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Science Can Be Wrong for Decades, Centuries

The history of science shows some wrong theories being accepted by leading scholars for long periods of time. Ptolemaic astronomy, unquestioned for over 1200 years, is a prime example. Not all examples are old, though. In modern times as well, scientists are finding that theories unquestioned for decades, even centuries, were wrong. That being so, what confidence can we have that today’s scientific beliefs will stand the test of time for the next decade or century? A recent spate of science articles shows some long-held theories being questioned – others being tossed overboard.

NOMA Still Isn’t Working

Science journals and websites continue to act as if religion is a subcategory of the science department.  If Stephen Jay Gould thought that NOMA was a good idea to keep peace between science and religion (see 11/05/2006), nobody paid any attention.  Scientism has taken over the world. Teen religion:  In “Teens Maintain Their Religion,” Medical […]

Political Science 101: Doubt Scientific Claims

Science goes through a chain of messengers from data to consumer. In between are fallible scientists, who speak often in incomprehensible jargon and often only partially understand what they observe, but often wish to gain notoriety with a major discovery (or need to publish or perish). Next, the institutional press offices decide what is significant and try to digest the jargon to layman level. The predigested stories are then delivered to science reporters, who sometimes sensationalize the filtered stories to make a name for themselves. Finally, the media outlets, prone to peer biases, dress up the products to grab the eyes of readers of their newspapers, magazines, or web pages. How much of the real scientific data remains at the end of this game of Telephone? Sometimes the bias is clearly evident, but often the product is delivered with all the presumptive authority of science. Once in awhile, a reporter comes clean about the dirty work involved.

Science Out of Touch

When science became a profession instead of an avocation, there were some unintended consequences.  Scientists began to lose touch with the public.  When a scientist goes to work doing science for a living, he or she sometimes takes public support for granted, thinking the work is justified for its own sake.  Recent articles, however, warn […]

Teacher Protection Inflames Darwinist Outrage

Imagine a bill that protects teachers who wish to present facts – the facts about Darwinism.  Assume that it specifically forbids teaching creationism or intelligent design.  Imagine the bill seeking to increase critical thinking among students about controversial subjects.  Should it be a cause for alarm?     There’s actually a bill like that in […]

Researchers Violate Separation of Science and State

What are the limits of science?  Many of us envision men and women in white lab coats holding test tubes, studying readouts on instruments, or hacking rocks with picks.  A look at headlines from science news sites, though, shows some scientists inserting their opinions in areas traditionally led by scholars in the humanities – and […]

Imagining Worlds: Is It Science?

An entry on Space.com is almost pure speculation with no observation.  Does it belong on a science news site?     Reporter Clara Moskowitz gave Viorel Badescu [Polytechnic University of Bucharest, Romania] free rein to imagine life on free-floating planets (FFPs) – bodies wandering free in space after being abandoned, like wayward children, from their […]

Follow the Insects

Science has good reason to study insects – not just because they are the most numerous and diverse animals on the planet.  They know some tricks we would do well to emulate.  Robot designers are taking the lead on following insects. Print a fly:  New printers are allowing inventors to print the paper-thin wings they […]

Philosophy Roundup

Philosophy of science is a broad discipline incorporating many sub-disciplines such as intellectual history, sociology, ethics, rhetoric, logic, demarcation of science from pseudoscience, classification, discovery, verification, explanation and more.  A dozen recent news stories discussed some of these topics. Medical ethics:  PhysOrg reproduced an AP story about medical research on humans in the US in […]

Planets a-Plenty, but Are They Lively?

The Kepler spacecraft has found over 1,235 planets so far (Space.com), 54 in their star’s habitable zone, and some Earth-size or smaller.  Science media are having a field day reporting the discoveries, portraying them with artist imaginations, licking their chops at the possibility of life in outer space.  What does this mean?     Space.com […]

SETI Ignorance Gets Stronger

“Science is not about blind faith” begins a video posted on MSNBC about SETI.  Part of an article by AP reporter Seth Borenstein, “Evidence for E.T. is mounting daily, but not proven,” the video explains Frank Drake’s famous equation that tries to quantify the probability for extraterrestrial intelligence (09/29/2010, 11/24/2008).  Though Drake confidently asserts the […]

Lean to the Left: Science Reporters Oblivious to Conservatism

Take any issue, and there will often be a liberal view and a conservative view.  Why is it, then, that science reporting is almost always liberal?  It’s not just that left-leaning slants on science issues predominate; the reporters and institutions often seem utterly oblivious to the idea that other positions, like conservative views, even exist.  […]

NASA Finds Life on Earth; or,Arsenic and Old Lake

A NASA teaser about an announcement coming Dec 2 that will “will impact the search for evidence of extraterrestrial life” had watchers on edge.  PhysOrg said, “Speculation that life has been discovered beyond Earth exploded on the Internet after NASA announced plans for a briefing involving scientists who study unusual life forms.”  It wasn’t to […]

Is Life More than Sewage?

Look at the sewer pipe accompanying an article on Science Daily.  The article claims that a bacterium in the sewer water is a “missing link” in our evolution.  How can this be?     For a long time, evolutionists have tried to bridge the gap between bacteria, which lack a nucleus, and eukaryotes which have […]

Creationism Won’t Die

To ardent evolutionists, creationism should have died a long time ago.  Some of them are confounded, if not dumbfounded, that they cannot get rid of it.  They think (many of them) that the Dover case in Pennsylvania should have settled the issue once for all.  Well, it didn’t.  It keeps coming back like a cat […]
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