Tomorrow, I’m recording my weekly science news video. It’ll be uploaded on Thursday. Over the first two weeks, I haven’t done anything remotely political, but this week, one of the biggest science news stories has to do with the Environmental Protection Agency in the United States. The chief of the EPA is a climate change denier and has made a conclusion about climate change and carbon dioxide without actually knowing the science.
I’ll be keeping my opinion out of the video, as I just want to report the news on it. But I’ll say it here: you can’t make a scientific conclusion if you haven’t actually studied the science. His opinion won’t change reality. Unless he shows evidence that he is correct, I won’t accept his conclusion.
The same goes for any science-deniers. Deny evolution? Think vaccinations cause autism? Give us the evidence. Not anecdotal evidence. Not opinions disguised as evidence. Not the Bible. Not Andrew Wakefield. If you can show that the science is wrong without any doubt, you’ll win the Nobel Prize.
So, show me the evidence.
Facebook shares, news articles, and Trump. What do they have in common? A good amount of anti-science garbage. There are times when you see your friends and family sharing things from David Avocado Wolfe or Food Babe, or you see news articles about the new Ark Encounter in Kentucky or Texas school boards trying to get Creationism in science textbooks, or you hear Trump talk about how climate change is a conspiracy or that vaccines cause autism, and you just want to slap some common sense into people.
So, here it is. Vaccines do not cause autism. There is no evidence. Climate change is happening. There’s a ton of evidence. There was no global flood in 2348 BC. There is no evidence, and a lot of civilisations were around at that time with no record of any such flood (not to mention they didn’t realise that they supposedly disappeared, when they most certainly did not). Non-avian dinosaurs did not live at the same time as humans. They predate modern humans by around 65 million years. Evolution happens. Yes, it has been observed (quite easy when you look at microbes). There’s no evidence of any kind of damage or sickness from eating genetically modified foods. Remember, pretty much all cultivated foods that we eat have been modified over centuries or millennia. You can’t avoid chemicals in food. Everything is made up of chemicals. Water is a chemical. Protein is a chemical. Want to avoid chemicals? Then don’t eat, drink, or breathe.
Anti-intellectualism is incredible strong, especially in the United States. Look at the Republican Party’s candidate for President. It’s a scary situation if he gets elected. People need to be educated. Science is something that doesn’t rely on emotion. The science doesn’t change if you believe it or not. It’s still true. A ball falls whether you believe it or not. The Theory of Gravity isn’t “just a theory.” Cells exist in your body, they divide, and they have a structure whether you believe it or not. Cell Theory isn’t “Just a theory.” Dinosaurs existed and they still exist in the form of birds whether you believe it or not. The Theory of Evolution isn’t “just a theory.” Scientific theories aren’t something you can dismiss as “just a theory.” They are an explanation of observable facts. They’re not a guess.
Don’t agree with me? That’s fine. You don’t have to agree with me. The science will still be true. It doesn’t need your approval to be true.
A little different this week. This is not new news, but something I saw tonight, and I thought it would be interesting to share. While this isn’t exactly a hard science, the evolution of language is an interesting field of study.
First of all, check out this page, which has a video which shows how written language spread.
And then, watch this video. Make sure you have sound turned on. It’s absolutely fascinating listening to what ancient languages may have sounded like.
What did you think? Any comments are always welcome.
If you’re new to this blog, you’ll know that I’m a big supporter of education and science. In December, I wrote a series of Mission Statements for my blog, and I touched on some of these topics. I would like to make a stronger statement about what I believe and know.
Physics, chemistry, biology, and geology are all very important for our daily lives. Physics is used in engineering and electricity. Chemistry is used to create all the household goods we need to use. Biology is used in medicine. Geology helps us with raw materials for manufacturing. They’re all very important, and unfortunately, scientific illiteracy has made many people think they’re unimportant. Without science, we don’t have technology, health care, TV shows, or smartphones.
Evolution is a fact. Climate change is happening. Vaccines work. I am against anti-evolution. I am against climate change deniers. I am against the anti-vaccination movement. I am against ignorance.
We must fight against ignorance through better science education. We must help people understand the basics of science and know that what we study is actually not some “belief.” Education is extremely important, and science is the backbone of modern society. Without technology, it wouldn’t work. Without education, we can’t maintain the technology or improve it. We need innovation.
So, please support science and education. Don’t support ignorance. Who’s with me?
I thought came to my mind, as many thoughts do. Does anyone still use a breadbox? And that just brought up more questions.
Does anyone still play the old Nintendo?
Does anyone still use the old cell phones without a big colour screen? And for that matter, does anyone still use a rotary phone?
Does anyone still use a black and white TV?
Does anyone still use Mapquest? Sure, it exists, and it’s been modernised, but really, does anyone even bother using it?
Does anyone still pronounce “gif” with a hard g, now that we know it’s supposed to be a soft g?
Does anyone still try to use the Mid-Atlantic accent? Don’t know what that is? It was used on TV in the early to mid twentieth century.
Does anyone still use MD players in Japan?
Does anyone still watch laserdiscs?
Does anyone still use Windows 95? Windows 3.1? Oh hell, does anyone admit to still using Windows Vista and liking it?
Can you personally answer these questions with a yes? Can you add more questions? I look forward to what you have to say in the comments.
Today, we were at The Railway Museum in Saitama, a place I’d wanted to go to for years. Finally, I went there. It was pretty interesting, and I could have spent a lot more time there looking around. What’s interesting is seeing how the trains changed over time. Old trains are fascinating, but so are newer ones.
One area showed the development of the Shinkansen (bullet train) over time. You could see how the speed of the train got faster over the years, as well as how the design became more aerodynamic. The technology kept improving.
I’m always interested in how technology evolves. I’ll be looking at space probes when I go through them for Quick Facts, though this will mostly look at the discoveries and science done. However, I want to look at specific advances in technology over time for individual technologies. For example, I’d like to look at how computers have changed, or how bicycles have changed, or how telephones have changed. I want to write about the various stages and provide examples. I think it’ll be interesting. It also makes me wonder about the future.
What do you think? Are you interested in how technology changes?
This video has been going around a bit. It’s an animation based on a thirty metre long book filled with various animals from human all the way down to simple prehistoric animals, then back up to human. It’s very simple, but shows very well how we evolved. Take a look.
550 million years of evolution in less than a minute. Easy to understand, isn’t it?
What do you think of it? Have you found any similar videos showing some aspect of science in a simple and easy to understand way?