DeGrasse Tyson pushes Matrix-like theory of reality, still mocks Christians

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Your friendly neighborhood blogger is always perusing the internet for science-related news. Given that fact, it did not go unnoticed that two stories pushing the idea that reality is all an illusion gained widespread media attention over the past month.

The first piece came when Neil DeGrasse Tyson said it was “very likely” humans are living in a simulation. The second story involved Princeton University scientists who think free will may just be a trick the brain plays to rewrite history. None of this would be very fascinating if it weren’t for the fact that Morepheus DeGrasse Tyson and his atheist followers take pot shots at Christians on a regular basis.

Extreme Tech reported April 22:

“At the most recent Isaac Asimov Memorial Debate, recently held at New York’s Hayden Planetarium, scientists gathered to address the question for the year: Is the universe a computer simulation? It’s an older question that you might imagine, and if we interpret it a bit more broadly then it’s really one of the oldest questions imaginable: How do we know that reality is reality? And, if our universe were a big, elaborate lie, could we ever devise some test to prove that fact? At the debate, host and celebrity astronomer Neil deGrasse Tyson argued that the probability is that we [‘very likely’] live in a computer simulation.”

The U.K. Independent reported Sunday:

Free will might be an illusion created by our brains, scientists might have proved.

Humans are convinced that they make conscious choices as they live their lives. But instead it may be that the brain just convinces itself that it made a free choice from the available options after the decision is made.

The idea was tested out by tricking subjects into believing that they had made a choice before the consequences of that choice could actually be seen. In the test, people were made to believe that they had taken a decision using free will – even though that was impossible. …

In one of the studies undertaken by Adam Bear and Paul Bloom, of Princeton University, the test subjects were shown five white circles on a computer monitor. They were told to choose one of the circles before one of them lit up red.

The participants were then asked to describe whether they’d picked the correct circle, another one, or if they hadn’t had time to actually pick one.

Statistically, people should have picked the right circle about one out of every five times. But they reported getting it right much more than 20 per cent of the time, going over 30 per cent if the circle turned red very quickly.

The scientists suggest that the findings show that the test subjects’ minds were swapping around the order of events, so that it appeared that they had chosen the right circle – even if they hadn’t actually had time to do so.

Is it more likely scientists “proved” free will is an illusion, or that they reestablished people are capable of lying?

Is it more likely scientists “proved” free will is an illusion, or that they reestablished the human brain is a beautiful box of paradoxes?

The human brain is incredibly sturdy, yet fragile. It is awe-inspiring in its complexity, yet ultimately a sponge-like mass of neurons, blood vessels, and tissue. It can turn science fiction into reality, yet it often falls for “tricks” played by researchers in white lab coats. The list goes on and on.

Matrix

Imagine what the world would look like if billions of people simultaneously listened to Morepheus DeGrasse Tyson and researchers at the University of Free Will Is Just an Illusion. Tyson likes to lump “crazy” Christianity in with Scientology, but my guess is that he would soon yearn for a world solely populated by “cracker”-eating Catholics if 7 billion people concluded a.) they were living in a glorified video game, and b.) they did not need to take responsibility for their actions.

Regardless, men of faith should smile. DeGrasse Tyson’s acknowledgment that humans “very likely” have a Creator will prompt some of his supporters down a spiritual path in the years ahead.

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IFLScience: Where green activists go to wish everyone (but themselves) death

IFLS Super PredatorAnyone who watched Popeye growing up will remember his phrase “That’s all I can stands, I can’t stands no more!” That is how countless fans of science ironically feel while reading stories shared by the editors at “I Fucking Love Science.” The site, which was started by Elise Andrew, has well over 21 million followers. Admittedly, much of the content is interesting. The problem is that often times what is shared is a.) political claptrap masquerading as science, or b.) ridiculously packaged for clicks instead of accuracy. To make matters worse, its doomsday fare attracts environmental activists who wish everyone (but themselves) an early death.

IFLS comments section compilation

“We need a global pandemic that wipes out 80 percent of the human population,” says John Elliot. What are the odds that Mr. Elliot believes he should be part of the 20 percent that survives? Magic 8 ball says “Bet the wind farm on it.”

“We need to be extinct,” says Juanka El Lokopro, with the obligatory sad-face emoticon.

“Humans are a virus,” says Sara Haddox.

Go through any doomsday post shared on the “I Fucking Love Science” Facebook page, and you’ll find that it is in no short supply of self-loathing activists who are really excited for people to die — as long as it’s not their friends and family doing the dying.

IFLScience earth story

Check out the post “Humanity has already used an entire earth’s worth of resources this year,” and once you get done laughing you’ll realize that “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn actually buys into such absurdity. Sadly, the administrators closed down the comments section for that particular story. I wonder why…

IFLS Ice Age

Perhaps the most peculiar thing about rabid IFLS readers is that they also tend to be the most hostile towards religion. They hang on Neil “tall tale” deGrasse Tyson’s every word, which is fine, but it begs the question: If God does not exist, and we’re all just a bunch of sentient cosmic accidents, why does it matter if humans are “super predators” or if we use “an entire earth’s worth of resources” in a year?

If free will does not exist, then environmental activists really should not get mad that a dentist killed a lion in Africa for $50,000 — he couldn’t help himself. According to the atheist environmentalist, hunters are merely puppets acting out the demands of atoms and molecules bouncing around inside their heads. If there are no universal truths that can be discerned through logic and reason, then it really doesn’t matter if a man chooses to look after a rare tiger or opts for something entirely different (e.g., mounts its head on a wall).

The moral of the story here is that while IFLS is an interesting website, it should be called IFLPTS (I Fucking Love Politics, website-Traffic…and Science). Its editors tend to conflate their opinion with scientific fact, and its readers are often the kind of people who make fun of others while simultaneously wishing for global pandemics.

Who are the radicals: Guys and gals who agree with the editorial point of view of this blog, or guys like IFLS’s John “We need a global pandemic that wipes out 80 percent of the human population” Elliot? Feel free to let me know what you think in the comments section below.

Tim Hunt, Nobel laureate, taken to digital guillotine by feminist mob over a joke

Tim Hunt BBC Radio screenshotImagine a world where a guy dedicates his life to science, and then in his golden years he’s professionally executed after making a joke about how dangerous love in the lab can be. What kind of crazy world would allow online mobs to run a scientist out of town over a single joke? You can now stop trying to imagine that world, because the sad truth is that we’re living in it. Just ask Nobel laureate Tim Hunt.

Mr. Hunt said the following while speaking at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul, South Korea:

“Let me tell you about my trouble with girls … three things happen when they are in the lab … You fall in love with them, they fall in love with you and when you criticize them, they cry.”

That joke caused female scientists on Twitter to ironically cry like babies. They threw a giant temper tantrum and Mr. Hunt was forced to resign his position at University College London (UCL).

When Mr. Hunt sought to clarify his remarks during a radio interview with The Guardian, the paper’s editors thought the only part worth printing was that he “did mean the part about having trouble with girls.” Here is the full quote, in context:

“I mean it is true that I have fallen in love with people in the lab and that people in the lab have fallen in love with me and it is very disruptive to the science. Because it is terribly important that in the lab people are on a level playing field, and I’ve found that these emotional entanglements made life very difficult. I’m really sorry I caused any offense. That’s awful. I just meant to be honest, actually.”

Should a man lose his job over that? Should he be dragged like a suspected witch to the Twitter town square and thrown into the fire? Is it unforgivable to say that falling for a coworker is often a bad idea? The answer is “No.”

Mr. Hunt and his wife — who is also a scientist — were understandably angry with the way UCL hurried to throw them to the curb. They told The Guardian June 13:

What he said was wrong, he acknowledges, but the price he and his wife have had to pay for his mistakes has been extreme and unfair. “I have been hung out to dry,” says Hunt.

His wife, Professor Mary Collins, one of Britain’s most senior immunologists, is similarly indignant. She believes that University College London — where both scientists had posts — has acted in “an utterly unacceptable” way in pressuring both researchers and in failing to support their causes.

Certainly the speed of the dispatch of Hunt — who won the 2001 Nobel prize in physiology for his work on cell division — from his various academic posts is startling. In many cases this was done without him even being asked for his version of events, he says. The story shows, if nothing else, that the world of science can be every bit as brutal as that of politics.

The Guardian has it wrong — it isn’t science that is “brutal.” It is the ideology that so many academics subscribe to that is scary. It can take a man who dedicated his life to ridding the world of cancer and serve up his professional corpse within 24-48 hours if he upsets the sensitivities of his field’s rabid feminists.

Staff at University College London should be ashamed. A man was fired for acknowledging a simple truth: When two people fall in love — in a work setting — professional criticism becomes exponentially harder to deliver without tears.

Every time an institution tries to placate the Twitter mob, it only makes the mob hungry for more bodies. These people would try to end a zombie apocalypse by throwing the diseased some of the last remaining healthy humans.

The only thing University College London proved by firing Mr. Hunt is that while it may be a place of science, it is also occupied by a bunch of spineless academic back-stabbers.

Scientists, U.S. government: Did we say eggs were bad for you — for decades? Oops! Sorry.

EggsYears ago this blog covered the U.S. government’s decision to change the food pyramid. When it turned out that the guidelines federal bureaucrats were putting out for years on what constituted a “healthy” diet were indeed a recipe for obesity, they quietly made the change and whispered in our ears, “Shhhhh. This old food pyramid never happened.” Now they’re doing the same thing as it pertains to cholesterol.

The Washington Post reported Feb. 10:

The nation’s top nutrition advisory panel has decided to drop its caution about eating cholesterol-laden food, a move that could undo almost 40 years of government warnings about its consumption. …

The finding follows an evolution of thinking among many nutritionists who now believe that, for healthy adults, eating foods high in cholesterol may not significantly affect the level of cholesterol in the blood or increase the risk of heart disease.

The greater danger in this regard, these experts believe, lies not in products such as eggs, shrimp or lobster, which are high in cholesterol, but in too many servings of foods heavy with saturated fats, such as fatty meats, whole milk, and butter. …

Adding to the complexity, the way people process cholesterol differs. Scientists say some people — about 25 percent — appear to be more vulnerable to cholesterol-rich diets.

“It’s turned out to be more complicated than anyone could have known,” said Lawrence Rudel, a professor at the Wake Forest University School of Medicine.

People turn to personal trainers because each person is different. How your body responds to an exercise program may be very different than mine. For similar reasons, we should question the masterminds crafting laws on how much sugar, salt, fat, etc. we should eat. I’m sensitive to spicy foods, but my wife could probably down a bucket of hot peppers and not worry about it. The point is that too many people have blind faith in what nameless, faceless bureaucrats tell them instead of doing their own research and then trusting common sense to guide their decision-making.

Remember the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Tax (SWEET Act) submitted to Congress by Rosa DeLauro (D-Conn.)? For those who don’t remember, she literally wants to tax every teaspoon of sugar you consume. Why? Because she thinks she knows what’s best for you. The same goes for former New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg and a whole host of others.

Growing up in the 80s, I remember teachers telling me that eggs were “bad,” and that if I ate them I should try and just eat the whites. When I told my grandmother (who lived to be 98-years-old), she just laughed and told me to eat my eggs and not worry about it. My grandmother did not know more about food science than the nutritionists working for the federal government, but I’m inclined to believe that she did have more common sense.

Today, there are a whole host of issues where questioning “settled science” is met with the reply, “Are you anti-science?” Well, no. I’m anti-stupidity, and it is stupid to laugh at the men and women who acknowledge years before their so-called intellectual masters that some issues are “more complicated than anyone could have known.”

There are millions of Americans who have made science their religion, even as they mock the spiritual faith of their friends and neighbors.

Do your research. Be diligent. Take responsibility for your own life, and don’t apologize when what you determine is best suited for your health and wellness conflicts with conventional wisdom. You’ll be glad you did.

Rossetta scientist cries over feminist outrage at his shirt: It’s been fun, Western Civilization

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Imagine a situation where a scientist works on a project and then he and his team manage to land a spacecraft on a comet traveling 41,000 mph hour. Imagine that the comet is 311 million miles away from the earth. Imagine that during celebratory interviews after the mission’s success that a bunch of feminists freak out over said scientist’s shirt — made for him by a female friend — and soon afterward he cries into his own hands and apologizes for ever daring to wear the “sexist” piece of cloth. Now imagine that all of these things take place on the same day Kim Kardashian’s butt and breasts are plastered all over the internet.

Imagine no more, because it all happened — and you, my friend, are officially in The Twilight Zone.

The Washington Examiner reported Friday:

One of the scientists responsible for successfully landing the Rossetta probe on a comet millions of miles away on Friday responded to outrage directed at a shirt he wore earlier this week during the televised landing.

“I made a big mistake and I offended many people and I am very sorry about this,” the scientist, Dr. Matt Taylor, said during a press briefing, choking back tears and struggling to speak.

As news of the probe’s successful landing shot around the world, so did outrage directed at Taylor’s shirt, which featured images of provocatively dressed women with guns.

“No no women are toooootally welcome in our community, just ask the dude in this shirt,” The Atlantic’s Rose Eveleth complained in a tweet.

Ask yourself what has become of Western Civilization when a grown man who just helped land a spacecraft on a comet allows himself to break down into tears because a bunch of irrational women are upset over the kind of clothes he likes to wear when he makes history.

Shirtstorm feministNow imagine a world where feminist rage wasn’t directed at physicists who unlock the secrets of the cosmos because of so-called “micro-aggressions,” but at women who capture world-wide attention by constantly finding new and creative ways to objectify themselves.

Kim KardashianA man who likes cartoon drawings of busty cyborg-women in skimpy outfits wielding guns becomes Public Enemy Number One for feminists just moments after he makes a key contribution to all of humankind, but Kim Kardashian’s Photoshopped butt and boobs and waistline garners a collective, “That’s Kim for you.” Telling.

Matt TaylorEuropean Space Agency’s Rosetta mission and its ability to land a robotic probe on 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko will likely pay scientific dividends for years to come. It won’t be long before most people forget all about the “shirt storm” over Matt Taylor’s attire, but the selective feminist moral outrage displayed — and his reaction to it — is worth remembering.

Western Civilization is spinning out of control like a malfunctioning rocket lost in space. The reason is because “mission control” is housed with modern day feminists, moral relativists, and the kind of individuals who get excited any time a celebrity like Ms. Kardashian lowers the cultural bar already hovering just above our toes.

Hopefully this incident will be a wake-up call for a number of people, just like Gamer Gate was for those who grew up thinking Stephen Colbert, The Huffington Post, Jon Stewart, and MSNBC were actually unbiased sources of news.

Neil deGrasse Tyson gets caught lying by The Federalist; disciples at Wikipedia go full-Orwell

Neil Degrasse Tyson FederalistIf you have not checked out The Federalist, then you should do so. It produces some great content. In fact, a clear sign that The Federalist is a force to be reckoned with is the fact that Wikipedia has been throwing Orwellian temper tantrums over the website’s recent reporting. The reason: Congregants in the Church of Neil deGrasse Tyson are unhappy to find out that their god has a habit of pulling facts out of deGrassian black holes that no one else can verify.

Just one example (there are quite a few) includes the scientist’s repeated claim that George W. Bush said “Our God is the God who named the stars” after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks to find a way of intellectually divorcing Christianity from Islam.

Mr. Tyson has said the following in multiple speeches:

TYSON: Here’s what happens. George Bush, within a week of [the 9/11 terrorist attacks] gave us a speech attempting to distinguish we from they. And who are they? These were sort of the Muslim fundamentalists. And he wants to distinguish we from they. And how does he do it?

He says, “Our God” — of course it’s actually the same God, but that’s a detail, let’s hold that minor fact aside for the moment. Allah of the Muslims is the same God as the God of the Old Testament. So, but let’s hold that aside. He says, “Our God is the God” — he’s loosely quoting Genesis, biblical Genesis — “Our God is the God who named the stars.”

Unfortunately, that turns out not to be true. At all. The Federalist did some digging, and it did find that former President Bush said the following after the Columbia space shuttle disaster in 2003:

George W. Bush: In the skies today we saw destruction and tragedy. Yet farther than we can see, there is comfort and hope. In the words of the prophet Isaiah, “Lift your eyes and look to the heavens. Who created all these? He who brings out the starry hosts one by one and calls them each by name. Because of His great power, and mighty strength, not one of them is missing.”

The same Creator who names the stars also knows the names of the seven souls we mourn today. The crew of the shuttle Columbia did not return safely to Earth; yet we can pray that all are safely home.

One would think that if Mr. Tyson was going to charge people to see his presentations, then he would get his facts straight — or not, if the point was smear others while making himself look like a witty guy. The Federalist then smacks Tyson down for his blatant fabrication.

Tyson butchered the quote. He butchered the date. He butchered the context. He butchered the implication. And he butchered the biblical allusion, which was to the prophet Isaiah, not the book of Genesis (you can tell Bush was alluding to Isaiah because he explicitly said he was referencing Isaiah).

Bush’s statement about the Creator had nothing to do with making “us” look better than “them”: it was an attempt to comfort the families who lost loved ones in the crash. They weren’t nameless creatures who passed anonymously; their ultimate Creator, the one who knit them together in their mothers’ wombs, mourned them by name.

In response to Sean Davis’ reporting, Mr. Tyson’s Wikipedia page has repeatedly been scrubbed of his lies and outright distortions — again, there are enough to be rather troubling for a man whose profession relies on accuracy — and now there are even attempts to throw The Federalist’s Wikipedia page down the Memory Hole.

The Federalist Wiki OrwellThe Washington Examiner reported Sept. 26:

Three weeks after the oft-cited TheFederalist.com accused a popular scientist of making up quotes and numbers in a speech, Wikipedia has moved to eliminate the conservative news site.

In a surprise move, the hugely-trafficked Wikipedia posted a notice that the Federalist was “being considered for deletion” after an unknown critic said it “does not pass the threshold for notability.” Wikipedia asked users to comment on the decision, though it in the end it will not be made on a “majority vote.”

The claim shocked the new site’s staff, especially since the Federalist has been featured in mainstream media such as MSNBC and CNN.

As I have said before, when people deny God they always find a way to replace Him with someone or something else. That idol then must be protected at all costs, which is one of the reasons why Communism’s body count is roughly 100 million…but I digress.

The ease with which those who edit Wikipedia pages entertain their inner police state censorship czar is incredibly frightening, and should be exposed. However, it is also important to note that Mr. Tyson has gone out of his way to avoid telling the truth.

Here is what he said on Facebook regarding his imaginary Bush quote:

I have explicit memory of those words being spoken by the President. I reacted on the spot, making note for possible later reference in my public discourse. Odd that nobody seems to be able to find the quote anywhere — surely every word publicly uttered by a President gets logged. …

FYI: There are two kinds of failures of memory. One is remembering that which has never happened and the other is forgetting that which did. In my case, from life experience, I’m vastly more likely to forget an incident than to remember an incident that never happened. So I assure you, the quote is there somewhere. When you find it, tell me. Then I can offer it to others who have taken as much time as you to explore these things.

Translation: How dare you question the all-powerful Neil deGrasse Tyson! Be gone with you, mere mortal! Be gone!

How bizarre is it that a scientist would sneer at a reporter over the time he or she spends verifying…facts.

Mr. Tyson’s behavior is so weird that even Andrew Kaczynski at Buzzfeed was forced to call him out, saying “Just admit you either misremembered or made up a Bush quote @neiltyson. This denial [flies] in face of scientific method.”

Andrew Kaczynski DeGrasseThe next time you hear a Neil deGrasse Tyson tale that sounds too good to be true, just remember: it probably is. Why? Because it’s apparently okay to lie as long as more people subscribe to his worldview in the end. As the scientist said after getting caught red handed: “If this article contains the entire critique of my presentation to Tableau Software — the contents of 2 out of 60 slides — then I consider the talk to be a success, even to eavesdroppers.”

Why does it matter if a scientist makes up quotes about someone if the end result is more people who believe in Global Warming, right Mr. Tyson? Actually, it matters a lot. Intellectually honest people understand that. Most disciples in the Church of Neil DeGrasse Tyson apparently do not.

Bill Moyers, scientist fantasize about locking up Americans who question climate change

Obit Shriver Wake

FBI Director James Comey told the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday that he is “suspicious” of the federal government and that American should be as well. Why would he say that? There are a number of reasons, but one of them might be because there are men who think like Bill Moyers and geneticist David Suzuki running around the halls of Congress and occupying chairs in the administrative state.

The Daily Caller reported Tuesday:

Canadian geneticist David Suzuki urged Western governments to lock up politicians who question man-made climate change, telling PBS’ Bill Moyers “our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness!”

Suzuki appeared on “Moyers and Company” earlier this month to express his abject frustration over politicians, in both Canada and the United States, who refuse to accept the “settled science” on man-made global warming.

“Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness!” he asserted. “If we are in a position of being able to act, and we see something going on and we refuse to acknowledge the threat or act on it, we can be taken to court for willful blindness.”

It’s a good thing that modern science can be “settled” with computer models that have shown to be wrong time and time again. It’s a good thing that modern science can be “settled” by the brilliant (i.e., corrupt) minds who brought us The University of East Anglia “Climategate” scandal. It’s a good thing that modern science is “settled,” even though there’s a gigantic ball of exploding gas that affects our planet in countless ways we still don’t fully comprehend.

Scientist PBS
Remember when FDR rounded up Japanese people and threw them in internment camps? Well, I want to do that sort of thing again, but I want the prisons to be more diverse. And I want to do it in Canada as well. Score!

Regardless, it is always refreshing when men like Mr. Suzuki come straight out and tell the world that their hearts are filled with totalitarian urges. It’s merely hilarious when a guy like Bill Moyers interviews a wannabe tyrant and essentially says, “I’d totally be down with that if the numbers were small enough to do it without drawing too much attention to ourselves.”

“The problem is, if that should happen — if politicians were to be convicted to willful blindness to the fate of the Earth and future generations — there would have to be mass arrests, and lots more funding for new prisons,” he noted. “We’re not talking about a mere handful of culprits. It’s hard to know where to start,” (Bill Moyers — aka, guy who would love to circumvent the rule of law and imprison people who disagree with him if he didn’t think it would get too messy.)

Here’s what I said after visiting the Virginia Living Museum (where I learned that the region has been under water many, many times over millions of years) Oct. 7, 2013:

There is no doubt that the climate “changes.” The question is: How big of a role does man play? Is it big enough to warrant the redistribution of wealth — to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars — from the private sector to a bureaucratic Leviathan? Answer: No. Is shaving a few degrees off computer models that even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now admits are flawed worth the price in individual liberty? Of course not.

To David Suzuki and Bill Moyers, that is apostasy. Globalwarmingclimatechangeclimatedisruption (one word) will not be questioned. It is “settled,” and those who are suspicious of the solution (i.g., consolidating power into the hands of an “elite” group of master minds along with massive transfers of wealth to their friends, family and political allies) must be silenced.

There are many good scientists out there, but there are also many authoritarian thugs (and authoritarian thug wannabes) who have abandoned the old camouflage fatigues for white lab coats. In countries like the United States, it is much harder to control the population by force (thank God for the Second Amendment), so the only option is to get the individual to willingly abdicate his freedom and individual liberty. Now that science has become its own religion for many people, the statists have found countless ways to take advantage of the situation.

Keep questioning. Always question. And when a thug like David Suzuki makes it known that he’s the type of guy who would have cheered on Japanese internment camps when FDR (the left’s Moses) was in office, call them out on it every time. We should never allow for the theft of individual liberty, but if it’s going to happen we should not allow ourselves to become so passive and self-absorbed that it happens in broad daylight.

Classic: Yale prof shocked to find tea party pretty darn good at science

In October, Yale Law professor Dan M. Kahan was doing a study on what the relationship might be between someone’s political outlook and their science comprehension skills. The answer: Identifying with the tea party correlates positively with scores on a test that measures science comprehension.

tea party science

Interesting, right? Well, sort of, because the story behind the story is even better. The professor’s reaction to his own findings are priceless:

I’ve got to confess, though, I found this result surprising. As I pushed the button to run the analysis on my computer, I fully expected I’d be shown a modest negative correlation between identifying with the Tea Party and science comprehension.

But then again, I don’t know a single person who identifies with the Tea Party. All my impressions come from watching cable tv — & I don’t watch Fox News very often — and reading the “paper” (New York Times daily, plus a variety of politics-focused internet sites like Huffington Post & Politico).

I’m a little embarrassed, but mainly I’m just glad that I no longer hold this particular mistaken view.

Of course, I still subscribe to my various political and moral assessments—all very negative—of what I understand the “Tea Party movement” to stand for. I just no longer assume that the people who happen to hold those values are less likely than people who share my political outlooks to have acquired the sorts of knowledge and dispositions that a decent science comprehension scale measures.

He doesn’t know a single member of the tea party. His worldview was shaped in large part from reading Huffington Post and Politco — and yet he was surprised at his findings. After having been shown that the “news” that molds his mind is so biased that it led him to come to false assumptions about the tea party, he still doesn’t question how those very same news sources could have warped his understanding of what the tea party movement actually stands for or — more importantly — the “moral assessments” he makes on a daily basis.

When you self-identify as a member of the tea party, you have to work twice as hard to prove you have the intellectual chops to be taken seriously by academics. Guys like professor Kahan just assume guys like me don’t read up on liquid fluoride thorium reactors. They assume that we would never find blogging material from sites like “I F**king Love Science,” and write on octopus camouflage in our spare time. Or that we have pretty cool friends who make engineering marvels for NASA, wives who are doctors, dads who took nuclear physics, etc.

I give the professor credit for being honest with his findings because many people would have buried them. It is often hard to admit when we are wrong, so in that sense Professor Kahan’s integrity deserves to be acknowledged. However, it should also be pointed out that the assumptions he held are sadly held by the majority of academics.

The Washington Post reported in 2005:

College faculties, long assumed to be a liberal bastion, lean further to the left than even the most conspiratorial conservatives might have imagined, a new study says.

By their own description, 72 percent of those teaching at American universities and colleges are liberal and 15 percent are conservative, says the study being published this week. The imbalance is almost as striking in partisan terms, with 50 percent of the faculty members surveyed identifying themselves as Democrats and 11 percent as Republicans.

Quick story: When I was in graduate school at American University, I had a professor who liked to brag about his contacts on the Hill. There were three conservatives in my entire program, and one day we met with him to see if there was any way he could help us obtain internships in the city. My friend said he was interested in working at a number of places, including the American Enterprise Institute. My professor’s response: “Oh. You’re one of them.”

“One of them.” It’s as if we were aliens from another planet that were sent to destroy the world. Of course he didn’t have any contacts in his magical Rolodex for us. Two of us went on to eventually work at The Heritage Foundation, and my other friend now works for the Department of Homeland Security. Not too shabby for a few kids who moved to Washington, D.C. with zero connections and a bunch of professors who probably held the kind of negative moral assessments of us that Professor Kahan has for tea partiers.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ll ponder the singularity of a black hole and the existence of God.

Editors note: Hat tip to douglasernstblog.com reader Denver Patrick for the story. I’m not sure how that one escaped my radar.

Virginia under water ‘many times’ since the dinosaur age — to the dismay of the climate change crowd

Douglas Ernst geology
Since Monday is my day off, my wife and I decided to take a trip down to Virginia Living Museum in Newport News Va., hoping to learn a few things. Mission complete.

After reading up on all sorts of wildlife that can be found in the beautiful “Old Dominion,” talking to sweet old ladies and the other kind staff who volunteer their time to care for the animals, I ran across the following placard:

“Since the end of the dinosaur age, eastern Virginia has been covered by ocean water many times. Beneath these seas, layers upon layers of shells, bones and teeth from abundant ocean life accumulated to form fossil-bearing sediments. Coastal river bluffs now display these ancient sediment layers, in particular, a 3.5-to-5 million-year-old fossil-rich band called Yorktown Formation,” (Virginia Living Museum).

You mean to tell me that long before the internal combustion engine was invented that the planet was in such constant flux that much of eastern Virginia was submerged underwater “many” times? Answer: Yes.

Douglas Ernst turtle 1
Here is me and my buddy the Loggerhead Sea Turtle. These guys are the only sea turtles that still nest in Virginia.

The next time someone warns you that unless we hand over more power to politicians in Washington, D.C., that the eastern seaboard will be underwater in a decade or two, ask them the following question: Did dinosaurs literally drive themselves to extinction in really big gas-guzzling trucks made for reptilians with tiny arms?

There is no doubt that the climate “changes.” The question is: How big of a role does man play? Is it big enough to warrant the redistribution of wealth — to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars — from the private sector to a bureaucratic Leviathan? Answer: No. Is shaving a few degrees off computer models that even the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now admits are flawed worth the price in individual liberty? Of course not.

The IPCC is in full damage-control mode after it leaked advance copies of an upcoming Summary for Policymakers to what it assumed would be friendly journalists. The journalists, however, quickly realized the IPCC Summary for Policymakers contained several embarrassing walk-backs from alarmist statements in prior IPCC reports.

Two of the most embarrassing aspects of the Summary for Policymakers are (1) IPCC’s admission that global warming has occurred much slower than IPCC previously forecast and (2) IPCC is unable to explain the ongoing plateau in global temperatures. IPCC computer models have predicted twice as much warming as has occurred in the real world, and virtually none of the IPCC computer models can replicate or account for the recent lack of global warming.

These days, instead of admitting that they used fear mongering to try and consolidate power and enrich themselves, the Climate Change crusaders (formerly the Global Warming police) are doubling down: global warming is hiding … at the bottom of the ocean, but will return sometime in the future. How convenient.

If you're swimming in Virginia, be careful you don't get too close to the Stinging Sea Nettle Jellyfish. They've been around for 650 million years, and will likely be around long after humans abandon earth to explore the rest of the cosmos.
If you’re swimming in Virginia, be careful you don’t get too close to the Stinging Sea Nettle Jellyfish. They’ve been around for 650 million years, and will likely be around long after humans abandon earth to explore the rest of the cosmos.

Want to increase the probability of causing a climate change disciple to go into a fit of rage? Visit museums. Talk to the staff. Read the literature. Learn some science and write about it on your blog.