Volcanic vs. Man-made Climate Change


01-MtStHelens-eruptionThere are two key questions we need to answer before we can judge how man-made CO2 generation compares to well-observed effects of big volcanoes. “The Little Ice Age” was the first well-studied and documented rapid climate change, and it lasted about 300 years. It decimated Europe, and almost became an extinction event for struggling pioneer New England colonists.

The Tambora volcanic event seems to have been involved.

  • (1) How much of the Little Ice Age might have been caused by human activity, and how much by volcano?
  • (2) If volcanic activity can change the weather, then at what point can we say for sure human activity may serve as a man-made replacement for extraordinary volcanism?

In this article, we’ll compare the outputs of each phenomenon, and look into other components which have been fingered as contributing to climate change. Illustrated and referenced.

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Evolution and Fake Science

From Darwin to DSC and Intelligent Design

Amazon Book link [available for pre-order]

Here we’ll discuss the science of Evolution, the religious views of Creationism and Intelligent design, and we’ll move briefly to Theology, Politics and Rhetoric, tracing the pattern set by the Discovery Institute, which follows a manifesto for the remaking of America … in its own image.

Ever since the naturalist Charles Darwin published his famous On the Origin of Species, the western world seems to have progressively divided into two camps: those who see the advances of scientific investigation in the past 150 years as overwhelming evidence we can no longer regard the “theory” of evolution as mere theory, and those who see Evolution as an unproven threat to Christian interpretations of Biblical Creation.

We all know that several school districts have, at various times, banned the teaching of Evolution and ordered the teaching of Creationism. Since the famed Scopes Monkey Trial in Tennessee (which Clarence Darrow lost), the courts have ruled with remarkable consistency that teaching Creationism in the classroom constitutes a violation of the constitutionally-mandated separation of church and state. Hoping to make an end run around the courts and public opinion, proponents of intelligent design seek to reformulate Creationism into an intellectually defensible scientific theory, complete with documentation, footnotes and the jargon of science. The new thrust: since they’re both theories, why, in “fairness”, should schoolchildren be denied a learning opportunity about the other theory?

The current controversy is no longer so much what people are free to believe, but what constitutes legitimate science, and whether we remain free to teach scientific inquiry. Continue reading

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Science vs. Religion: Debate Derailed?

An ages-old theme resurfaced in the current Scientific American, namely, the “problem” of whether there should even be a dialog between people of science and people of faith. Put that way, right there you can see the lines being drawn in the sand: if you are on the other side of that line, experience has taught me that you are the enemy, and we cannot even talk, and the real “problem” is one of “containment”: how do we draw a circle in the sand and confine you to it?

In the July feature article “Should Science Speak to Faith?” , Scientific American contributors Richard Dawkins and Lawrence Krauss debate “about the best ways to oppose religiously motivated threats to scientific practice or instruction.” Both are scientists, both work in their spare time to keep Creationism out of the classroom, and they don’t always necessarily agree on methodology.
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Rhetoric 001

Smoke and Mirrors: Protecting Yourself from Time-Honored Fallacies.

A rhetoric primer.

The Internet has brought a resurgence of instant and universal public dialog. No longer is it necessary (or even possible) to walk down to the town square or commons. No longer do families huddle around the household radio to hear the great scheduled debates. Today, one can walk from the dinner table to the PC keyboard and plunge instantly into crude or sophisticated debates over most any topic in the world.
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Crowd Control Parisienne

A tale of problem-solving. Contributed by roving correspondent DN …

An army officer in the 19th century, during one of the many riots in Paris, was ordered to shoot at a mob in order to force them to disperse. He ordered his troops to take up their firing positions, and then shouted at the mob:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, I’ve received an order to shoot you, but I see that there are many honest and respectable citizens among you, so I’d like to ask those citizens to kindly leave so that I can freely shoot at the mob creating the disturbance.”

Everyone left.

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Judeo-Christian Week


Personal reading of the Bible remains personal, federal judge rules

“jEEZ, whaddya got against religion now?”

“I don’t got a darn thing against religion. It’s just that, well, for folks who are so hot on cornering the market on ‘American Values’, seems like every time we turn around, they’re trying to get the government to put the rest of us back in our traditional places, whatever that means…”

Well, most of us saw the Saturday headlines about Arizona Governor Jane Hull’s setback in court, going up against the Arizona ACLU. “Bible Weeks” have been around longer than most of us can remember. On the face of it, it’s pretty hard for most of us to see the harm in that.
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