Sunday’s Sermon

Rescuing Memory: the Humanist Interview with Noam Chomsky

Noam C

Improving the media

Real Climate

Scientists getting organized to help readers sort fact from fiction in climate change media coverage

Guest post by Emmanuel Vincent

While 2016 is on track to easily surpass 2015 as the warmest year on record, some headlines, in otherwise prestigious news outlets, are still claiming that “2015 Was Not Even Close To Hottest Year On Record” (Forbes, Jan 2016) or that the “Planet is not overheating…” (The Times of London, Feb 2016). Media misrepresentation confuses the public and prevents our policy makers from developing a well-informed perspective, and making evidence-based decisions.

Read the post here.

English: Graphic illustrating the percentages ...
English: Graphic illustrating the percentages of public opinions on the likelihood of some scientists falsifying global warming research. Based on Rasmussen polling of 1,000 American adults conducted July 29-30, 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

News Items

English: Aerial view of Denton, Texas. The cam...
English: Aerial view of Denton, Texas. The campus of the University of North Texas is visible in the center of the photo; above that can be seen the towers on the campus of Texas Woman’s University (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From “The Daily Nous”:

Adam Briggle, associate professor of philosophy at the University of North Texas, has been arrested for engaging in a protest at a Vantage Energy fracking site in Denton, Texas.

Three Denton residents could face criminal trespassing charges after they were arrested early Monday morning in front of the entry to a gas well site on the city’s west side… The trio joined about two dozen other protesters at a Vantage Energy gas well site just after dawn Monday. The group descended on the entry and chained it closed with a giant copy of the citizens initiative banning hydraulic fracturing in Denton. The protesters said they were there to enforce the ban, which was overwhelmingly approved by Denton voters in November. Denton’s ban was effectively nullified when Gov. Greg Abbott signed House Bill 40 on May 18.

More details are reported in the Denton Record-Chronicle.

Professor Briggle is known for his concern with philosophy’s impact. He is the author of  A Field Philosopher’s Guide to Fracking: How One Texas Town Stood Up to Big Oil and Gas

From  Neil deGrasse Tyson:

Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NA...
Dr. at the November 29, 2005 meeting of the NASA Advisory Council, in Washington, D.C. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“There’s a worm in the street, you walk by it. Does the worm know that you think you’re smart? The worm has no concept of your smarts. Because you’re that much smarter than the worm. So the worm has no idea that something smart is walking by it. Which makes me wonder whether we have any concept—if a super species walked by us. Maybe they’re uninterested in us because we’re too stupid for them to even imagine having a conversation. You don’t walk by worms and go “Gee I wonder what the worm is thinking.” This is just not a thought that you have! So one of the best pieces of evidence for why we haven’t been visited by aliens is that they have actually observed us, and concluded there is no intelligent sign of life on earth.”




Sunday’s Sermon: Trust


Public Trust in Government: 1958-2014
Public trust in the government remains near historic lows, although somewhat higher than during the October 2013 government shutdown. In a survey conducted in February 2014, 24% said they trust the government in Washington always or most of the time.Explore public attitudes towards the federal government over time and compare the data with other key national indicators, such as consumer sentiment, the unemployment rate and changes within the elected leadership.Source: PewResearch  Surprise: The steep slide in trust starts with the Vietnam War, which until Iraq was the stupidest US war.If only 36% of US citizens bother to vote, how can “the greatest democracy on earth” maintain its claim?