IMG_2361
Blog powered by Typepad

« | Main | Dream a little dream »

Comments

This is from the middle of last year. But yes, the man is an ass. Any time skeptics laugh at others, one wonders if they cherish their belief system mainly to feel superior to others.

I like Brian Cox as he's engaging and makes astronomy 'cool'. However, I don't care for his offbeat remarks designed to endear him to the skeptic community. In his current Stargazing Live series he pokes fun at the 2012 predictions (althought I quite agree with him on that one - it is a load of crap).

I just ignore most of his skepticing as irrelevant.

Spot on.
Brian Cox is as mainstream and materialistic as they come. A sort of baby-faced Dawkins.
His view of physics conveniently sidesteps the interesting issues. Like:

1. How come we’re so sure of ourselves when we don’t even know what dark energy and dark matter are, that comprise over 90% of the universe?

2.What happens inside a black hole?

3. How does energy behave like waves when there is no medium for it to wave in?

4. What is gravity made of exactly?

5. How do electrons flow?

6. Why did the men on the moon never jump more than a foot high when I could do that in a suit of armour?

7. My auntie saw a ghost. Are you calling her a nobber? Better put your hard hat on then.

Thats a shame he said that I always liked Brian Cox! Doesn't suprise me though as hes supposedly a 'humanist'. I hail from the UK and nobber can mean 'idiot' but its basically just a bad term haha, god we're such nobbers!

Heres an impression of him (not the best quality sorry) on a great impressions show from over here!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2tUXuRHdFQ

I always thought Brian Cox was aptly named.

Please read Dr. Tart's response about the Afterlife to a grieving mother who recently lost her child. It is very similar to Michael's conclusions but I like how he seperates his "Scienctist Hat" on the subject from his personal vindictions. Interesting...and it is a perfect example of what I would call a true skeptic.

http://blog.paradigm-sys.com/archives/525

Interesting link, Ray. I am probably a little more certain - maybe a little less uncertain - about life after death, at least most of the time. But I do like to keep reminding myself (and others) of the weaknesses in the evidence, because I think the mind has a tendency to fool itself into achieving a certainty that is not really warranted. And once we feel absolutely sure of something, we are much less likely to look for any further evidence, especially evidence that would refute or challenge our position.

Paul wrote: "I always thought Brian Cox was aptly named."

Precisely. "Nob End" not nobber, would be the more appropriate English soubriquet for him.

That response by Tart was eloquent, thorough, sincere, even-handed and well written. I don't think the woman could have asked for more from that reply.

It is a pity that people without knowledge of any particular subject do not admit as much if they feel obliged to pronounce upon it, or upon some aspect of it. That, it seems to me, would be the correct and courteous thing to do. I note also that the less an individual knows, or has thought, about something, the more vehement he is apt to become in advocating his views! Also, Brian Cox, whose TV astronomical programmes I admire and enjoy for their clarity and quality, is PROFESSOR Brian Cox, and quite young. I wonder if academic respectability, and promotion, can attend someone who is not - apparently, for I do not know for certain - a 100% materialist in his 'public persona'? An ambitious academic has little choice in this respect nowadays, I think. There are 'the right sort of people' in some circles, mostly in London, and 'the rest of us'! 'Twas ever thus, however.
I consider these things, and much else of a more scientific and psychic nature, in my book "God, Ghosts, and Independent Minds" by Newton Green; Penpress, and via Amazon or Kindle. If I thought Prof. Cox might have time to read it, I would send him a copy. NEWTON GREEN

Brian Cox like Dawkins, Blackmore et al is a Humanist.

The British Humanist Association (BHA) has welcomed experimental physicist, rock star and television presenter Professor Brian Cox as its newest Distinguished Supporter.

Brian Cox, most recently seen pulling in millions of viewers for his BBC series ‘Wonders of the Solar System’, spoke on ‘The value of Big Science: CERN, the LHC and the exploration of the Universe’, at the 2010 Voltaire Lecture. The event was chaired by Polly Toynbee, President of the BHA.

Professor Cox’s lecture responded to the idea that science is not enough to fulfil people’s “spiritual needs”, to satisfy our sense of wonder, or to find purpose or meaning. For some, he said, ‘science doesn’t deliver and they need to fill in the unknown with something imaginary.’ Yet this, he argued, is completely unnecessary. Part of the intense wonder and beauty of the universe is in its fundamental simplicity. He gave the analogy of a snowflake in the hand. At first it is intricate and very complex but as it heats up it becomes just a pool of water. It is always H20, but as it freezes the structural complexity of the snowflake hides the underlying simplicity. At the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), scientists are reversing this process, finding the underlying simplicity of the universe just after the Big Bang by heating up the universe to expose that simpler, earlier state.

Professor Cox explained how the universe – and everything in it – is constructed from a few basic building blocks, subatomic particles. However, there is a particle still missing from the “standard model”. At CERN, they are still looking for one particle – the Higgs boson – which may be what gives matter it’s mass, and is key in explaining the formation of the universe after the Big Bang.

The lecture was not all about the physics, however. Professor Cox demonstrated that the UK is a world leader in science, and that science-based, knowledge intensive industries are responsible for about 40% of the economy, far more than the finance industry. He spoke on the threat to science in the UK, especially from the threat of cuts to the science budget – a budget that is already an extremely small part of national spending.

He concluded: ‘Science is clearly economically valuable and clearly spiritually valuable. I don’t see why you would need anything else.’

You're right as usual Zerdini, but might we cut Brian Cox a tiny bit of slack? I didn't hear the programme so I didn't catch the tone, but normally if I heard someone say what he said in a UK comedy programme, I'd assume it was typical British self-parody. Though he may still believe what he said, he's aware enough to know he is speaking OTT (ie that an alternative POV is possible even if he doesn’t agree with it).

If it was self-deprecating, there's hope for him. As you know, the great ideologues in British life, the ones who polarise public opinion (you either love them or you hate them) are utterly incapable of self-deprecation. They are always serious about themselves and have huge egos. Examples include Maggie Thatcher, Tony Benn, Keith Joseph and Richard Dawkins.

Self-parody and self-deprecation is a wonderful British way of deflating ones own ego and taking oneself and ones views a bit less seriously. If Eckhart Tolle understood this, he’d write a book about it (heh heh).

John Cleese is the best British example of self-parody I can think of. If he couldn’t find it in him to be so, he’d be an insufferable prig (apparently comedy was a defence mechanism following bullying at school). Basil Fawlty is really John Cleese on speed, and Cleese even managed to parody his divorce settlement (ouch!) in a tour recently. Americans may be more familiar with Ricky Gervais, who in “Extras” showed what self-parody is like. However, I don’t think Americans quite understand him (and it doesn’t help that he’s not always as funny as he’d like to be).

I don’t know much about the US sense of humour (some talk of irony bypasses), but I thought MASH attempted self-parody, though didn’t get there because it’s too poignant (that’s not to say it wasn’t comic in its own way). You really need to have lost an empire to understand self-deprecation. Never mind – it will come when China rules the world. At present, note how China takes offence at everything. Doubtless it will probably be decades before the Chinese understand self-deprecation.

I heard the programme. I found the remark arrogant and it didn't seem like it was intended as humour in the context. To be honest the entire programme was juvenile IMHO.

Get Mr Radin to ZAP Cox and Dawkins.

Re Zerdini's post: It sounds like Cox wants to package "science", in his case astronomy, as some type of replacement for more traditional ways people find meaning in life (religion, spirituality). This is really beating the humanist drum.

This plan could never work. Unfortunately, while science is endlessly interesting, in context to the human experience... the humanist model of the cosmos (entirely random, altogether pointless) has absolutely no relevance to the human condition.

Try to tell the average joe that their quest for self discovery should be directed toward the stars--literally--and I think even a staunch skeptic would rather attend a church sermon.

If you look at human life in relation to the stars, the argument is that our progenitor is a meaningless system of random mathematical happenstances. Sorry, nobody finds that inspiring.

The best humanists could argue is that human life is a fluke, a miracle of self-awareness in the universe, which makes human life far more important versus any supernovas or cosmic events.

B Cox - Keeps well away from probability waves
spread out through time, Quantum theory - in his family science programmes.
So he keeps to his Billiard balls and pints of Lager (Particle Accelerator)

Reminds me of Professor Robert Parks who has said that their is not even an hint of an afterlife.

Brian Cox displayed his sceptical stance on a recent TV show called A Night with the Stars in which he chatted with celebrities about life and the universe.

|Here's a quote from Cox's introduction...

"The best theory we have to describe matter is quantum theory. Now, I understand why quantum theory can seem a bit odd, I mean it makes some odd statements; it says, for example, that things can be in many places at once. In fact, technically, it says that things can be in an infinite number of places at once. It says that the sub-atomic building blocks of our bodies are shifting in response to events that happened at the edge of the known universe, a billion light years somewhere over there.

Now this is all true but that isn't a licence to talk utter drivel, you see quantum theory might seem weird and mysterious but it describes the world with higher precision than the laws of physics laid down by Newton and it's one of the foundations of our modern understanding of nature. It doesn't therefore allow mystical healing or ESP or any other manifestation of new-age woo woo into the pantheon of the possible. Always remember quantum theory is physics and physics is usually done by people without star signs tattooed on their bottoms."

He finishes the lecture by saying...


There is nothing strange there is nothing weird there’s no woo woo; its just beautiful physics.

Ironically he began his lecture with a quote from chemist Sir Humphry Davy :
“Nothing is so fatal to the progress of the human mind as to suppose our views of science are ultimate; that there are no new mysteries in nature; that our triumphs are complete; and that there are no new worlds to conquer.”

There's a critique of Cox's prog from a fellow athiest and sceptic here - it even contains a video from Deepak Chopra! - which is worth a read:

http://fieldlines.org/2011/12/23/double-twit-experiment-what-brian-cox-gets-wrong/

Another recent controversy here in the UK involved Bruce Hood who ran the Royal Institute Christmas Lectures for children which was televised.

Details of this here :
https://www.facebook.com/groups/dorsethumanists

Thanks for the link, Michael. Coincidentally, at the same time you were drawing your subscribers' attention to my earlier Blog about Cox (posted on 9 July last year) I was working on a follow-up Blog about his dismissal of the paranormal – or woo-woo, as he likes to call it – in a TV lecture that was broadcast just before Christmas. Dave Haith has already provided some quotes from that program. My new Blog, posted on 24 January, can be found at

http://www.paranormalreview.com/articles/20120124

Thanks for the link, Roy!

I geuss its too early on the learning curve for what the proven PSI phenomenon actually are. Quantum theory just acts as an analogy

Maybe PSI cant be explained yet.
But Cox needs to look at the pro Psi data.

anybody got his e-mail ?!!

This is very informative blog for me actually I am writing my thesis about solar system and gather information from different blogs and sites and that is my pleasure to being here on your blog because the information is mention above it is very useful for me that enhance my knowledge too..

The comments to this entry are closed.