Friday, April 24, 2020

Trump Thinks He Is a Scientist

And millions of his followers believe it. Trump can say anything He wants, without discussing it with even his close admirers, without even thinking about it in advance, and it becomes Scientific Truth. This is what happened when Trump speculated that, since Lysol works so well to kill the coronavirus outside the body, it might also work inside the body. All scientists and educators (including me), and the Lysol corporation, issued immediate warnings to everyone we could. In my case, this was to about a hundred students in my classes.

Here is a link to one article that reported Trump’s statement.

Trump believes that whatever pops into his brain is The Truth. His millions of followers believe it too, even though few of them probably rushed off to drink Lysol. Scientists, on the other hand, examine evidence, which is why no true scientist actually publishes or announces his or her very first thoughts on any subject.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

A Scripture Verse for Scientists

The last thing that even religiously-inclined scientists might expect is a Bible verse that describes the spirit of science. But such a verse exists. It is Mark 4:22, also found in Luke 8:17: Nothing is hidden that shall not be revealed.

The verse was referring to secrets that we think nobody will ever find out about. But new scientific procedures can reveal old crimes. For example, when the Bolsheviks executed the family of the last Czar of Russia, and buried their bones, they assumed the bones would never be identified. But, decades later, DNA technology made the identification possible.

This is the idea behind forensic science, everything from forensic psychology to forensic entomology. In case you have not heard of forensic entomology, it is the study of insects and their traces to find out more about the circumstances of a death. Knowing about which maggots and other insects are in or have been in a corpse can reveal the length of time since, or the season of, the murder.

You will not get away with it! Our scientific technology will find you!

This is what science is all about: seeking to reveal hidden patterns and truths in the natural and human worlds. There is nothing that scientists consider to be “off-limits” to inquiry. This even includes the psychological processes that underlie religion and what is often called the human soul. How can a person have a brain and a soul that seem to be mirror images of one another? Would it not be simpler to say that it is unnecessary to invoke a soul in order to explain the human phenomenon?

In fact, scientists would not quite go so far as the scripture verse says. We know that there are some things we will probably never be able to explain. Some things will remain hidden. But, scientists would say, not if we can help it!

Friday, April 17, 2020

Darwin Explains the Origin of Feces!

In this video Darwin explains the origin of feces. A body could, in theory, completely assimilate all organic molecules. After all, there is plenty of food value left in feces; just ask your local scarab beetle or bacterium. But the body of each species only digests the food as far as it is economically worthwhile to do so. To completely assimilate all organic material, an animal would need to haul around a gigantic digestive system. It isn’t worth it.

I got to thinking about this when I read the French science fiction novel Le Voyageur Imprudent (The Careless Traveler), by Rene Barjavel. The traveler visited a future in which humans had evolved into huge females with thousands of breasts, and small males with a hole instead of a mouth, into which a female breast could precisely fit. The males had no excretory openings; they completely assimilated the milk. Sounds crazy? It is, but it made me think.

Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

More People Die Each Year of Malaria than Will Die in the Covid-19 Pandemic

You read that right. According to UNICEF, a million people a year die of malaria, over 90 percent of them children n sub-Saharan Africa. In contrast, the total number of coronavirus deaths as of today is 1,414,165, with 81, 217 deaths. The link should update daily.

I do not deny the importance of stopping the coronavirus pandemic. But the reason everyone is freaking out about 81,000 deaths is that they are mostly in the white world. The million people who die each year of malaria live almost exclusively in countries that Donald Trump referred to as “shithole countries.”

This can only mean one thing. Many people, including most of the people who worship Donald Trump and believe He is the man whom God has raised up to lead the world at this time, think that the deaths of little African children is not really very important. Only the deaths of white people get their attention.