The CERN particle accelerator in Geneva, Switzerland has made huge discoveries in particle physics over the last few years. Unfortunately, it seems that CERN is also home to some hateful scientists (via Towleroad):
Ethan Siegel (@StartsWithABang) March 08, 2016
Ethan Siegel has written a must-read article defending the scientific process in the Forbes science section (No, Science is Not Faith-Based). Siegel takes on an inflammatory and misinformed claim from Matt Emerson that science is faith-based (Wall Street Journal). Emerson’s claim was related to the recent detection of gravitational waves by LIGO. Siegel, a trained astrophysicist, clearly explains why the claim that science has anything to do with faith is completely non-scientific. Read the full-article here, my favorite parts below:
Faith, by definition, is the belief in something despite insufficient knowledge to be certain of its veracity.
Yet in every case, there are two key components that make the prediction scientific:
- The prediction, or the belief that the outcome can be accurately predicted, is predicated on the existence of quality evidence.
- As the evidence changes — as we obtain more, newer and better evidence — and as the full suite of evidence expands, our predictions, postdictions and entire conceptions of the Universe change along with it.
There is no such thing as a good scientist who isn’t willing to both base their scientific belief on the full suite of evidence available, nor is there such a thing as a good scientist who won’t revise their beliefs in the face of new evidence.
I have a family member that teases me because I always ask about the evidence behind claims, assertions, etc. I guess years spent on a science PhD and postdoc will engrain a desire for evidence in you, but that desire has nothing to do with faith…
The Nobel Prize (@NobelPrize) October 06, 2015
The Nobel Prize in Physics 2015 recognises Takaaki Kajita in Japan andArthur B. McDonald in Canada, for their key contributions to the experiments which demonstrated that neutrinos change identities. This metamorphosis requires that neutrinos have mass. The discovery has changed our understanding of the innermost workings of matter and can prove crucial to our view of the universe.
You might assume that a famous neurosurgeon would be well informed on medical and scientific topics. But if you assume this about potential Republican Presidential candidate Ben Carson, you would be horribly wrong. Check out previous CauseScience posts featuring anti-science statements from Ben Carson.
A terrific article this week in The New Yorker offers an in-depth analysis of recent anti-science delusions from Ben Carson written by Lawrence Krauss (Foundation Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration and Director of the Origins Project at Arizona State University). Carson’s anti-science statements range from questioning the science behind the Big Bang theory, to attributing the theory of evolution to satan. See the full article for a summary of Carson’s statements, as well as why they are more than just anti-science.
Many people assume that, as a successful surgeon, he (Carson) has a solid knowledge of technical, medical, and scientific issues.
It is one thing to simply assert that you don’t choose to believe the science, in spite of a mountain of data supporting it. It’s another to mask your ignorance in such a disingenuous way, by using pseudo-scientific, emotion-laden arguments and trading on your professional credentials. Surely this quality, which reflects either self-delusion or, worse still, a willingness to intentionally deceive others, is of great concern when someone is vying for control of the nuclear red button.
It appears that Ben Carson is using tired anti-science talking points to support his twisted religious view of the world, proving that he has either lost touch with science, or is choosing to part ways with science. For more actual science surrounding the Big Bang Theory and thermodynamics, check out this great RadioLab – Ben Carson could definitely benefit from listening to it!
Carson’s recent anti-science statements along with anti-muslim comments from Carson, have led to many jokes, be sure not to miss this hilarious Borowitz Report (also in the New Yorker)!!
Have you ever wished you could hide under an invisibility cloak like Harry Potter or conceal your car with a Klingon cloaking device like in Star Trek? In a special bonus episode of Reactions, we celebrate the International Year of Light by exploring the science behind light, sight and invisibility. Though we can’t make ourselves invisible yet, some promising research may light the way – or rather, bend the light away.
This episode of Reactions was produced in collaboration with the journal ACS Photonics. For more information on ACS Photonics, please visit:http://pubs.acs.org/journal/apchd5. Additional information on the International Year of Light can be found at: http://www.light2015.org.