Friday, December 29, 2006

Showing Results

The Polar Bear will be added to the Endangered Species List on orders of President Bush. Their population is dwindling and it would be a shame for such a magnificent creature to vanish from earth.

My favorite animal? The Siberian Tiger. It is a huge, fierce creature in a beautiful fur coat.

Last weekend I watched Michael Crichton deliver a speech to an audience at the National Press Club. He is the author of books such as Jurassic Park, State of Fear, and most recently, Lost, as well as the creator of the wildly popular tv show, E.R. He is first and foremost a scientist. His topic was loosely directed at the views concerning global warming in the scientific community and in the mind of the American public. He advocates mandatory publishing online of all taxpayer funded research results. No more rush to publish without proper verification and online publishing would make results available for people in the field to do verification themselves. If results are concocted, the scientist should be condemned by other scientists. If a scientist doesn't agree to publish online, taxpayer monies would be denied and private funding would finance the research.

"Let's cut the crap", he said. "Failure to show your data indicates fraud". If a scientist doesn't want to publish online, that person is free to seek private funding. "You can't pass the third grade without showing your work".

Science Magazine last week claimed that the pronouncements of major global warming trends on the planet are false. Many of the studies and research projects are not verified within the scientific community before they are published as facts. Crichton claims many just assume no one will check.

Crichton uses the example of scientific facts commonly thought to be true that are now revised:
48 chromosomes in the human body, continents don't move, life on Mars exists it just hasn't been discovered yet, and the planet is growing colder. Now, 50 years later the opposite of these statements are thought to be true. The human body has 46 chromosomes. Hmm.

Crichton thinks it is impossible to know very much for certain. Even predicting what will happen in the next 24 hours is usually no more than a guess.

Most agree that some degree of global warming exists today. Even the scientific community cannot agree to what extent this is on our planet. The planet has gotten roughly 1/2 degree warmer over the years. There is no way to be certain as the research standards were not in effect and measuring techniques were not recorded in years gone past. Carbon dioxide is increasing from man and the greenhouse gases leave a real effect.

I think we should leave the science in science. Let's leave the politics out of science. I would be much more comfortable believing a reasoned thinker like Michael Crichton rather than a political hack like Al Gore who is exploiting the issue with, at best, pseudo-intellectual thought. His movie, adored by liberals everywhere, seems more in line with fantasy than fact. Did you know it is being shown in science classes across the country as fact now?

Republicans have gotten a bad rap over the environment for decades. The popular screed that Republicans are bad stewards of the environment in nonsense. President Bush has enacted declarations of natural preserves around the country and most notably the largest marine preserve ever. It is off the coast of Hawaii. And why wouldn't he? He is a landowner and values the land. He has called on the development of alternative fuel sources since his first year in office. He tried for years to have his recommended energy policy passed in congress. They weren't able to get it done until last year but the opposition continued to argue that the country had no energy policy. Don't like the price of gas? Don't like being beholden to Arab nations and others who wish us harm? Let your lawmakers know.

Get the politics out of science.


Anonymous said...

If you get a chance, read State of Fear. I read it quite awhile ago, but found it interesting enough to share outloud with my husband.

Anonymous said...

You go, girl,.

Anonymous said...

I love animals. I believe that animals will continue to become extinct and in time, may be replaced by others. I think too, that humans may disappear or, that being the dominant species, others existence will bear on how we choose to live, some will thrive, some will die. It would be a natural progression no matter the species dominant.
I am not yet sold on man's contribution to warming, more than a natural cycle of the Earth. Perhaps we take too much credit. In any event, what we do, or not do, being dominant for the moment will write History and science will keep pace or not. Is that Fate I preach?
Crichton is right, Science for Science sake, popular or not, we've nothing else. Corrupt that as so much else is and we've nothing to guide us, nothing to co-exist, or try, with other species. No way to live with over 6 billion and counting.
My Favorite? The Snail Darter... No, not really. I have to think. Maybe the Leopard but there are so many.

srp said...

I am always wondering if the medical community is adequately policing its researchers in medicine. Conflicting reports that come out in the New England Journal and taken as Bible truths is scary. There are so many variables with any research that change over the years, it is hard to know what is right.

SEAWITCH said...

I've always admired Micahel Crichton. What he proposes for scientific studies should be implemented immediately.

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