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This is cool

Posted by Jeff (ILoveCapitalism) at 4:20 pm - November 12, 2014.
Filed under: Amazing Stories,Science,Technology

The European Space Agency confirms that it has landed its probe, Philae, on comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko.

As the CNBC writer says, “It’s the first time a man-made object had ever touched down on a comet. The lander will extract and analyze samples from the comet, and scientists hope the data could contain hints about the history of the universe.”

Some nice images of the comet in the video below, from about 7:30 to 9:50:

Interstellar versus Obamaphones

Posted by V the K at 7:10 am - November 10, 2014.
Filed under: Science

Among my Facebook friends, there was a lot of chatter about the new movie ‘Interstellar.’ Most of my FB friends are nerds, all right. Mostly they liked the movie, although they complained it was kind of long. A recurring sentiment was to the effect of “I hope this movie sparks a new interest in space exploration.”

No, it won’t. The political class made the choice a long time ago. The constituency that grows is the constituency that is fed; and the political class chose to feed the FSA [i.e. the people who want welfare, Obamaphones, and other Free Stuff]. NASA’s budget is a third what it was in the 1960′s, in the same period, the budget for welfare programs has skyrocketed to over a trillion dollars per year.

The Democrat Party has embraced a Skinner Box theory of governance; voters have been trained to pull the level for Democrats and get a reward. Since President LBJ initiated the “War on Poverty’ in 1964, the Government has spent $22 Trillion on welfare with no reduction in the poverty rate. We could have built self-sustaining colonies on Mars for that amount of money; but instead, the political class decided it was more important to give this woman an Obamaphone. And instead of aiming for Mars, NASA’s mission is to enhance the self-esteem of Mohammedans.

The Democrat Party, while labeling itself the ‘Party of Science,’ is fundamentally anti-science. ‘Science’ to them is just an empty rhetorical device. Global Warming necessitates vastly expanded Government and commensurately limited freedom because “Science says the Earth has a fever.” And it’s science that dictates that a foetus isn’t a human life until it passes through the birth canal.

The constituency for Free [Stuff] from the Government is enormous and can never be sated. The Constituency for space exploration is quite small, the constituency that really understands science is even smaller. One movie, no matter how well made or compelling, will not change that equation.

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Scientist Sacked for Linking Gay Sex to HIV Transmission

Posted by V the K at 7:19 am - May 27, 2014.
Filed under: Science

In the Central American country of Belize, there is a political debate going on whether to repeal the country’s laws against Anal Sodomy. (a.k.a Buttsecks, for those of you in Rio Linda.) In 2013, the Supreme Court of Belize solicited a report from Dr. Brendan Bain … a renowned AIDS researcher and director of the Regional Coordinating Unit of the Caribbean HIV/AIDS Regional Training (CHART), an organization he helped create as part of his pioneering work studying HIV transmission. Dr. Bain, unfortunately, provided a scientifically accurate but politically incorrect report.

This report shows that the relative risk of contracting HIV is significantly higher among men who have sex with other men (MSM) in Belize than in the general population. This is also true in several other countries for which data are available, including countries that have repealed the law that criminalizes anal sex and countries where the law still applies.

Because of this report, some 35 “advocacy groups” banded together and demanded that Dr. Bain be sacked from CHART, because his report hurt the delicate feelers of gays and lesbians.

The university has been careful to note the hurt Professor Bain’s advocacy has done to gay and lesbian persons in the Caribbean….

And, of course, because feelings always trump science, Dr. Bain was sacked; another casualty in the Progressive Left’s War on Science.

Longer version of the story at Legal Insurrection, but I think I captured the gist of it.

This and That

Posted by V the K at 11:14 am - April 11, 2014.
Filed under: Academia,Media Bias,Science

One longerish post to take the place of three shorterish posts.

1. Snotty leftist Stephen Colbert is replacing bitter leftist David Letterman at the Late Show on CBS.  It’s amazing how far a one-joke comedy routine can take you in the left-wing media establishment. (See also, Tina Fay).

2. Leftist academics think MLK and convicted murderer Mumia Abu Jamal are pretty much equivalent, and a California teacher has decided to indoctrinate his 11th graders to that effect.  What is with the left and making heroes out of murderers?

3. Scientists have developed an artificial vajayjay.  The Sandy Fluke jokes write themselves.

Science Must Serve the Interests of the Party

Posted by V the K at 4:13 pm - March 19, 2014.
Filed under: Obama Indoctrination,Science

A NASA scientician has authored a report whose conclusion is that humanity is doomed unless the Obama agenda of wealth redistribution and enviro-socialism is globally implemented.

The two key solutions are to reduce economic inequality so as to ensure fairer distribution of resources, and to dramatically reduce resource consumption by relying on less intensive renewable resources and reducing population growth:

“Collapse can be avoided and population can reach equilibrium if the per capita rate of depletion of nature is reduced to a sustainable level, and if resources are distributed in a reasonably equitable fashion.”

One wonders, did the study even consider the role of intact, traditional families in maintaining and building civilization? The role of free market capitalism in developing solutions to challenges much more effectively and efficiently than Government central planning? Of course not, because these ideas are not part of the Party’s agenda.

So, like a Christian baker forced to serve a cake to a newly “married” gay couple, science must put aside reason and obectivity and support the agenda of the Party.

Another Embarrassing Fact from that Science Survey

Posted by V the K at 12:11 am - February 20, 2014.
Filed under: Science

Republicans are less likely to believe astrology is scientific than Democrats, and Republicans are more likely than Democrats to understand that the Earth orbits the sun.

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This is primarily because 51% of Democrats believe the Earth revolves around Obama.

Leftists May Not Dig Christianity, But They Sure Love Them Some Astrology

Posted by V the K at 11:47 am - February 18, 2014.
Filed under: Science

Noted earlier today that a college football coach was attacked by the tolerant left on his campus and compelled to resign after making an affirmation of his Christian faith to a newspaper.

Because, after all, Christianity is just a silly superstition, rooted in a silly belief in an imaginary sky-god who makes spaghetti, or something.

But, astrology, on the other hand… that’s the real deal, baby.

astroax_2

Because astrology, like Global Warming, is science!

Personally, I don’t believe in astrology; we Tauruses are natural born skeptics.

Humankind: Children of God or Hybrid Pig-Chimps?

Posted by V the K at 12:29 pm - November 30, 2013.
Filed under: Life,Science

It’s been a great couple of weeks for Iran. First, Obama lifts sanctions and gives their uranium enrichment program the go-ahead. And now, it looks like someone has gone and validated their official, state-sanctioned belief that Jews are descended from monkeys and pigs: A geneticist at the University of Georgia believes its possible that humans resulted from pigs mating with chimpanzees.

The human species began as the hybrid offspring of a male pig and a female chimpanzee, a leading geneticist has suggested. 

The startling claim has been made by Eugene McCarthy, of the University of Georgia, who is also one of the worlds leading authorities on hybridisation in animals.

So, kinda like, Alec Baldwin hooking up with Rosie O’Donnell.

In the course of his research, Dr. McCarthy seems to have developed a bit of … pig lust.

‘My opinion of this animal has much improved during the course of my research. Where once I thought of filth and greed, I now think of intelligence, affection, loyalty, and adaptability, with an added touch of joyous sensuality — qualities without which humans would not be human.’ [Emphasis and “Ewwww!” Added]

I strongly suspect this story may turn out to be a prank. (Sorta like Global Warming minus the trillions of dollars that could have been spent making life better for billions of people.)  So, we probably don’t have to worry about a forthcoming debate over marriage rights for pigs and chimps.

(more…)

The left-wing Apocalypse

City Journal has a wonderful piece from Pascal Bruckner on “climate change” as the left-wing version of the Apocalypse: a dogma, anti-technology, impervious to reason, wherein Gaia (the new left-wing God) rains destruction upon humanity as punishment for its sin of not living by leftism.

Around the turn of the twenty-first century, a paradigm shift in our thinking took place: we decided that the era of revolutions was over and that the era of catastrophes had begun…

How did this change happen? Over the last half-century, leftist intellectuals have identified two great scapegoats for the world’s woes. First, Marxism designated capitalism as responsible for human misery. Second, “Third World” ideology, disappointed by the bourgeois indulgences of the working class, targeted the West… The guilty party that environmentalism now accuses—mankind itself, in its will to dominate the planet—is essentially a composite of the previous two, a capitalism invented by a West that oppresses peoples and destroys the earth…“There are only two solutions,” Bolivian president Evo Morales declared in 2009. “Either capitalism dies, or Mother Earth dies.”

So the planet has become the new proletariat that must be saved from exploitation—if necessary, by reducing the number of human beings…

There’s more.

Via NRO (Stanley Kurtz), who delves into a different angle: how left-wing environmentalism lets rich, white college kids join the ranks of the oppressed. “Global warming allows the upper-middle-class to join the proletariat, cloaking erstwhile oppressors in the mantle of righteous victimhood.”

The Dietary Delusion

Over the past few weeks, I have awakened to hear snippets of stories such as this one on NPR about “the obesity epidemic.”  The stories are all part of a series reporting on a recent poll undertaken by NPR, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health.  The poll looked at the attitudes and the self-reported actions of parents towards the ways their children ate and about their children’s activity levels.

Among the key findings of the survey highlighted in the NPR reports have been these two points:

  • “Recent public opinion polls show that most American adults think obesity is a serious problem for society, but most parents in the poll here are not concerned their own children will become overweight as adults.”
  • “In most cases, parents don’t seem to believe that the way their child ate on a given day is likely to make them gain unhealthy weight.”

The NPR story linked above blames a psychological factor known as “optimism bias,” and says that parents may think they are doing the right things, but really they are just poorly informed and/or deluding themselves.

Since this is an ongoing series on NPR, one can expect it to culminate with an interview with Michelle Obama or someone behind her “Let’s Move” campaign, or with a series of suggestions for more government action, or calls for more spending on government nutrition programs, or possibly with all of the above.

What hasn’t occurred to the geniuses at NPR, though, is that perhaps the parents really have been listening to the advice coming from the government and the media for the past twenty five years and they really do think they are doing the right things, but the advice is flawed.

Ronald Reagan famously remarked that “the trouble with our liberal friends is not that they are ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.”   In recent years, Gary Taubes has become the best-known of those who have challenged the nutritional and dietary orthodoxy which has been promoting a high-carbohydrate, low-fat diet.  Writing in Newsweek last spring, he explained that:  “The problem is, the solutions this multi-level campaign promotes are the same ones that have been used to fight obesity for a century—and they just haven’t worked.”

(more…)

Does “equality” rhetoric prevent gays from understanding our difference?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 6:07 pm - March 2, 2011.
Filed under: Random Thoughts,Science,Sex Difference

In the course of researching my dissertation, as I sought to show that Achilles’s rage represented an archetypal aspect of male behavior, I read many scientific studies on sexual difference as well as books considering those studies in the context of current cultural debates.   In their book Brain Sex: The Real Difference Between Men and Women, geneticist Anne Moir and journalist David Jessel articulate the essence of this tension between sound science and politically-correct attitudes:

Recent decades have witnessed two contradictory processes; the development of scientific research into the differences between the sexes, and the political denial that such differences exist.

They write that if the reality of these differences make women angry,

. . . it is not because science has set at naught their hard won struggle towards equality; their wrath should rather be directed at those who have sought to misdirect and deny them of their very essence.  Many women in the last thirty or forty years have been brought up to believe that they are, or should be, ‘as good as the next man’, and in the process they have endured acute and unnecessary pain, frustration and disappointment.

Those passages came to mind earlier today when I was reading Christina Hoff Sommers’s, The WAR AGAINST BOYS: How Misguided Feminism Is Harming Our Young Men.  That feminist scholar offered an argument similar to that put forward by Moir and Jessel:

I would argue that turning a blind eye to real differences and dogmatically insisting that masculinity and femininity are “created by culture” pose even more serious dangers of their own.

Science has shown that differences between men and women derive not from social construction, but our very biology.   (more…)

Absence of correlation between temperature change and CO2?!?

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 12:00 pm - January 3, 2011.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming),Science

When global warmists tell me about their climate ideology that governments must take action immediately to reduce the amount of greenhouse gasses pumped into the atmosphere (lest catastrophe ensue), I ask them to predict for me the annual increase in temperature over the next few years.

Should the temperatures increase as they predict (based on the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere), then I will join their crusade them in calling for government action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  Unfortunately, they don’t dare to offer such predictions, saying that if we wait too long, it will be too late.

Well, as I learned last month, there are,  some “climate ‘scientists’ ” who have made predictions about global warming have have seen those predictions proven wrong (via Patterico).

Maybe their problem was that they were looking at the wrong data.  Instead of looking at the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere, they may have better served themselves by looking at other factors, including solar radiation.  A new paper finds no correlation temperature change and CO2:

The absence of correlation between temperature changes and the immense and variable volume of CO2 waste by fuel burning is explained by the weak power of additional carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to reduce the outcoming window of long wave radiation.

Via Pirate’s Cove.

With science increasing our skepticism, don’t you think it’s time to start rescinding some of the environmental laws designed to avert a crisis now apparently non-existent.  Repealing the most draconian of those laws in the (once)-Golden State may help the state regain its luster.

FROM THE COMMENTS: Sonicfrog reminds us that

2010 will not be the hottest year on record. As expected, due to the mid year fade of the El Nino and the establishment of La Nina conditions, temps took a late year nose dive and 2010 failed to beat the 1998 mark. As of this moment, average world temp is back to the decade average, meaning there is still no temp rise evident for at least a decade. As was 1998, 2010 temp was abnormal due to a strong El Nino. It wasn’t as strong as 98, but it was strong enough. I expect, if the ENSO / temp correlations hold to the usual pattern, the first few months of 2011 will be below average temp wise.

Do Liberals Ever Admit They’ve Lost*?

Whenever a Republican wins a significant election, many on the left are quick to dismiss it is a fluke–or the result of some underhanded right-wing scheme.  Reagan wouldn’t have won in 1980 had his advisors not worked behind the scenes to prevent the release of the hostages held in Iran (a Sick theory lacking any substance whatsoever). Bush wouldn’t have won in 1988 had it not been for his “racist” Willie Horton ads.  White men threw a temper tantrum in 1994 and helped steal Florida six years later.  Martha Coakley was a lousy candidate; Massachusetts voters weren’t opposed to the Democrats’ big government initiatives.

And still despite polls in the Bay State, exit polls in New Jersey and Virginia and data from across the country, Democrats press forward on health care as if these elections didn’t happen.  To Nancy Pelosi and her allies, inconvenient electoral returns (so long as she remains Speaker) just don’t register.   Despite ever increasing numbers of Americans opposed to her health care plans, the San Francisco Democrat remains determined “to get health care done:

“You go through the gate. If the gate’s closed, you go over the fence. If the fence is too high, we’ll pole-vault in. If that doesn’t work, we’ll parachute in. But we’re going to get health care reform passed for the American people.”

As it is with the Speaker on health care, so it is with Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Chairman Dr Rajendra Pachauri on the “science” behind his dire warnings of global warming.  Despite errors found in 2007 IPCC report which helped win him the Nobel Prize, he won’t admit his mistakes because, as he puts it, “a lot of climate sceptics are after my blood, but I’m in no mood to oblige them”.  It’s not a matter of science for him, but of pride, not admitting that his critics got something right.

Why can’t he just admit he made a mistake and move on?  Why can’t Nancy Pelosi accept the fact that the American people don’t want the health care reform she’s offering and move on to other options more in line with the popular mood?  Why can’t liberals admit that the mood of the American people is shifting, while polls may have recently suggested people were more open to big government options, they now show growing opposition to statist initiatives.

* (more…)

The real attack on science

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 3:18 pm - December 10, 2009.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming),Science

Trying to shut down criticism in the name of science is the real attack on science.”

–Clive Crook via Instapundit

So, who’s “anti-science” now?

Massachusetts Congressman Ed Markey, chairman of the House Select Committee on Energy Independence and Global Warming, is using a slur some AGW zealots love to describe those critical or skeptical of their views. I heard him on TV today on the news calling them “anti-science.”

So, we’ve got a career politician (Markey was first elected to the Massachusetts House in 1972 when he was 26) telling scientists who have spent their lives studying the earth and its climate “anti-science.”  That’s rich.

If Markey calls opponents of cap and trade are anti-science, I wonder what he calls scientists who try to force data into a theory without accounting for how some data often undermine said theory. Or what does he call scientists who won’t release their data and disguise their methodology.  About scientists who “subvert peer review and prevent publication of papers that didn’t completely agree with the favored theory“.  About scientists who try to hide an inconvenient decline? (more…)

In wake of Climategate, we’re beginning to learn just how much global warming alarmists have been keeping us in the dark

In the wake of the publication of the East Anglia e-mails, information strengthening the case of global warming skeptics has been coming to light at such a rapid pace than even the most dedicated followers of this debate can barely keep track of the data coming to light.  Al Gore has cancelled his $1,200 a head reception in Copenhagen.  One of the chief advocates of the Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) hypothesis (thanks for the correction, Dave!) got quite testy in confronting a critic.

And the UK’s Met Office (its National Weather Service)

. . . plans to re-examine 160 years of temperature data after admitting that public confidence in the science on man-made global warming has been shattered by leaked e-mails.

The new analysis of the data will take three years, meaning that the Met Office will not be able to state with absolute confidence the extent of the warming trend until the end of 2012.

In other words, as Sonicfrog (who alerted me to this article) notes, “those now examining the state of everything that went on have absolutely no confidence that things were done properly.”  Well, it seems they got cold feet about their reexamination and won’t be doing a do-over, but will be making “an effort to release more data to to public.”  Let’s hope they do more than just make an effort and actually release the data.

Just another sign how much global warming alarmists have been keeping us in the dark. (more…)

On global warming, “The science is settled . . .

Posted by B. Daniel Blatt at 9:54 pm - November 29, 2009.
Filed under: Climate Change (Global Warming),Science

 . . . er, at the bottom of that dumpster.”  

So, sayeth Jim Treacher (via Instapundit).

(His trenchant commentary on this piece of news: “SCIENTISTS at the University of East Anglia (UEA) have admitted throwing away much of the raw temperature data on which their predictions of global warming are based.“)

Climategate: ‘The Scandal Of The Century’

Clearly, this is the blogosphere-story-of-the-year (if not decade).  It matters not that the Mainstream Media is covering up this scandal, the free-wheeling democratized Internet is getting the information out.

Here’s another great summary from Robert Tracinski at RealClearPolitics:

For more than a decade, we’ve been told that there is a scientific “consensus” that humans are causing global warming, that “the debate is over” and all “legitimate” scientists acknowledge the truth of global warming. Now we know what this “consensus” really means. What it means is: the fix is in.

This is an enormous case of organized scientific fraud, but it is not just scientific fraud. It is also a criminal act. Suborned by billions of taxpayer dollars devoted to climate research, dozens of prominent scientists have established a criminal racket in which they seek government money-Phil Jones has raked in a total of £13.7 million in grants from the British government-which they then use to falsify data and defraud the taxpayers. It’s the most insidious kind of fraud: a fraud in which the culprits are lauded as public heroes. Judging from this cache of e-mails, they even manage to tell themselves that their manipulation of the data is intended to protect a bigger truth and prevent it from being “confused” by inconvenient facts and uncontrolled criticism.

The damage here goes far beyond the loss of a few billions of taxpayer dollars on bogus scientific research. The real cost of this fraud is the trillions of dollars of wealth that will be destroyed if a fraudulent theory is used to justify legislation that starves the global economy of its cheapest and most abundant sources of energy.

This is the scandal of the century. It needs to be thoroughly investigated-and the culprits need to be brought to justice.

As I stated on Twitter earlier today… “Can we at least all agree now that Global Warming is a political philosophy and not a scientific enterprise?”

-Bruce (GayPatriot)

Scientists Rejecting Data Due to Faith in Global Warming Creed?

While I have long counted myself as one of the skeptics of the theory of anthropogenic global warming (AGW), I don’t believe advocates of the theory invented it out of whole cloth.  Aware of efforts to “seed clouds” and create rainfall, I know human activities can impact the environment  Indeed, the recent snowfall in Beijing was caused by Chinese meteorologists when they sought to end a drought in the Middle Kingdom

If chemicals deliberately released into the atmosphere could create rainfall, then chemicals released into the atmosphere as a byproduct of industrial activities could have similar effects.

But, much as I take the science seriously, I question the zealotry of some advocates of this theory, particularly Al Gore.  Many refuse to debate those who have come to different conclusions, dismissing the scientists offering such views as tools of corporate interests and otherwise insulting skeptics.  And the disclosure of the e-mails from the University of East Anglia reveals that this attitude extends to scientists as well as activists.

With the release of those e-mails, we find Dr. Kenneth Treberth befuddled that “we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment“.  He’s confused because the data don’t much the theory, leading Ed Morrissey to wonder if he’s not a scientist, but a believer:

Do scientists use data to test theories, or do they use theories to test data? Scientists will claim the former, but here we have scientists who cling to the theory so tightly that they reject the data.  That’s not science; it’s religious belief.

My skepticism of the theory of AGW arises as much for the zealotry of its followers as it does from the arguments of its critics (and skeptics).  The release of these e-mails only increases my skepticism.  Others believe it is evidence of fraud and have demanded an investigation.

Let’s have that investigation and do so by considering the facts and not calling each other names.

Why The Global Warming Lies?

I’m glad Dan did a post on “Climategate” earlier this morning.  As usual, he took the words right out of my head.

I wanted to add my thoughts but then got my daily email from the Wall St. Journal Online.  James Taranto sums it up better than I:

What the [Washington] Post describes is not a vigorous debate but an attempt to suppress debate–to politicize the process of scientific inquiry so that it yields a predetermined result.  This does not, in itself, prove the global warmists wrong.  But it raises a glaring question:  If they have the facts on their side, why do they need to resort to tactics of suppression and intimidation?

It makes me think of the SEIU thugs at the Tea Parties this summer… and the Black Panthers in Philadelphia brandishing weapons and blocking voters in November 2008.

As the Joker might say, “Why the intimidation?”

UPDATE: Rand Simberg says this at PajamasMedia…

In fact, when scientists become politicians but continue to pretend to be doing science, that is the real crime. The theory being promoted by these men was being used to justify government actions that would result in greatly diminished future economic growth of the most powerful economy on earth (and the rest of the world as well). It would make it more difficult and less affordable to address any real problems that might be caused in the future by a change in climate, whether due to human activity or other causes. It could impoverish millions in the future, with little actual change in adverse climate effects. And when such a theory has the potential to do so much unjustified harm, and it has a fraudulent basis, who are the real criminals against humanity?

-Bruce (GayPatriot)