I’m moving over to twitter @skeptswedscient, which I now find more flexible & efficient for up to the minute posting of skeptical, critical & optimistic thinking about science.
However, I’ll keep this blog as a reference …
… and maybe come back … if Twitter crashes 🙂
See you there!
Skeptical Australo-Swedish Scientist Brady
The Rosetta space probe is now on the surface of Comet 67P, travelling on out past Jupiter’s orbit, with it’s Philae lander. See you both back on Earth, in a future museum 🙂
Dark Energy acoustic ripples confirm Universe acceleration: new Biggest & Best 3D galaxy map. Juno spacecraft with Jupiter Orbit Insertion completed: 250 000 kmph/4200km above/48min burn WOW!
Fantastic video of Mars Curiosity rover (& Humans) exploring a planet, driving up Mt Sharp, in our local Universe. Asteroid (18587) 1997 YR5 passing in front of the Milky Way while searching for Kuiper Belt objects for New Horizons.
Into the atomic realm, particle physicists are now digging themselves up out-of-the-mud by questioning unverified supersymmetric partners for the Standard Model. Particle Physics hits-the-wall: No new particles means The Standard Model is not “natural”.
Closer to the human realm: Species extinction or Local loss? Human global warming or Natural storm surges? Oh, what a tangled web we weave. Why do some favour extinction?
Do our science mistakes start with politicized school science teaching? One way out could be to stress in classes: Science ≠ The Consensus/Pal Review; Free Speech ≠ Not Offending; Democracy ≠ Voting “Right”.
To drag ourselves out of the Political Correctness now miring The West, we can stress: The Scientific Method uses empirical tools & reason to find objective truths about reality. No other “Ways of Knowing” are better.
Next is teaching school students how to engage in civilized conversations and debates. We humans still (after 2500 years) find it hard to get past even the first step. Lets keep trying!
The days of Political Correctness silencing Science seem now to be numbered. Anglosphere values, until recently derided, are rising around the civilised world again. Nations’ growing support for Representative Parliamentary Democracy, the rule of Common Law & Individual Liberty is leading to more criticism of politicised popular pseudoscience. The fight for free speech in US & UK universities grows. Fear & gloom predictions are failing. An evidence-based amazing, fantastic world, Universe & future waits. Good!
Anglophone ascending: I’ve just climbed up active 500 000 year old 5 peaked lushly covered stratovolcano Mount Nasudake in northern Japan. Andesitic 16 000 year old Nasu peak Chausudake still steams with sulfuric fumeroles from the last 1963 eruption & its recent 1993 earthquakes spike. WOW! What an inspiring ascent.
So, “you reading these words in this language, are heirs to a sublime tradition. A tradition that gave us liberty, property & democracy, and that raised our species to a pinnacle of wealth & happiness hitherto unimaginable. Act worthy of yourselves.”
Aspiring Anglospheric Brady
Posted in Astronomy, CO2, Coral, Education, Extinction, Greens, Health, Oceans, Optimism, Political Climate, Temperature
Discoveries abundant. Home to the most distant galaxy record at 13.2 ly, now the MACS huge galaxy cluster in Leo Parallel Fields awes with details of what is waiting out there for us. WOW! Closer to home, Mars Curiosity Rover looks longingly towards its destination on the upper slopes of Mt Sharp, the central peak in Gale Crater. Down on Earth, humans reach for the nearest star as 2 Interstellar Alpha Centauri space journeys are planned in the last 2 months. One funded for 2030s and one unfunded for 2069. The race is on!
Firmly on Earth, the reconquest campaign for the scientific method’s primary place in science continues. John Oliver’s brillant satire on “scientific studies say…”: Media Scientific Studies ≠ Science (his only mistake: Science ≠ Consensus = Politics). Biologist Jerry Coyne lays bear the wish for purpose in genes: $11m grant to Lamarckian epigenetic anti-evolution “biologists” bears first fruit … NOT! Even comic strip artists are standing up for science: Science skirts difficulties to see reality eg. gods, politicians, enviros, Media. Lawrence Krauss (cosmologist) again explains beautifully (at 30:00) how our Universe can spring from nothing – without space, time, matter, energy, quantum fields, laws or Gods.
Human “insides” (origins, progress, brain & mind) are being explored like scatter gun shells: Neanderthal 17 700 y.o. French Cave stalagmite circles: first deep-in-darkness constructions. Human’s Progessing with Science & Innovation: from good to better to best. Brain Word Map brings closer answers to: “How does our brain produce our Mind?”. And again –Brain decides for Mind: brain acts then conscious free will illusion rubber stamps choice. Even Life-Beginnings-Theory (proton pumps) by Nick Lane gets a billionaire Bill Gates boost: just 2 life origins (archea & bacteria) in 4 billion years.
So lets enjoy this running rampant science: cleaning up our lives, minds & Earth, and so leading to our starry futures. As Deirdre McCloskey says in her new book Bourgeois Equality – the best of “The Great Enrichment” is yet to come.
Rampantly-Enriching-Science Lover Brady
Hubble Bubble Nebula (NGC 7635). 8000 ly away & 10 ly across. Big, blue & beautiful. WOW! The Space Telescope extends our senses, so we see sights scarcely imaginable.
Looking closer to home: Humans are daring mighty things, again, with Starshot solar sailing to the Alpha Centauri star system. SpaceX lands its rocket at sea – 8 April 2016 – another amazing human step into the future.
Back on Earth, how is science going? Science is still slowly getting beaten-back-into-shape. Science Broken: Replication Crisis Widens -1st psychology/nutrition/medicine, next climate? Even “popular” energy resources are being questioned: Solar Stocks Suddenly Subsiding = Risky Business? Is the future solar or shale?
How about what the humans are putting into their bodies? Well, worldwide nutrition advice is a-changing: Nutrition Advice Failure Worldwide – 60yrs evidenceless high carb, low fat, sugar OK “fad”- an excellent historical perspective. Even movie stars’ “expert keep healthy” advice is under scrutiny. Good!
Even what’s being put into young human minds is being criticized: Concept Creep in “bullying/prejudice” at university begins in school where feelings = facts. Longtime coddling of children does not produce robust citizens: Academic freedom = teachers challenge their students by seeking out opposing viewpoints.
Finally (& a real “tipping-point”?), Greens are being castigated for their unsightly behaviour … by fellow Greens: “Are Evironmentalists BAD for the Environment of Environmentalism?” questions HuffPost Green. The Green flip-flop mind changing on energy is harming the humans & the environment – says Eco-Modernist “New-Green” author. One could wonder why we continually listen to them over all these years. Hmm …
Ceres livens up. Dawn’s newly unvielded Ceres video shows our new world dwarf planet, on our doorstep, just out beyond Mars. What a wonder waiting for us humans! WOW!
Inside the Earth, the debate about Core-Mantle boundary “continents” hots up in 2016, as Jason & Tuzo evidence rises with plumes. Inner-inner core iron crystal “city” phases too?
On Earth: Renewables (declining in Europe for years) go belly-up? SunEdison: “One of the largest developers of renewable energies worldwide, especially photovoltaic, could be in bankruptcy“, losing $11 billion in debts. Spanish worldwide renewables giant Arboga files for bankruptcy too, with $16.48 billion debts. Californian Ivanpah solar mirror plant loses taxpayers $2.2 billion. But, Greenpeace says: Cleantech going up: Japan, Canada, China binge [taxpayer $billions] on greens. Which is evidence, which is emotion? Which is a threatening/extreme/passionately-held/minority viewpoint? Break out the popcorn
Future Nuclear…in Asia? China, Japan & South Korea supplying nuclear to Argentina, Brazil, Egypt & Jordan. Will the West follow or still be mired in fear? Will the Swedes “go collectively mad” & in 2020 shut down ALL their nuclear, then buy in Baltic brown coal? However, looking on the bright side, the world is now safer then ever, with nukes dropping rapidly Data shows fast human progress not regress.
We humans are being more self-critical too. And that’s good! Evidence-based medicine ≠ Finance-based medicine: 20% GDP spending on health care = health risk. Science & Reason opposes schools/universities/academics banning “extreme” opposing viewpoints.
So, it’s taken us about 100 years for the 3Rs (readin’, ‘ritin’,’rithmetic) to flood through the world’s schools and out into the world’s adults. Let’s push now for the 4th R = reasonin’ to become embedded globally by 2100. If the majority, authority & emotional logical fallacies are pointed out in our arguments, then we should make sure we have the strength of mind not use them again a few seconds later. The same goes for willingly using other logical fallacies and ignoring counter evidence. Let’s keep on pushing towards our bright reason-based future with a 4Rs-using global population.
Sunny Side Up Brady
Well well well, we’ve won once again
Let’s review the year. How are the humans going? The world is getting richer: poverty drops to single digits (9.8%) down to 700 million, even with a growing population. Food Glut: record food harvests & low prices = feeding future billions (one?) on less land with less fertilizers. Lifespans worldwide are up. The Great Enrichment (unplanned prosperity) continues apace, says Deirdre McCloskey, by individual humans specializing, innovating & freely networking. Great!
How about the cuddly little animals? The walrus seem to be happy : “Pacific Walrus populations “increased from 50,000 to 100,000 animals in the late 1950s to more than 250,000 animals by 1985,” and they are believed to have now reached their maximum carrying capacity. Svalbard polar bears are “fat as pigs” & up 42%, even with their ice poor Barents Sea. Bees are still thriving and nature rebounding. Peak cropland, peak farming, forest transition and nature rebound are spreading across the globe.
And the pretty plants? The Sahel desert is greening again, from more CO2, leading to increased plant water use efficiency. Earth’s green biomass is rising and increasing crop yields by 10-15%.
And how is Earth’s biosphere going (Gaia to Greens)? The 18 year 9 month global temp pause (cooling?) continues, even with increasing CO2. Arctic ice is thickening and the deep oceans are still cold & alkaline. The new Eco-Modernist Manifesto even welcomes humans back to Earth: “human prosperity and an ecologically vibrant planet are not only possible, but also inseparable” That’s an improvement!
Energy prices drop worldwide (good for poor people) as the fracking (shale-gas/oil) revolution goes global & produces an oil glut. China races ahead with 100 advanced nuclear reactors to 2025, 400 to 2050, at 1/3 cost & in 1/2 time as in the West.
Democracy– up; child safety – superb; war deaths-flatlined; homicides- drop. That’s good!
This calls for a song. A hug-your-hominans song! Still the One
We’ve been together since way back when. Sometimes I never want to see you again.
I want you to know, after all these years, you’re still the one I want whisperin in my ear.
You’re still the one — who can scratch my itch, still the one — and I wouldn’t switch.
We’re still having fun, and you’re still the one.
This optimistic evidence is now getting out to humans: Hans Rosling – Don’t trust The Media to understand the world, check facts & arguments yourself. Matt Ridley & Steven Pinker just won the Munk Debates arguing that humankind’s best days lie ahead. And 5 data scientists become world famous for showing that facts can win over fear.
We caring humans, are still too often tricked into destructive baseless beliefs by fear & righteous emotions from deep down in our ancient lion-in-the-grass African savannah brains, … as our world bounds into a fantastic 21stC future. But even this problem is being solved, with Homo sapiens (& school children ) more often using critical thinking to check evidence & arguments with the scientific method and logical reasoning.
These failures are our road to success as we humans move into
Green green megacities, leaving wilderness blooming & nature rebounding, while we achieve mighty things, on our journey to reaching the nearby stars.
Fantastic Future Trend Watching Brady
Posted in Astronomy, Books, Climate, CO2, Education, Energy, Greens, Health, Nuclear Power, Oceans, Optimism, Technology