2016-08-15 @ 10:47 CDT
Until very recently, I’ve been drinking coffee and cocoa to help stimulate my brain and body. I decided to quit both and test the effects of something I tried for a while – Korean ginseng – more thoroughly. (The above image comes from here and was found on Google Images.)
The good thing about ginseng – for me – is that it has all of coffee’s ability to stimulate the blood flow without the “high and crash” that comes with caffeine. It’s also good for me to be free of the addictive qualities of coffee.
But while looking for images of ginseng, I found a very thorough article on ginseng by a medical doctor: “Benefits and Dangers of Ginseng“. I thought the link worth preserving and noting here.
Early in his article, Dr. Kumar writes:
The term Ginseng is used to represent over eleven species of various plants. The true benefits of Ginseng may not be widespread among all these species but is specific to a few. It is difficult from commercial labelling to get a sense of which ones represent the true Ginseng potential.
As with many similar herbal remedies, Ginseng falls under the herbal supplement category and its sale is not subject to the same level of research, scrutiny and regulation as pharmaceutical drugs. This allows traders to mix fact with fiction and it gets difficult to seek sensible advice.
It is always useful to have balanced view of the benefits, dangers and potential interactions of these remedies before one decides to take it.
Korean Ginseng Tea (c/o Amazon.com)
The species represented here (cf. Amazon.com) presumably is Panax ginseng. Korea began cultivating ginseng when worldwide demand outstripped the wild supply.
Categories: Culture, Daily Life, Google, Health, Internet, Science
Tags: Culture, Daily Life, Google, Health, Internet, Science
Metaphysical Research Programs
2016-06-30 @ 10:45 CDT
This Commentary under my byline (real name, not pen name) may be found on the Tomorrow’s World Web site, and is a publication of the Living Church of God. – (יוחנן רכב)
Is the idea that the universe and everything in it—including life—came to be and then evolved by solely natural causes “just a theory”? Or is it something else entirely?
Sir Karl Popper (1902–1994) is regarded as one of the 20th century’s greatest philosophers of science. Few if any knew the implications of evolution better than he. His answer to the above questions is telling. He called evolution, taken in the broadest possible sense, a “metaphysical research program” (Werner Gitt, In the Beginning Was Information, chapter 6.4, paragraph 11). What did Popper mean?
If evolution, taken in that broad sense, were simply a physical research program, then it would limit itself to studying the physical origins and history of the universe and of life within it. Then evolution really would be “just a theory”—a scientific explanation of physical reality that could be tested and, should the physical facts demand it, disproved. But Popper called evolution a metaphysical research program—an attempt to address questions which actually are beyond the scope of natural science. Among those questions are: What is the origin of the universe? What is its first cause? What is the ultimate reason for the existence of the universe? Is its existence even necessary? If those questions sound familiar, they should. They are the same questions religious people ask, all around the world. These same questions are asked by scientists who believe in special creation and intelligent design, rather than in evolution.
Simulation of Two Black Holes Merging (c/o NPR)
2016-02-21 @ 12:15 CST
Undoubtedly there are many great articles out there regarding the recent discovery of “gravity waves”, but this page on the National Public Radio (NPR) site (another article is found on this page) has the virtue of being simple to understand, yet thorough enough to be helpful. It also features the graphic shown above and a very helpful video. This is an important confirmation of Albert Einstein’s theory of general relativity (an NPR commentary on this confirmation is here).
But a comment in that last article (by Linda Wertheimer) seems to me to be an overstatement at best. “Albert Einstein… developed his theory of general relativity in the early 20th century, and in 1915, he announced his theory that space and time are woven together and that events in the universe can cause space and time to move, to bob and jiggle, to stretch and ripple. Einstein’s ideas overturned previous ideas of an orderly universe where planets and solar systems revolved in a calm and eternal magnificence.”
It is the alleged overturn of the idea of “orderliness” which I’d like to challenge. We know more about just how orderly the Universe is than when Einstein was alive – let alone his predecessors in cosmology, Newton, Kepler, Copernicus, and Ptolemy, going back in time. Without the order inherent in natural law on the one hand and the human mind on the other, Einstein could not have made his theories and their predictions to begin with.
Even chaos is governed by natural law. One example of this is the random walk in mathematics. What Einstein and others have done – for this is how science progresses – is overturned a number of oversimplified ideas about how the Universe is ordered. The possibilities which exist within that order are mind-boggling – and that, to me, is the point. They bear witness, as even Einstein the deist confessed in his own way, to a Supreme Intelligence whose thoughts and workings should leave us all in utter awe.
(Proverbs 25:2 RSV) It is the glory of God to conceal things, but the glory of kings is to search things out. – (יוחנן רכב)