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Michael Specter: The danger of science denial

Michael Specter: The danger of science denial
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Study Links Tobacco, Tea Party, Climate Denial,… and Fox News. The anti-science movement is rooted in the decades old realization among conservative corporate and political entities, that the findings of science were not always compatible with the economic interests of the wealthy and powerful. (read this post first for background. If you still have 17 minutes, the video above is worth your time) The publication of an exhaustive investigation into the origins of a tobacco funded anti-science movement got headlines last week, as clear lines can now be drawn between corporate pirates like David Koch, the Tobacco barons, and “grassroots” movements like the Tea Party, all of which are prominent in the climate denial movement. UC San Francisco: Desmogblog: “… coalition building should proceed along two tracks: a) a grassroots organizational and largely local track,; b) and a national, intellectual track within the DC-New York corridor. Rolling Stone: So it’s delightful to find this paragraph in the study, Like this: Like Loading...

Rinehart appoints climate change sceptic Ian Plimer Ian Plimer showing a group of geoscientists and fund managers in Broken Hill drill core from the Western Mineralisation for the Rasp mine Source: The Sunday Times GINA Rinehart has appointed controversial climate change sceptic Professor Ian Plimer to the board of several key family companies. According to disclosures made to the Australians Securities and Investments commission overnight Prof Plimer was appointed to the boards of Roy Hill Holdings and Queensland Coal Investments on January 25. Roy Hill is the key to Mrs Rineharts ambitions of challenging the big three Pilbara iron ore players in her own right. The company is the manager of the Roy Hill mine, which plans to export 55 million tonnes of iron ore a year through Port Hedland when it is up and running at full capacity. Prof Plimer is an experienced mining geologist, and a professor of mining geology at the University of Adelaide.

Tech Planet Journal Maxwell's equations: meaning, derivation and applicability - Sci Quote So if Coulombs law works best for you, then use coulomb's law - there's no need to re-invent the wheel. As far as the original problem goes it is solved, but it uncovered great many things for me, so what is left now is curiosity because this solution implies Coulomb's and Biot-Savart law tell different and more complete story than Maxwell's equations and yet they are supposed to talk about the same E and B fields. There are two kinds of fields, "radial" like gravity and electric fields, and we have "rotational", like vortexes, whirlpools or magnetic fields. Uniform and constant "radial" field potentials have zero divergence and zero rotation (curl), it's a uniform magnitude distribution and inverse square law which defines topology and geometry of an electric field, not the other way around. This page here shows you how to get coulomb's law from maxwell's first equation: -- This page says: -"Gauss's law can be derived from Coulomb's law

Science was wrong before The phrase "science was wrong before" (or variations thereof, such as "science has been wrong in the past") is a rhetorical bullshitting technique often invoked by cranks to reject scientific consensus ranging from evolution to global warming. It usually works like this: It is an example of the continuum fallacy. [edit] Flaws Usually (or at least often) "science was wrong before" is used to defend the existence of a disproven phenomenon - a bit of alternative medicine, perpetual motion, crank theories of everything, faster-than-light travel... the list is really endless for where this has been applied before. So while it is true that several believed-to-be-true theories turned out to be wrong, that doesn't mean that theories that have already been proven wrong might suddenly turn out to be right. [edit] Missing the point The logic behind this "argument" is fallacious in a number of ways. [edit] Basic logical flaws [edit] Uses and examples [edit] Failing at even being fallacious [edit] See also

Climate change scepticism Views & Research - The Conversation Analysis and Comment (58) It is difficult to make a conclusive link between human-caused climate change and the record drought in California, record freezes in parts of Canada and the US, Britain’s wettest-ever winter and Australia’s… The sight of speakers known to dispute the scientific evidence supporting climate change being called to speak at a parliamentary select committee on the latest IPCC report last week has raised certain… Several Australian corporate figures have recently disparaged climate scientists. Australia has the most concentrated press ownership in the world. This week’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report will be compendious, cautious, thorough and as authoritative as a scientific report can be. The warm start to Australian spring has been accompanied by a deluge of pseudoscience. Today, the most comprehensive analysis of peer-reviewed climate research to date was published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.

The Story of Stuff Dimensions Home A film for a wide audience! Nine chapters, two hours of maths, that take you gradually up to the fourth dimension. Mathematical vertigo guaranteed! Background information on every chapter: see "Details". Click on the image on the left to watch the trailer ! Free download and you can watch the films online! The film can also be ordered as a DVD. This film is being distributed under a Creative Commons license. Now with even more languages for the commentary and subtitles: Commentary in Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Spanish and Russian. Film produced by: Jos Leys (Graphics and animations) Étienne Ghys (Scenario and mathematics) Aurélien Alvarez (Realisation and post-production)

Falsifiability Falsifiability is the ability of a theory—a working framework for explaining and predicting natural phenomena—to be disproved by an experiment or observation.[1] The ability to evaluate theories against observations is essential to the scientific method, and as such, the falsifiability of theories is key to this and is the prime test for whether a proposition or theory can be described as scientific. Put simply, if a theory cannot be falsified, there is no point in even examining the evidence. [edit] Scientific knowledge All scientific knowledge and theories are based on two things: observation and consistent logic. It has been argued, most notably by Karl Popper, that the scientific method demands that a theory must at least in principle be falsifiable in order for it to be valid as science. [edit] Examples of falsifiability Until the twentieth century Newton's laws of motion were a) scientific and b) believed to be true. [edit] Scientific conjectures, hypotheses and theories [edit]

Global warming controversy Global mean land-ocean temperature change from 1880–2012, relative to the 1951–1980 mean. The black line is the annual mean and the red line is the 5-year running mean. The green bars show uncertainty estimates. Source: NASA GISS. The map shows the 10-year average (2000–2009) global mean temperature anomaly relative to the 1951–1980 mean. The most extreme warming was in the Arctic. Fossil fuel related CO2 emissions compared to five of the IPCC's "SRES" emissions scenarios. The global warming controversy concerns the public debate over whether global warming is occurring, how much has occurred in modern times, what has caused it, what its effects will be, whether any action should be taken to curb it, and if so what that action should be. History[edit] Public opinion[edit] In the United States, the mass media devoted little coverage to global warming until the drought of 1988, and James E. A compendium of poll results on public perceptions about global warming is below.[23][24][25]

Plastic-Bottle Bulbs Shed Some Light on the Situation - Design For the millions who live in the shantytowns of the developing world, there are better things to spend money on than electricity. But many corrugated-iron-roofed shacks, like the ones seen throughout the poorer neighborhoods of Manila, Philippines, lack windows to let in natural light, leaving residents the choice of complete darkness or running expensive electric bulbs all day. However, a new development project called Liter of Light aims to solve that predicament through an unexpected and highly affordable technology: old soda bottles. When filled with water (with some bleach to keep out the algae) and snugly inserted into custom-cut holes in a roof, plastic bottles refract the sun's rays, scattering about 55 watts of light across a would-be pitch black room. The new lighting source can be rigged up in less than an hour, and it lasts for five years.

10 Strange Things About The Universe Space The universe can be a very strange place. While groundbreaking ideas such as quantum theory, relativity and even the Earth going around the Sun might be commonly accepted now, science still continues to show that the universe contains things you might find it difficult to believe, and even more difficult to get your head around. Theoretically, the lowest temperature that can be achieved is absolute zero, exactly ?273.15°C, where the motion of all particles stops completely. However, you can never actually cool something to this temperature because, in quantum mechanics, every particle has a minimum energy, called “zero-point energy,” which you cannot get below. One of the properties of a negative-energy vacuum is that light actually travels faster in it than it does in a normal vacuum, something that may one day allow people to travel faster than the speed of light in a kind of negative-energy vacuum bubble. Relativity of Simultaneity Antimatter Retrocausality

Scientific method The scientific method is an epistemological system for deriving and developing knowledge. It is considered the best method for making useful and practical additions to human knowledge about the physical world, and has resulted in the technological leaps made since it developed in the western world.[1] At the core of the method is the idea that the value of a hypothesis, theory, or concept is best determined by its ability to make falsifiable predictions that can be tested against an empirical reality. The scientific method means that supernatural entities or concepts that are meaningless or logically contradictory cannot be included in a scientific hypothesis (not least because you can't put a sample of a god in a test-tube). Consequently, when carrying out investigations scientists assume a position of methodological naturalism. Humans, including scientists, are fallible and irrational apes by nature. Ibn al-Haytham as he used to be seen on the back of an Iraqi 10 dinar note. [edit]

Web leak shows trail of climate sceptic funding Science adviser … Professor Bob Carter. THE paper trail connecting the climate change sceptic movement in Australia and the conservative US expert panel the Heartland Institute goes back at least to 2009, documents obtained by the Herald show. The Heartland Institute, a leading group that funds activities designed to sow doubt about climate change science, was embarrassed this week when its strategy and budget documents found their way to a US blog. The institute described the leak as a theft and said a police investigation was under way, while apologising to the 1800 companies and individuals whose identities were revealed as donors. Documents from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission show that a group funded by the Heartland Institute, via a thicket of other foundations and think tanks, provided the vast majority of the cash for an anti-carbon price lobby group in Australia in 2009 and 2010. Advertisement Editor's note: In other words, we focus on public education.