Greg Prince's Blog

Musings and pontifications from a reality based progressive

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Speaking of new rules…

Posted by Greg on June 6, 2010

Another advocate that we stop pretending there are two sides to every issue.

Read Bill Maher’s commentary on it here.

That’s the problem with our obsession with always seeing two sides of every issue equally — especially when one side has a lot of money. It means we have to pretend there are always two truths, and the side that doesn’t know anything has something to say. On this side of the debate: Every scientist in the world. On the other: Mr. Potato Head.

There is no debate here — just scientists vs. non-scientists, and since the topic is science, the non-scientists don’t get a vote. We shouldn’t decide everything by polling the masses. Just because most people believe something doesn’t make it true. This is the fallacy called argumentum ad numeram: the idea that something is true because great numbers believe it. As in: Eat shit, 20 trillion flies can’t be wrong.

Posted in Environment, Media, Science | Leave a Comment »

Whatever Happened to the Ozone Hole?

Posted by Greg on May 5, 2010

Whatever Happened to the Ozone Hole?.

Fascinating study showing that human efforts can and do make a difference.

Posted in Environment, Science | Leave a Comment »

Amazing photo

Posted by Greg on April 27, 2010

A photo of earth taken from Mars.

Earth as seen from Mars

Amazing stuff.  Read the write up at the site.

Posted in My Musings, Science | Leave a Comment »

“Debunking” reality

Posted by Greg on December 7, 2009

A great, comprehensive essay on how junk science is used by business and other entrenched interests to debunk real science.

Read it.

Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

Consequences

Posted by Greg on February 19, 2009

Sometimes there are consequences to anti science policies.  That is, consequences beyond poorly educated kids. Case in point:

A national biological society has diverted its annual meeting to Salt Lake
City, snubbing New Orleans because of Louisiana's recent embrace of a law
widely panned as anti-science. 

The Louisiana Science Education Act -- similar to a measure Utah lawmakers
rejected three years ago -- allows local school boards to introduce
creationist materials into the classroom under the guise of promoting
"critical thinking" toward the theory of evolution, critics say. 

"This law undermines the integrity of science and science education in
Louisiana," wrote Richard Satterlie, president of the Society for
Integrative and Comparative Biology, in Feb. 5 letter to Gov. Bobby Jindal,
who signed the controversial bill into law last June. 

"Utah, in contrast, passed a resolution that states that evolution is
central to any science curriculum," the letter continued. "As scientists it
is our responsibility to oppose anti-science initiatives."

Posted in Economics, Education, Science, Utah | Leave a Comment »

Dumb and dumberer

Posted by Greg on May 2, 2008

Via C&L:

I vaguely recall the point, not too long ago, when Stein was considered something of a mainstream figure at the intersection of politics and entertainment. He’d show up on Fox News, and then make a cameo on “Married with Children.” He seemed quirky, conservative, and harmless.

And now he’s going on the Trinity Broadcasting Network, telling a crazed televangelist that science kills, and that modern biology led to the Nazi Holocaust. It’s breathtaking.

Posted in Science, The Right | Leave a Comment »

Remedial science education for presidential candidates

Posted by Greg on April 22, 2008

Dumb, dumber, and dumberer.  Are they so desperate to offend nobody they pretend to not know what they don’t talking about?  Or is it worse – do they really NOT have a friggin’ clue?

I’ve been avoiding this because it pisses me off, so I’ll refer you to The Carpetbagger.

Posted in Education, Election 2008, Science | Leave a Comment »

A stinking pile of creationism

Posted by Greg on November 29, 2007

Whatever’s John Scalzi visits the Creationism Museum.

Imagine, if you will, a load of horseshit. And we’re not talking just your average load of horseshit; no, we’re talking colossal load of horsehit. An epic load of horseshit. The kind of load of horseshit that has accreted over decades and has developed its own sort of ecosystem, from the flyblown chunks at the perimeter, down into the heated and decomposing center, generating explosive levels of methane as bacteria feast merrily on vintage, liquified crap. This is a Herculean load of horseshit, friends, the likes of which has not been seen since the days of Augeas.

And you look at it and you say, “Wow, what a load of horseshit.”

Read the whole thing.

Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

The continuing battle for the north

Posted by Greg on November 3, 2007

Interesting:

“This little island could have a wide international significance,” said Stefan Talmon, professor of international law at Oxford University in Britain. “With the ice melting, more and more of these islands could emerge and play a role in maritime delimitations.”

Posted in International, Science | Leave a Comment »

Dumb and dumberer

Posted by Greg on September 19, 2007

Holy cow. You know, when people tell me they don’t believe in the “theory” of evolution – and we’ll dispense with the discussion that the twits don’t understand the difference between theory and hypothesis – I ask them how they feel about the theory of gravity. But this makes me want to cry for education in America:

I mean for heavens sakes people!  Seriously, are these typical of the people with whom the US is preparing to compete in the world economy and marketplace of ideas?  OMFH!

Hat tip, C&L.

Posted in Culture War, Science | Leave a Comment »

A thousand words

Posted by Greg on July 7, 2007

A priceless picture.

Posted in Humor, Religious Wrong, Science | Leave a Comment »

Temperature variations

Posted by Greg on July 5, 2007

Interesting stuff at National Geographic:

Earth’s polar temperature has swung wildly—by as much as 15 degrees Celsius (59 degrees Fahrenheit)—over the last 800,000 years, an Antarctic ice core has revealed.

Posted in Environment, Science | Leave a Comment »

Live long and propser

Posted by Greg on May 11, 2007

This is so cool.

An anonymous reader wrote with a link to the official Planet Quest site. Planet Quest has the goal of exploring the galaxy via sophisticated instrumentation for another habitable planet. NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab is working to plan out missions for the project, and researchers are now theorizing that the instruments may be able to explore the system of 40 Eridani. Hardcore Trek fans may know 40 Eridani as the star associated with the planet Vulcan.

Oh yeah!

Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

As scary as it gets

Posted by Greg on March 13, 2007

Interesting research into memory, which allows scientists to selectively erase memories from the conscious mind – so far in rats.

Imagine the human applications.  Then try to sleep at night.

Hat tip:  Balloon Juice

Posted in Science | Leave a Comment »

Hijack proof planes?

Posted by Greg on March 8, 2007

They’re coming.  Majorly cool.

Posted in Science, Terrorism | 1 Comment »