”NOT all scientists are good scientists,” Nobel laureate Harold Kroto says when asked what he thinks about the debate around global warming.
”We don’t have a 100 per cent reliable assessment so we can only say - and I would say - that it doesn’t look good.”
Professor Kroto ticks off the warning signs on his fingers, listing rising sea levels and temperatures, the shrinking Arctic and melting glaciers.
But Professor Kroto - based at Florida State University - is not in Australia to talk about climate change. He wants to talk about science and why it is important not to let it drift into the zone of ideology and belief, rather than reason and evidence.
”Science is totally misunderstood … It is the only philosophical construct that we have to determine the truth with any degree of reliability, and that requires evidence, which elevates it to a different plane - it elevates it to something that every child should have,” he said.
A chemist, Professor Kroto was awarded the Nobel prize for his discovery of a new type of carbon in 1996.
Since then he has established a global education initiative - the Vega Science Trust - aimed at giving science students and teachers access to the best teaching tools available, harnessing the internet to share resources and provide a ”vast cache of all of the clever ways teachers are getting students enthusiastic about things, particularly science”.
He said science was at risk of being devalued through contemporary scientific debates, the most obvious being climate change, where the debate had descended into rhetoric, not reason.
”[Science] can’t be a belief system, because belief by definition is to accept something without evidence,” Professor Kroto said. He pointed to the push in some parts of the US to teach creationism alongside evolution in schools.
”There is no theory which is more proven than evolution and the evidence for evolution comes from every discipline within the sciences,” he said. And so he is on a mission to reinvigorate science education and teach the next generation to think with reason to uncover why things are the way they are.
”The world of today for Westerners is very different and so kids grow up and think that things just appear, but they didn’t. It was incredible hard work by people who were scientists and engineers.”
Let me re-emphasize that:
”’[Science] can’t be a belief system, because belief by definition is to accept something without evidence,” Professor Kroto said. He pointed to the push in some parts of the US to teach creationism alongside evolution in schools.
”There is no theory which is more proven than evolution and the evidence for evolution comes from every discipline within the sciences,” he said.
Humans are neither as special or as unique as we would like to think we are.
Grief, love, and morality exist throughout the entire animal kingdom.
Believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.
Brother Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a “destructive…
How dare we atheists be a visible population! Don’t we know that we’re supposed to cower in our houses and pretend to be religious?!
It is estimated that more than 150,000 young women across Australia had their children taken away at birth without their consent, often never to be seen again.
Women subjected to forced adoptions in Catholic-run hospitals have described being shackled and drugged during labour and prevented from seeing their children being born or holding them afterwards.
Many said their children had been earmarked for forced adoption well before birth and they were told they could not oppose the decision.
Following an investigation into the practise by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Catholic Church issued a national apology, saying its history of forced adoptions was “deeply regrettable”.
“We acknowledge the pain of separation and loss felt then and felt now by the mothers, fathers, children, families and others involved in the practices of the time,” the apology said.
“For this pain we are genuinely sorry.”
A federal parliamentary inquiry is currently investigating the issue and has already received more than 300 submissions from across the country.
Can we please take religion out of medicine now? Oh and also turn it back into health care and not business?
Elephants are Evolving to Lose Their Tusks (and Avoid Poachers)
Here’s a joke: What did the elephant say to the poacher?
Answer: Dear God in heaven, please don’t kill me for my ivory.
Sorry about that. Sometimes we get “joke” mixed up with “tragic imagined dialogue that could be…