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Archive for 'Science'

Age-of-Earth question throws GOP presidential hopeful into tizzy

You can gauge the post-election state of much of the Republican party– desperately trying not to offend its religious-right base while also striving to signal that it is rooted in reality– by Florida Sen. (and possible 2016 candidate for president) Marco Rubio’s answer to a question.
The question: How old do you think the Earth [...]

“Lies straight from the pit of Hell”

When I posted about Missouri Republican Congressman Todd Akin’s assertion that women’s bodies are capable of preventing pregnancy in cases of “legitimate rape,” I failed to note that he is a member of the House of Representatives Science Committee.
The committee’s jurisdiction includes “all matters relating to science policy and science education including: the Office of [...]

Islam and Science – The Truth

This is a guest post by Amjad Khan
Muslim apologists today like to talk a great deal about the ‘Golden Age of Islamic Science’ and the great contribution Islam and Muslims made to a number of important scientific fields. Some go so far as to suggest that it was the Muslims who gave Europe the Enlightenment. [...]

Ride, Sally Ride

RIP Sally Ride, first American woman in space.
Ride flew into orbit aboard the space shuttle Challenger in 1983 to become America’s first woman in space. She took a second trip aboard the same shuttle one year later.
The first woman in space was Soviet astronaut Valentina Tereshkova, who orbited the earth 48 times in 1963.
“As the [...]

Death to the Taliban, part II*

University of Maryland physicist Bob Park writes:
In 1977, smallpox, the most deadly and persistent human pathogenic disease, was eradicated from Earth by the World Health Organization following an unprecedented agreement allowing quick-response teams to freely cross every a border to administer vaccine in case of an outbreak. It was a moving demonstration of what can [...]

Transit of Venus

Crossing the sun. Watch it live, via NASA:

Live video by Ustream
Unfortunately the clouds have descended here in southwest Virginia, precluding a firsthand view, which probably wouldn’t be advisable anyway.

On F. Sherwood Rowland and the politicization of science

News of the death of F. Sherwood Rowland, the scientist who first warned that chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in spray cans and air conditioners were destroying the earth’s protective ozone layer, has got me thinking again about the recent and disturbing politicization of science.
Back in the 1970s and 1980s, it was possible for scientists to report that [...]

When hackers were treated as heroes

University of Maryland physics professor Bob Park writes:
Two years ago, e-mail files of the Climate Research Unit at the University of East Anglia were hacked and selectively posted on the web. Rupert Murdoch newspapers, including the Wall Street Journal, expressed shock at the “criminal conspiracy” and “scientific blacklisting.” The “gate” suffix was added to invite [...]

Teaching alternative theories in Louisiana

As I understand the Louisiana Science Education Act, no teacher in the state would be forced to do this.
On the other hand, no teacher could be disciplined or fired for doing it.
As I reported in April, a similar bill has received overwhelming support in the Tennessee legislature.

Is it all linked to climate change?

I suppose Bill McKibben would fit some people’s definition of an “environmentalist wacko.”
And he does have a sometimes-annoying tendency to hector– on display in this op-ed piece in The Washington Post in the wake of the tornado Sunday that devastated large parts of Joplin, Missouri, and left more than 120 dead.

I think environmentalists do [...]