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Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Don't Give Up on Science!





In an article entitled "Stop Believing in Science" journalist Daniel Greenfield states, "Science is not a religion. It doesn’t offer virtue or certainty."

The sciences are not the problem. They seek confirmed data and often that takes many years to establish. The trouble comes when the authority of "science" is claimed by ideologues and politicians.

This journalist's facts are wrong from the first paragraph. The forebears of the sciences were rulers and their royal priests, not alchemists and astrologers. Among the royal priests were pioneers of physics, geometry, medicine, and animal husbandry. By 4245 BC, the priests of the Upper Nile had established a calendar based on the appearance of Sirius. Apparently, they had been tracking this star and connecting it to seasonal impacts on agriculture for thousands of years. The priest Manetho reported in his history (c. 241 BC) that Nilotic Africans had been “star-gazing” as early as 40,000 years ago.

Greenfield writes, "Politicized science does not seek to learn, but to affirm the cultural convictions of its class. It is not searching for the truth, because it already knows it. Its only purpose is to uphold the ruling class."

Clearly, Daniel Greenfield is not describing science, an empirical approach based on observations that can present reliable data. He is describing scientism. His vitriol equals that of those who arrogantly claim science as their highest authority. The sciences have brought advances to the benefit of humans throughout history. Don't give up on science.


Related reading: Ancient Wisdom, Science and TechnologyThe Arrogance of Scientism; Pursuing Truth as Persons of Faith; Science and Miracles; The Bible and Science; The Relation of Faith and Science; Reading the Bible as a ChristianScience and Religion in a Time of Plague


Tuesday, May 19, 2020

COVID-19 Confinements Clear the Air



Satellite images have shown a dramatic decline in pollution levels over China, which is "at least partly" due to an economic slowdown prompted by the Coronavirus, according to Nasa.



Daily global carbon dioxide emissions dropped 17 percent, from about 100 million metric tons to about 83 million metric tons, in early April compared with average daily emissions in 2019, researchers report May 19 in Nature Climate Change.

During the most stringent confinement periods, when only essential workers were permitted to commute, daily aviation activity shrank by 75 percent, the team reports. Surface transportation was reduced by about 50 percent, while power use shrank by about 15 percent.

Read more here.


Tuesday, May 12, 2020

CWIS Live Tonight



Hello ladies,

Our next CWiS LIVE events are on Tuesday May 12 at 7:30 pm EDT and Sunday May 17 at 5:00 pm EDT.

We hope to see you at one of these online webinars. As our country comes to grips with a new normal and slowly reopens, the professional environment is going to change.

We invite you to join us for the topic of “How to Navigate Your Career When Your Life is on Hold.” Janel Curry and Dorothy Chappell will lead a discussion with participants on principles and strategies that are informed by Christian paradigms for personal empowerment – common grace in Christ’s space: called by Christ to make a difference in family, work, and play. We will have time for discussion and an opportunity for you to ask questions.

For links to join the webinars, please click here.

May God guide you and hold you close. We hope that you find comfort and peace in Christ through this time. Please feel free to reach out by email to: cwis@asa3.org with any prayers, questions or concerns.

We hope you can join us and as always, feel free to invite a friend!

Sincerely in Christ,

Loryn

----Loryn Phillips
CWiS Coordinator
The American Scientific Affiliation
218 Boston Street, Suite 208
Topsfield, MA 01983 | cwis@asa3.org
O: 978.887.8833







Thursday, May 7, 2020

The Earliest Symbols for Zero




The Bakhshali manuscript is an ancient Indian mathematical manuscript written on more than 70 leaves of birch bark. It was found in 1881. It is notable for having a dot representing zero. This symbol then grew into something that today captures the concept of nothing.

A team of researchers at the University of Oxford and the Bodleian Libraries carbon dated the manuscript and found that it dates from between 200 and 400 AD. This use of a symbol of zero is older than the zero symbol found on the ninth century Gwailor temple manuscript found in India.

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By 1740 BC, the Egyptians used the Nefer symbol (shown above) for zero. It resembles an inverted ankh. When this glyph appears with two horizontal lines at the top and a flag to its left it represents "The Good God."

The symbol is related to the hieroglyph for beauty (neferu).The symbol appears in the name of the famous queen Neferitti and in the title Nefer-neferu-aten (cartouche shown below). It usually appears in a set of three or four and with an empty oval.


Birth name of Neferneferuaten: Nefer neferu Aten, akhet en hyes


The ancient Egyptians used the nefer symbol to indicate the base level in drawings of tombs and pyramids, and distances were measured relative to the base line. In building construction, horizontal leveling lines were used to guide the construction of pyramids and other large monuments. One of these leveling lines was labeled "nfr," or "zero." Other horizontal leveling lines were spaced 1 cubit apart and labeled as "1 cubit above nfr," "2 cubits above nfr," or 1 cubit, 2 cubits, etc. below nefer.  Thus, zero was used as a reference for a system of numbers and measurements in ancient architecture.


Related reading: The Origin of the Zero