Greater than the sum of its parts 

It is rare for a new animal species to emerge in front of scientists’ eyes. But this seems to be happening in eastern North America

Source: Greater than the sum of its parts | The Economist


No, Bacon Is Not as Bad for You as Smoking

… the goal is reasonable life extension: not foolishly reducing your life span (or adding decades of misery from chronic illnesses caused by risky behaviors) but also not foolishly extending it by failing to enjoy the life you have. For more years of a shitty life is worth less than less years of an excellent one.

Source: No, Bacon Is Not as Bad for You as Smoking

Good piece by Richard Carrier, despite the fact he should have said fewer years.


Rationale and Thomas Aquinas III

I’ve continued my exploration of argument mapping with Rationale, the browser-based argument mapping tool, using Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways to prove the existence of God as my subject matter. I reached the point where I have base versions of the argument maps for each way.

In this post, I will be sharing the maps and commenting further on Rationale as a software tool.

Bacon Sarnie

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More Humanism on Dr Who

What’s the one thing that gods never actually do? Gods never show up.

Dr Who, The Girl Who Died, 17 Oct 2015

If Not Rationale, What?

I have written several posts about Rationale argument mapping software. In the last post, I complained about:

Bloody Instant Zooming
This is where the zooming behaviour of Rationale maps became a real PITA. Zooming is activated by a two-finger drag on either my magic Mouse or my trackpad. Normally, in Safari two-fingered dragging scrolls the web page up or down, and zooming is activated using a pinch gesture. It is very, very, very easy to inadvertently zoom in or out when you are trying to navigate a map. The problem is exacerbated because the map very quickly zooms to be either too small or too large.

In a fit of pique, I wondered whether I could apply the same process using different software. I immediately thought of iThoughts from Toketaware. This is a really excellent program available for both OSX and IOS. iThoughts is a mind mapping program. Argument mapping can be considered as a sub-topic within mind mapping, so the choice was pretty obvious.

(NOTE: that in the last day or so, Rationale’s zooming behaviour has been modified. A two-fingered drag now produces vertical scrolling; shift-drag scrolls the map horizontally. This gives a much better user experience.)

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Rationale and Thomas Aquinas Part the Second

In my last post on Rationale, I illustrated using the software to map the first of Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways—logical proofs of God—that God is the prime, or unmoved, mover. In this post, I’ll makes some further remarks on working with Rationale to refine and polish a largely complete map resulting in an updated version of the Prime Mover argument and an argument map of the second way: God the the first cause.

Mainly so I can have a picture at the start of the post, I’m displaying a colour version of this wonderful, famous cartoon of Sidney Harris, Then A Miracle Occurs. It doesn’t quite get the Thomistic argument right as the miracle should be at step 1.


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Rationale and Thomas Aquinas

This is the third post in my series on argument mapping with Rationale. The previous posts are Argument Mapping with Rationale and More on Argument Mapping with Rationale.

To further practice argument mapping, I decided to map Thomas Aquinas’ Five Ways. These purport to be logical proofs for the existence of God. Thomas Aquinas was a theologian in the 13th century CE. Apparently, Aquinas’ writings still influence the teaching of the Catholic Church today.

Aquinas argued that the existence of God could be proved in five ways:

  1. the unmoved mover
  2. the first cause
  3. the argument from contingency
  4. the argument from degree
  5. the argument from design

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