Category Archives: Science

Evolution, Biology and Atheism.

What is a 5M NaCl solution in wt% mass fraction?

What is the equivalent mass fraction of a 5M saline solution?

A 5M molarity NaCl solution is equivalent to a salt-water solution prepared at mass fraction of 24.53 wt%. Continue reading

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What happens when you let saturated salt water dry up completely?

When you leave a saturated NaCl salt solution in a glass cylinder, what happens when water dries up? Likely you thought cubic salt crystals would form at the bottom of the glass, and then grow bigger as water evaporates. You have this mental picture perhaps from reading a textbook, or maybe watching an animated video. Eventually only salt crystals are left in the cup. Well, that’s not wrong. But that is also not the full story. Continue reading

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Music Inspired by Richard Dawkins

Richard Dawkins is a great man. From the first book of his I picked up, River Out of Eden, to the last one I read, The Greatest Shown on Earth, I’ve never ceased to be amazed by how his passion of biology and his talent at articulating the grandeur of nature ooze out of every single page.

Dawkins is the person who helped me find my atheistic voices in the vocabulary of evolutionary biology. And for that I’ve dedicated many work of art to the great man. For instance, The Lost Cause was wholly inspired by the dozen of books on evolution penned by the man that I’ve read. Similarly, I have written Wikipedia articles on some of his books, such as River Out of Eden and The Ancestor’s Tale, to help guide those who are still searching for their voices.

Here, however, I collect music I have written that are inspired by Dawkins’ work.
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Human Evolution by Germline Engineering is a Result of Natural Selection on Memes

(2015-10-13) I wrote this essay in 2014 as part of the Coursera course on “Human Evolution: Past and Future” by Professor John Hawks. Presumably a number of essays would be selected and published in a book. But that final selection … Continue reading

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Debunking: The Caveman Mystique by Martha McCaughey

Debunking: The Caveman Mystique by Martha McCaughey
September 30th, 2010
by Fred Hsu

This is a diary I kept as I read yet another book an acquaintance who taught social science once recommended. The first book was dealt with in Debunking: Sex at Dawn by Rayn and Jetha. As with the first book, I rather enjoy summarizing and debunking this second book, The Caveman Mystique by Martha McCaughey.

It’s just a habit. Attempting to summarize a book allows me to organize ideas I read. If I can accurately and succinctly convey the essence of the material (emphasis on accuracy more than on brevity), I think I can be said to actually understand the material, whether I subscribe to author’s views. Continue reading

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Debunking: Sex at Dawn by Ryan and Jetha

Debunking: Sex at Dawn, by Rayn and Jetha
August 26, 2010

This is a diary I kept as I read a book an acquaintance who taught social science once recommend. The book presumably argued successfully against current evolutionary psychology theories and practices. I had my doubts. But as a rule I don’t criticize something I haven’t investigated. So I bought the book and read it. Following are my personal notes I jotted down after reading a chapter or two. Continue reading

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Review of 50 Voices of Disbelief – Why We Are Atheists

50 Voices of Disbelief – Why We Are Atheists
Edited by Russell Blackford and Udo Schüklenk
Book Review by Fred Hsu

Sometimes mistakes have a way of helping me expand my perspective.

A long time ago, I listened to a short essay by a presumably great magician on NPR’s “This I Believe” program. Unlike other essays read on this program, this one was a belief on the non-existence of something. It was titled “This I believe: I believe there is no God.” The essay brought me to tears, as it beautifully expressed my beliefs in exactly the way I could not.

A month ago I ran across a delightful blog entry titled “Imagine No Religion.” I said to myself, “what a well-written little essay for a blog!” It nicely captured essential arguments against organized religions. Then it stripped away from religious leaders their self-bestowed authority to prescribe moral truths.

No sooner had I looked at the footer of this page than I discovered that it was one of 50 essays from the book “50 Voices of Disbelief,” reposted with permission from the author of the essay, Edgar Dahl, and the publishers. I followed the link on the page to Amazon. Normally I would have stopped there, thinking that I could always get this book later when I had free time. But I spotted the name James (The Amazing) Randi on the list of essayists. I put two and two together, and bought this book, for surely it included Randi’s great essay I’d heard on NPR.
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Pastor Billy Graham’s Nightmare

(Translated by stillwaters in 2006 from 葛理翰牧師的夢魘)

Billy Graham is a retired pastor. He served God all his life and is considered amongst the most faithful of God’s servants. There are even people who say he is the most successful preacher in American history, and that when he dies and goes to heaven, he will surely share a table with Martin Luther of the Reformation, partaking in the glory of God and His son Jesus. But all this to a Parkinson’s patient who is in his last days seems to bear no more importance now. Billy nowadays often sits in a rocking chair in his backyard, idly staring at the withering lilies. He only wants to live a few more months, to enjoy the glory of Cuban cigars some more.

This day, Billy is sitting as usual and finds himself zoning out. But then the thunder roars, and he sees the skies open, and there is the spirit of God, descending like a dove, but after but an instant, it spirals down as an eagle. No, more like a giant ball, falling from the sky. At the same time, Billy hears a voice from the sky, saying, “Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased…” And another cloud appears before him, sweeping him into the giant ball. Continue reading

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Introduction to Evolution

March 2009 Movies as the Only Source of Education for the Public: 1.      In Ninja Turtles, four turtles and a rat were exposed to liquid mutagen, turning them human size with ability to speak. Impossible. 2.      Hulk: physicist was exposed … Continue reading

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The Lost Cause

The Lost Cause A Parable of the Stuff of Life During the minute it takes me to compose this sentence, thousands of animals are being eaten alive; others are running for their lives, whimpering with fear; others are being slowly … Continue reading

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