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She Blinded Me With Science

© Maki

You think this is a joke? In an article in the Wall Street Journal, climate change denier Robert Bryce makes the following bizarre claim:

The science is not settled, not by a long shot. Last month, scientists at CERN, the prestigious high-energy physics lab in Switzerland, reported that neutrinos might—repeat, might—travel faster than the speed of light. If serious scientists can question Einstein’s theory of relativity, then there must be room for debate about the workings and complexities of the Earth’s atmosphere.

UPDATE: The CERN mystery seems to have been solved and the theory of relativity is safe. Ironically, it was the theory of relativity that provided the solution to the mystery.



  1. ThatGuy wrote:

    Makes perfect sense to me. One time, I fell UP the stairs, so now I don’t take gravity too seriously.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 11:39 am | Permalink
  2. David Freeman wrote:

    Washington Post columnist Charles Krauthammer made a similarly foolish statement in a 2008 column: “If Newton’s laws of motion could, after 200 years of unfailing experimental and experiential confirmation, be overthrown, it requires religious fervor to believe that global warming — infinitely more untested, complex and speculative — is a closed issue.”

    It’s is hard to believe that persons with even a single middle school science class under their belt could be this ignorant of how science works. I think it is more plausible that Krauthammer, Bryce, Watts, Will and other professional deniers are just playing rhetorical games to advance their ideology regardless of data. Shame on them.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011 at 12:00 pm | Permalink
  3. Fortunately for science, it has nothing to do with reason. You can’t argue something in or out of a scientific possibility, no matter what kind of logic you use.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 2:04 am | Permalink
  4. TENTHIRTYTWO wrote:

    Had these ridiculous conversations for years now. Everything from “evolution isn’t a fact, it is just a theory” to “some scientist was wrong sometime so who knows whether this is right?”

    It is sometimes hard to explain (or maybe just hard to accept) that the fallibility of science and the infallibility of religion is what makes science > religion. The ability of scientists to be wrong and be corrected is why we can generally trust it to make truthful assertions.

    Further, and equally ironic, who are the people who are disproving scientific theories? Lets say for a moment that it really was the case that a huge flaw was found in evolutionary theory that destroyed it. Who would be finding that out? Scientists! In fact, I’d say that any biologist would probably sell their children to be the person who discovered and validated the successor to evolutionary theory.

    But it certainly wouldn’t be the religious right, nor politicians, nor pundits. These people don’t have monstrous labs set up in their basements, in order to endlessly run precise, monotonous experiments. No, they have traded in their educational credentials for the only scientific device they really need: a microphone.

    Now, were the scientists to suddenly lock themselves up in an ornately decorated Cathedral of Science and proclaim the truthiness of geocentrism for thousands of years without any explanation for it…then yea, we can start to think they probably don’t really know what they are talking about.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 7:32 am | Permalink
  5. Jeff wrote:

    Check out the magazine “Acts & Facts”. It’s a Christian monthly magazine completely devoted proving every word of the Bible literally true, and to disproving evolution, through “scientific” methods. If you had absolutely no understanding of how science works or what processes scientists use to prove these things, their arguments would be very compelling. They also have a great tendency to completely neglect any evidence that does not agree with them.

    Like most other crazy positions held by conservatives, I think this one started as a platform to get voters, and then evolved so that this generation of conservatives actually believes it. These are the people for whom intelligent design is too much of a compromise, and that wants public schools to “teach the controversy” even though there isn’t one. Funnily enough, I don’t hear groups claiming that we need to teach native american, buddhist, hindu, or pagan theories of creation. Why is Christianity so special, and why should we teach it in science class? That’s what we have comparative religion and philosophy courses for.

    Monday, October 10, 2011 at 10:13 am | Permalink