#Science and #Religion – Pope’s encyclical supports the science of climate change and calls for revolution!

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]

How do vaccines work? Kelwalin Dhanasarnsombut explains the #science of vaccines – TED-Ed talk

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.

Unearthing a new Defender of #Science!! Evolution debate between ESPN baseball analysts results in firing, then reinstatement of @KeithLaw

In case you missed it, we have a new Defender of Science (and evolution) in an unexpected place!

Background hereCurt 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.

Apparently, Curt Shilling was taken aback by the resulting twitter storm in response to his comments.

@ACSReactions Video: Accidental Discoveries That Changed The World #science #history

Subscribe! http://bit.ly/ACSReactions

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 soundcloud account = audio walk through NASA space history and technology!

soundcloudNASA 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.

History of science: plants used to treat disease based on appearance #wrong

simonEver 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.

EPA is All-American Agency: Gina McCarthy


“In the ’60s, when smog choked our cities, critics cried wolf and said EPA action would put the brakes on auto production, and they were wrong. Instead, our air got cleaner and our kids got healthier, and we sold more cars. Thank you to the folks at EPA. In the 1990s, critics cried wolf and said fighting acid rain would make electricity go up and our lights go out. They said industry would, and I quote, ‘die a quiet death.’ Well, they were wrong again. Industry is alive and well. Our lights are still on, and we have dramatically reduced acid rain. So time after time, when science pointed to health risks, special interests cried wolf to protect their own agenda, not the agenda of the American people. And time after time, we followed the science, we protected the American people and the doomsday predictions never came true.”
Heard/read on Rachel Maddow blog