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Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

Climate Change, SETI, And Dr. Fermi

"Life" Issues, activism, Astronomy, autonomy, awareness, Big Bang, Challenge, citizenship, civics, Climate Change, community, conflict, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Current Events, Discernment, doubt, Education, Environment, Evidence, Evolution, faithfulness, Fundamentalism, Human Condition, Hurricanes, Ideology, Milky Way Galaxy, Paleontology, Politics, Rationality, Science, Secularity, SETI, The Big Blue Marble, Thinking, Uncategorized, Universe, Weather and Climate, Wildfires, Windstorm
The recent report on the findings of climatic research into the causes and probable evolution of climate change – a more accurate term than “global warming” – prompted me to consider a possible answer to Enrico Fermi’s classic question “Where is everybody?” Multiple generations of science fiction writers have projected a future in which the Milky Way Galaxy fairly teems with life, rather like Times Square on New Year’s Eve or the tavern in the first Star Wars movie  – so much so that the late Prof. Stephen Hawking has publicly counseled SETI investigators to – not literally STFU – but certainly to exercise due caution in broadcasting the existence of intelligent life on earth to every corner of the Galaxy. (Not that we have a choice by now:  earth’s electromagnetic emissions by now com
The Wind From The Sun — Eclipses, Climate Change, And The Methodology Of Science

The Wind From The Sun — Eclipses, Climate Change, And The Methodology Of Science

activism, Astronomy, awareness, causality, Challenge, Change, Chaos Theory, citizenship, civics, Climate Change, community, conservatism, Cosmology, Creation, critical judgment, culture, curiosity, Current Events, Discernment, Ecology, Education, Environment, Evidence, Hurricanes, Ideology, Methodology, mindfulness, Nature, physics, progressive politics, Randomness, Rationality, Science, Secularity, Skeptic, Uncategorized, Windstorm
Sometimes even smart and literate people are somewhat naïve when it comes to science. We had an example just recently when educated and sophisticated people compared prevalent conservative skepticism about climate change / global warming with almost non-existent skepticism about the causes of the recent solar eclipse. But this turns out to be a case of dueling misconceptions about differences in scientific methodology:  the methodology used to substantiate climate change and the methodology used to account for solar eclipses. The differences are subtle, requiring a working knowledge of the history of science, but important in appreciating the extent to which the two cases – climate change and eclipses – are not quite comparable. Almost. But not quite. I am riding this partic