Religion and science… in harmony? The Pope and the Vatican have taken a stand with scientists against climate change. The encyclical released today will hopefully have huge impacts on the discussion surrounding climate change, but at the very least will make climate change a major topic of discussion in politics and religion. The church’s stand is already causing tension in US politics, with anti-science Republicans chastising the Pope for his stance. While the Pope and Catholic Church have a history of supporting the science of man-made climate change, this makes climate change a part of the church’s official teaching. Very exciting times! And who thought religion, especially the Catholic Church, would be fighting alongside scientists??
Lots of commentary about this news all over the internet, here are a bunch from The Conversation!![tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638724431073280] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638701999955968] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638682802626562] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638661541679104] [tweet https://twitter.com/CauseScience1/status/611638621121212417]
The 6 Craziest Extinctions Ever
The earth has been through some major changes!
Animals we wish still existed: http://youtu.be/wutj5z1lElU
How do vaccines work? – Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut
View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/how-do-vacc…
The first ever vaccine was created when Edward Jenner, an English physician and scientist, successfully injected small amounts of a cowpox virus into a young boy to protect him from the related (and deadly) smallpox virus. But how does this seemingly counterintuitive process work? Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut details the science behind vaccines.
Lesson by Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut, animation by Cinematic.
In case you missed it, we have a new Defender of Science (and evolution) in an unexpected place!
Background here: Curt Shilling and Keith Law, both ESPN baseball analysts, engaged in a twitter debate about evolution and science. Curt Shilling posted a number of tweets questioning evolution, which Keith Law rebutted with SCIENCE! ESPN then suspended Law for defending evolution, but then later reinstated him. Obviously all of this caused a huge commotion in the twitter-verse. More on the story here and here. Keith Law not only wins for defending science, but also for his tweet response after being reinstated by ESPN…. shout out to science heretic history~![tweet https://twitter.com/keithlaw/status/536891544650149888]
Props to Keith Law! and to EPSN for not being on the wrong side of history.
Throughout the history of science, many major discoveries came accidentally. Sometimes they came from recognizing potential in an unexpected product or waste. Other times, discovery came out of pure desperation from a seemingly dead-end experiment. Here are some of those happy accidents that ended up changing the world.
NASA now has a Soundcloud account, and it is amazing! The account has tons of audio voice recordings from various space missions (including famous Apollo 13 audio – ‘Houston… we have a problem’) and also lots of audio of noises from space launches, both current and historical! I have to admit I scrolled through and listened different recordings for more than a half hour…
Here’s a collection of NASA sounds from historic spaceflights and current missions. You can hear the roar of a space shuttle launch or Neil Armstrong’s “One small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind” every time you get a phone call if you make our sounds your ringtone. Or, you can hear the memorable words “Houston, we’ve had a problem,” every time you make an error on your computer.
Ever wonder about how we figured out that some plants can treat certain disease conditions? For example, that the foxglove contains a compound that can treat heart issues (wiki post on digoxin here). Well, Matt Simon has written a terrific piece for wired.com that explains why some of the plant medicines we use, and a lot of the plant medicines we don’t use, were first tested. It is based on using plants that resemble an organ to treat problems with that organ.
Such thinking, known as the doctrine of signatures, actually developed with remarkable frequency all around the world from culture to culture. Plants meant to heal certain organs and body parts, like the liver or the eye, must show a certain “signature” by resembling the thing they treat.
Check out Simon’s article for a fun history lesson about some early science of medicine! Turns out that the doctrine of signatures was’t such a good one.