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In this post: the large versions of the Environment and Humanities & Social Science channel photos, comments from readers, and the best posts of the week.


Environment. The ocean off of Jamaica. From Flickr, by rappensuncle


Humanities & Social Science. A crowded boardwalk in Venice Beach, California. From Flickr, by Joseph.S

Reader comments of the week:

Over at Deltoid, Tim Lambert brings everyone’s attention to a story about the Jasons. The Jasons were a group of physicists who banded together to try and save the world. Think the Justice League, but pastier and skinnier. Turns out the Jasons made very accurate predictions about climate change as early as the 1970s. Those predictions were then ignored by the Reagan Administration. Think the League of Super Villains, but older and fatter.

Reader Yogi-one finds it interesting that humanity can’t solve a problem known for decades:

So we knew about it 30 years ago and we did …nothing. And we knew about it 20 years ago and we did …nothing. And we knew about it 10 years ago and we did …nothing. And we knew about it 5 years ago and we…well we started talking about it. Today, the research is in, and we don’t like the results, so we’re still talking about it.


Can someone please remind me why we think our species is intelligent?

Meanwhiel Razib at Gene Expression responds to a rebuttal of his earlier blog, Science is rational, scientists are not. The rebuttal identifies empiricism as the most important aspect of science, not peer review. Razib notes that both community and empiricism are the defining characteristics of the endeavor, and they cannot function without each other.

To which reader Kurt points out that accuracy and peer review are critical to other areas of human activity as well:

Art that doesn’t resonate with one’s experience of reality doesn’t survive: no one will remember the romance novels of Nora Roberts in 100 years, but they will still be reading Jane Austen–because she captured the reality of relationships much more precisely. And artists’ consensus on reality is constantly shifting as is that of scientists.

Some other Environment posts we thought were cool this week were:

Temperatures plummeted in 2008

What does Obama really think about energy?

Agreeing with Hansen

The glacial pace of sea-level rise

You can’t make this stuff up

And from the Humanities & Social Science channel:

How White are you? (Stuff White People Like)

When Where’s Waldo Meets the Fifty Foot Buddha

“Sapiens” Is Not A Plural

Bush Administration Doing As Much Damage As Humanly Possible

Darwin & Paleontology: 50 years of conflict

Look for highlights from other channels coming up!