Posts Tagged ‘science’

Concerning our Fluffy Snow Covered Friends

November 20, 2009

…who are of course polar bears. Who else is fluffy and snow covered…? Yea, alright, but that’s just one example… OK, two examples… So… why polar bears, then?

Well, many scientists use ‘polar bears!’ as an argument for man made global warming… and why is that a bad thing?

For starters, it is an appeal to pity. An appeal to pity is not an argument in and of itself, and has no bearing on the debate at hand.

Secondly, polar bear populations are actually higher now than they were in the mid 20th century.

Thirdly, even if it were proved that polar bear populations are decreasing due to climate change, there is no way to link that argument to ‘Polar bear population decreases are mankind’s fault’, as there is no way to accurately test whether mankind can affect global temperature or not.(because there are other variables, including, but not limited to other heat sources such as the Sun and the core of the Earth)

Even if there weren’t other variables(an Earth without natural, gradual weather changes, and without rotating around the sun or containing a fluxing molten core), in order for the method of experimentation to be absolutely reliable, we would need to have a second group to compare to, a control group – an exact replica of Earth, only without mankind inhabiting it… but that’s not a very attractive idea, anyway.

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The Environment

December 24, 2008

The United People firmly hold that the government needs to protect peoples’ lives, property, and freedom from one another. In order to do that, the government must regulate the environment. However, though it is very easy to draw the line of lives over property, drawing the line between environmental groups’ freedom and someone else’s property rights is a different matter. Let’s illustrate with a few examples.

There is a village in China, called the ‘Cancer Village’, because 73.1% of deaths are caused by cancer. The village’s main source of water, the Laza River, is polluted upstream by a government owned mining corporation, the Dabaoshan Mining Company. This leads to a shortage of water for the villagers to drink, and poisonous crops for the farmers.

The United People would solve this type of problem by regulating air, land, and water, with the guideline of protecting one person’s life over another person’s property. In this case, scientific evidence clearly shows that many of the deaths in the village are caused by cancer, and can be linked to the cancerous river. The United People would then place limitations on the offending company, and enforce those limitations by taking away the company’s land if it fails to cooperate.

However, in cases such as the Clean Air Act, the United People would require extensive research and double blind experiments from multiple private institutions over several years to prove that such an act is necessary. Also notice that in the Clean Air Act,   research was proposed with restrictions at the same time – educating and deciding in the same piece of legislation. Such an approach is both naive and counter intuitive. The United People firmly hold that such decisions hurt the economy and American lifestyles(as they require private institutions to allot more resources to processes that do not earn either the consumer or the producer any profit), and should only be made after extensive research, or during a national emergency. Since neither situation had arisen prior to the passing of the Clean Air Act, the United People oppose it.

Another reason the United People oppose over-zealous environmental regulation, is that we as a nation simply do not have enough information to make such large decisions. Several examples illustrate this point. As recently as the 1990s, scientists believed in global cooling, but now they believe in global warming. Proponents of the global warming movement cite things such as ‘scientific consensus’ as basis for their argument… but so did global cooling proponents. The problem is that human beings have just not been recording data long enough to make any sort of regulatory decision yet. The United People does not oppose regulation in and of itself – but it does oppose blind regulation, such as what is going on today.

Another case of human failure in environmental knowledge are Biosphere 2 and BIOS-3. In both cases, humans attempted to create a miniature environment on a small scale, and to regulate it themselves. In the case of biosphere 2, the experiments were failures. The first mission lasted two years, but only with oxygen injections from outside, and the humans inside constantly reported hunger due to scarcity of food. The second mission dissolved prematurely due to management conflicts.

In BIOS-3, the longest experiment was only about half a year, and dried meat was imported from the outside to support the inhabitants.

So to conclude; mankind is simply not prepared to regulate or understand a small environment, much less the global environment. And because of this, the United People is extremely skeptical of environmental regulations without scientific evidence that provides a direct link between cause and effect.

Science reports

December 6, 2008

Do you believe in global warming? Are eggs good for you?

Many people don’t do fact checks when they hear something in the media. A good idea is to see if the news station you are listening to cites sources to where they are getting their data, and then to find where the funding comes from for the source cited. Here is a short read on the subject.

Education, Theories, and the Scientific Method

November 19, 2008

First of all, the United People firmly believe in a state organized and funded public education system. Since the 1950s, the federal government has controlled more and more in our public schools throughout the states, but only paying for between 5% and 15% of the cost, and making in the ballpark of half of all the decisions. Which begs the question: Who is more capable of the decision making in our public schools? The United People firmly hold that the person closer to an issue is more capable of spending funds in an efficient manner, and of making wiser decisions. And thus the United People support removing the federal government’s funding, and control, from our education systems and allowing the states to make the rules.

There are two prominent ‘scientific’ theories today. The first to discuss is the Theory of Intelligent Design. This theory has not been proven using the scientific method. The scientific method goes like this:

  1. First, the scientist, or one conducting science, asks a question. Let us say he asks the question of “How did the world get here?”
  2. Then he does research on the subject. “What have people believed in the past?” is a good example of a question he might research.
  3. He then constructs a hypothesis. “People have believed that a God or gods created the universe for a long time. I believe that from all the information I see around me that they must be right.”
  4. He then tests his hypothesis with an experiment. “Dear God / gods, please strike this loaf of bread with lightning.”

Uh oh. You can’t test the Theory of Intelligent Design with an experiment. It falls apart right here, because there is no repeatable test to prove or disprove the idea of an intelligent designer. This is why, as far as the United People are concerned, Intelligent Design should be observed as a philosophy, idea, or religion that some people have faith in. However, just because something cannot be tested does not mean it is or is not true. It simply means that it cannot be proven conclusively, and because of that, the United People believe we should not teach it as conclusive truth.

The second theory, and perhaps backed more by the federal government, is the Theory of Evolution. Many people consider the Theory of Evolution to be science, or to be fact. In a way, they treat it like law. But yet we still call it the Theory of Evolution. Why is that? A majority of scientists believe in it, right? Doesn’t that prove it is law, and not theory? No, it does not. But to start with, let’s break up the Theory of Evolution into two parts. The first part, micro evolution, and the second, macro evolution. Now let’s use the scientific method on the first.

  1. A scientist, by the name of Charles Darwin, asks about the origin of species. He wants to know how the species of animals we have today came to be so varied.
  2. Mr. Darwin then traveled to the Galapagos islands, and looked at various types of finches on the islands, to research them.
  3. He made a hypothesis that the birds’ beaks changed over time and over generations.
  4. As for a repeatable experiment, he essentially collected more data, and looked at more birds.
  5. Analyzing the results he decided his hypothesis was true.
  6. The theory of micro evolution has been proven.

However, the place Mr. Darwin went wrong was when he claimed that he could prove macro evolution using the same data set. It is most assuredly true that a species makes minor adaptations to its environment throughout the generations. Anyone can observe this is true at any time, simply by looking at different colors of dogs, and at how the skin color of human beings can change depending on the sun exposure of the human. Tanning salons, for example, are a way of forcing a human’s body to develop a tan through the use of micro evolution. Micro evolution can be repeatably tested to be true, and observed today. Macro evolution, however, cannot. Let’s apply the scientific method to macro evolution.

  1. The question, the origin of species, is asked.
  2. A scientist does research on what others believe, and find a perceived majority to believe in macro evolution.
  3. He constructs a hypothesis that macro evolution is the origin of the different life forms we have today.
  4. He tests it with a repeatable experiment. He lives for billions of years, and watches millions of species change either through leap evolution or over time to form completely new types of lifeforms. Animals evolving new limbs proves to him that macro evolution is truth.

Uh oh. That’s where it falls apart. Digging up a set of bones is wonderful, and carbon dating them is better yet. But there aren’t types and sizes of bones in existence to prove that macro evolution is true, and carbon dating cannot be proven without recording data over thousands of years. Making a hypothesis is wonderful, to be sure, but the problem is that to prove the hypothesis we have to take data over thousands and thousands of years, and the fact of the matter is that we have not been recording data for that long.

So what do the United People intend to do? We intend to take all the unproven scientific theories and to teach them as philosophy or religion. Evolution is a good theory for people who don’t believe in God, and Intelligent Design is wonderful theory for those that do. But what the United People intend to do is to stop either side from forcing their views on the other side’s children. We don’t want to brainwash others, but rather, we wish to allow people raise their own children, and to have their own belief systems. The United People don’t want to completely separate religion and state, or else no human being could be involved. We would no longer have a democracy. We would have to create robots to govern us. Every human being has a religious or, as it may be, an anti religious view on the world. Does that mean they should not be able to help govern? Of course not! If they are voted in, it is fair because the people chose through democracy. They are representative of their constituency. However, should a person be able to force his beliefs on others and on others’ children? No. Can the person have his belief mentioned in a public school? Sure. Just so long it is not taught as law that cannot be disproven(when in fact, the theory itself cannot be proven in the first place!)

The United People believe we, as a nation, should stop trying to purposefully step on one anothers’ toes. Everyone has a right to their own belief, and to have that belief taught to their children. Freedom of expression and religion is the core of this nation, but yet both the major parties(Republicans and Democrats) seem to not understand that.