’t believe in science, then you’re holding everybody back.”

“Science is the best idea humans have ever had. The more people who embrace that idea, the better.”

Both of these quotes sound kind of nice and would seem to be a good thing to tell the kids.  I am familiar with science being an electrical engineer.  My questions are can you really believe in science and is it the best idea humans have ever had?  Pure science has the potential to create amoral systems which are controlled by people who claim to have a greater knowledge of science.  Good science should teach us to question and examine everything to determine if it is real.  Science should not be a dogmatic religion that forbids questioning of those who know better.  Shaming people who don’t believe in your theory is an easy way to make sure that no one questions your theory.  What if your theory isn’t quite real or needs modifications?

It is necessary to have some type of good moral human control of the technology that science produces or we will produce problems for real people.  Good science is never settled by someone shaming you until you have to believe in it.  The best idea that humans have ever had is constitutional representative democracy combined with freedom of religion because it stops one group of self-proclaimed experts from telling everyone how to live their life.  Group consensus on a course of action is acceptable provided it does not infringe on a minority’s rights to believe and live the way they choose.  I always question the ulterior motives of anyone who is trying to shame me into choosing their perfect belief system and that includes scientific experts.

Scientific theories should not be made into a belief system religion that says any unbeliever is holding back humanity by questioning a settled scientific dogma.  Mr. Nye should know this since he is an engineer.  Engineer’s are required to make things work based on reality.  There are many scientific theory’s that do not have any actual application and this means there may not be a way of proving they are real although they may be true.  The belief system that Mr. Nye proposes in his statements is vague and it seems to unnecessarily insult anyone who questions any scientific theory.  Forcing someone to believe anything by using innuendo insults is inappropriate.  All science should instead be subject to question if real evidence suggests its modification.





Happy St. Patricks Day


St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Engineers according to my former professors at Milwaukee School of Engineering.  A student used to be elected St Pat for the day and he had the power to shut down a class and dismiss it.  He would dress up in garb similar to the pope and have a court with people ringing bells and blowing smoke.  St Pat would go from class to class cutting the ties off of professors and dismissing the class.  If the professor refused to open the door to have his tie cut off the court would ring bells and blow smoke under the door of the classroom until the situation improved.  I don’t remember many of my classes at MSOE but I do remember when our advanced calculus topics  professor tried to delay the court of St Pat shutting down his class.  St  Pat eventually won.  I wonder what was in that smoke that they were blowing under the door because it always seemed to be effective at shutting down the class.  Engineers know how to have fun at least at MSOE.



WordPress blogging capability reviewed

I like WordPress latest blogging capabilities better than Blogger. It works well on PC, Chrome books and Kindle Fire which is everything I will use. The free version is good enough for anything I anticipate doing in the near future and there are three pay versions with added features for consideration. Even the pay versions are very low priced.

Social Media sharing seems fairly easy. The free version does have a few deliberate limitations on sharing individual posts but there are ways around this limitation. The free templates seem better than my choices with the old blog. I just use predefined templates without adding any special programming code and the flexibility is still there. All I need to do is add my content.

I especially like the capability to assign posts categories which can be display grouped by a button on the menu. This allows every post related to a category like science to be accessed by one button without any other type of content. I plan to put some of my bottle garden creations up for sale in the  “For Sale” category eventually and this will allow me to group them by simply adding a post and assigning it a category.

The standard business theme can be customized into a pretty good blog for my purposes without resorting to any special coding.

The Science of Star Trek

Albert Einstein on a bike

I used to watch a lot of star trek because it helped me avoid farm work.  We didn’t have DVR’s in those days so naturally I told my father when a favorite show was on so I could take a break and watch it.  Would you rather watch star trek or fork tons of cow manure onto a manure spreader? They didn’t really make many episodes of the original star trek but I have seen them all many times.  Amok Time is my favorite episode and my wife has forbidden me from watching it while she is in the room.

The warp drive is a staple of star trek and NASA has done some recent conceptual designs of a warp drive ship that basically stays still and warps space around it in order to reach its destination.  At least some of the bright boys and girls at NASA believe it is possible to travel faster than light in space and they have made some preliminary drawings of how it might look.  I tend to doubt the warp drive space ship will be built in my lifetime but it does make me curious what we could find in our universe using such a ship.

NASA made the ship look somewhat similar to the fictional Star Trek ship but this seems a little expensive, risky and silly to me. Why design such a ship to carry humans at all?  An automated robotic ship would obviously be the way to go initially.  An automated ship could be much smaller, cheaper and would not risk any human lives.  It could be programmed to return with close up images, scientific data and possible samples. The expense might even be reasonable enough that it could be done within our lifetime.

Why should we explore space at all when there are such severe human needs on earth?  In my opinion we should continue to explore space but we should put a much greater emphasis on exploiting space by private enterprises for useful purposes.  Satellite aided weather prediction alone by itself has easily paid for our space program many times over by eliminating unnecessary human deaths and property damage.  Energy generation in space, mining of asteroids, mining of the lunar surface and industrial space processes should be increased by helping private enterprise get into space near earth.  Exploration in more distant places than the asteroid belt by humans is not cost effective at this time.  Automated robotic ships are definitely the way to go for landing on planets or deeper areas of space because they are less expensive and human life is not at risk.  Putting humans instead of robots on Mars would just be a tremendous waste of money at this time.

Star Trek is a pleasant illusion and we should not decide how to spend taxpayer dollars based on whimsy.   The science of Star Trek may be sound but lets face it, the philosophy of Star Trek is illogical.


Warp Drive Theory

The Science of Star Trek

Source: The Science of Star Trek