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Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:08 AM

War on Science: Evolution, Climate Change, and the Curious House Committee on Science


"What do many Republicans in the House of Representatives have in common with the 17th century Spanish Inquisition? Both have waged a war on science."

War on Science: Evolution, Climate Change, and the Curious House Committee on Science
Saturday, 15 December 2012 00:00 By Ken Morris, Truthout | Op-Ed

In 1632, summoned by Pope Urban VIII, inventor of the telescope Galileo Galilei faced the notorious Catholic cardinals presiding over the Inquisition because he advocated new science (the Earth revolves around the sun) over old science (the earth is the center of the universe). The frail septuagenarian, justifiably terrified, denounced his own unequivocal findings by asserting, "I affirm . . . that I do not now hold the condemned opinion and have not held it since the decision of authorities." Despite his contrition, Galileo was deemed a heretic and spent the balance of his life under house arrest.

Today, the conflict between religion, commerce and science continues to hover over rational discourse like an unregulated acid rain cloud. Just last week when GQ Magazine asked Florida senator Mark Rubio the earth's age, he employed a bojangle-esque intellectual two-step and said, "I can tell you what the Bible says, but I think that's a dispute amongst theologians . . . " Senator Rubio thinks this is best debated "amongst theologians?" Presumably, archeologists and paleontologists need not apply.

More frightening than Rubio's pandering is the assortment of nonscientific beliefs held by Republicans controlling the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. As the majority party during the 112th Congress (and soon to be convened 113th), the GOP occupied 23 of the 40 seats while also claiming the chairmanship and vice chairmanship.

With jurisdiction over federal scientific research and development, who did the Grand Old Party select as their representatives on the committee? To suggest this was a head-scratching list is an understatement.


Meet the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment:

Rep. Andy Harris (R-MD), Chairman

Republican Members

Andy Harris, M.D., MD, Chairman
Dana Rohrabacher, CA
Roscoe G. Bartlett, MD
Frank D. Lucas, OK
Judy Biggert, IL
W. Todd Akin, MO
Randy Neugebauer, TX
Paul Broun, GA
Chuck Fleischmann, TN

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Reply War on Science: Evolution, Climate Change, and the Curious House Committee on Science (Original post)
unhappycamper Dec 2012 OP
xchrom Dec 2012 #1
ROBROX Dec 2012 #2
happyslug Dec 2012 #3

Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 09:15 AM

1. du rec. nt

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Sun Dec 16, 2012, 04:16 PM



These fake people only do as their masters order them to do. They have nothing to do with people or promoting the welfare of people. The GOP masters are only after profits and raping this world is their game.

Anything which would be spent on research to promote a better planet or help people is NOT the GOP practice. WAR, HATE, TERROR are the only thing the GOP knows.

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Response to unhappycamper (Original post)

Mon Dec 17, 2012, 01:09 PM

3. A couple of Errors


Galileo Galilei did NOT invent the telescope, but was the first to use it to report what he saw in the sky (including discovering the larger moons of Jupiter).

Second, if we look at the Heresy "conviction" we have a problem. First is the concept that the Earth revolved around the Sun, while today is a concept everyone embraces, but in the 1600s it was still up to debate even among scientists. Newton were still in the future, for it was Newton that finally showed how the system worked, something NOT yet resolved by the 1630s. Kepler and Galileo both supported the concept that the earth revolved around the Sun, but it was NOT universally supported even among Scientists of the 1630s.


More on Kepler who died in 1630, but his findings were NOT yet accepted till Newton:

What Galileo was convicted of was teaching the concept as fact that he could NOT prove under the Rules of Logic as established by Aristotle From the church's point of view, teaching that the earth revolved around the Sun as a way to explain known facts was acceptable, but teaching it as fact was not..

Side note: In fact Kepler was slowly showing that not only that the concept that the Sun revolved around the earth AND that the Earth revolved around the Sun were equally false. What Kepler reported and what Newton confirmed was that the Sun and Earth revolve around a common center, the orbits are affected by the other Planets. This dual revolving is what gives the impression that the earth has an elliptical obit for the Earth AND the Sun are revolving around a common center.

People tend to forget the concepts in the book in question was APPROVED for publication by both the Pope AND the Italian Inquest ion, the problem came about with the book's publication and the view that it was an attack on the Pope, for the antagonist in the book was given the line the Pope had used in such situation "What is, is". From Wikipedia:

Earlier, Pope Urban VIII had personally asked Galileo to give arguments for and against heliocentrism in the book, and to be careful not to advocate heliocentrism. He made another request, that his own views on the matter be included in Galileo's book. Only the latter of those requests was fulfilled by Galileo.

Giving the Pope's word to a person call Simplicio was bad (It appears to be an accident, Galileo liked John Philoponus, 490 570 for his comments on Aristotle. Simplicius, Simplicio in Italian, had been a contemporary who made comments about Philoponus works on Aristotle, thus a good name for an antagonist).

It is also known that the Pope was under pressure for being NOT anti-heretical enough also forced the hands of the Pope (Through the fact that Galileo put the Pope's words into someone called Simplicio is something Galileo should have seen coming).

That Galileo did NOT show the arguments of both sides fairly was fatal. Remember there was an ongoing debate on the subject AND Galileo could NOT prove his side under the Aristotelian Rules of Logic (The concept that such rules are to rigid for science had NOT yet come about, again it took Newton to show absolute proof under the Aristotelian Rules of Logic was more a hindrance of Science then a help).

Galileo was still in a time period where the present Scientific method had NOT yet been invented and he could NOT prove his side under the Aristotelian Rules of Logic. Thus taking the position that the Earth revolved around the Sun had to be shown to be true UNDER Aristotelian Rules of Logic and that could NOT be done (And still can not be done). Given that failure, Galileo was found guilty of heresy or he could NOT prove under the Aristotelian Rules of Logic that either theory was correct.

Yes, the above is technical, but it was the problem Galileo was facing. Science has since developed the concept of "Theory" and holds the Aristotelian Rules of Logic only to the concepts of Scientific "Laws". Thus it is a THEORY that the Earth revolves around the Sun (or more correctly around a center point) not a Scientific Law.

The Church held Galileo to show that the theory of the Earth revolved around the Sun meet the requirements of what today we call a Scientific Law. Galileo could NOT show, under the Rules of Logic, that the Earth Revolved around the sun and thus was condemned and sentenced NOT to teach the theory again and banned to stay only in his house and city without permission of the Church AND to pray (remember he was 68 years of age and permission was given for him to seek medical care). He was NOT forbidden to write, but not on how the earth and sun interacted.

My point here is with Galileo the Church at least had a point, Galileo was advocating Theory as Fact, at a time period where the only Fact had to be something "Real" with the ground you are standing on OR using such a fact as a basis, could be proved under the Aristotelian Rules of Logic (The Bible could also be used as a "Fact" as the basis for other facts but only if the Aristotelian Rules of Logic were followed).

That is NOT the case today, even in the 1600s the Church had an early understanding of the concept of Theory and had Galileo used it instead of insisting what he wrote was "fact" he would NOT have been condemned as a heretic. Today, these advocates of opposing Claimant Change or Evolution are NOT worried about confusing Scientific Law with Scientific Theory, but trying to use the difference in concepts to reduce theories they dislike to nonsense. The Church in the case of Galileo did NOT even try that. Thus this is an attack on Science that the Inquisition of the 1600s would have attacked themselves, for the Inquisition disliked anything NOT based on facts that could be proved under the Aristotelian Rules of Logic. They hated arguments NOT based on something "Solid" and that is what the attackers on the Theory of Climate Change and Evolution are doing.

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