Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com
Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms – such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science – is just another form of science denial – but it does seem to fool some people. “There are no sides! just facts!”
Mind you, most deniers will look to science when their lives are in danger. This satirical article from The Borowitz Report at newyorker.com makes this point.
NEW YORK The Borowitz Report—There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science. In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”At the end of the day, though, Dorrinson hopes that such a doomsday scenario will not come to pass. “Time and time again through history, Americans have been exposed to science and refused to accept it,” he said. “I pray that this time will be no different.”
Apparently the above quote “You can safely ignore any sentence that includes the phrase’ according to quantum mechanics” is used by Robert P. Crease and Alfred Scharf in their upcoming book The Quantum Moment: How Planck, Bohr, Einstein, and Heisenberg Taught Us to Love Uncertainty.
Here is one for dog lovers – especially those who like dressing their dogs.
A bright spark on Twitter (@Kiwisan) commented:
“no matter how hard this dog tries to hide his identity, he’s always spotted.”
And years ago I met a guy who told me the name of his dalmatian dog was “Stripe!”
What is it with balaclava’s anyway?
I guess a few parents will relate to this science project.
Credit: Susan Messina.
Dara O’Briain and Frankie Boyle on religion and creationism
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.”
Love this photo I saw on Facebook – actually says a lot about the nature of morality as it is often practiced.
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.
Posted in atheism, belief, creationism, religion, SciBlogs, science, Science and Society
Tagged Comedy Central, Daily Show, humour, Jon Stewart, Richard Dawkins, SciBlogs
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!