Canada is witnessing a similar heavy-handed control over government scientists as the United States saw under the George W. Bush administration and its censorship of climate research and other environmental sciences. This conflict between government agenda and the free flow of knowledge science will have (and quite probably is having) a significant influence as to whether the Keystone XL pipeline is approved or not. It is quite probable the US State Department’s recent, appraisal report on the pipeline utilized the findings of potentially skewed science from Canada’s Harper administration.
U.S. House Rep. Paul Broun, a Georgia Republican, doesn’t believe in evolution, the Big Bang theory, or the teachings of embryology. In fact, in a Sept. 27 talk at Liberty Baptist Church in Hartwell, Ga., the member of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology, who is also a medical doctor [a field of study rooted squarely in Biology, a scientific discipline based wholly on the Theory of Evolution] called those areas of science “lies straight from the pit of hell.”
But Broun also advanced his own theory of life on Earth.
“You see, there are a lot of scientific data that I’ve found out as a “scientist“ that actually show that this is really a young Earth,” he said. “I don’t believe that the Earth’s but about 9,000 years old. I believe it was created in six days as we know them. That’s what the Bible says.”
A while back Fox News’s Steve Doocy hosted a report about the growth of glaciers in Asia as an indictment of the science which indicates global declines in ice sheets. Mr. Doocy deferred to the expertise of Chris Horner of the Competative Enterprise Institute, legal council for the organization, to explain the latest scientific findings that Himalayan glaciers have grown over the past 9 years, not shrunk. This apparent revelation is used to discredit the overall findings that global ice is in decline.
This is the first Earth Day I have made an effort to take part in its celebration. My regular readers may find this a bit odd given the topics about which I opine. As an educated environmental scientist not taking part in the annual April 22ndobservance in some capacity may well be seen as dipping a toe into the pool of heresy. Perhaps it is. But then again I tend to be Earth Day-ish everyday.
Continuing with today’s theme Part 2 is the 2007 award winning, NOVA documentary about the landmark court case challenging the Dover, Pennsylvania school district’s policy advocating intelligent design. The documentary includes numerous interviews with the small town’s citizens from both sides of the issue delving into their deeply held beliefs and feelings. It also tells the story of the court case and the breadth of evidence from both sides. While long, it is truly worth watching.
If there are problems viewing the video or if it is slow try watching it HERE.
The Daily Scoop will delve into a controversial area today. Spurred by the direction a recent discussion took and coupled with the discovery of the article here examining some intersections of religion, policy and science, the debate between Theory of Evolution and creationism will be the theme today. The article here gives some insight into the recent Tennessee bill that was seen by many as an open door to bring intelligent design (or creationism) into the classroom, to be taught along side scientific theory. The author provides some good insight into the minds of the legislators who presented the bill and their astonishment over the controversy it created. It’s well worth reading along with the linked companion article it refers to at the beginning. The second part of today’s Daily Scoop is a video about a landmark court case in Dover, Pennsylvania involving the teaching of intelligent design in the high school there.
In the early morning hours of this, the first day of April, a rare visitor to Monterey Bay invited himself into one of the open sea exhibits of the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Affectionately, dubbed “Artie”, by the volunteer staff who arrived early this morning to opened the aquarium, was truly a sight to behold.
We haven’t been treated to such a magnificent sight as this in the entire 20 years I’ve been on staff here. said long time volunteer Harold Mackleroy.
It is anticipated Artie will remain here throughout the day before he moves on to parts unknown. So everyone who can, is encouraged to join the Aquarium and the entire Monterey Bay community in welcoming this elegant visitor to the area and share with them this once in a lifetime event.
Film director James Cameron has begun an attempt to become the first person in 50 years to visit the deepest part of the ocean.
Cameron is travelling 11km (7 miles) down to the Mariana Trench in the western Pacific, where he hopes to spend six hours exploring and filming. He is making the dive in a specially designed and cramped one-man submarine, the Deepsea Challenger.
A manned descent to the trench was last attempted in 1960, by US Navy Lt Don Walsh and Swiss oceanographer Jacques Piccard.
This postulation has been around for a number of years already but this Time Magazine article came to my attention and perked my interest once again. It does present a intriguing question. Given our spread across the planet, into virtually every ecosystem and our subsequent alteration of the environment, could the human race bring about change of such significance that this time in Earth’s history could be credibly referred to as the Anthropocene?