News Briefs 16-10-2007

It’s a sign of the times when even light is bent the wrong way.

  • A severe case of mistaken consensus.
  • What the fuck?
  • Police could not find fingerprints on Dr. Kelly’s ‘suicide’ knife.
  • Weird weather makes waves in Iowa.
  • Volcanic moon’s gassy mystery solved.
  • Light bent the wrong way.
  • Brightest known supernova detected.
  • From sky flivver to hyrdopolis.
  • Democracy, GDP and natural disasters.
  • Brain imaging shows similarities and differences in thoughts of chimps and humans.
  • Titan’s strange atmosphere.
  • Human sequences cropping up in Neanderthal genome.
  • The most horrific EVP ever recorded.
  • The importance of knowing your history.
  • Huge dinosaur skeleton unearthed.

Quote of the Day:

There is no excellent beauty that hath not some strangeness in the proportion.

Sir Francis Bacon

  1. Consensus
    When people purposely create an oxymoron, such as “scientific consensus”, they are setting themselves up for eventual humiliation. Or a Nobel Peace Prize. Followed by eventual humiliation.

    1. Loaded words
      Indeed, scientific consensus is an oxymoron. A more correct term would then be scientists’ consensus. But it’s not quite the same isn’t it?

      I suppose because, in the head of most people, when a person devotes his life to the pursue of advancing the sciences, it acquires a patina of legitimacy that almost stretches any aspect of such person’s life. But that is as ridiculuos as if we thought that, just because a person decides to make studies in Theology and Divinity, he therefore becomes… divine.

      You trust a doctor to cut you open and perform a tremendously risky operation because you rely in all the years it took him to acquire his diploma, in the system of selection and evaluation that tries to ensure that only the most capable are entitled to do such procedures. The system has several fail-proof mechanisms, but as such, it will always remain perfectible.

      Now, do you trust the same doctor with ALWAYS making decissions so right that you would risk your own life on them? Of course not. Doctors also get divorced, they too crash their cars from time to time. Doctors are human.

      Science is in itself devoid of error and it’s not the subject of consensus by a majority, be it a democracy or a dictatorship. The problem is that the flaws the article deals with are not in science, but in the humans who speak on its behalf; humans as fallible and corruptible as ourselves. They will tend to make far less mistakes than us in their particular discipline of expertise. But sooner or later they will make some.

      But, just as we should protect science from false accusations and libels, shouldn’t we do the same with other methods of learning? How about philosophy? Or even religion? After all, is it really Islam’s fault that some delusional men go out and commit attrocities in its name? Why are we so willing to treat Islam as an entity with a “life” outside its practitioners, and therefore subject of blames and accountability, and not science? Is it “science” the direct editor and judge of peer-reviewed journals? No. Science is not a “being” that can be put on trial anymore than christianity or budhism. But it’s interesting how often we forget to focus on the person who commits the error and instead attack the system. It’s easier because it’s a larger target.

      It’s not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me…
      It’s all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

      Red Pill Junkie

  2. Enjoyed thee news post,
    Enjoyed thee news post, Jameske. Really enjoyed the 2nd link, the 4th link has a pic from ~15 miles form my house and the 1st link is of particular interest to me as my father passed away from heart disease in his 40s after having a first heart attack in his early 30s. I’ve been on a low fat diet which mainly seems to lower both my LDL and HDL (unfortunately, despite some solid efforts to bring it up), so it makes sense to me that a low fat diet may not always help.

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