Progressive Homeschool
Welcome! We practice science-intensive evidence-based education.

A definitive course on Evolution - a Living Science.

Friday, September 30, 2005
I have found this resource for us adults to share, after consuming ourselves, with our children on the Science of Evolution.

This page links to a book published by the NAS - National Academy of Science Press called (NAS Colloquium) The Future of Evolution, as published in PNAS (The Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences). These are PDFs so be sure to have your Adobe Acrobat reader up to snuff.

Link for this book - The Future of Evolution

If you are either a fellow scientist who would like to be more effective at helping the non-scientifically trained person and school board understand Evolution or if you ARE the non-scientifically trained person or school board member who would like to learn more (with steps towards advocacy) this site is useful in your quest. Notice that you can download that doc in a PDF format.

4:39 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink

Scientific Method

For you the visitor: Faith and the Scientific Method are two wholly different animals.

As a Scientist, I can tell you that faith has no place in the workings of Science but that is NOT due to a rejection of anyone else's faith (never let anyone convince you that it is, it isnt, period) it is simply that faith is, by definition, untestable.

Science is about testing, describing, measuring, predicting, validating, confirming, extrapolating, faith is not.

Science can be seen as a road that can branch infinitely, with as many fascinating questions as the imagination can allow.

Faith is a single-point solution that has evolved to salve the suffering of the soul.

Please know the following: That the two are in conflict is a false problem served up to the masses so as to distract, energize the base, and focus political energies towards the crass ignoble goal of fortifying the ambitions of the religious hierarchy (nothing to do with God, how could it?)

Know that ye of faith are welcomed here with open minds because we are all in this together. We each have something to contribute in the evolution of our species.

How sad it would be if men allowed themselves to become mean irrelevant political pawns without chosing that path. If you chose it, own it, be it, but dont go there without understanding it.

Ok, with that I dispatch that sphere and wish to define Scientific Method and perhaps we can discuss it here, with open minds.

I suggest reading Wiki - Scientific Method(s).

I am going to pull quotes from that site and post here.

"The essential elements of a scientific method are iterations and recursions of the following four steps:

1. Characterization (Quantification, observation and measurement)
2. Hypothesis (a theoretical, hypothetical explanation of the observations and measurements)
3. Prediction (logical deduction from the hypothesis)
4. Experiment (test of all of the above)"

An example:

"Einstein's theory of General Relativity makes several specific predictions about the observable structure of space-time, such as a prediction that light bends in a gravitational field and that the amount of bending depends in a precise way on the strength of that gravitational field. Arthur Eddington's observations made during a 1919 solar eclipse supported General Relativity rather than Newtonian gravitation." See graphic below.

(click image to view larger version)

On the Science of the Method of Science, there is much MUCH scholarly thought and argument. I will put out these three diagrams for consideration and perhaps further discuss later.

(click image to view larger version)

"The first shows a model of the sort associated with the work of Karl Popper, whereby each theory subsumes the information of previous theories completely. The second is one following from the work of Thomas Kuhn, where paradigms shift from one to another, rejecting some parts of the previous and subsuming some older parts to their new way of thinking. The third is an attempt (perhaps poor) to outline the chaos described by Paul Feyerabend, based in part on a graphic he included in his book Against Method, showing theories only partially related to previous theories if at all (the overlapping areas of the earlier theories are only the parts which could be "warped" and "distorted" to fit into the new theory) and are unbounded and incoherently defined. Somewhere in between these three models one can fit most other models of scientific theory change; they do a good job rhetorically at illustrating the various extremes."

3:46 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink

Q starts second instrument today!

Q already does piano (several years now). Today she started saxaphone at our local elementary school (she gets to see her old friends too).

Here she is with the sax, playing away!


2:56 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink

Bus Hours Saved - update - 34.5 extra homeschool hours


1) 45 minutes one way (in good weather, good traffic)
which = 1.5 hours/day

2) we have opted out of 23 days of bus rides

We get: 23 days of no bus rides equals 34.5 hours not on the bus.

34.5 hours spent at home, learning, not stuck on the bus, rumbling through traffic, staring out the window, doing nothing.

2:49 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink

Papercraft Lunar Lander

Thursday, September 29, 2005
We did this art project to break up some math we have been drilling at. You can find no end to paper craft projects at this site.

Some of them are not trivial in difficulty!

Below are pics of the model that Q and I put together.





6:30 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink

Dungeons & Dragons

We are beginning to craft some D&D characters and set otu to play a few campaigns. This is excellent math, geometry, geology, currency, artistic, and sociological learning. It also dove tails with Q's interest in dragons (thanks to Eragon and Eldest).

Q has sculpted and cooked her first character, shown below. Will update with new characters and other developments as they come. If you are a D&D'r and would like to share, drop us a note!


6:26 PM :: 0 comments

nika :: permalink