Pope Francis is more pro-science and anti-superstition than most Republicans: Pope Francis Takes a Stand for Evolution, Against ‘Magic Wands’.
Social conservatives in the United States who’ve been unhappy with Pope Francis’ moderation today have one more reason to be upset.
Daniel Berger reported this afternoon:
Pope Francis broke with Catholic tradition Monday by declaring that the theories of evolution and the Big Bang are real, and remarking that God is not “a magician with a magic wand.”
“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,” the pope said at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, during a plenary meeting dedicated to evolving concepts of nature.
The pope’s remarks came earlier today in a speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences.
“The Big Bang, that today is considered to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the creative intervention of God; on the contrary, it requires it,” the Roman Catholic pontiff said. “Evolution in nature is not in contrast with the notion of [divine] creation because evolution requires the creation of the beings that evolve.”
Well, that didn’t take long. Recently, Nate Silver’s new media venture FiveThirtyEight hired one of the most notorious “climate skeptics,” Roger Pielke Jr., as their science writer. Today, Silver is apologizing for Pielke, after Pielke’s very first article was severely criticized by climate scientists and he responded by sending them emails threatening possible legal action: FiveThirtyEight Apologizes on Behalf of Controversial Climate Science Writer.
NEW YORK — Two prominent climate scientists say Roger Pielke Jr., a controversial writer at Nate Silver’s FiveThirtyEight site, sent emails threatening possible legal action in response to their criticism of his findings for the data-driven news site.
Pielke says it’s “ridiculous” to characterize the emails as threats against Michael Mann, director of the Earth System Science Center at Pennsylvania State University, and Dr. Kevin Trenberth, a distinguished senior climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. FiveThirtyEight, however, apologized to both men.
“Roger is a freelance contributor and his private communications do not represent FiveThirtyEight,” Silver said in a statement to HuffPost. “We had candid conversations with Michael Mann and Kevin Trenberth. We made clear that Roger’s conversations with them did not reflect FiveThirtyEight’s editorial values.”
Revelations of the private correspondence are particularly poorly timed for FiveThirtyEight, which has been dogged online throughout most of its 11-day existence by the climate change dispute. The controversy was given increased exposure Thursday night on “The Daily Show.”
Here’s a great video from The Atlantic, starring Dr. Demetrios Matsakis, Chief Scientist for the U.S. Naval Observatory’s Time Services labs, taking us on a tour of a place where they know time better than anyone.
Submitted without comment other than to notice how several of the candidates refer to evolution in schools as being part of a “politically correct” conspiracy.
Map: Publicly Funded Schools That Are Allowed to Teach Creationism.
Thousands of schools in states across the country can use taxpayer money to cast doubt on basic science.
Republicans on the Texas State Board of Education have been fighting a desperate last ditch battle to shoehorn their superstitious creationism and climate change denial into public school science textbooks, but in the good news of the day, the board voted this morning to adopt the textbooks without compromising the science.
TEXAS TEXTBOOK ADOPTION IS A MAJOR VICTORY FOR SCIENCE EDUCATION
No Compromise on Science Instruction about Evolution or Climate Change in Textbooks, TFN President Says
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2013
Despite last-minute efforts by some board members and political activists to derail the adoption of two textbooks, the State Board of Education today voted to adopt all of the proposed instructional materials up for adoption for high school biology and environmental science. Throughout the adoption process, publishers refused to make concessions that would have compromised science instruction on evolution and climate change in their textbooks, said Texas Freedom Network President Kathy Miller.
“It’s hard to overstate the importance of today’s vote, which is a huge win for science education and public school students in Texas,” Miller said. “Four years ago this board passed controversial curriculum standards some members hoped would force textbooks to water down instruction on evolution and climate change. But that strategy has failed because publishers refused to lie to students and parents demanded that their children get a 21st-century education based on established, mainstream science.”
The board voted to adopt all textbooks and instructional materials submitted by 14 publishers for high school biology and high school environmental science. None of those textbooks call into question the overwhelming evidence supporting evolution and climate change science.
The adoption of the Pearson biology textbook is contingent on the review by a panel of three science experts of factual “errors” alleged by an anti-evolution activist who served on the official state review team this summer. The publisher has insisted that the alleged errors are, in fact, accurate representations of established, mainstream science.
The board adopted the Houghton Mifflin Harcourt environmental science textbook after the publisher submitted a document agreeing to revise material that might be outdated. Scientists who have reviewed the publisher’s proposed revisions were satisfied that none of the revisions would compromise the integrity of the science in the textbook, Miller said.
There’s a reason why the Republican Party fought so bitterly to insert their junk science into these textbooks: book purchases made by the state of Texas are so large that they have a strong influence on which books are published and used by the rest of the nation. If the religious right had succeeded in Texas, the effects would have been felt far beyond the Lone Star State.
They lost. And science won, this time. But don’t kid yourself — the anti-science right will be back. They always come back.
A politically motivated, decades-long war on expertise has eroded the popular consensus on a wide variety of scientifically validated topics. Everything, from evolution to the origins of climate change, is mistakenly up for grabs again. Scientific certainty is just another thing for two people to “debate” on television. And because comments sections tend to be a grotesque reflection of the media culture surrounding them, the cynical work of undermining bedrock scientific doctrine is now being done beneath our own stories, within a website devoted to championing science.
At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone on the right started a drive to change the name of the publication to Unpopular Science.
SOURCES are listed in the next video, because of space constraints. Predictable posts are answered here. Please spend your time and effort in addressing the evidence presented in the video:
“This is a straw man argument. Of course skeptics [sic] accept that CO2 warms the atmosphere,
We just don’t think the warming will be catastrophic.”
Answer: “Skeptics” have all kinds of positions on climate science, depending on their personal beliefs and feelings. This video addresses those critics who claim there is no evidence for the link between CO2 and global temperature. Whether you want to call such changes “catastrophic” or benign, or terrible, or bad, or good is your feeling, and therefore outside the scope of the science.
“Correlation does not mean causation.”
Answer: It is still consistent with the theory. And where a mechanism has been shown that should produce a correlation, then the correlation is yet more confirmation that a theory is correct.
“Here’s a piece of evidence — there’s no hot spot”
Apart from the fact that this ‘no hot spot’ idea is another piece of Internet mythology, the idea of the ‘hot spot’ is based on a computer model. If you think computer models are all wrong, then the lack of a hot spot must be wrong.
And critics — please try to address the evidence shown in this video, rather than repeat myths that have been dealt with in my previous videos. If you’re not sure, check them out:
“Warming is due to galactic rays/cosmic rays/the sun”
See: 2. Climate Change — the objections
20 - Are cosmic rays causing global warming?
Monckton bunkum Part 5 — What, MORE errors, my lord?
1. Climate Change — the scientific debate
“There was a consensus about global cooling in the 1970s”
See: 3 - Climate Change — Anatomy of a myth
“There’s been no warming since 1998.”
See: 8. Climate Change — Has the Earth been cooling?
8a. Climate Change - Phil Jones and the ‘no warming for 15 years’
24 - Global warming has stopped? Again??
“The climate always changes”
See: 8. 5. Climate Change — isn’t it natural?
Climate Change — Has the Earth been cooling?
Monckton Bunkum Part 3 - Correlations and Himalayan glaciers
“31,000 scientists disagree”
See: 9. Climate Change - Meet the Scientists
“We’re headed for another ice age”
See: 10. Climate Change - An imminent ice age debunked
21 - “Earth facing mini-ice age!!” say the media. Now for the science….
“Global warming will cause more hurricanes”
See: 11. Climate Change — Hurricanes, atolls and coral
“A recent study found that warming will be just 1.64 degrees”
See: 12 - ‘Doubled CO2 means just 1.64 degrees of warming…’ or maybe not.
“Global warming is drowning islands “
See: 13 - Misleading media reports on sea level rise - a case study
11. Climate Change — Hurricanes, atolls and coral
“Global warming will bring an end to snow in the UK”
See: 14 - BP oil spills and an end to snow
“Greenland/arctic ice is not melting”
See: Monckton Bunkum Part 1 - Global cooling and melting ice
“There is very little amplification due to CO2 rise”
See: Monckton Bunkum Part 2 - Sensitivity
“There is no correlation between CO2 and temperature in the past”
See: 5. Climate Change — isn’t it natural?
Monckton Bunkum Part 3 - Correlations and Himalayan glaciers
“Himalayan glaciers are not melting.”
See: Monckton Bunkum Part 3 - Correlations and Himalayan glaciers
See: Monckton Bunkum Part 4 — Quotes and misquotes
“It’s been shown that climate scientists engaged in fraud”
See: 22 — Climategate mark 2 — the quotes and the context
6. Climate Change — Those hacked e-mails
7. Climate Change - “Those” e-mails and science censorship
“The Medieval Warm Period proves….”
See: 23 — Medieval Warm Period — fact vs. fiction
“CO2 always lags temperature rise”
See: 25 - Climate Change — The “800-year lag” unravelled
“I don’t believe it”
See: 26 — Science vs. the Feelies
“Evidence never convinces me, I believe whatever I hear in my head.”
See: A psychiatrist