On Thu, 14 Jan 2010 12:50:41 -0600, the infamous Markem
Don't be racist, Mark. Who do you think you are, Harry Reid? <snort>
What helps luck is a habit of watching for opportunities, of
having a patient, but restless mind, of sacrificing one's
ease or vanity, of uniting a love of detail to foresight, and
of passing through hard times bravely and cheerfully.
-- Charles Victor Cherbuliez
On Sun, 10 Jan 2010 00:56:18 -0500, the infamous "J. Clarke"
What, you don't trust a menu from the Hillsboro Black Angus?
Growing old is mandatory; growing up is optional.
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On Thu, 07 Jan 2010 15:11:42 +0000, Doug Miller wrote:
Actually, I thought of mentioning that. But those mariners seem to have
had a remarkable lack of success convincing the landlubbers of the facts
as they saw them. And I seem to remember reading of a definite fear
among some sailors of falling off the edge of the world. So it wasn't
altogether a landlubber vs mariner thing.
But it's refreshing to discuss history with you rather than politics :-).
Intelligence is an experiment that failed - G. B. Shaw
Actually he's talking about either a time long before the Greeks or one that
was made up in a fantasy written by Washington Irving. Columbus defended
his plans to cross the Atlantic to Torquemada, the guy who ran the Spanish
Inquisition at its peak. If there was even a hint of heresy in it do you
think that Torquemada would have signed off on it?
The notion that the church wouldn't allow science is something that was made
up in the 1800s. Modern historians have discovered that this was not the
case. In fact some of the key ideas of modern science came from medieval
As for the Arabs, they're the ones who came up with the experimental
method--one thing that held back progress in Europe (others being such
things as barbarian raids and plagues and a climate that was friendly to
book-rot) was that the Greco-Roman heritage placed an emphasis on theory
over experiment. The Arabs figured out the experimental method which led to
them pretty much inventing what came to be known as chemistry, as well as
making discoveries in optics, astronomy, and many other fields.
Actually that's what he was purported to have said on his deathbed.
That particular trial, however, occurred after the Renaissance, which marked
the end of the Middle Ages, so it's difficult to use that particular trial
to support an assertion about suppression of science in the Middle Ages.
In any case, Galileo was tried mainly because he went out of his way to piss
off the Church--he may not have intended to but he managed it anyway--today
he'd have fit in just fine in the community of annoying netloons who even if
they are right get ignored because the alienate everybody who comes in
contact with them. If he'd listened to advice and followed the rules, one
of which is that if you want to say something contrary to doctrine you
present it as an idea to be discussed, not as an absolute truth, and let the
heirarchy beat on it at their leisure, then he'd have been in no trouble at
all, but he didn't do that. It didn't help that when he finally did add a
disclaimer to that effect he did it in a manner which could be regarded as a
sarcastic stab at the Pope, and that's exactly how the Pope interpreted it.
One of the best writings I've ever read about Galileo and his issues with
the church was written by Former Regan area dude, Dinesh D'Souza in a book
called, "What's So Great About Christianity."
As someone who vomits internally (???) at the thought of Christian practices
that have done so much damage to the "essence" of Christianity, this was one
of the best books I have ever read. Too deep in many places for me, but a
keeper for sure.
I've given a copy to a half dozen people or so and except for one, they have
all done the same. Very impressive writing whether you are looking for real
answers or looking to see why Christianity is doomed if it goes the way of
the Bible Belt, etc.
Joe Agro, Jr.
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On Wed, 6 Jan 2010 16:41:39 -0800 (PST), the infamous Nantz
See recent headlines for the CRU and East Anglia email, Nantz.
We rightly care about the environment. But our neurotic obsession
with carbon betrays an inability to distinguish between pollution
and the stuff of life itself. --Bret Stephens, WSJ 1/5/10
When 95% of the world's climatologists agree on this I have to believe
them. When 95% of the world's politicians agree on something, there's
still room for doubt.
Apparently the climatologists are witnessing that they do not have enough
data to form anything close to an accurate conclusion in their life times.
And that's really the essence of the matter: thinking of climate in
human-centric, rather than planet-centric, terms. The proponents of AGW make
two UNstated assumptions beyond the obvious, stated one that human activity is
causing the earth to get warmer. Both of these unstated assumptions are
unproven at best, and at least one of them is almost certainly wrong:
First, that conditions as they exist now are normal or typical. A good friend
of mine has an MS in geology; he tells me that during most of the planet's
existence, it's been *much* warmer than it is now, and that we're actually
still *in* the last Ice Age.
Second, that conditions as they exist now are optimal and desirable -- that
any change from currrent conditions *must* be a change for the worse. In fact,
most GW models project an increase mostly in nighttime temperatures (IOW,
higher lows), which among other things will lengthen the growing season in
many parts of the world, and make agriculture possible in places where it is
not now. This strikes me as a Good Thing, not a Bad Thing.
And the term "normal" used my most "weather readers" on the news is a pet
peave of mine. Daily when they are trying to jazz up the news they recite
that the temperature is "x" degrees above or below normal. That is the most
stupid comment I have ever heard said over and over.
First off when talking in terms of climate temperature "normal" is NOT a
constant. It is normal for temperatures to constantly fluxuate from day to
day, year to year, decade to decade.
The term that the "weather readers" are searching for is "Average". The
temp today is/was "x" degrees below/above "average".
When you take data and add it up and divide by the number of pieces of data
you don't get normal, you get an average.
Exactly, who is to say what the actual optimum temperature is. So what if
there is more coastal flooding, so what if the polar bears have to swim to
the south pole to reach their paradise. Living creatures adapt. AAMOF
Polar Bears were actually found in Texas, rounded up and returned to their
northern home as mentioned in a recent Texas magazine publication. Coastal
flooding, that is nothing new, happens every time there is a storm.
Now to qualify haveing more time to look at the piece again, it is hard to
tell if it actually happened but they do say "beliece it or not" all of that
happened. I would say that any Texan would not be suprised about the ants.
Why not ... IIRC, it's snowed in Houston three times in the last five
years, and two years in a row. The two earliest snowfalls on record are
2008, and the one a few weeks back in 2009, that set the record for the
earliest ... last time it came anywhere near that was in 1944.
This is Houston, fercrissakes ...
Now that is something I would like to see. A Texas polar bear roundup. Maybe
we can get swingman to lead that little posse.
MMMmmmmmmm......, I wonder what barbecued polar bear meat would taste like?
Don't say it tastes like chicken!
As for the fire ant problem, I suggest we use a liberal/greenie solution.
Less than 50 years ago, 100% of geologists were convinced of the theory of
"continental drift." In was only in the 1960's that the notion of "Plate
Tectonics" became popular. Now 100% of geologists do NOT accept continental
drift. A hundred years ago, 100% of physicists held that Newtonian mechanics
was the cat's pajamas. Now, 0% of physicists accept Newton as the ultimate
Be that as it may, there ARE disciplines where majority vote determines
truth (Romance literature, history, etc.). In math and the hard sciences,
truth is empirical. If something cannot be proven, it is not "truth." It is
hypothesis. Or conjecture.
Compare the two observational "sciences:" Climate Change and Astronomy.
By careful measurement, astronomy has (with the help of other branches of
physics and mathematics), worked out the movement of the planets, motions of
the galaxies, wound back the clock to the first milliseconds of the
universe, and projected everything into the unimaginable future.
The Climate Change people's theories can't wind back their equations to get
the climate 100 years ago and they can't predict the weather next month.
The difference between Climate Change theoreticians and Astrologers is not
Uh, not exactly. "Continental drift" was the hypothesis that continents
move around, first put forward in the 16th Century. "Plate Tectonics" (PT)
is the mechanism by which the movement takes place. Until PT, all manner of
explanations were offered as to the possible cause of the movement (if any).
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