The Intersection

New NASA Censorship Opportunity

By now everyone has heard of George Deutsch, the creationist-friendly whippersnapper who decided he could tell James Hansen what to say and what not to say. Has ever a greater scientist had a less worthy oppressor? It’s hard to think of an example.

PZ and John Lynch have more on Deutsch; he’s all over the blogosphere now, famous in a way that I hope I will never be. I don’t have much more to say about Andy Revkin’s latest big scoop in the Times, except for the following recommendation to would-be NASA censors: Check out this agency website. It is chock full of offensive scientific facts that are really only “theories” and that greatly offend religious sensibilities, including the mere opinion that the earth is 4.6 billion years old. I say take the page down immediately, and not bring it back up until the information has been adequately “balanced.”

Comments

  1. #1 tacitus
    February 5, 2006

    Heh, perhaps the pre-Edwin Hubble astronomers were right, all those so-called galaxies are only gaseous nebulae after all!

    If light has been traveling through space for only 6,000 years, what else could they be?

  2. #2 Bartholomew
    February 5, 2006

    World O’Crap has overviewed Deutsch’s journalistic record.

  3. #3 Ed Darrell
    February 5, 2006

    Has anyone reported Mr. Deutsch to the agency’s inspector general? If a researcher did the same thing, it seems to me, it would violate the laws against fraud at NASA. I don’t know that the PR offices are exempt from those laws. Is Deutsch still there?

  4. #4 Monte Davis
    February 5, 2006

    I have a space book in the works; I’m grateful for global search & replace, which will make it easier to change all appearances of “gravity” to “Newton’s speculative and controversial ‘gravity’ theory.”

    It will take longer to explain, in all non-partisanship, that the need for high thrust in rocket launches may be due to an Invisible Hand (or Noodly Appendage) pushing down.

  5. #5 Robert
    February 5, 2006

    There is a related story in this morning’s Boulder Daily Camera: http://www.dailycamera.com/bdc/opinion/0,1713,BDC_2401,00.html
    (free registration required).

    It cocnerns a collaborative research project between NASA and the National Snow and Ice Data Center at CU-Boulder. The study presented evidence for positive feedback in the decline of arctic sea ice. NASA and CU had agreed to issue a joint press release, but when the NASA version appeared it had been significantly watered down by political appointees.

  6. #6 Ed Darrell
    February 5, 2006

    Hello! “Watering down” the research results? I’ll bet we have the inspector generals from at least two different agencies now involved — where does the National Snow and Ice Center get its funding?

  7. #7 Laurie Mann
    February 5, 2006

    Be sure to read Bad Astronomy Blog for even more information on the attempted censorship of scientific information at the NASA Web site:

    http://www.badastronomy.com/bablog/2006/02/04/outrage-at-attacks-on-nasa-science/

  8. #8 Phobos
    February 6, 2006

    Unbelievable. Please tell me that Deutsch’s career at NASA is ending…or is he granted immunity to such things for as long as Bush is in the White House?

    “Check out this agency website.”
    - Written by S. Dutch…perhaps Duetsch’s alter-ego? :)

  9. #9 Paul Riddell
    February 6, 2006

    I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again: as much as I like Texas A&M (having been invited to speak there back in ’99 and 2000 during AggieCon), going to A&M for a journalism degree is like going to Caltech to study dance.

  10. #10 hermesten
    February 6, 2006

    Yes, A&M is a very nice place to visit. There are lots of very nice and very friendly people there, and thousands of very attractive women. But, though their academic standards are relatively high by comparison to other state schools in Texas, the student body, on the whole, is dumb, dumb, dumb.

    My son went there. He met a lot of Christian fundamentalists and very few with any coherent understanding of their beliefs. He never met another student who admitted to having read a book in it’s entirety, and certainly not a book that wasn’t assigned in class. And he met people like the senior biology major who told him their dorm was haunted by ghosts because it was built on a cemetary. If these students represent our future, we’re history.

  11. #11 Jon Koppenhoefer
    February 7, 2006

    I suppose you think that just because George W. Bush couldn’t get into law school he doesn’t know anything about the Constitution, either.

    All this intellectualism is downright anti-democratic.

    We don’t need no stinkin’ education.

  12. #12 Aaron Ingber
    February 7, 2006

    I like cheese