Friday, September 23, 2011

Science is lies, religion is truth!

That might sound like an odd statement for a rational person to say who has studied Physics to university level, but it is true.

Today we learn that a theory that proved Newton's laws of motion were wrong* is possibly in itself wrong because neutrinos may in fact have travelled faster than the speed of light, fired from CERN to Italy. (The BBC has this)

This is not actually either a surprise or unusual. Real scientists (Not Richard Dawkins) are always finding out that what they believed last week was not quite right and so knowledge progresses. There can be no truths in science, because if there were it would become a religion and so not gain further knowledge. That said parts of the science community do turn religious in their dogma holding things up for a while.

Religion on the other hand is truth. This is not because it can be proven in a scientific sense but because it tells us something beyond fact about ourselves, our relationships with others, the world and our responsibility over it. Religions vary, but most contain some parts which many people would call a truth.

On the other hand with science you must always be testing and breaking the current position or else it does not move forward.

*I am being a bit hard on Newton's laws of motion, they work quite well at the level of practical human experience. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

VAT increase to cost families £450! Did I hear that right?

I am just watching BBC's Newsnight. Ed Balls has just said that the VAT rise from 17.5% to 20% will cost the squeezed middle £450. Did he really say that as a sound bite?

The thing is, that if you work it out, to get taxed £450 more by the VAT increase you would have to spend £18,000 on VATable goods that are taxed at the full rate. That excludes most food, vegetable plants and seeds, books, children's clothes, rent, mortgage and of course newspapers.

So who spends £18,000 on luxury items a year who is in the squeezed middle?