Monday, February 06, 2006

Truthiness trumps science- again

Ok, this shit is starting to get annoying. Im all for religious beliefs. Im all for them being deeply held. I think there is a lot of truth to be found in the Bible. I am not one of those left-leaning people who find the idea of God silly or trite.

Got all that?

But some things, to me, are beyond the pale.

Teaching Intelligent Design in biology classes, for example. Now we have heard that NASA scientists are being told not to talk about Global Warming.

The reason is actually kind of funny. See the White House had issued a "vision statement" for NASA (Dilbert fans are groaning already). That "vision" basically boils down to "Mars, Bitches!"

In other words, GW wants to go to Mars cause it would look good on the resume. His old man got one term, so he got two. JFK went to the Moon so he's going to Mars! That's the Chicago way!

"That was the time when NASA was reorganizing and all of a sudden earth science disappeared," Mr. Patzert said. "Earth kind of got relegated to just being one of the 9 or 10 planets. It was ludicrous."

Ok sure, I keep waiting to see the guy with the Dilbert boss horns in charge, but I can sort of deal. This is typical beureaucratic incompetence, right?

Yeah but now we enter whole new areas of truthiness.

In October, for example, George Deutsch, a presidential appointee in NASA headquarters, told a Web designer working for the agency to add the word "theory" after every mention of the Big Bang, according to an e-mail message from Mr. Deutsch that another NASA employee forwarded to The Times.

Ok... Im actually still not ready to throw myself in front of a bus here. Technically this is correct. The Big Bang is a theory.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

It continued: "This is more than a science issue, it is a religious issue. And I would hate to think that young people would only be getting one-half of this debate from NASA. That would mean we had failed to properly educate the very people who rely on us for factual information the most."

Ok... this is the point at which I begin to eye the support beam near my computer longingly. If I run into it hard enough, head first, I might be able to knock myself unconscious AND bring the entire roof down on my head.

This statement is so wrong on so many levels. What, exactly about the Big Bang denies the existence of a creator? Anyone ever hear about Aristotle and "unmoved source of all movement"?

And theories are opinions now? So Darwin got drunk after a gay sex orgy on the Beagle and decided to make his dad think he had done some work on his summer vacation decided to slam out a theory during an all night jam session?

Of course, when you see the qualifications of the titan of the scientific community who wrote that memo... oh wait.

The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.

Got that? The guy lecturing NASA scientists on global warming and the Big Bang is a 24 year old Journalism major.

So, to sum up, religious-based truthiness good, science bad.

I need a drink now.



Anonymous said...

Don't know if you've been keeping up with this story, but...

"NASA Science Censor Resigns"

Chuck said...

I *did* see that. Seems he lied on his resume and never did in fact graduate.

Oh well, pumping gas is fun too ;)


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