Ceramic science jewelry for skeptics


Etsy seller Surly-Ramics makes science- and geek-themed ceramic jewelry. I bought a bunch of these as gifts yesterday at the Amazing Meeting in London, where Surly had a table. I'd have bought more, but I ran out of cash!

Surly-Ramics

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    1. The fact that everyone, regardless of faith, will feel perfectly happy to wear it makes it sure to be a hit.

  1. Funny Cory that you were at TAM the same week The Skeptics Guide to the Universe talked about how sad some of your non-skeptical posts on BoingBoing are.

    1. I guess that you are referring to this post.

      Actually, Cory only reported on it and didn’t editorialize.

      Also, as soon as by the third comment, the “method” used by Joan Bruso was put into question. That’s pretty much how BB works and a lot is lost by anyone who, at least, doesn’t skim the comments following a post, either for the witty remarks or the corrections in facts and reasoning or for further information.

  2. Wow! That first “Scientific Method” one is incredibly naïve. Even if you believe in science, as I do, that’s *not* how science is actually done–it’s how it’s taught in junior high school. It’s a little like the George-Washington-cherry-tree school of American history. How about applying some of that famous skepticism to one’s own beliefs?

  3. I’d buy one in a heartbeat if they weren’t so large.

    A two inch ceramic disc is too much for men’s jewelry. Work them to the size of a St. Christopher’s medal and I’ll pull the trigger hard.

    1. 2″ is “Too big for men’s jewelery”? Man, even on BoingBoing you can’t get away from the sweeping gender-proscriptive statements. *sigh*

  4. Perfect gift for your favorite evangelical atheist. Before you start screaming, definition of evangelism: “the practice of relaying information about a particular set of beliefs to others who do not hold those beliefs.” Atheists can be just as evangelical as Christians. Or more.

  5. These are cool but I always get depressed when people start ranting about science and religion being mutually exclusive. We have a religious movement and a skeptics movement, is there a movement for people who believe everything can be explained by science, but that doesn’t leave out the potential a ‘god’ (bhudda, universal force, personified pi, etc.) or an afterlife?….

    1. These are cool but I always get depressed when people start ranting about science and religion being mutually exclusive.

      Testify, brother. Can I get an amen over here? A-men!

      We have a religious movement and a skeptics movement, is there a movement for people who believe everything can be explained by science, but that doesn’t leave out the potential [for] a ‘god’

      You could always join the Unitarian Jihad.

      –Sister Divine Pointy Implement of Engaged Prudence

  6. In life (not just in this post), I experience a lot of people claiming to “believe” in science.

    I don’t know what that means, but it sounds like just another stupid religion. They’re referring to science as if it started with an uppercase letter, and all of its religion-defeating wisdom could be found in some sacred book somewhere.

    At least with Christianity or Islam, there’s sort of an established ideology that you can latch onto, then twist to justify your sociopathic tendencies. With Science, you first have to imagine the ideology, then project it onto the poor unassuming process, and THEN the latching and twisting. It’s a lot of extra work when there are off-the-shelf options available.

  7. Could MarkW please explain to me “how science is actually done”? I have published >50 biology papers and I follow the method outlined on that pink disc pretty much each time – although I wished my conclusions were less often “need to do more work”…

    1. My issue with the rote method on the disc is it’s inflexibility. Why must I form a hypothesis? Is it so evil to simply admit that I only have a question for which I seek an answer? Another issue is that the method is typically, (as seen on the disc,) presented as a chain, which must be followed from start to end. I suspect more often just a few of the steps are repeated [i]ad nauseum[/i] for the sake of scientific rigor before advancing to the next. Overall the method, as it is oft presented in textbooks, represents to me a method of rote procedures, rather than critical thinking.

    2. Pete, my “critique” of the Hypotheses -> Experiments -> Data -> Conclusions -> … chain is not particularly radical; in fact, it’s pretty much standard, given the work of people like Popper and Kuhn 50 years ago.

      One simple way that actual science differs from that simple chain idea, is this: Hypothesis -> Experiments -> Data that doesn’t support the hypythesis -> Look for new experiments to support the hypothesis -> … So hypotheses are often not driven by data at all, but by something else: general theoretical perspectives, aesthetic considerations, political issues, the scientist’s career, whatever.

      And data does not prove hypotheses (in fact, it can never do so). It can only provide partial support, which is then interpreted based on external considerations: “We’ve proven the hypothesis!” or “More work is needed…” (as you say).

  8. Thank you Anonyman for your response. I more-or-less agree with what you are saying. Research always starts with a question (I think). A hypothesis is just a formalized question that can be tested with certain statistical techniques. But, you are right; we don’t always need a hypothesis. In many modern studies (especially modelling-based ones) the questions are more open ended and analyses more exploratory. You are correct to note that steps are often repeated. I can see how the method can look like a string of rote procedures, but I think this notion rapidly disappears once a student gets stuck in (if they are ever lucky enough to do their own experiments). I can only speak from my own discipline (more field-orientated, less lab-based). Your points, however, are relatively minor tweaks to the fundamental scientific approach. MarkW seems to have a more radical perspective!

  9. I’m glad that some others see the irony in such trinkets like these and statements like “reality is my religion”. There are clearly those with a background and knowledge of science that choose to be atheist. However, there is the other growing culture of atheists that know as much about science as they do about religion, which is to say jack squat.

    As for myself, as others have stated, I’ve never seen the two as mutually exclusive. My views and knowledge of science and religion go hand in hand and bolster each other up. Just because I say I’m religious doesn’t mean I have to believe in unicorns and magic elves nor that I have to discount scientific method or string theory.

  10. #20 :( you can’t imagine how disappointed I was when I found out that the unitarian jihad was a joke.

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