Archive for the Pseudo-Science Category

Evolution and Religion Compatible?

Posted in Pseudo-Science on July 21, 2008 by ragnard

This is an age-old question.  Can one have both faith and reason?  If so, how does one draw the line between where one uses reason and logic, based on the facts of reality vs. where one accepts divine revelations in dreams and ancient dogma written in scrolls thousands of years ago?

It was to marry faith and reason that Immanual Kant dedicated his work in philosophy.

The two can’t be integrated, because they are based diametrically opposite methods.  Reason is based on observing reality, using logic, identifying the truth, and acting accordingly.

Faith is based on ignoring reality, accepting dogma or whims, believing just because, and acting on this mush.

Reason gave us the Rennaissance, the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution, and our current Information Age.  Faith gave us the Medeival Age, Jihad, and stagnation and death wherever and whenever it ruled.

At best, you can compartmentalize your mind.  Use reason sometimes, and faith other times.  But what principle can you use to determine when to use reason and when to use faith?  Would this be a reason-based principle, or a faith-based principle?

Faith is diametrically opposed to reason.  Reason is diametrically opposed to faith.  No matter the muddled (or dishonest) attempts to marry them, either reality is the final standard and final judge, or it’s not.  Either one looks to reality or to dreams.  Either “it is what it is” or it is whatever you wish.

Either reality is real, or the “supernatural” is real.

I usually agree with Charles Johnson at Little Green Footballs.  Not just on the jihad we’re (reluctantly) fighting, but other matters.  He is neither “conservative” in the sense of Bush, Buckley, or Buchanan.  Nor is he “liberal” in the sense of Clinton, Obama, or Nader.  He is a thinker and an honest one

For some time, he has had a series of blog entries on natural selection, and has risked the ire of many of his long-time fans by taking an uncompromising position, that “intelligent design” is nothing more than the latest attempt to teach the Bible in public schools.  This is unconstitutional, wrong, and dishonest.

But I have to disagree with his post today.  I think he is trying to make the point that there is room for all of us to get along (which I certainly support).  But it came out a little like “faith and reason are compatible”:

How ridiculous to make evolution the enemy of God. [emphasis in original]

It’s not ridiculous.  It is the nature of religion to oppose science, and faith to oppose reason.

 

Update

After thinking about the comments, I wanted to say something explicitly in the main body. Communism is based entirely on faith.  While communists may be atheists, that does not mean that they in any way accept reason or reject faith.  Quite the opposite.

“From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.”

This is the central faith underlying communism.  Do whatever you can, and whatever you need will be magically provided to you.  Where are the goods to come from?  There is no more answer to that–by design–than there is to: where is heaven?

Just believe.

 

Update

I am noticing something ironic.  My thesis was that science and faith were incompatible.  So far, three people have posted in disgreement.  But each has made a number of errors that no scientist would make.

Does this prove my thesis?  Hardly.  But it does tend to support it!

Earth: The Biography

Posted in Pseudo-Science on July 16, 2008 by ragnard

So the National Geographic Channel has a program airing now called Earth: The Biography.  The host is Dr. Ian Stewart who has a cool Scottish Brogue and an interesting way of presenting material.  The cinematography is, at times, spectacular.

So why am I blogging about it?

The program was funded by the BBC.  And it preaches the Religion of Warmenism.  This is the danger of government-funded education and government-funded science.  Special interest groups rule, and the truth is abandoned.

One point that struck me in this program is the description of CO2 gas as the primary (if not only) determinant of temperature on the surface of a planet.   Dr. Stewart discussed Mars.  He said it was extremely cold, partially due to the fact that it’s a little farther from the sun and mostly because it doesn’t have enough CO2 in its atmosphere to retain enough heat.

I did a little math, based on atmospheric data from Wikipedia on Mars and Earth.  The key facts are below.

Mars has an average atmospheric pressure at the surface of 600 Pa, which is 95% CO2.  Earth has an average atmospheric pressure at sea level of 101,300 Pa, which is 0.038% CO2.

Mars  600 * .95 = 570 Pa CO2

Earth  101,300 * 0.00038 = 38.5 Pa CO2

Mars does not just have more CO2 in its atmosphere.  It has 15 times as much as Earth!

So whatever reasons there may be for Mars’ cooler temperature, lack of CO2 is not among them.  In fact, this is a pretty damning bit of evidence (assuming I did not make a mistake–I am not an expert in climate or atmosphere).

Only with the magic of government funding can serious errors perpetuate indefinitely.  When people have a choice whether or not to pay for something, truth has to win out eventually.

CO2 Abatement is Like Homeowner’s Insurance

Posted in Pseudo-Science, Short Comments on July 11, 2008 by ragnard

On Climate Skeptic, there was a post yesterday that (at the end) addressed an intellectually dishonest argument used by warmenists.  Here is the money quote:

When proponents of the precautionary principle say “Well, CO2 abatement is like insurance — you buy insurance on your house, don’t you,” I answer, “Not if the insurance costs more than the cost to replace the house, I don’t.”

Good point.  But there is another error in the question.  The analogy would be if someone rang your doorbell after dinner, asking you to pay him $1000 in cash for “insurance”.  When you question whether or not he represents an insurance company, he calls you a holocaust denier and then threatens to sue you into submission.

You may or may not need insurance, but this crook doesn’t have any insurance to sell.  He wants to take you for a ride.

Global Warmening Skeptics

Posted in Getting it Right, Pseudo-Science on July 8, 2008 by ragnard

A while back, I wrote a post and another post about prominent people who have stood up to oppose the fraud of global warming.  I said it’s inevitable that this hoax will collapse, because the people opposing it are right, for the right reasons.

I just found another man writing to say the entire Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).  Dr. Vincent Gray was a member of their Expert Reviewers Panel since the inception of IPCC.  There are two money quotes.  The first is:

The only “reform” I could envisage, would be its abolition.

The second is:

The two main “scientific” claims of the IPCC are the claim that “the globe is warming” and “Increases in carbon dioxide emissions are responsible”. Evidence for both of these claims is fatally flawed.

This is no sight-challenged pachyderm saying that welfare is “inefficient” or that the health care “system” must provide for those in “need”.  He is saying that there is no science employed at IPCC, that the globe isn’t warming, that there is nothing wrong with CO2, and that the IPCC is a politicized organization with no use for facts, reason, or science.

How long can something claiming to be science stand, when every scientist with integrity is moving against it?  When every attack undermines its very claim to science and indeed legitemacy?

I predict less than 10 years, and maybe a lot less.

Where Are the Honest Politicians?

Posted in Pseudo-Science on July 8, 2008 by ragnard

Two questions often come up in discussion.  First, is this or that poltician “stupid”?  Second, look at out how out-of-touch the “ruling elites” are.

My answer to both is always the same.  I think they are giving people what they want.  They are smart, but utterly devoid of principles, particularly honesty and integrity.  And they are savvy enough to track what the voters want, and then give it to them.

A recent post on Climate Skeptic helps me make this point.  CS prints James Hansen’s “forecast” when he testified before Congress in 1988.  Hansen was an alarmist, and his predictions were simply wrong.

Why do few people look back at Hansen’s original testimony that got this global warmenism scare started?  His testimony and charts are a matter of public record, and absurdly easy in this Age of Google to find.

Does anyone think that merely submitting this as a letter to the editor would make the NY Times publish it, change their views, or convince the public to abandon the madness of “carbon footprinting”?

There is only one explanation that I can think of to fit the data.  People don’t care much about facts.

This uncaring attitude is not unique to politicians.  It is shared (led by) journalists.  And it is certainly true or the majority of people in our great “democracy”*.

If the majority of the population doesn’t care about facts, then a dictatorship is the form of government it shall have.  Unfortunately, that’s not good for the rest of us!

 

*Actually, the USA was not founded as a Democracy.  It was a Republic.

Right Argument for Right Reasons

Posted in Getting it Right, Pseudo-Science on July 8, 2008 by ragnard

In contrast to the many, many blind elephants out there, Ace of Spades writes about the myth of global warmenism.  He talks about California’s current focus on usage of cement and concrete.  They look to be contemplating reducing concrete usage by law.

Here’s the money quote:

Yup. All we need to do is stop cutting down trees (also known as “carbon sinks”), stop making cement, and stop burning anything and we can keep our planet pristine.

And also, dead, because the population will quickly reduce itself to almost nothing, the same as it was during the Stone Age. Which I suspect is the ultimate goal.

I continue to believe that global warmenism will die, unlike many other myths like Keynesian economics.  The reason is that people who attack warmenism are doing it at the root of it.

They are making the right argument for the right reasons.

Anti-Science, Anti-Mankind

Posted in Pseudo-Science, Rule of Unreason on July 3, 2008 by ragnard

This post from Jammiewearingfool says it all:

Levels of [NF3] in the atmosphere have not been measured, but scientists … are calling for it to be included in any future emissions cutting agreement.

That’s not science, and they know it.  Stripped of its thin veneer of reasonableness, it is a naked attack on mankind.  “We don’t feel like letting you live as you chose, so we will take away your plasma TVs today, and anything else we think of tomorrow.”

The key question is: what percentage of the electorate feels enough hatred and envy that this appeals to them?