Just the other day I was speaking to a climate change skeptic who made mention of an old Time or Newsweek he was not sure article that talked about fears of a coming ice age. But here, David Kirtley places a recent meme that seems to be an attempt to diffuse concern about global warming because we used to be worried about global cooling. The meme, however, is not what it seems to be. And, David places the argument that Ice Age Fears were important and somehow obviate the science in context. From the cover we can see that apparently a new ice age was supposed to arrive. Only 30 years later, according to the cover, global warming is supposed to be the problem.

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Who are we doing this versus? Some old news I only just heard about: PETA is offering to pay the water bills for needy Detroit families if and only if those families agree to stop eating meat.

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But somehow, I lost track of my acceptances and eventually forgot all about Netgalley. The years went by, and eventually, I rediscovered Netgalley, only to find that I had a black mark on my record: I’d never read or reviewed The Half-Life of Facts. Although I’ve been slowly repairing my reviewing ratio, I only discovered recently that I could actually go back and right the wrongs of As can be inferred from the title, The Half-Life of Facts deals with the idea that facts–the concepts generally accepted by scientists of the day–are constantly in flux.

Arbesman is essentially introducing scientometrics, that is, the scientific study of scientific studies. Concepts such as mathematical theorems are inherently true and thus unchanging. However, the “facts” of chemistry, physics, and biology are constantly being overturned. For example, there’s a whole collection of “Lazarus taxa,” that is species “known” to be extinct but which have since been rediscovered. As our technology improves, so does our ability to approximate the truth, and so does the rate by which we overturn old “facts.

This decay can be observed in a variety of ways, such as examining paper citation rates over time or studies of the rate at which medical facts are disproved. I don’t accept all of the theories presented–to my mind, many of them rest upon correlation rather than causality–but his theories are interesting nonetheless.

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Mast species composition alters seed fate in North America rodent-dispersed hardwoods. Please note that some of these are likely behind a paywall. To get ahold of them, you may need to contact a local college.

Against modesty, and for the Fischer set Posted on by Eric Raymond Over at Slate Star Codex, I learned that Eliezer Yudkowsky is writing a book on, as Scott puts it, “low-hanging fruit vs. the argument from humility”.

Unfortunately the line to get him to sign books was about fifty frenzied geeks long, so I didn’t stay for that. But I did enjoy his dialogue with the audience, which mainly consisted of answering questions ranging from… Make sure you read the mouseover text By ScruffyDan not verified on 13 Dec permalink You just live to crush our generation’s Galileos, don’t you, Lambert? When I was a physics undergrad, I can certainly remember a certain subset of students with that attitude.

I even remember getting a spammed email from another university in another country I forget which by some hapless student that was determined to deconstruct Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle in front of the world. Log in to post comments By JamesA not verified on 13 Dec permalink Hands up those of you delusionals “skeptics” who a get the joke but b can explain why nobody should be laughing at you.

Log in to post comments By frankis not verified on 14 Dec permalink It’s amazing how many independent, amateur scientists have to prove with pen and paper that evolution violates the second law of thermodynamics before the world will listen. By Douglas Watts not verified on 14 Dec permalink Douglas Watts – Equally amazing is the size of the intersection between ‘People who are convinced that major scientific theory X is false’ and ‘People who could write a word essay on major scientific theory X without making any really massive howlers.

Funnily enough, PZ Myers sees this as a perfect example of how creationists argue. That shows that it is very hard to tell creationists and denialists apart. I’m certain it was during the recent Drudge infestation here that someone argued that AGW is wronge, because it would violate the 2nd law of thermodynamics. Log in to post comments By tomhuld not verified on 14 Dec permalink “That shows that it is very hard to tell creationists and denialists apart.

They just deny biology rather than climatology.


This post is intended to be a must-read for every Christian thinking about getting into the creation and evolution debate. You may not agree with my exact position on the matter, but you do need to know that there are pitfalls to avoid, and that rushing headlong into the debate with all guns blazing can cause much more harm than good. Make sure that you know what you are talking about.

The same is true of any source of information about science.

Currently, only global corporations like Google or Facebook can maintain a vast knowledge graph about the world. Little companies which rely on knowing world context need to unite to create a Public Knowledge Graph, or they will fall further behind the big guys.

When the GIF reaches the late s, however, the temperature change increases considerably. But in a recent study, researchers tracked how much man-made heat has been buried in the oceans in the past years. The world’s oceans absorbed approximately zettajoules of energy from to , and then absorbed about another in the next 18 years, according to a study in the journal Nature Climate Change. To put that in perspective, if you exploded one atomic bomb the size of the one that dropped on Hiroshima every second for a year, the total energy released would be two zettajoules.

So since , Earth’s oceans have absorbed man-made heat energy equivalent to a Hiroshima-style bomb being exploded every second for 75 straight years. For example, there is a small amount of cooling between the s and due to volcanic eruptions before warming again between and the s.

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I’m just going to warn you if it’s the first time teaching Algebra II, the struggle is real when trying to find function values from a table or graph. Just be prepared. Just be prepared. Also the magic parentheses for evaluating a function = amazing.

Exponential growth and decay are two examples of this. The odds of you using them on your next trip to the supermarket are fairly slim more on using odds later , but some professions simply would not be able to do the things they do without them. To get an idea of what a graph of exponential growth looks like, consider the following graph of the global human population: This is what is meant by exponential growth.

If this graph were to be flipped the other direction so that the decrease starts steep but levels out as it approaches zero, that would be exponential decay. Hopefully as you read these examples, your passion for this math topic will grow exponentially. You knew what you were getting into when you read a blog by a math teacher. As radioactive material decays, it does so exponentially.

This is vitally important to fields such as archeology because of a process called carbon dating. Carbon dating works by tracking how much carbon has decayed into nitrogen and using the half-life to see how long it would take to do so. Nuclear engineers also need to account for radioactive half-life when designing storage containers for the waste created by nuclear energy.

Medical professionals use technetium m in imaging tests by tracking the radiation before it completely decays. This requires them to know the half-life of technetium m so that they know the time-window they have to run the test before the material decays away.

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Then stop the proxies, tack on thermometer data that was recorded in a different way with different errors and a very different response to faster temperature changes. I took the 14, pixel cartoon and squeezed it to one shot that shows the curve that matters. See the error bars?

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A strange thing happened in the stratosphere September 2, This disruption to the wind pattern – called the “quasi-biennial oscillation” – did not have any immediate impact on weather or climate as we experience it on Earth’s surface. But it does raise interesting questions for the Scientists begin to unravel summer jet stream mystery August 25, Scientists have discovered the cause of the recent run of miserable wet summers as they begin to unravel the mysteries of the Atlantic jet stream.

British weather set to become more unsettled September 9, The new research, published today 9 September in the International Journal of Climatology, shows that weather patterns over the UK have become distinctly more unstable, resulting in contrasting conditions from very Clear link between solar activity and winter weather revealed October 10, Scientists have demonstrated a clear link between the year sun cycle and winter weather over the northern hemisphere for the first time.

Recommended for you Researchers measure carbon footprint of Canada hydroelectric dams November 22, Squatting on spongy soil, a climate scientist lays a small cone-shaped device to “measure the breathing” of a peat bog in the northern part of Canada’s Quebec province. Researchers find simple way to massively improve crop loss simulations November 21, Droughts or heat waves have consequences that spread beyond farmers anxiously watching their fields; these fluctuations in crop yields can send shockwaves through local and global food supplies and prices.

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