Archive for ‘Science’

July 18, 2011

Happy Birthday, John Glenn

by thoughtfulconservative

Today is John Glenn’s 90th birthday. Yesterday’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel had a nice article about him in the Crossroads section (Don’t ask me why there; I just read the paper).

He was a hero in two of America’s wars, then a fabled test pilot, a four-term senator, a presidential candidate, finally a party elder. But in mind’s eye and in history, John Herschel Glenn Jr. is frozen in time.

I was a lad when Glenn went up in Friendship 7, the third flight of the Mercury program, the first one that actually orbited the earth.

Sometime after I came into possession of a 33 1/3 rpm recording of the highlights of the flight. Sadly, it’s long gone.

Space captured my attention, as it did many, during those early years. I would watch the liftoffs on TV, I tried to take pictures of the moon landing, I continued to follow the space program down through the years.

I haven’t agreed with all of the issues in his political life, but he was and is an American hero; maybe one of the last we’ve had.

God speed, John Glenn.

January 28, 2009

Challenger disaster anniversary

by thoughtfulconservative

Ed Morrissey has video at Hot Air about the disaster and President Reagan’s speech on it.

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January 28, 2009

Apollo I and Challenger

by thoughtfulconservative

Hot Air reminds us

Forty-one years ago today, astronauts Gus Grissom, Ed White, and Roger Chafee perished in a capsule fire that almost derailed the Apollo program and our eventual triumph on the Moon. Twenty-three years ago tomorrow, we lost seven more astronauts in the Challenger explosion — Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Gregory Jarvis, Judith Resnik, and teacher Christa McAuliffe.

As a science geek when I was younger (and before they used “geek” or “nerd” to describe us), I followed the space program religiously. Being close to the Kennedy Space Center was a bonus.

I was overseas when the Challenger tragedy occured and had to follow the news on radio.

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December 19, 2008

Psychiatrists Revise the Book of Human Troubles

by thoughtfulconservative

Via NYTimes.com

The current edition of the manual, which was published in 2000, describes 283 disorders — about triple the number in the first edition, published in 1952.

Experts say that some of the most crucial debates are likely to include gender identity, diagnoses of illness involving children, and addictions like shopping and eating.

Some of the debates you can see why they would be debated,

One example, Dr. First said, is binge eating, now in the manual’s appendix as a tentative category.

“A lot of people want that included in the manual,” Dr. First said, “and there’s some research out there, some evidence that drugs are helpful. But binge eating is also a normal behavior, and you run the risk of labeling up to 30 percent of people with a disorder they don’t really have.”

And some of the debates are not what one would expect,

Transgender people are themselves divided about their place in the manual. Some transgender men and women want nothing to do with psychiatry and demand that the diagnosis be dropped. Others prefer that it remain, in some form, because a doctor’s written diagnosis is needed to obtain insurance coverage for treatment or surgery.

So there you have it.

October 26, 2008

Can Darwinism and Faith Coexist?

by thoughtfulconservative

Why comment on this article from Scientific American? Because I agree with the Darwinists quoted in the article.

A geneticist ordained as a Dominican priest, Francisco J. Ayala sees no conflict between Darwinism and faith.

His opinion,

Ayala thinks that scientists who attack religion and ridicule the faithful—most notably, Richard Dawkins of the University of Oxford—are making a mistake. It is destructive and gives fodder to the preachers who insist followers must choose either Darwin or God.

Because for a Christian who believes the Bible is God’s Word, there are only two choices, God created the earth exactly as it says, or they have to fit everything into that phrase in Genesis chapter one verse two,

And the earth <i>became without form</i> and void.

This brings it’s own problems such as, for one, that death and dying existed before it’s said to begin in chapter three.

Nevertheless, Ayala

refers to science-savvy Christian theologians who present a God that is continuously engaged in the creative process through undirected natural selection. [Emphasis mine]

He’s “engaged” but the process is “undirected.” What kind of gobbledygook is this? Some scientists disagree.

[S]ome philosophers of science, such as Philip Kitcher of Columbia University, have come to believe that evolution and belief in a providential creator cannot coincide. Kitcher admires Ayala but complains that “he has residual supernaturalist tendencies.”

And Ayala himself

is unwilling to affirm or deny a personal belief in God.

Which may say everything we need to know.

May 19, 2008

Hurricanes not changed by global warming

by thoughtfulconservative

This small article in Monday’s Waukesha Freeman, demonstrates the major problem many of us have with climate change science [Emphases throughout are mine].

Global warming isn’t to blame for the recent jump in hurricanes in the Atlantic, concludes a study by a prominent federal scientist whose position has shifted on the subject.

Not only that, warmer temperatures will actually reduce the number of hurricanes in the Atlantic and those making landfall, research meteorologist Tom Knutson reported in a study released Sunday.

In the past, Knutson has raised concerns about the effects of climate change on storms. His new paper has the potential to heat up a simmering debate among meteorologists about current and future effects of global warming in the Atlantic.

Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, hurricanes have often been seen as a symbol of global warming’s wrath. Many climate change experts have tied the rise of hurricanes in recent years to global warming and hotter waters that fuel them.

Another group of experts, those who study hurricanes and who are more often skeptical about global warming, say there is no link. They attribute the recent increase to a natural multi-decade cycle.

A meteorologist who previously thought hurricane strength and frequency were increasing because of climate change, now has reversed course, since strength and frequency were not increasing, and says climate change will reduce them.

Amazing.

Such scholarly adeptness. Your theory doesn’t work so presto! (I thought of using whallah! but decided against it.) Change the anticipated results, but not the underlying reason. Brilliant.

And environmentalists wonder why we doubt the whole thing. They have only to look at the sloppy scientists who appear to be desperately trying to prove it.

Look, I’m willing to acknowledge that warming is taking place. In the face of good science, one that is willing to acknowledge that they don’t have all the facts yet, I may even accept that mankind is increasingly responsible.

But, to me, at this time, those in favor of climate change seem unwilling to accept any other explanation. And I react to that by becoming stubborn.

Sorry, it’s genetic.