krishtalka (Kris Krishtalka)

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Let U.S. students tackle all the tough issues

To Devobrun, Fossick and George

1. Science, as an activity, discovers knowledge by observation and experiment and by testing the results of both, continuously, so that previous results are either tossed, emended or enlarged. As such, the body of knowledge is always in flux, never fixed, and constantly growing in volume and depth and resolution. All people do science all the time and apply the results.
2. Anyone who reads a newspaper, or checks Google News, and does a bit of facts/figures research could have written the op-ed piece and raised the five examples I did, or many other examples of issues we face that are informed by complex analyses involving many sciences and other fields of human endeavor.
3. That was the point---a candidate for the presidency should not be dissing science just because he (e.g., Perry)/she (e.g., Bachmann) finds some of its findings to be unpopular or uncomfortable, while readily accepting those findings that are popular and comfortable. It's not the way they would treat a medical diagnosis---if the news is bad, I don't believe it; if the checkup is good, I believe it. Knowledge is not determined by referendum
4. The fact that some of the issues the op-ed raised remain undecided after many years reflects either competing scientific evidence, or competing social values, or competing political, economic and community interests, or all five. Science tries to provide the best information available at the moment on which to base a smart decision. After that, it's a free-for-all of competing interests.

September 4, 2011 at 4:26 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Let U.S. students tackle all the tough issues

Fossick

Two points to keep in mind: (1) science is rarely absolute (except for true laws, such as the speed of light), so there is not 100% certainty about the scientific solution to a problem; more evidence increases the odds understanding the complexities and of making the right decision.
(2) Ultimately, the decisions I wrote about and you refer to are political/social; We hope that science informs the best political/social solution.

September 4, 2011 at 7:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Let U.S. students tackle all the tough issues

In response to Dowser, I agree completely that all our students should be discussing and analyzing these science issues in class---it might be the best way to learn science. My point was that Gov. Perry, in cloning Michele Bachmann's anti-science rhetoric to appeal to the tea party/Republican right, came out against teaching science in the science classroom when it came to evolution or global climate change or other science they'd like to dismiss out of hand. So my piece was a parody of his attitude about dismissing science in other critical challenges facing the nation. It is not reassuring that the Republican candidates --- except for Huntsman!---think that dissing science is the litmus test for winning the primaries. Those are not the values I want in a president.

September 3, 2011 at 11:08 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

Science, not promiscuity, explains quakes

Absolutely!! Of course, there has been "uncontrolled" testing of the Sedighi hypothesis throughout history. In the modern era, for example, one would expect a greater frequency and ferocity of earthquakes on or near nude beaches; or on or near Las Vegas and its scantilly-clad evening shows; or ... The problem arises in setting the geographic area and the counterbalances forces in each area, e.g., the Vatican vs the rest of Rome.

May 2, 2010 at 1:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Differing views

Souki and Chocoholic capture the intent and spririt of the Difficult Dialogue series in their comments.

The Behe lecture has been rescheduled for Dec 7 at 1:00p in the Crafton-Preyer Theater in Murphy Hall on the KU campus. The lecture will be followed by the panel discussion at 3:30p in the Hall Center for the Humanities.

December 5, 2006 at 1:30 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Differing views

With regard to the comment by anxiousathiest---a correction: Dr. Dimmick is not employed at the KU Natural History Museum, and has not been so for a number of years.

Cheers

December 4, 2006 at 1:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

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