Archive

Archive for the ‘Science’ Category

Cosmos 2014 Episode 1

Like Cosmos, I feel I’ve been away too long… Let’s try to stick around a bit more.

I just watched the first episode of Cosmos. I’m going to try to give my thoughts on this series each week.

In today’s climate where religion is feeling the heat from Science more than ever as the Internet educates more people each day. It was hard to look at today’s show as anything but a slap at religion and the anti-science crowd.

At the start, I found the beginning of the show too quick. The show really assumes that we know about the first show from many years ago. That we know about this spaceship that Neil zips around in. The details of what the show was are touched but ever so briefly. Maybe I give the age of the Internet too little credit, but I would have liked to have seen a bit more.

However, once you dive in and get used to the water, Cosmos takes off.

Neil (our host), gives you the cosmic perspective, as he likes to do, and shows our place in the universe and beyond. Once we get there, he hits religion in the face with the story of Giordano Bruno. Bruno was a monk who was burnt at the stake for a number of religious reason which partly included some ideas the universe and our part in it that happened to be true. Cosmos falls here a bit, because it focuses on Bruno being killed for Science and that was only part of the equation.

However, I think in this day and age the point is a fair one. We live in an age where Science and new ideas are openly challenged by religion. The debate with Bill Nye and Ken Ham shows that:

We know the stories of the Bible can not be taken at face value and yet religion can not change. It dare not or the house of cards will fall. People like Ken Ham are the thought police.

Cosmos then turns around and looks at our place again in cosmic time. The effects are great and again makes you understand how small you are.

Overall I liked the first show even with the few stumbles. I would liked to have seen more details about the science, but I’m sure that is saved for other shows. It’s a solid start.

Tim Minchin’s Storm

September 17, 2013 Leave a comment

I like this video, not just because of the message, but because I can see my wife giving me ‘the eye’ just like what happened to the person in the vid.

Can’t Vote for Crazy

I’m finishing up a game review, but here’s a link to enjoy.

The Dangers of Religion

February 8, 2013 1 comment

The ‘Made Easy‘ Series is really an excellent series. This is related to a small degree. It talks more to the dangers of Religion and Climate Change.

Win Money!

OK, life is letting me get back to my blog. To start, why don’t you win some money…

Nature, Powell and the GOP

January 16, 2013 2 comments

First this great post: Scientists hate the GOP for a reason by Amanda Marcotte which rips a post in Nature: Science must be seen to bridge the political divide by Daniel Sarewitz

First the opening paragraph from Nature:

To prevent science from continuing its worrying slide towards politicization, here’s a New Year’s resolution for scientists, especially in the United States: gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan.

I’ll leave you to read the whole article, but in short. It says that the Science should support the GOP more and in return Daniel thinks that the GOP will look at Science as bipartisan and will support it more.

What a load of shit!

Go get him Amanda:

He (Daniel) argues that the perceived liberal bent of the social scientists has caused Republicans to be wary of that field and to defund it, and warns that if scientists in other fields—he names public health and environmental science—don’t stop supporting Democrats so openly, Republicans will come after them, too. But the cause-and-effect relationship is reversed. Republicans started it when, as early as the environmentalist movements of the ’70s, they began to morph into the party that defended corporate profits over public health and environmental good. Why would scientists support a party that ignores and refuses to fund important scientific initiatives like efforts to fight climate change, stem cell research, and advances in improving sexual health, like development of the cervical cancer vaccine? Sarewitz blames scientists for the politicization of science, when any fool can see that Republicans attacked first and scientists are just defending themselves.

Let’s be clear. Republicans don’t attack scientists because they want to punish them for supporting Democrats. If all scientists agreed tomorrow to stop donating to parties, expressing political opinions in public, or even voting, Republicans would not gratefully start agreeing with scientific consensus around global warming or embrace public health recommendations to reduce unplanned pregnancy and STDs. They wouldn’t even come around on the now 154-year-old theory of evolution. They oppose these ideas because they come in conflict with Republican ideological concerns.

Well put Amanda. Just wow!

On another note, Colin Powell has been killing the GOP:

I think 2016 is the year of the GOP purge. The GOP will do something silly, like default the country or something and have their ass handed to them again. The Dems will hold both houses.

At this point the GOP will retool hopefully more to the center and be strong in 2018. At least I hope so. It’s better for all of us to have the two parties with a closer divide between them.

The Godless are not Going Anywhere!

November 14, 2012 2 comments

Some good numbers from yahoo’s news feed about the religious vote and the last election. Highlights:

  • “…79 percent of white evangelicals voted for Romney on Tuesday. That’s the same percentage that Bush received in 2004, and more than Sen. John McCain received in 2008. The evangelical vote was 27 percent of the overall electorate — the highest it’s ever been for an election. Their support wasn’t enough. Not only did President Obama win soundly, but four states voted to allow same-sex marriage.”
  • “…white evangelicals comprised a quarter of the electorate, … the “nones” — those who claim no religious affiliation — are now the fastest growing “religious” group, comprising one-fifth of the population and a third of adults under 30. Seven out of 10 “nones” voted for Obama.”
  • “Second, evangelicals’ influence is waning. Conservative Christian ideas are failing to shape the broader culture. More than 3,500 churches close their doors every year, … The sweeping impact of globalization and the digital age has marginalized the church and its leaders.”

There is a lot of good in those points…

No religion is closing in on the religious 20% to 25%. While all those with no religion don’t ID themselves as ‘Atheist’, having 20% of the population outside of a church’s BS is a huge plus.

The non-religious is growing and churches are closing nationwide. Got to love that.

We are far from stamping out these myths that hurt our culture, but things are moving in the right direction. Religion will have adjust (and the GOP as well), I’m hoping that the Internet is really the game changer. I believe that Thunderf00t is right in his video that I’ve posted before: ‘The Internet: Where Religions Come to Die’

Let’s hope so. It will make for a better world.