Science

Maybe NBC Should Hire Some Guys in Pajamas

Featured image Is NBC the most inept media organization?  How about their botched announcement of the death of the first man to walk on the Moon, Neil Young of Buffalo Springfield. The Daily Show better have a field day with this: »

Predicting the Past

Featured image It was either Edward Banfield or James Q. Wilson—I forget which, but it doesn’t matter since they were both giants of political science who thought in similar ways—who once told another political scientist: “Stop trying to predict the future; you can’t even predict the past!” This lapidary epigram came to mind recently when all the usual people (meaning liberals and the media) got their knickers in a twist when those »

John the Baptist? Possibly So

Featured image There is an old joke about a guy in a monastery explaining that a reliquary contains the skull of John the Baptist as a boy. And it is true that a remarkable number of John the Baptist relics, including multiple skulls, are dispersed over a wide area of Europe and Asia. But who knows? Some of them might actually be genuine. Two years ago, a sarcophagus was discovered under the »

Why Scientists Have Squandered Public Trust

Featured image I have commented before about the political problems of the scientific community, which are typically being turned around against Republicans.  In a post last month I recalled the 2004 remark by Harvard geneticist Richard Lewontin in the New York Review of Books that “Most scientists are, at a minimum, liberals,” and the caution of MIT’s Kerry Emanuel about the dangers of “group think” and the “shocking lack of political diversity »

Please–No One Tell Jerry Brown About This

Featured image The Wall Street Journal notes this morning in “California’s Kafka Express” that Gov. Jerry Brown is determined to go ahead with building California’s high-speed rail-to-nowhere despite that fact that it will cost at least $100 billion (he says only $68 billion, but can anyone point to a major rail project that has come in on budget?), when the state faces deficits and unpayable debt as far as the eye can »

A Practical Science Project?

Featured image Over at the New York Review of Books, physicist Steven Weinberg laments the decline in government funding for “big science,” especially noting that the proposed James Webb telescope, a replacement for the aging Hubble telescope, is withering for lack of funding from Congress.  Well, here’s an idea to get those “anti-science” Republicans to cough up the dough: combine the two telescopes into one!  Call it the “Webb Hubble telescope,” after »

Social Darwinism, Continued

Featured image There is some risk that this morning’s meditation on Social Darwinism might become another multi-part tutorial from me, if you can stand it.  A gimlet-eyed reader points me to the biology textbook, A Civic Biology: Presented in the Problems, used by the infamous John Scopes, of monkey trial fame, which includes these fine passages: Improvement of Man. – If the stock of domesticated animals can be improved, it is not »