Friday 12th of August 2022

The goal of this article is to figure out why sciences are not appreciated as much as they should...


The science of the term "scientific method" emerged in the 19th century, when a significant institutional development of science was taking place and terminologies establishing clear boundaries between science and non-science, such as "scientist" and "pseudoscience", appeared.[19] Throughout the 1830s and 1850s, by which time Baconianism was popular, naturalists like William Whewell, John Herschel, John Stuart Mill engaged in debates over "induction" and "facts" and were focused on how to generate knowledge.[19] In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, a debate over realism vs. antirealism was conducted as powerful scientific theories extended beyond the realm of the observable.[20]

For Gus, one of the major problems with sciences is "the philosophy of sciences". In there, scrubbing the floor of the dead birds mortuary with mop and buckets of dirty soapy water, we find a lot of illustrious clever crackpots who tried and still try very hard to tell you what you know all along is that "sciences are not perfect”. They use some philosophical hunchbacks knuckle-dragging moves of running in circles while ringing the bells of Notre Dame now on fire to prove fiability of the scientific ideas and present theories as being hollow. Yes sir…  Pain is an illusion. Let me twist your nipples as an experiment.

Some people are against teaching sciences in schools because of the fiability of the scientific process. Here I will say that may as well teach our kiddies nothing, nor even language, spoken or written or signed — as language is one of the most inaccurate fiable source of our misconceptions about anything, with more than 3,517 versions of it. Try to read Chinese. If we understand anything spoken is that our brain has created associations of sounds, images with neurone assemblages that retain "memory" that we can recall. The same people who propose that sciences are “false”, without saying so much, are soon the ones who tell you that because Genesis 23:4567 is written in the bible, it's true. Yes sir… I believe in angels and potatoes!

What is true (relatively), is that few of the non-scientists understand the process, nor do they understand the quality of the scientific results — though, everyday, they use their cell-phones and their tablets, possibly under the impression these are god-permitted made-in-China constructions of magical Harry Potter incantations. 

No matter what the philosophians spin in their cabooche, the scientific results are relatively such — as should some atoms of hydrogen and oxygen be mixed in a specific proportion, they will implode into water. Your hydrogen engine will repeat this experiment several million (possibly billion) times in its lifetime. But it’s only a theory. I accept this.

The second main problem with these hair-splitting philosofarters, is that they try to send sciences into the ethereal metaphysical domain, in order to promote spirituality above the grade of having a shit in the same container — planet earth. 

Having a shit is actually massively important and involves many processes that are still studied in complex details by scientific and health departments. We all hope these studies can protect us from cancer of the colon. There are labs that research the ageing of mouse intestine-cells and the degradation of the shitting process, as part of our journey towards death. Wisely, the government is urging people of a certain age to take the poo-test. They even show adverts on TV during meal-time. This does not mean that we will all fail the test or live in fear, but that statistically a few of us will need surgery. Statistics in sciences can be a bugger, but then refined statistics can help Artificial Intelligence win at six-player poker. Not bad for AI to win a game of bluff and deceit.

Of all the scientific theories that have traction, but are denigrated by some idiots with degrees in circularity thinkpooping, the theory of evolution is often quoted as being ‘fiable”, i.e. not being able to be verified, ipso facto god made the universe with an arsehole at the end of it.

I could leave you with this elegant thought, though I believe you need to go back to the beginning of OBSERVATIONS and fiddle with two sticks of wood. If you rub them hard enough against each other, they will heat up, sometimes hot enough to start a fire. Add some dry leaves and blow. Welcome to pre-history. Then comes ancient history:

Aristotle, 384–322 BCE. "As regards his method, Aristotle is recognized as the inventor of scientific method because of his refined analysis of logical implications contained in demonstrative discourse, which goes well beyond natural logic and does not owe anything to the ones who philosophized before him." – Riccardo Pozzo

In logic and proof theory, natural deduction is a kind of proof calculus in which logical reasoning is expressed by inference rules closely related to the "natural" way of reasoning. This contrasts with Hilbert-style systems, which instead use axioms as much as possible to express the logical laws of deductive reasoning.

Most variants of Hilbert systems take a characteristic tack in the way they balance a trade-off between logical axioms and rules of inference.[1] Hilbert systems can be characterised by the choice of a large number of schemes of logical axioms and a small set of rules of inference. Systems of natural deduction take the opposite tack, including many deduction rules but very few or no axiom schemes. The most commonly studied Hilbert systems have either just one rule of inference –  modus ponens, for propositional logics – or two – with generalisation, to handle predicate logics, as well – and several infinite axiom schemes. Hilbert systems for propositional modal logics, sometimes called Hilbert-Lewis systems, are generally axiomatised with two additional rules, the necessitation rule and the uniform substitution rule.

Now I know you are lost, like me, in the middle of don't know-where. I thought Hilbert was a comic strip. Sorry. My poor knowledge of the world of the US failed me. It’s Dilbert the comic strip, you twerp. Yes sir… Go figure.

Now you know why nothing gets done around here.

Let’s start again. Sciences work! 

There has been a lot of trials and errors in this discovery, and most of the idiots who have not evolved since the stone age, still peddle prayers as a hip replacement surgery. Placebos work better than sin though, and in life, the double helix of DNA controls the lot, including evolution — by chance and by reactive increments. While there are also defects and devolution in the thingster, that we see a progression is only an observation of the nature of the beast:

The basic elements of the scientific method are illustrated by the following example from the discovery of the structure of DNA:

• Question: Previous investigation of DNA had determined its chemical composition (the four nucleotides), the structure of each individual nucleotide, and other properties. It had been identified as the carrier of genetic information by the Avery–MacLeod–McCarty experiment in 1944,[41] but the mechanism of how genetic information was stored in DNA was unclear.

• Hypothesis: Linus Pauling, Francis Crick and James D. Watson hypothesized that DNA had a helical structure.[42]

• Prediction: If DNA had a helical structure, its X-ray diffraction pattern would be X-shaped.[43][44] This prediction was determined using the mathematics of the helix transform, which had been derived by Cochran, Crick and Vand [45] (and independently by Stokes). This prediction was a mathematical construct, completely independent from the biological problem at hand.

• Experiment: Rosalind Franklin crystallized pure DNA and performed X-ray diffraction to produce photo 51. Photo 51 is the nickname given to an X-ray diffraction image of crystallized DNA taken by Raymond Gosling,[1][2] a graduate student working under the supervision of Rosalind Franklin in May 1952 at King's College London, while working in Sir John Randall's group.[3][4][5][6] The image was tagged "photo 51" because it was the 51st diffraction photograph that Franklin and Gosling had taken.[7] It was critical evidence[8] in identifying the structure of DNA.[9] The results showed an X-shape. 

• Analysis: When Watson saw the detailed diffraction pattern, he immediately recognized it as a helix.[46][47] He and Crick then produced their model, using this information along with the previously known information about DNA's composition and about molecular interactions such as hydrogen bonds.[48]

So here we are, we know a bit more about our programme and we have to tell your mob came from Scotland — hence why you’re a bit economical with the truth.

and then came the biggest encyclopaedic bullshit in the world...

Conservapedia /kənˌsɜːrvəˈpiːdiə/ is an English-language wikiencyclopedia project written from an American conservative and fundamentalist Christian point of view.[3][4] The website was started in 2006 by American homeschool teacher and attorney Andrew Schlafly, son of the late conservative activist Phyllis Schlafly,[5][6] to counter what he perceived as a liberal bias present in Wikipedia.[7][8] It uses editorials and a wiki-based system to generate content.

Examples of Conservapedia's ideology include its accusations against and strong criticism of former U.S. President Barack Obama – including belief in the "birther" conspiracy theory[9] – along with criticisms of atheismhomosexuality, the Democratic Partyevolution, and Wikipedia's alleged liberal bias. Furthermore, it views the theory of relativity as promoting moral relativism,[10] claims there is a proven link between abortion and breast cancer, praises a number of Republicanpoliticians, supports celebrities and artistic works that it believes represent moral standards in line with Christian family values, and accepts fundamentalist Christian doctrines such as Young Earth creationism.[11][12] Conservapedia's "Conservative Bible Project" is a crowd-sourced retranslation of the English-language Bible which Conservapedia claims will be "free of corruption by liberal untruths".


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the proof can never be found, only the corroboration...

In his seminal work, The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Karl Popper repudiated induction, and proposed the bright line of falsifiability as a demarcation between science and non-science. In order to be scientific, a theory must be testable, and the results of the testing must either corroborate the theory, or falsify it. A proposed theory is falsifiable, if it is conceivable to conduct an experiment that would disprove the theory. For example, Newton's law of gravity is a valid scientific theory because it is falsifiable; that is, the Law of Gravity is experimentally testable, and a measurement taken that violates Newton's law would falsify it, while a measurement that substantiates the theory would corroborate it, but importantly, would not 'prove' it.

While chemistry, Newtonian physics, and many other fields belong to science, metaphysics and pseudoscience are not scientific.

Karl Popper wrote that Darwinism is "not a testable scientific theory, but a metaphysical research programme— a possible framework for testable scientific theories."[3] Leading Darwinist and philosopher of science, Michael Ruse declared the concerning Popper's statement and the actions he took after making that statement: "Since making this claim, Popper himself has modified his position somewhat; but, disclaimers aside, I suspect that even now he does not really believe that Darwinism in its modern form is genuinely falsifiable."[4] Popper also criticized Sigmund Freud for being unscientific.

The issue of the falsifiability of the evolutionary position is very important issue and although offering a poor cure to the problem that Karl Popper described, committed evolutionists Louis Charles Birch & Paul R. Ehrlich stated in the journal Nature:


“Our theory of evolution has become, as Popper described, one which cannot be refuted by any possible observations. Every conceivable observation can be fitted into it. It is thus outside of empirical science but not necessarily false. No one can think of ways in which to test it. Ideas, either without basis or based on a few laboratory experiments carried out in extremely simplified systems, have become part of an evolutionary dogma accepted by most of us as part of our training. The cure seems to us not to be a discarding of the modern synthesis of evolutionary theory, but more skepticism about many of its tenets.[5]


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Popper was uncompromising in his rejection of any attempt to take confirming instances as increasing the legitimacy, likelihood, reasonableness or probability of the universal statement. No matter how many white swans you see you are no more able to assume that all swans are white than if you had seen just the one white swan. The ease with which “verifying” instances can be found led Popper to the conclusion that an attempted verification of a universal law is worse than useless: to be science universal laws must be capable of being put to the test, to be falsifiable.


Now the general view on Conservapedia is that it is a lot of guano deposited on god's conservative islands — and slides on the crappy slope of epistemologist beliefs...


Now we could split the difference: are what we call "black Swans" ("swan" species endemic to Western Australia) swans? Or are they a different species of bird that look like swans? What is the evolutionary link between white and black swans? Or the link between seals and dogs? The study of fossils can give us clue to a high level of certainty.


On the global warming agenda, the certainty is on 99.99 per cent. for some people it is enough to accept the theory. Others, including scientists, are still searching for the extra 0.0099 to give a five gong status. Others, like many a shock Jock and politicians with a big mouth and a small brain, some with red hair (you know who you are), being a scientific ignoramus is a status symbol for capturing the attention of the idiots out there... 


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See also: 

from the big bang to strippers: why we need more scientists....

“how dare you!”

Greta Thunberg: A flashmob or an eco-messiah?

Greta Thunberg, a school girl from Sweden, has made a plentitude of headlines lately after she accused world leaders of not addressing environmental problems of planet Earth. In 2018, the girl went to a picket to the building of the Swedish parliament demanding the entire international community should comply with the Paris Agreement on climate change. She threatened not to go to school on Fridays unless her requirements were met. Her initiative found support not only in Sweden, but also in other countries of Europe.

Soon afterwards, Greta embarked on her crusade to travel to environmental conferences, flash mobs and other events, at which she would appear as an "eco-messiah". Needles to say that some adults have had a hand in her media image. They quickly arranged a yacht for the girl so that she could environmentally reach the United States of America.


Who are these people who nominate the schoolgirl for a Nobel Prize and provide media support for her? Greta Thunberg's message to adolescents has hit the spot. Millions of teenagers all over the world paid attention to her as they were searching for answers to their adolescent questions.


Environmental protection is an extremely important problem indeed. There is hardly any country in the world that may boast of perfect ecology. European countries, including Scandinavian ones, are significantly ahead of others in terms of their attention to issues of environmental protection. Some others try to take their harmful productions outside their local ecosystems to third world countries. Nevertheless, the problem remains and returns with pollution or water, air, etc. 


Greta Thunberg says that the powers-that-be stole her childhood from her, ruined her childhood dreams and deceived expectations of her generation. Her obsession with the subject may seem frightening at first. The girl's parents seem to be concerned about their daughter as well as she is keeping her eye on them for the purpose of environmental protection. 


Her speech at the 2019 UN climate action summit in New York was emotional and even hysterical. It was an act to attract public attention by any possible means. At the same time, the girl spoke of the problems that many adults are too lazy to deal with. One shall admit that it is activists like Greta who can make governments listen.


Not that long ago, Sergei Zverev, Russian stylist and hairdresser, who positions himself as a glamorous pop star, held a single picket on Red Square protesting against the construction of a plant for the production of drinking water on Lake Baikal. Zverev was arrested and fined. Interestingly, however, it was either Zverev's picket or something else that made the project of the plant remain on paper.  

Clearly, man overestimates his impact on nature. Global processes on the planet, such as global warming or global cooling, take place regardless of UN Security Council resolutions. At the same time, we all can do something to preserve wildlife and forests on the planet. 

Barbaric deforestation, man-made fires that are delicately called "wildfires" - this is a real disaster that is far from being an aspect of Greta Thunberg's teenage maximalism. In Russia, it is generally believed that extinguishing fires is economically unviable. Many of us - let's face it - believe that the problems of the future generation are something that they, not us, will have to deal with. There will be no point in achieving economic growth if future generations have no clean air to breathe with.

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Vasily Amirjanov

Vasily Amirjanov hasn’t been published on Pravda for nearly a year now. No need to speculate why. What he writes here is nearly there, but it soon becomes a half-way house designed to protect laziness. 

"Clearly, man overestimates his impact on nature. Global processes on the planet, such as global warming or global cooling, take place regardless of UN Security Council resolutions.
"Many of us - let's face it - believe that the problems of the future generation are something that they, not us, will have to deal with. There will be no point in achieving economic growth if future generations have no clean air to breathe with.”

Bulldust... We deliberately under-estimate our impact on nature... So, what kind of argument is Vasily's? Or is this just a matter of fact? Throwing the towel and passing the buck to the kiddies?…

Deferring the impact of what we do now for the next generation to solve, is what Greta Thunberg objects to. We had managed the planet without too much apparent damage till say nearly 170 years ago, when we started to modify the place in earnest with political expediency, inventive spirit, carelessness, industrialisation (including intensive farming) and the wind in our sails of self-important hubris. We also used sciences to become more efficient and more destructive. All good? For the last 50 years, we, the present oldies when we were younger, started to do some estimates. The earth was not recovering as fast as we thought it would. — Or we never thought of the damage that we, humans, were doing to the planet. We were gods doing some ugly and good things to the place. Things were changing. Damage could be seen... 

What sort of damage are we talking about? Do we recognise signs of damage? Are the damages irreversible? Do we wish to reverse or arrest the damage done? Is human impact on the planet overstated? Is human impact part of a human necessity? Is the damage global or localised? Can our influence on the planet be catalogued as good or bad? Are we prepare to act? How critical is the situation? 

The sum-total of the answers to these questions (and more) is Greta’s heartfelt:

How dare you!” 

She recognises that our technological advancements may have improve “our life” but they have changed the future of the planet to a possible rapid degradation — ours and that of other beings. The critical status of the problems come from a variety of sources, from insecticides to CO2 emissions. At this late level, nothing is simple anymore and everything is linked. The many causes of our incoming troubles create a dilemma of choices, and we try to do as little as possible...


A private school principal has been criticised for branding climate activist Greta Thunberg "a little girl with ... mental problems" in a newsletter.

Key points: 

• Principal Rodney Lynn's views have been condemned as "toxic religion”
• The Dean of Grafton Cathedral described them as a "horrible expression of Christianity”
• Ms Thunberg, 16, has become a lightning rod for climate change criticism

In his last update before the holidays, the principal of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School Rodney Lynn told students and parents "your world's future is in the hands of God, not in the predictions of a little girl".


Yes. What a confident man! 

No. Our world's future isn’t in the hands of god. The predictions of a little girl stand witness to our earthly carelessness, which we can catalogue now. The future is in the hands of the present generations to stop burning fossil fuels and emissions of CO2, to stop emissions of methane and NOx gases, stop poisoning the planet with insecticides, herbicides and 1080, as with DDT and other toxic substances, including Novichok and LSD, polluting the place with more plastic and other rubbish, while destroying natural habitats for many species, so we can grow palm trees for oil or graze a few cows. 

God is obviously an idiot for letting us destroy His (god is a male) lovely planet, because as we enjoy a high degree of comfort, we are now stressing the planet beyond self-repair. We know this. God doesn’t exist. We know that. God is only an idea that lurks in the mind of ignorant loonies and of conceited principals of religious schools.

And Greta isn’t a "messiah". She is correct about her message though:

"How dare you!

When I was Greta’s age, I was as dumb as a brick… It took me a few more years to find the revolution within myself — beyond philosophy and beyond politics. At least, she has the courage, the tenacity and is able to grab the opportunity that is offered to her. Of all people, because of her Asperger’s that could give her an inflated sense of orderly things, she would be able to understand better than anyone else the computation of all what we’ve done wrong to achieve our comforts. 

Steven Pinker is wrong. We have cotton-wooled ourselves in denial. This may be a safe place but it is an illusionary step in change. Our house has been white-anted by what we have done. Can we save the house? Can we save the wallpaper? Here is about Steven:

It's easy to be a pessimist about the state of affairs in the United States. But Steven Pinker, a psychologist and Harvard professor, remains optimistic about the future. He argues that humanity has never had it so good and, when you look at what the data say about the human condition, you'll see that health, prosperity, peace and happiness are all on the rise around the world.

He credits these gains to the values of the Enlightenment and argues that science and reason deserve a most vigorous defense.

And I agree, Science deserves even more credits. But sciences are presently taking a battering in many countries from the USA to Brazil. The AAAS (American Association for the Advancement of Sciences) reminds us weekly of all the scientific budget being cut, of the commercial restrictions on sciences through patents, of the medicines that were (are) more dangerous than good on the market for profit, of the desecration of national parks for exploration and exploitation, and more damaging "advancements". 

About-Pinker adds:

On the evidence that we should be optimistic about the human condition.

Let's start with life itself. For most of human history life expectancy at birth was in the neighborhood of 30 years. Now it's 71 years worldwide. More than 80 years in the developed world. And all the figures are rising all over the world. Education for most of European history, maybe 15 percent of the population could read. Right now, 80 percent of the world is literate and 90 percent of the world under the age of 25. Peace with the signing of the peace agreement between the FARC guerillas and the government of Colombia

In the meantime, Trump is trying to destroy Iran, Iraq, Venezuela, Russia and China and others, including himself. The main leaders of the “free world” are mostly morons: Trump, Johnson, Morrison… And the freedom we have had is being fiercely cut “in the national interest” which means nothing more than “you don’t need to know about your government's dirty laundry…" 

And of all things, Assange is still in prison, possibly being murdered, slowly by neglect...

Meanwhile, we open new coal mines for cash, knowingly that these will contribute to the demise of the planet in the long run. Are we nuts? Are we careless? are we without care? Yes, comforts have a price, but we borrow these comforts from the planet, on credit. 

How dare you!” This should send shivers down our spine — not because it is said with anger, but because we deserve it — and we know it.

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a continuing resolution budget...



On Friday, President Trump signed a continuing resolution (CR) to avoid a shutdown and fund the government, a day after the Senate adopted the measure on an 81-16 vote.

With seven weeks to work, legislators will have to negotiate border wall funding and other issues to deliver final appropriations for FY 2020. To date, none of the 12 annual spending bills has been finalized; visit the AAAS Appropriations Dashboard to see the current state-of-play for science agencies.

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mixing god and oranges, or apples...

A NSW principal who used his high school's newsletter to attack climate activist Greta Thunburg also shared his views on Israel Folau and abortion in the bulletin.

Key points:
  • Before criticising Greta Thunberg, Rodney Lynn used his school's newsletter to air other views
  • The principal preached about Israel Folau and also described abortion as "the barbarism of our time"
  • A former student defended him, saying the newsletters "need to be taken with a grain of salt"


But Rodney Lynn, the principal of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School (CHCCS), has been defended by a major national religious education body, which said it was important parents were aware of what he stands for.

Mr Lynn was yesterday criticised after for labelling Ms Thunberg, 16, a "little girl ... with mental problems" in the newsletter last month.

Several people subsequently took aim at him on the school's Facebook page, with some calling on him to resign.

Mr Lynn has previously aired his views on complex social issues in the newsletter, which is publicly available online and appears to be directed at parents.

Earlier this year, he used it to re-publish a blog post written by the Australian Christian Lobby's Martyn Iles titled "Our World Needs The Courage of Israel Folau".

In the August 15 edition, he dubbed abortion "the barbarism of our time".


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Read from top. I'd like to point out to Rodney Lynn, the principal of Coffs Harbour Christian Community School (CHCCS), that abortion has been with humans for much longer than "the barbarism of our time". We can't historically remember how far back the practice was done... For example from Roman times: 

Abortion was practiced on a regular basis among the poor, slave, merchant and royal classes. To ancient peoples and the Romans an abortion was amoral. There was nothing in Roman law or in the Roman heart that said, “It is wrong to kill your baby in the womb.”


on godot's warming little planet...


The word “unprecedented” has been in regular use lately. As predictions about climate change increasingly become observations, we are witnessing firsthand the impacts of more frequent and severe weather events. These events are playing havoc with our health, our agricultural systems, our communities and our economy. But they are also having devastating impacts on our natural ecosystems and unique wildlife.  

The Climate Council’s new report, ‘This is What Climate Change Looks Like,’ highlights recent examples of these impacts. In many cases, our ecosystems and species were already under threat from other human-associated causes – like land clearing, over-harvesting, and invasive feral animals and weeds. Climate change is adding to this litany of woes, in some cases providing what might be the last straw for species and systems already under grave stress.

Australia’s ecosystems are being transformed before our eyes. Already bruised and battered by multiple human-induced stresses including land clearing, invasive species and freshwater diversion, climate change is adding insult to injury. As high levels of greenhouse gas emissions drive ever more severe changes to the climate system, accelerating deterioration of Australia’s environment is inevitable.

Climate change must necessarily move the goalposts for conservation policy and natural resource management. We must redouble our efforts to combat and reverse the effects of
habitat loss and degradation so that our species and ecosystems are as resilient as possible to worsening extreme weather. We must also take a far bolder, more proactive approach to conservation, recognising that creating and connecting new habitats, and translocation of some species will be necessary to prevent further extinctions.

The good news is that protecting our natural assets has great benefits for people too. Urban greening can cool our cities as well as providing habitat,

healthy riparian vegetation can help limit flood impacts, and intact coral reefs and mangroves can help protect our coastlines from storm damage. Healthy vegetation and soils also store enormous quantities of carbon, helping to address the cause of the climate problem.

But simply doing conservation better is not enough. We must achieve deep and rapid cuts to greenhouse gas emissions to meet the target of the Paris Climate Agreement to keep temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels. Given that dramatic, and in some cases, irreversible environmental changes have occurred with ‘only’ 1°C of warming, we cannot delay.

Solutions are at hand. We need to accelerate the transition to clean, affordable and reliable renewable energy and storage technologies and ramp up other climate solutions in transport, industry, agriculture, land use and other sectors. Our health, economy, communities, and precious natural icons depend on it.

We have so much to lose ... but it doesn’t have to be this way.


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EVERYTHING is connected... in "your role as a judge does not include saving the planet"...

she has the gift of seeing the world as it is...



Of course, Thunberg isn't a pop star, but the young people who have chosen her as their role model today grew up with the superhero films of present-day Hollywood. Films in which the world has to be saved by unhappy, unredeemed figures, who, though disabled and injured, are endowed with a special gift for fighting evil.

'The Seeress'

In this Marvel universe, Thunberg would be "The Seeress," because she has the gift of being able to see the world as it is. As people get into their cars to drive to a restaurant, she would see the CO2 and the dead animals on their plates. On vacation, she would recognize the poisoned sea and the rising tides. In the dialectic of superheroes, the Seeress knows more than everyone else, but she also has to bear the weight of this knowledge on her shoulders. The belief of knowing a truth that has been suppressed by the powerful and that would be too uncomfortable for most people is a classic feature of the counterculture movement. 

In the science fiction film "The Matrix," a modern Hollywood classic, the hero Neo has to decide between a red pill and a blue pill. If he chooses the blue pill, it will allow him to stay in his comfortable, prosperous world. But if he takes the red one, it will reveal to him what the world really looks like. Greta Thunberg took the red pill.

On the third Friday of her America trip, Thunberg protests in front of the White House in Washington. This time, only a few hundred protesters have showed up, mostly young people and activists. But this time around, she at least manages to address them with a few words through a megaphone. She tells them she has already said everything she has to say. And that she's proud of everyone who turned up. "Never give up," she appeals to them. Then she sits down.

It seems like she just wants to get away, but people follow her -- children, photographers, cameramen. At the corner of Madison Place and Pennsylvania Avenue, on the other side of the White House, Greta Thunberg starts running. She's trying to escape. Suddenly, she's a little girl who just wants to be left alone. How dare you put your hopes in me?

A few days later, she is set to address the House of Representatives' Select Committee on the Climate Crisis. She'll be in front of the men and women who draft and approve legislation. Laws that have so far done little to save the climate. But on this rather hot September afternoon, Thunberg says nothing.

'Ms. Toonberry'

Bill Keating chairs the House committee. The 67-year-old has been in office for eight years. A Democrat from Massachusetts, Keating seems likable enough but he keeps calling her "Ms. Toonberry." When he offers the floor to Thunberg, she says she's done enough talking and that she's brought something with her instead. She says the politicians should listen to the scientists, not to her.

The stack of papers she has under her arm is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's famous SR 1.5 report, which came out last year. It includes the most alarming findings to date on the condition of the climate, and there are no doubts about its integrity.

It contains everything politicians need to know in order to act.

Keating asks a question: "Could you expand on why it's so important to listen to the science?"

Thunberg doesn't totally understand the question and seems a bit flustered. "Well, I don't see a reason not to listen to the science ... this is not political views or my opinions, this is the science," she says, almost imploringly.

The report is a devastating read. And what it actually says is this: People, it's too late. The measures that would have to be taken to stop climate change are more extreme than we are prepared to handle.

Who's the Dreamer Here?

"Politics is that which is possible," German Chancellor Angela Merkel said at the presentation of her climate legislation package for Germany last month. It was also a response to Greta Thunberg: Merkel was essentially dismissing radical and immediate transformation as impolitic, unrealistic and utopian.

But what if it were the other way around? What if were politicians like Merkel, Keating, Obama and Macron who hoped we would come up with some solution in the near to distant future? What if they were the dreamers and utopians and not Thunberg? What if, in truth, the youth climate movement was actually the most conservative rebellion against the authorities this world has ever seen? The changes necessary to master future challenges will have to be radical. It is reasonable to acknowledge this. Radically reasonable.

Thunberg's appearance in Washington is that of a pragmatic politician. There are no speeches about supposed utopias, and, like any good lecturer, she provides the politicians with the necessary reading. She also makes reference to a very real-political contradiction: That it is impossible to prevent a climate catastrophe as long as economic growth is the sole measure of human well-being.

Thunberg can be annoying, to be sure, what with her stoic Greta Thunberg face, her somewhat late-pubescent obstinacy and her aura of Scandinavian wokeness. But she's also a formidable opponent. Her accusations are aggressive, but anyone who tries to counter her looks like an aggressor themselves, bent on attacking a young girl. And that's not to mention the fact that Thunberg's ascetic lifestyle, carefully curated to minimize her carbon footprint, has long since served to make enlightened yet complacent city-dwellers feel bad about their choices. Who could possibly challenge a 16-year-old who feels cheated out of her future by frequent flyers and SUV drivers?

Fifty-seven weeks after Thunberg first sat down outside the Swedish parliament with her hand-painted sign, she's huddling inside a white tent that has been set up behind an enormous stage in Battery Park at the southern tip of Manhattan. When she pokes her head outside and looks up, she can see the tower of the new World Trade Center. It's a memorial designed to remind people that America will never give up, no matter how big the calamity.


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Do not loose hope. Keep fighting. Keep telling... It's only in operas, not in real life, that the end is punctuted by the fat lady singing... We cannot give up. We should not give up. We won't give up.

unnatural depletion...

The causes of the losses are the intensification of farming, pollution from fertiliser, manure and plastic, the destruction of habitats for houses, the climate crisis and invasive alien species. The State of Nature report shows no significant improvement since the last one in 2016, which said the UK was “among the most nature-depleted countries in the world”.

The losses mirror the global annihilation of wildlife, which scientists suggest is the start of the sixth mass extinction on Earth and is undermining the natural life-support systems that humanity relies on for air, water and food.

“We know more about the UK’s wildlife than any other country on the planet, and what it is telling us should make us sit up and listen,” said Daniel Hayhow of the RSPB, the lead author of the report. “We need to respond more urgently across the board.”


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systematic exclusion...


Scientists and politics?

Ian L. Boyd


Science  18 Oct 2019:

Vol. 366, Issue 6463, pp. 281

The lower legislative chamber of the United Kingdom's Parliament has 650 members, but only one (0.15%) has a science Ph.D. This seems like a surprisingly small number in a mature democracy. About 0.8% of people in the United Kingdom have a science Ph.D., so it appears that science is seriously underrepresented. I suspect it is the same the world over. Why is this, is it right, and what are the consequences?

There is, fortunately, an increasing focus on making governments representative of the diversity of the population they serve in terms of gender, race, and sexual orientation. But diversity also needs to embrace different intellectual approaches. The structured thinking and disciplined methodologies of science add to diversity, but these are aspects that can challenge vested interests. The blunt, socially insensitive, scientist speaking truth to power is certainly a caricature, but it is sufficiently real to warrant careful management by governments. There is also often suspicion that scientists operate their own agendas.

Vested interests do not want their political, social, and financial currency de-based by being confronted by the real world. Governments have, therefore, tended to put scientists in a metaphorical box and to only open the lid when they are needed, thus reducing science to a technical service function, supplying support, advice, and economic goods. These boxes can take many forms, from the containment of advisers with a set of rules to forums created for science to play within, like the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Until recently, I was chief scientific adviser in the U.K. government on food and environment, a role that only slightly corrected for poor integration of science within government.

It is this systematic exclusion that leads to the underrepresentation of scientists in politics and government. Scientific culture is dominated by human social culture and is forced to play by its rules. As C. P. Snow said 60 years ago, “This polarisation is sheer loss to us all.” Politics would look very different if it were more evenly balanced between these cultures. Aristotle saw politics as legislative science or learning by experience. Politics was itself a scientific inquiry, thus reversing the current maxim that science lies outside politics. In Aristotle's world, scientists would be those who designed policies to solve tricky problems.

The modern idiom of scientists as the custodians and discoverers of knowledge is much too restrictive. When contested issues arise, society needs scientists to be dominant voices acting as authoritative, impartial, and trusted arbiters who can explain where uncertainties lie in evidence and the likely consequences of alternative futures.

Unfortunately, with the possible exception of climate change (helped by the IPCC), scientists are left to struggle to form a politically influential caucus working within its own rules. The alternative is capture by the language and ways of the other culture. Under this scenario, science becomes yet another money-grabbing vested interest. As a result, many of those who would most benefit from listening put scientists in an opposing political box and close the lid. Advocacy is the surest and most rapid way to achieve such an effect. It can compromise the impartiality of scientific evidence and do more harm than good. When science becomes captured by normal politics, its value drains away.

Unless the scientific community grips this problem of systemic disempowerment within government and politics, science will continue to be manipulated within a political game dominated by vested interests. The underrepresentation of science seems likely to continue unless the process of government itself becomes more diverse. Scientists themselves can help by demonstrating greater thought leadership, showing more enthusiasm to become part of government in all its forms, and valuing the contributions of colleagues who get involved. They need to break out of their synthetic box and politely refuse to have the lid closed on them.


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smarter than the low life in kanbra, though...

He might be one of Australia's most well-known (and loved) scientists and now the winner of a United Nations award for science communication, but Dr Karl Kruszelnicki doesn't consider himself that brainy.

"One thing that gives me a great advantage is that I'm not particularly smart, my IQ is only about 110, which is in there with two thirds of the population between 115 and 85," Dr Karl says.

"That means for me to be able to understand something, I've really got to go into it, but then I understand it."

All that time spent delving into science has not only helped generations Australians better understand the world around (and inside) them, it's seen Dr Karl awarded the 2019 UNESCO Kalinga Prize for the Popularisation of Science in Budapest this week. 

Dr Karl is the first Australian to win the prize, which he received in recognition of his "longstanding commitment to fire up people's curiosity for science and share his passion for the subject". 

Previous winners include Arthur C Clarke, David Suzuki and Sir David Attenborough.


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