Politics

Category archives for Politics

“We’ve arranged a global civilization in which most crucial elements profoundly depend on science and technology. We have also arranged things so that almost no one understands science and technology. This is a prescription for disaster. We might get away with it for a while, but sooner or later this combustible mixture of ignorance and…

“For me, it is far better to grasp the Universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring.” -Carl Sagan The President of the United States just released his proposed budget for the next fiscal year, and there are some big losers in the scientific world. The EPA, the NIH,…

“When Benjamin Franklin inveted the lightning rod, the clergy, both in England and America, with enthusiastic support of George III, condemned it as an impious attempt to defeat the will of God.” -Bertrand Russell You’ll often hear charges that science has become too politicized, but it’s the other way around. Science is our best way…

“If your experiment needs statistics, you ought to have done a better experiment.” -Ernest Rutherford It’s a difficult thing to do, to go against your gut instinct. It’s even more difficult when your gut is backed up by the facts you’ve found doing your own independent research. But the greatest hallmark of science isn’t digging…

“There are now dozens of hockey sticks and the all come to the same basic conclusion. The recent warming does appear to be unprecedented as far bas as we can go. But even if we didn’t have that evidence, we would still know that humans are warming the planet, changing the climate and that represents…

Comments of the Week #141: Christmas edition

“I think that Walter Schirra aboard Mercury 8 was the first of the astronauts to use the code name ‘Santa Claus’ to indicate the presence of flying saucers next to space capsules.” -Maurice Chatelain Well, here we are: December 25th, Christmas day, here at Starts With A Bang! Whether you’re a Santa, a Scrooge or anywhere in…

“When a scientist says something, his colleagues must ask themselves only whether it is true. When a politician says something, his colleagues must first of all ask, ‘Why does he say it?’” -Leo Szilard There are claims flying around all the time that science is corrupt, politicized, and that the robust scientific conclusions reached about…

“Distinguishing the signal from the noise requires both scientific knowledge and self-knowledge.” -Nate Silver When you take a poll, you survey a number of people with an opinion about something in an attempt to predict the behavior of a much larger number of people. If you increase the number of people you poll, your poll…

Science is what made America great (Synopsis)

“Alexander Hamilton and Thomas Jefferson hated each other so much. But that hate that they had for each other did not come before the love of their country.” -David Scott You can’t make America great ‘again’ without looking at what made us great in the first place. It wasn’t industry or manufacturing or our morals…

“I’m not a natural leader. I’m too intellectual; I’m too abstract; I think too much.” -Newt Gingrich When an issue comes up, and it can be decided based on facts — on data, on evidence, on things you can measure and quantify — is it ever okay to decide that issue based on your feelings…