Category Archives: Science

Our age has come to worship science but despise its methods. Power obviates fact.

That conclusion follows from reading Austin Ruse’s Fake Science: Exposing the Left’s Skewed Statistics, Fuzzy Facts, and Dodgy Data (2017).

For example, with respect to sexuality, does biology prevail? Or does it wax and wane in importance according to the social needs proclaimed by lobbies? Many gay rights activists claim that homosexuality is biologically determined. The claim is doubtful, in part because homosexual practices can often depend on culture, as in the case of prison culture or party boys, and are not a demonstration of fixed necessity or even preference. And female attractions to other women are not necessarily inconsistent with being married to a man and having children by him. These well-known facts are documented in a number of the studies Ruse cites.

One outcome of this gay gene/transgender brain war with evidence is that gay activists seek to ban therapy to change unwanted homosexual attractions. Would they also ban therapy to increase such attractions? For example, what about the bisexual who would genuinely prefer to just be gay?

Taking the exact opposite tack, transgender lobbyists claim that a person can belong to the other “gender” irrespective of obvious sexual biochemistry, physiology, and anatomy, due to a gender concept that exists only in that individual’s mind. Which is all the odder when we consider that most neuroscientists hold that the mind does not exist apart from the brain. But that fact is seldom raised as an objection to transgender claims.

Who is right? The answer, unfortunately, is that all of them are right. That is, the power of the sexuality lobbies to enforce their wishes becomes their right to do so, even if their claims contradict both evidence and each other.

[And they can’t and won’t stop there. That kind of power feeds on itself to grow.] More.

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Gene editing: Gateway to Promised Land, or key to Pandora’s box?

(RNS) — News that scientists for the first time successfully edited genes in human embryos created a stir this week.

In the experiment, outlined in a paper in the journal Nature published Wednesday (Aug. 2), scientists essentially snipped a mutant gene known to cause a heart condition that can lead to sudden death.

The work is controversial because it showed that scientists could manipulate life in its earliest stages and that those changes would then be inherited by future generations, if the embryo were allowed to grow into a baby. (The embryo in question was destroyed.)

It also raised the tantalizing promise that the baby would be disease-free and would not transmit the disease to his or her descendants.

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The Tyranny of Pseudo-Science

The hysterical reaction of the left to Scott Pruitt’s plan to create two competing teams of scientists to study from opposite positions the left’s pet myth, man-made global warming, shows just how anti-science the left has become.  The left is a single, stupid collective mind that is utterly incapable of truly independent and free thought.  The left is very much like the Inner Party in Orwell’s classic, 1984, where party members believe things that are obviously not true and in which dissent is – quite literally – unthinkable.

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What, Exactly, Is Feminist Geography?

The bizarre corners of academia are usually Steve’s beat, but a reader sent me a link to an article about a paper published in Gender, Place & Culture, a Journal of Feminist Geography. The paper, by Carrie Mott and Daniel Cockayne, is titled “Citation matters: mobilizing the politics of citation toward a practice of ‘conscientious engagement.’” It urges academics working in the field of geography not to cite works by white, heterosexual men.

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A Quick Overview of the Paris Agreement

The Paris Agreement entered into force on November 4th, 2016. It was adopted on December 12th, 2015. One hundred and ninety-five  UNFCCC members have signed the agreement and one hundred and forty-eight members have ratified it.

The agreement calls for each signing member to contribute to the reduction of carbon, making economies “low carbon”.

Carbon is not a pollutant:

CO2 is in our every breath, in the carbonated sodas and waters that we drink and in the dry ice that helps us keep our food cold and safe. We breathe in 400 parts per million and then exhale 40,000 parts per million with no ill effects.

We breathe the 40,000 ppm into victims needing CPR and it does not cause them to die! 

The monitoring systems in U.S. submarines do not provide an alert until CO2 levels reach 8,000 ppm which is higher that natural CO2 levels have been on Earth in the last 540 million years.

CO2 is a great airborne fertilizer which, as its concentrations rise, causes additional plant growth and causes plants to need less water. Without CO2 there would be no life (food) on Earth. The 120 ppm of CO2 added to the atmosphere since the start of the industrial revolution has caused an average increase in worldwide plant growth of over 12 percent and of 18 percent for trees.

 

There is no way to compel each member to accomplish this by a certain date:

The agreement is meant to be “legally binding” on the parties, at least the regular monitoring and assessment of national carbon-reduction plans. But it does not impose specific emission-reduction requirements on governments or even require them to meet their own “nationally determined” commitments. The administration of U.S. president Barack Obama has adamantly opposed any binding language in those areas, arguing such requirements would require ratification from the Republican-led Congress.

But even the “binding” aspects of accords have no enforcement mechanism or penalties for failing to meet them.

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Some of it is legally binding within the United Nations framework. The regular review and submission of emission reduction targets will be binding.

So too will the $100bn fund from developed economies to help emerging and developing nations decarbonise their energy mix – which means moving away from burning fossil fuels to clean energy sources, such as renewables and nuclear.

What won’t be legally binding will be the emission targets. These will be determined by nations themselves.

Not everyone believes that the American withdrawal from the agreement is a bad thing:

There are positive opportunities that could arise from US withdrawal. One is the re-emergence of climate trade measures, such as border carbon adjustments. …

Withdrawal could embolden other great powers to show more effective climate leadership. Despite having some internal problems , neither China nor the EU face the same institutional hurdles as the US and can offer far more decisive and ambitious leadership.

Considering the above facts, would anyone care about the sanctimonious bluster of wasteful governments and the lack of criticism of genuine polluters like China, India and Russia?

 

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Human history ‘began in Europe not Africa’, scientists claim

For decades, scientists have assumed that the lineages of humans and apes diverged between five to seven million years ago and that the first pre-humans developed in Africa. But analysis of two very ancient fossils, a pre-human tooth and lower jawbone unearthed in Bulgaria and Greece, has thrown the previously-accepted theory of Africa as the birthplace of modern humans into doubt.

Racism!

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These vids certainly show a different side to Bill Nye…

And won’t likely help his reputation: My Sex Junk is a message to the world about sexuality. We can probably miss the one where ice cream cones discover sex.

Pop science is no match for identity politics, as we might have guessed.

Someone asks, does Nye has a future as the ”Pee Wee Herman of popular science”? Maybe that’s what’s left now.

See also: March for Science, Bill Nye, and constitutional government

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