Thursday, February 11, 2010

Climate Change Deniers Used to Just be Stupid

Oh boy . . .

Yes, you heard him. Climate change deniers are, in his words, "unpatriotic."

There are a lot of people out there that think the Moon landing was a hoax. I'm sure you can find someone that genuinely thinks that the world is the center of the universe. Global warming/climate change is just one in a plethora of phenomena that science has described in its brief history. Why would anyone deny it?


Most people have never seen the evidence. None of us has seen it all: it's taken climatologists, oceanographers, geologists, botanists, meteorologists, etc, working in concert to fully understand it. Most importantly, why not deny it? Has anyone--including Al Gore--given up the instruments that make this "inconvenient truth," so terribly inconvenient?

Scientists aren't prophets. It is incumbent on science to describe the facts in such a way that those who haven't the background to understand a least-squares regression or a p-value, can somehow connect the dots. To be fair, many attempts at this have been thwarted by commercial and religious interests, spending billions on obfuscation campaigns.

Buying into a cigarette company's claim that their product doesn't cause cancer is arguably stupid, but it does not follow that lighting up, against the advice of the Surgeon General, makes you a bad American. Bill Nye undermines the premise of Maddow's entire argument by concluding that a failure to yield to science is unpatriotic. This is as ludicrous as the claim that a week of heavy snow disproves decades of evidence on climate change.

Nye brought a political hack's weapons to a scientist's fight.
In science, we win arguments with facts, not hyperbole. Shrouding science in mystery and demonizing its critics--however foolish their arguments--makes it indistinguishable from religion.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Met Him and Everything, have You?

So tell me, oh knowing one:
What does God look like?
A burning bush
Or a beard of white?

Since you claim to know God
You might tell me
What his favorite
Football team would be?

Why would he hate Muslims
(Since they worship him too)?
Why favor
A Protestant over a Jew?

And what's he got against
The Hindu kids?
Aren't they—like the Buddhists—
Also His?

So answer for God—
Since you know Him so well—
How can there be Heaven
With so many in Hell?


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Monday, January 11, 2010

Hume on Woods: where Sport Collides with Sanctimony

I thought I was done--I really did; I haven't made a post in months. But this is such low-hanging fruit, I have to chime in.

I have to.

My message to Brit Hume is this: where was all of this sanctimony when Mark Sanford not only cheated on his wife, but publicly humiliated her by waxing nostalgic about his lover at a press conference? Where was this call to "forgiveness and redemption that is offered by the Christian faith" to a brother-in-Christ, whose only hope of recovery appears to be at an asylum for the criminally clueless?

Tiger Woods is a talented and famous athlete, but he's still just an athlete. He did what so many other people have done with their fame and notoriety: he used it to get laid. What he didn't do was try to substitute a public confession for remorse. How is it the duty of an athlete to be "a great example to the world," when adulterous politicians, hypocritical (and often pedophilic) clergy and sensationalistic (i.e. dishonest) pundits, like Hume, have clearly abdicated the role? Brit Hume--and everyone else, for that matter--should accept the game of golf for what it is: a nice way to spend a Sunday that doesn't involve listening to a lecherous douche bag with a collar.

If Woods is to be redeemed, he will do so with his clubs. If he is to find forgiveness, he will find it in himself. The religious product placement from a washed-up talking-head won't have anything to do with either one.