July 18, 2012, 10:43 am
Isaac Newton, painted by Godfrey Kneller. The late Sir Isaac wasn't shy about making use of a prior "scientific consensus."
Responding to a recent post by our own Mark Bauerlein, a commenter (flailing—and failing—to find justification for her disavowal of the overwhelming scientific consensus on global warming) noted that she was “trying [unsuccessfully, one gathers] to think of a concept that is more ‘anti-science’ than consensus.” I find this observation to be uncharacteristically thought-provoking on her part, although in this case she is—characteristically—wrong-headed and downright uninformed. I fear, however, that she is not alone.
It may be that some people, lacking any real concept of science, are indeed under the impression that consensus is somehow inimical to the scientific …
May 26, 2012, 7:19 am
One consequence of global warming (Wikipedia)
If a picture is worth a thousand words, than one with dutifully data-derived dancing dots doubtless deserves double. So, it is with gratitude to the Department of Commerce and its subordinate agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (dupes of the commie climate-change conspiracy, all of them), that I alert y’all to the following Web site, which provides an intriguing, readily understood picture of global carbon-dioxide levels based on sampling stations around the world, as well as going back in prehistoric, pre-human time. It’s even fun to watch. Just click here, and then be patient; it takes a few seconds to load and a few minutes to watch, but repays the investment. In case you missed it, CLICK HERE.
That’s right: HERE.
December 2, 2011, 11:41 am
Sitting at my kitchen table, checking email, I suddenly notice that the refrigerator motor has turned itself off. Funny thing about that: Until this moment, I hadn’t been aware that it was on! Something like this happens all the time, to everyone, and herein lies a tale.
Walk into a Starbucks, and you immediately smell the coffee. Stay there for a while, and the aroma vanishes. Well, no: The aroma doesn’t vanish, any more than the refrigerator motor wasn’t working when I didn’t hear it. Rather, we simply become insensitive to stimuli that keep impinging on ourselves, so long as those stimuli are persistent, relatively unchanging and don’t seem to lead to anything consequential. The technical term is “habituation.”
It’s the simplest form of learning: Learning not to respond to something. It happens in animals, too; in fact, some evidence suggests that it occurs even in…
May 23, 2011, 5:40 am
Yes, the recent widespread belief that the Rapture was upon us was funny. It was easy to mock all those earnest people handing out literature explaining the “Ten Ways to Get to Heaven” or the “Good News” that the earth would be engulfed in Apocalypse. And of course stories like the one about the “post-rapture pet-sitting service,” a group of entrepeneurial atheists who got deposits from Believers to look after their pets in the event that their owners were raptured, were the source of hours of merriment among us sinners.
Then there were the philosophical debates, like whether the Rapture was also the Zombie Apocalypse since those who were raptured would leave their bodies behind? And even the pity, like for the people who spent their life savings or their kids’ college funds on getting the word out that the Apocalypse was upon us.
But now that the Rapture didn’t happen, it’s time …