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The comedian Dara O’Briain is a real gem. I was pleased to see him mentioned in this weeks NZ Listener – with some of his great sayings. How is this for words of wisdom about science:
Dara Ó Briain
“Science knows it doesn’t know everything; otherwise it’d stop. But just because science doesn’t know everything doesn’t mean you can fill in the gaps with whatever fairy tale most appeals to you.” NZ Listener issue 3835
Now just for contrast – here is something from a local leader of an anti-fluoridation group:
“Why would you rely on the so-called experts when they have already been proved to be wrong? and if you rely on the experts then what are you promoting? just someone else’s views, what is the point in that. Plus that sounds like religion to me.” Facebook comment.
Funny thing about these people who dislike science so much – they are always cherry picking a little bit of science, removing the context and qualifications and then presenting it as their alternative. As Dara would say – their “fairy tale.”
Credit: Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc.
I always enjoy the Daily show and this is another classic. Jon Stewart interviews Richard Dawkins (who is on a tour for his latest book An Appetite for Wonder: The Making of a Scientist).
Can’t embed the daily Show videos, but go to September 24, 2013 – Richard Dawkins | The Daily Show With Jon Stewart – Full Episode Video | Comedy Central.
The whole show is 36 min long – but if you just want to the interview it starts at 13.33 and goes to the end.
Stewart is an amazing interviewer.
Now that the potty Peer, Christopher Monckton, is packing his bag to depart our shores, the band of climate change deniers/contrarians/pseudosceptics who micro-managed his “Freedom Tour” might be looking around for a new project.
Richard Treadgold, whose blog Climate Conversation Group is one of the echo chamber nodes local climate change deniers/contrarians/pseudosceptics gather at, may have let slip details of a possible project. In a blog comment today he revealed:
“I referred earlier to the “AGW hypothesis” and its falsification. Astute readers will note there is officially no such hypothesis. No paper has been located (to my knowledge) which proposes one and sets it out in scientific terms. So, of course, no falsification has been possible. The entire AGW “debate” is built on shifting sand, as protagonists on all sides are at liberty to describe the theory as they please. No falsification is possible.”
Notice the word “officially” – that reminds me of the argument these character used in their attempt to get NIWA to give up their findings on the temperature record in New Zealand. They based this on a claim that NIWA did not use the “official” methodology in correcting temperatures for site changes at the weather stations.
Can’t you see it – a new case to the high court (or perhaps the International Court of Justice) demanding that climate scientists around the world stop advising their governments about climate issues because there is “no official AGW hypothesis.”
Mind you, Richard is not the only one entertaining the little group there. One of his other commenters claimed recently:
“It was in ca 1980 that James Hansen gave his famous talk to Congressmen on global warming. He picked the day of the year with the warmest average temperature and snuck into the building the night before to disable the air conditioning.”
Without these honourable gentleman to keep scientists in check just imagine what we would get up to. Sneaking into the US House of Representatives, disabling air conditionaing and gerrymandering their meeting days would be the least of it. Crikey, we might even start considering unofficial hypotheses! Ones that Richard knows nothing about!
I must admit I was wrong about Lord Monckton. I thought his speaking tour of New Zealand, which started on April Fools day, would be a huge yawn. Local climate scientists have learned that debating the man may be a huge plus for Monckton’s CV, but it was a negative for their own. So what interest could there be in a speaking tour where the audiences were basically fellow climate change deniers, conspiracy theorists and extreme political libertarians – all singing from the same hymn sheet.
After all, even his own publicity makes clear that his message is political, not scientific. That he is here to tell us all about the international conspiracy of greenies, fascists, communists, capitalists, imperialists and the United Nations to impose a single world government, put us in concentration camps, etc. Those horrible climate scientists are only a small part of Monckton’s international conspiracy.
But I should have learned from Monckton’s Australian tour. His antics there managed to keep his name in the public eye – and give Australians something to laugh at. He threatened climate scientists with court action and called prominent Australians Nazis!
Well, he seems set to do the same for us. He’s only been here a few days and he is threatening (“in the first instance”) a complaint to the New Zealand Press Council (yes he is not happy with the way his beliefs are reported). He expects the press Council to investigate not only a recent Herald article about his tour but also “whether the Herald has given balanced coverage to both sides of the debate on the climate, having regard not only to the present article but to its previous record of publication on the climate “science” issue.” He expects (or demands) a lot, doesn’t he?
Monckton also promises to invite “authorities in the United Kingdom to remove the name of one of [our] universities . . .from the list of academic institutions whose degrees are recognized in Britain.” No, he is not happy with what our climate scientists tell us about their findings (or indeed the findings themselves), or what they think of his scientific credibility. So we are all going to be punished.
It’s enough to make us shiver in our boots – he must be such a powerful man. Our scientist’s degrees won’t be recognised in the UK in future.
I think we are shivering – but out of laughter, not fear.
The man is certainly good for a laugh. I look forward to more of this humour as his speaking tour, and threats against our media, scientists and educational institutes, progresses over the next few weeks.
If you want to read his letters and threats they are recorded at VISCOUNT MONCKTON’S RESPONSE TO DENIGRATORY ARTICLE IN NZ HERALD). Looks like they will also be faithfully repeated at the Climate Conversation Group’s blog (see, for example Herald, APNZ find Monckton no easy target).
A few readers may already be aware that April Fool’s Day marks the launch of Christopher Monckton‘s speaking tour of New Zealand. It’s not arousing much interest in the media – probably because his declared attention is to propagate his conspiracy theory of a corrupt plan to form a world government initiated by fascists, greenies, communists, imperialists and capitalists. Hard to take this seriously, but it’s all outlined in the Agenda 21.
Not much sense is expected – and the public attending Monckton’s talks are generally extreme libertarians or conspiracy theorists of one sort or another – Chemtrail alarmists, Truthers, 9/11 conspiracies, etc.
But it could be fun – some of Monckton’s fans love to dress up. Here’s the latest press release from the NZ Flat earth Society, who are supporting Monckton’s tour.
HEAR YE, HEAR YE, HEAR YE!
The Grand Wizard of the NZ Flat Earth Society, Nathaniel Pipe-Blower, has called on his flock and their friends to give Lord Monckton a rousing welcome to Auckland at Monckton’s public lecture at the University Business School, 7 – 9 pm on April 5th.
As we Flat Earthers have endured centuries of oppression and ridicule from scientists with their so-called “evidence” that the Earth is round, we sympathise with Lord Monckton’s struggle, and wish to offer our support and friendship.
Just to be clear, we want to be FRIENDS with Lord Monckton and WORK TOGETHER TO BATTLE THE CONSPIRACY between the Bad Scientists and the Evil Greens.
We will be handing out a scroll with our message, engaging in courtly conversation with members of the public, and expressing fulsome admiration for the Great Man himself – after all, he claims to a Nobel laureate who has found the cure for AIDS!
Now for the fun part: Flat Earthers often dress in medieval garb, e.g. as damsels, knights, lords & ladies, priests, peasants, jesters, wizards and wenches.
Flat Earthers also love music and entertainment, so it would be great to have pipers / minstrels / jugglers or clowns.
Most of all, Flat Earthers know how to MAKE MERRY! Feel free to let your hair down.
We will be meeting in the quad outside the Fisher and Paykel Lecture Theatre at 6.30 pm (or in the foyer, if wet).
The (free) lecture starts at 7 pm; Flat Earthers will likely be so impressed by Monckton’s total awesomeness that they will clap and cheer the brilliance of his thought!
Perhaps the media will turn up to this talk after all.
I keep running into lapsed catholics. They seem to be everywhere – and usually they are nice people.
There’s something about being lapsed which gives you a sense of humour.
But I wonder how many have tried to formalise their position. After all, there are all sorts of people out there who might lay claim to your soul, or some of your assets, after your death if you don’t.
Well, don’t worry – there’s now an app for that – the Excommunication app.
And apparently it does work – I have that on good authority.
Seems to be a pretty straightforward way of settling one of those things that may have hung over you for years.
Click on images below to enlarge screen-shots