HannibaltheVictor13 an archeology, anthropology, and history student created a great video on why people fail to understand both why history is important, but also why being a historian is much harder than many people think. Its primarily just audio but Its a great video lecture to watch, (or just listen to) and also it gives you some important things to think about.
Bad News the GOP is even more determined now to destroy education in America, particularly when it comes to science. Rep. Lamar Smith in particular is not willing to let the facts stand in the way of his extreme free market ideology. Mark Strauss has more,
Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX), the Chairman of the House Science Committee on Science, Space and Technology has repeatedly denounced the National Science Foundation for squandering taxpayer money on frivolous research. Now he’s gone a step further, demanding personal political scrutiny of peer-reviewed research grants.
Smith has used several hearings this year as an opportunity to publicly lambast the National Science Foundation (NSF)—including a combative March 26 hearing where he lectured White House Science Advisor John Holdren on the “lack of transparency and accountability at the agency” by singling out grants such as a study of the ecological consequences of early human-set fires in New Zealand. (That research promises to yield insights into anthropogenic climate change—not a popular topic for Smith and fellow GOP representatives on the committee.)
David Edwards exposes more anti science stupidity from “Fox News.”
A Fox News on Wednesday brought on someone who had a “really long business card” to explain why scientists were living in a fantasy world if they thought the world was experiencing any negative impacts from climate change.
The morning after President Barack Obama likened climate change to global terrorism in a speech to the United Nations, host Steve Doocy announced that Fox News was having a “fair and balanced” debate between Bob Deans of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Myron Ebell of the libertarian Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI).
Although 97 percent of climate scientists acknowledge man-made global warming, Doocy promised that including Ebell would provide for a “good debate.”
Deans began by pointing out that the science was now settled: Burning fossil fuels is causing the planet to warm.
Esther Inglis-Arkell talks about the weirdest lost continent myth, I’ve ever heard. Its the only one I know of that ever included giant telepathic lemurs. No seriously!
In 1858 a young zoologist, playing around with an idea, came up with a possible lost continent. This led to one of the longest and weirdest pseudoscience theories of all time, as Lemuria became a lost island of lemurs that had everything from sanskrit to sasquatch.
This was thanks to Philip Lutley Sclater, who has plenty of less crazy credits to his name. He amassed a collection of thousands of bird specimens, which he gave to the British museum. He described the okapi to western zoologists. He founded The Ibis, a journal of ornithology. And he fathered a son, who grew to be another respected ornithologist. But in 1858, when Sclater was in his 20s and all the crazy young kids were coming up with tales of land bridges and lost continents, he undertook a study of the fauna of Madagascar. Sclater with struck by the fact that Madascar’s ecology was similar not only to Africa but to India as well. Sclater’s conclusion, drawn from the puzzling similarity, was that both continents had once been connected by a lost land called Lemuria.
Mark Strauss Brings to our attention a documentary film, that was such a threat to the anti vaccination fanatics that they tried to silence it.
Two years ago, students at Carlsbad High School began filming a documentary, The Invisible Threat—a report on the “science of disease and the risks facing a society that is under-vaccinated.” But it is only now that the public is able to see the film, which became the target of a national anti-vaxxer campaign.
The 40-minute documentary is an extracurricular project produced by the CHSTVfilms, the California high school’s award-winning journalism and film program, which has also produced documentaries on food insecurity in affluent areas of San Diego County and the experiences of American teenagers first learning about the Holocaust.
It turns out, Someone at the Examiner.com has posted a commentary endorsing biblical creationism, more specifically the “science” in the Bible. Its also not the first time he’s peddled creationist pseudoscience over there either. Dale Stuckwish has apparently been writing creationist garbage for the Examiner website for awhile. “The Bible’s factual and scientific accuracy proves that it is the Word of God” is just the latest example. In it, Stuckwish writes,
The Bible is true not only in statements about man, but also in its statements about everything. Though the Bible is not a scientific manual, it is scientifically accurate, even from its earliest pages, which were written nearly 4,000 years ago.
Um, no its not very accurate. As Rational Wiki has pointed out there isn’t much science in the Bible. One of the really ridiculous examples of “science” in the Bible Rational Wiki mentions Is how Jacob supposedly bred his goats.
Ironically, the Bible contains what some hold is a description of artificial selection (also known as selective breeding). Specifically, in the book Genesis, Jacob affects the mating habits of goats that he is tending, as part of a scheme to take ownership of his father-in-law Laban’s herd. The result is that as the goats multiply, a larger and larger percentage of the offspring become dark colored, spotted, and speckled, and as a consequence, the property of Jacob. Genesis was written a little before Darwin was born. Of course, the Genesis account does not explain the biological mechanisms of this process, or how it occurs naturally.
On the other hand, the bible states that Jacob watered his flocks in front of dark colored sticks, and “And since they bred when they came to drink, the flocks bred in front of the sticks and so the flocks brought forth striped, speckled, and spotted…” Genesis 30:37-39. Which would suggest that Jacob did not use artificial selection, but rather magical thinking, making the Bible 0 for 0 on the Scientific Foreknowledge.
Oh, but of course, that’s not the end of what the Bible got wrong when it came to science. The Skeptics Annotated Bible lists more than a dozen scientific errors in the Bible.
Maybe we should look at some of Stuckwish’s specific claims. Lets see just how good or bad they really are.
Creation is made of particles, invisible to our eyes (Hebrews 11:3). Atoms, and other invisible particles are part of everything made by God (John 1:3),(Colossians 1:16-17). The First three verses of Genesis accurately express the all known aspects of the Creation (Genesis 1:1-3).
I fail to see how Hebrews 11:3 in anyway even implies that there are the elementary particles that modern science discovered long after the Bible was written. Here just one translation from King James Bible online, other translations of that verse are listed on the same page.
Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
- King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition
Okay, that was incredibly vague, and the other translation on that page don’t say anything about particles either.
Now for John 1:3, again, from the King James Bible Online,
All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
- King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition
Not any better, no mention of atoms or invisible particles in that translation of that verse either. Same goes for the other translations from different versions of the Bible on that page.
How about Colossians 1:16-17? No and No! Genesis 1:1, Genesis 1:2, and Genesis 1:3, also do not describe how the science tells us the Earth or the Universe formed. In fact, even worse than the previous verses he quotes, those contradict scientific evidence. For one thing, the second verse makes it sound like the oceans were here before the earth was formed.
And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
- King James Bible “Authorized Version”, Cambridge Edition
At least that seems like the most logical interpretation to me. How is that even possible? Also in the third verse, where did the light come from? In The Bible, God doesn’t even create anything that remotely sounds like stars until Genesis 1:14. We also know for a fact that most stars in the Milky Way, along with the entire Universe, existed long before the Earth. The Sun couldn’t come into existence after the Earth was formed, unless the Earth formed around another star, and the sun captured it. There’s no evidence for that, is there? Even if there were, it wouldn’t be an origin for the Earth similar to the one found in Genesis.
The Bible Does not accurately describe how stars and planets form. The Bible says nothing about the real origins of our planet, not mention abiogenesis or evolution, both of which people like Stuckwish reject. So much for him being “pro science.”
I could literally go on and on. Stuckwish lists Bible verse after Bible verse that he claims reveal that the Bible understood how the universe works long before twenty first century science. Yet I think we can be confident that none of them says what he insists they say. His thinking really isn’t that much better than RoseAnn Salanitri, who I debunked awhile back. ( She’s the one who thought that if evolution was true, Eskimos should grow fur. )
Stuckwish concludes his apologetics with this statement.
The Bible is not a book of science, but wherever the Bible touches on science, it is accurate. This proves its divine origin, because all other ancient books are filled with scientific errors. Even science books just 100 years old are filled with errors
Well he got one thing right. The Bible is not a book of science. In fact anyone who got their science education from Bible, wouldn’t know much about science at all.
In 2012 the earth missed getting hit by a solar storm that NASA scientists say would have knocked modern civilization back to the 18th Century. If the solar flare/storm had happened one week earlier we would have been hit directly.
Back in 2012, the Sun erupted with a powerful solar storm that just missed the Earth but was big enough to “knock modern civilization back to the 18th century,” NASA said.
The extreme space weather that tore through Earth’s orbit on July 23, 2012, was the most powerful in 150 years, according to a statement posted on the US space agency website Wednesday.
However, few Earthlings had any idea what was going on.
“If the eruption had occurred only one week earlier, Earth would have been in the line of fire,” said Daniel Baker, professor of atmospheric and space physics at the University of Colorado.
I know its a couple days off, but I really thought that people who were into science, history and space exploration would enjoy reading this piece by Lee Hutchinson.
On July 20, 1969, at about four minutes before 10:00pm Central Daylight Time, former naval aviator and test pilot Neil Armstrong became the first human being to stand on the surface of the Moon. About 20 minutes later, he was followed by Buzz Aldrin, an Air Force colonel with a PhD in astronautics from MIT (Aldrin had, quite literally, written the book on orbital rendezvous techniques). Armstrong and Aldrin’s landing was the culmination of almost a decade of scientific and engineering work by hundreds of thousands of people across the United States. Even though the lunar program’s goals were ultimately political, the Apollo project ranks as one of the greatest engineering achievements in human history.
The six successful Apollo landings between 1969 and 1972 still inspire awe today, almost half a century later. A big part of that awe comes from the fact that those voyages from the Earth to the Moon were accomplished with only the most basic of computing assistance. There were no supercomputers as we’d understand them today; although the computers that eventually powered the Apollo spacecraft were almost unbelievably advanced at the time, they are alarmingly primitive when viewed through the lens of 21st century computing.
Wingnuts are deliberately making their vehicles pollute more, to protest the government restricting their ability to pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere! People are turning their cars and trucks into machines that spout black soot, and they’re calling it “Rolling Coal.”
My hope is that we can ban this state by state. It’s terrible, not only for its effect on climate change, but for people’s health in general.
According to Slate this thing as been around for awhile.
“Rolling coal” is not new. It grew out of the modifications people would do on their vehicles for truck pulls. It’s just only recently entered the online culture wars. I’d seen the memes and a couple of the trucks. But I hadn’t seen the left reply until this month, when Vocativ ran an expose of “pollution porn for dudes with pickup trucks.” Progressives reacted with disbelief to Facebook communities like “Rollin’ COAL” and (naturally) “Prius Repellent,” and to the sheer number of Instagram and Tumblr entries that recorded this stuff. They reacted with a mid-June surge of comments, sprinkled throughout these pages, all about the breeding patterns and penis sizes of the coal-rollers.
This is as dumb as it sounds. Maybe this shouldn’t be a surprise though. Save for some cranks like William Happer, ( Who isn’t even in a relevant field of study ) the overwhelming majority of scientists realize that global warming is real.
Yet there are people out there that “roll coal” and turn their car or truck into a black smoke spewing, polluting machine to protest “the Man.” They refuse to accept the harmful effects of what they’re doing.
NASA engineers recently created a satellite to monitor the amount of carbon dioxide we’re pumping into the atmosphere, as USA Today points out,
From its perch 438 miles above Earth’s surface, the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2 will be NASA’s first satellite with the sole purpose of measuring atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas linked to global warming.
During its two-year mission, the satellite will provide more-accurate readings of CO2 levels on global and regional scales, allowing scientists to better understand how natural processes and human activity affect concentrations of the greenhouse gas.
Unfortunately this, along with the news of the melting polar ice caps may not have any effect on climate change deniers, especially those that are “rolling coal”
Steven Colbert had the perfect response to this new wingnut trend.
Yet this is just a symptom of a much larger problem. Maybe if we had better science education, fewer people would do stuff like this. Instead of “rolling coal,” to protest restrictions that are actually perfectly justified to fight climate change, maybe some of these people would actually be trying to help solve the problem. If they knew better maybe they’d realize why this is bad for our future, not to mention everyone’s health including their own. I wouldn’t bring my lungs anywhere near one of these black smokers. That would be common sense, even if I didn’t know carbon dioxide causes global warming.
Update: 7/19/14 at 11:16 am
Randall Gross just posted some more information about the negative health effects in a recent comment
Forget about climate for a minute, all benzene ring compounds ( like those spewed by these exhausts) cause cancer and several other serious health problems:
CDC on Benzene:
Long-term health effects of exposure to benzene
The major effect of benzene from long-term exposure is on the blood. (Long-term exposure means exposure of a year or more.) Benzene causes harmful effects on the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and can affect the immune system, increasing the chance for infection.
Some women who breathed high levels of benzene for many months had irregular menstrual periods and a decrease in the size of their ovaries. It is not known whether benzene exposure affects the developing fetus in pregnant women or fertility in men.
Animal studies have shown low birth weights, delayed bone formation, and bone marrow damage when pregnant animals breathed benzene.
The Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has determined that benzene causes cancer in humans. Long-term exposure to high levels of benzene in the air can cause leukemia, cancer of the blood-forming organs.
How you can protect yourself, and what to do if you are exposed to benzene
First, if the benzene was released into the air, get fresh air by leaving the area where the benzene was released. Moving to an area with fresh air is a good way to reduce the possibility of death from exposure to benzene in the air.
If the benzene release was outside, move away from the area where the benzene was released.
Don’t forget to read the rest of what he has to say so you can see just how serious being exposed to the chemicals from one of these modified vehicles could be.
He also provided a link to CDC on the health effects of exposure to diesel exhaust that backs up everything he wrote.