Affleck! AFFLECK!

You know, the phrase “Ben Affleck, movie star” has never sat well with me. I mean, all the guy does is point and shout. Look for it: he points and shouts. I can do that. But I’m not going to hold it against him anymore, now that’s he found true love. Courtesy of Salina A., here’s Jimmy Kimmel’s “I’m f@cking Ben Affleck“. Count the stars:

Meanwhile, Dawn L. finally answers for us the pithy question, “What’s wrong with America?” The answer is obvious: pastors are peeing sitting down. This is for real:

Meanwhile, The Other Ray sends us 20 things we didn’t know about relativity. Well, maybe you didn’t know, but come on! Who didn’t already know that Friedrich Hasenöhrl was the first to write E = mc2 ?

My brother points us toward an organization called The Copernicus Group, whose membership includes educated University employees. What’s the group’s mandate? Apparently it’s to slip Creationism into the public discourse under the guise of science. Shame on them for misusing the name of Copernicus, a man who did much to wipe away generations of religious mysticism and usher in the enlightened age of science.

My favourite part of their website is the so-called “Bias flag”, which states:

“The rigor of a scientific theory is proportional the degree of ad hominem attacks on any person who attempts to rebut the theory. Rigorous science should welcome rebuttals, not attempt to discourage them, as they are a legitimate and indeed integral part of scientific inquiry.”

I offer no ad hominem attacks on those who subscribe to the theory that their imaginary friend made the world and all life in it. I have my own personal spiritual beliefs that others may find ridiculous. But the statement above is a typical misreading of classical science. Science is about the parsing of evidence according to a maxim of demonstrability. If you can demonstrate that a theory is sufficiently flawed to deny its plausibility, have at it. But if your counterargument consists of, “you’re wrong ’cause my pastor said so”, then Copernicus is turning in his grave. Except he’s not turning in his grave, because that’s scientifically impossible.

Here is yet another article denying the role of nuclear energy in combating civilization’s addiction to fossil fuels. The article makes the bold claim that all of an industrialized nation’s energy needs can be supplied via renewable sources, mostly wind power. As tackled previously in this blog, wind energy is not free energy. To create a sufficient number of wind generators to supply a substantial portion of our nation’s energy needs would mean taking up a substantial portion of real estate that is currently ecologically pristine; it would create noise pollution and be a hazard to birds. But more importantly, a large enough number of turbines would sap sufficient energy from the air to alter local weather patterns, perhaps deleteriously. Add to that the fact that wind does not provide a steady source of energy, and it becomes clear that an industrial society requires a source with tremendous steady output . Until fusion or large scale solar are improved, nuclear is our best short term bet.

Lastly, I leave you today with a review in the Epoch Times of a recent book reading in which I was a part. It’s a very weird feeling to be quoted in the Epoch Times.