Anatomy of victimology - or how to misuse science for an ideological end
Barack Obama promises that science will no longer be "twisted" to fit an ideology. But of course using "science" to advance their political agenda has been a tool of the left for years. A perfect example can be found with the issue of obesity. Andrew Ferguson provides the anatomy of how a
 
The "new" science, same as the old science
Obama claims he will "free" science from "politics or ideology":Barack Obama yesterday promised to end George Bush’s "twisting" of science to suit "politics or ideology" in an extraordinarily outspoken address to the nation, and announced that he was putting top climate scientists in key positions in his administration.
 
The Great Designer?
Evolution is the central unifying theory of biology. Without it much of biology simply doesn’t make sense. We simply have to take, as a starting point, that evolution is working in the real world in much the way theory implies.But here’s some food for thought.Louis Pasteur’s great achievement was proving that spontaneous generation of life does not occur, as was generally thought at the time. From this proof, the central t
 
Jupiter Unveiled
A simply stunning series of pictures of Jupiter and its moons. Lots more at the link.
 
Stunning
And on the internet. NASA has placed its image archive on the ’net, and it is both huge and stunning. Grouped in archives labeled "universe", "solar system", "earth" and "astronauts", there are literally thousands of pictures and movies available. There’s also a feature which takes you through the "spaceflight timeline". A terrific and educational time consumer, but one well worth that.
 
Scientists theorize we’re "out of this world
I’m sure you’ll find this interesting:Two necessary molecular ingredients of DNA and RNA have been confirmed to have originated from outer space. They join the handful of amino acids we have discovered to have been delivered to Earth on the backs of asteroids and comets. Publishing in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letter
 
Looking into the future ...
Not the political future, but the future of mankind. Dr. Ray Kurzweil, who has been remarkably prescient about scientific developments of the past, thinks the future looks pretty good in some areas.Like diet:Have patience. Within 10 years, Dr. Kurzweil explained, there will be a drug tha
 
Good news for fat boys
Yeah, that includes me. OK, I’m not that fat, but then again, I could definitely stand to lose a few pounds.Being overweight boosts the risk of dying from diabetes and kidney disease but not cancer or heart disease, and carrying some extra pounds actually appears to protect against a host of other causes of death, federal researchers repo
 
Bugs in space
Wow, a bad piece of chicken and no one makes it to Mars:When Salmonella typhimurium food bugs were flown in special flasks on the shuttle, they were found to alter the way they expressed 167 genes.The bacteria were almost three times as likely to kill infected mice compared with standard samples held on Earth.The study, presented in Proceedings of the
 
Scientific Studies: More wrong than right?
Frankly, given the "science" we’ve seen displayed through various studies on various issues over the last few years, this comes as no real surprise.Dr. Ioannidis is an epidemiologist who studies research methods at the University of Ioannina School of Medicine in Greece and Tufts University in Medford, Mass. In a series of influential analytical reports, he has docume
 
Hydrogen economy closer?
Look like a bit of a breakthrough at Purdue:Researchers at Purdue University have further developed a technology that could represent a pollution-free energy source for a range of potential applications, from golf carts to submarines and cars to emergency portable generators.The technology produces hydrogen by adding water to an alloy of aluminum and galli
 
"Frozen smoke" next wonder product? (update)
Ok this is cool:A MIRACLE material for the 21st century could protect your home against bomb blasts, mop up oil spillages and even help man to fly to Mars.Aerogel, one of the world’s lightest solids, can withstand a direct blast of 1kg of d
 
Breaking the speed of light
The world of bizarre science has had a new door opened for it. I’ll explain in a minute:A pair of German physicists claim to have broken the speed of light - an achievement that would undermine our entire understanding of space and time.According to Einstein’s special theory of relativity, it would re
 
Is time travel possible?
Yes says Prof Amos Ori, of the Technion-Israel Institute of Technology:Bend time enough and you can create a loop and the possibility of temporal travel.Prof Ori’s theory, set out in the prestigious science journal Physical Review, rests on a set of mathematical equations describing hypothetical conditions that, if established, could lead to the formation of a time machine, technically known as “closed time-like curves.”In the blen
 
Cold Fusion
The Navy’s Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center here in San Diego has just published a paper that indicates they may have found a method of creating a cold fusion reaction.Appearing in the respected journal Naturwissenschaften, which counts Albert Einstein among its distinguished authors, the article claims that Spawar scientists Stanislaw Szpak and Pamela Mosier-Boss
 
Life among the stars
OK, this is cool:For the first time astronomers have discovered a planet outside our solar system that is potentially habitable, with Earth-like temperatures, a find researchers described Tuesday as a big step in the search for "life in the universe."The planet is just the right size, might have water in liquid form, and in galactic terms is relatively
 
They’re Not Just throwing Poo Anymore
Well, this can’t be good...Chimpanzees living in the West African savannah have been observed fashioning deadly spears from sticks and using the tools to hunt small mammals — the first routine production of deadly weapons ever observed in animals other than humans.The multistep spearmaking practice, documented
 
The New Inquisition
Speaking of anthropogenic global warming, you may remember several weeks ago when The Weather Channel’s Heidi Cullen recommended that the American Meteorological Society remove its seal of approval from anyone who doesn’t essentially agree with the IPPC conclusion that global warming is a substantially man made phenomenon.Well, the states of Delaware and Oregon have decide
 
Global Warming and Solar Activity
Nigel Calder, former editor of New Scientist, has written an op/ed piece for the Times of London in which he says the orthodoxy of CO2-forced global warming must be challenged.Enthusiasm for the global-warming scare also ensures that heatwaves make headlines, while contrary symptoms, such as this winter’s billion-dollar loss of Californian crops to
 
Imagine limitless power from hydrogen!
Robert Zubrin takes a look the Hydrogen Economy, and declares...Hydrogen, after all, is “the most common element in the universe,” as Secretary Abraham pointed out. Since it is so plentiful, surely President Bush must be right when he promises it will be cheap. And when you use it, the waste product will be nothing but water—“environmental pollution will no longer be a conce
 
The Eloi and the Morlocks
An evolutionary theorist has predicted that humanity may split into two sub-species which resemble these H G Wells creations from "The Time Machine" in about 100,000 years (that presumes we can survive North Korea and Iran with nukes).In a fascinating read, Oliver Curry of the London School of Economics says that by that time he expects "a genetic upper class and a dim-witted underc
 
Global Warming and Public Policy
My previous post on global warming ruffled a few feathers, as this subject always does. Apparently, it’s not enough for some people that you believe global warming is occurring, you must also support specific policy initiatives to combat it. And some people get mighty exercised if they think you are violating the orthodoxy they hold. For instance, David Shaughnessy comments:
 
Global Warming: A New Caveat
A new article to be published next month’s issue of Geophysical Research Letters indicates weakness in the models of ocean warming. According to the article, taken from Argo measurements, show that ocean temperatures have cooled significantly over the past two years.Climatologist Roger Pielke’s  
Climate Change: Another Perspective
For the last week or so on this blog, Jon has been writing on Global Warming. I think it is fair to say that Global Warming, as a phenomenon, is occurring and that the scientific evidence of such warming is beyond dispute. Jon loses me completely with this statement, however, which he approvingly quotes:It is by now pointless to deny that global warming is man-made to a considerable
 
The agenda of "Science"
John Stossel takes a look at some of the problems inherent with public funding (aka "government funding") of science:If you’re a scientist working for private industry, it helps to invent something useful. But if you’re a scientist trying to get funding from the government, you’re better off telling the world how horrible thin
 
Ethanol and our flex fuel future?
Wulf at Atlasblogged points out that there are a lot of great arguments for looking into alternative energy sources, including environmental and geopolitical reasons. And one shouldn’t discount the allure of plain old greedy capitalism. So, why aren’t investors just throwing money at alternative energy sources?Okay, for investors, alternative energy is a little more hi
 
Random Musing
Several years ago, I was listening to an interview with a historian on the radio. I’m not sure who it was. Maybe Stephen Ambrose or Michael Beschloss. They said an interesting thing that’s stuck with me, which was that, while historians have access to voluminous collections of private papers, letters, and diaries of people who lived in the 18th, 19th, and first half of the 20th century, after that, the availability of materials falls off precipitously.
 
So what’s the answer? Clear cutting?
One of the reasons I resist the "conventional wisdom" or the "scientific consensus" (an oxymoron if ever I’ve heard one) about man driven global warming concerns things like this:German scientists have discovered a new source of methane, a greenhouse gas that is second only to carbon dioxide in its impact on climate change.The culprits are plants.
 
If things get too bad...
Then, maybe, we can just leave. I mean, really leave.AN EXTRAORDINARY "hyperspace" engine that could make interstellar space travel a reality by flying into other dimensions is being investigated by the United States government...The theoretical engine works by creating an intense magnetic field that, according to ideas first developed by the late scientist B
 
Science and Intelligent Design
University of Colorado Boulder Law prof and Rocky Mountain News columnist Paul Campos is peeved that a Federal court has rejected intelligent design. And, he thinks the arguments against ID aren’t compelling.—Science has refuted theories such as intelligent design, because science is based on the postulate tha