[EAS] Persistent Dumb Ideas
Peter J. Kindlmann
pjk at design.eng.yale.edu
Sat Jan 14 18:25:34 EST 2006
Dear Colleagues -
With a sigh and little need for additional comment I forward Bob
Park's latest missive.
In the realm of the science/technology component of curricula should
be more courses on energy, history of technology, and the Philosophy
(or Political Science?) of how some dumb ideas are impossible to
stamp out. In part they are nourished by conspiracy psychology and no
small amount of intellectual laziness in trying to understand "how
things work." In a source I cannot now recall, such "unearned
certainty" was equated with bigotry.
>Approved-By: whatsnew at BOBPARK.ORG
>Date: Fri, 13 Jan 2006 16:45:54 -0500
>Reply-To: whatsnew at BOBPARK.ORG
>Sender: "Bob Park's What's New" <BOBPARKS-WHATSNEW at LISTSERV.UMD.EDU>
>From: "What's New" <whatsnew at BOBPARK.ORG>
>Subject: [BOBPARKS-WHATSNEW] What's New Friday January 13, 2006
>To: BOBPARKS-WHATSNEW at LISTSERV.UMD.EDU
>WHAT'S NEW Robert L. Park Friday, 13 Jan 06 Washington, DC
>1. OIL: ONE WAY OR THE OTHER, ALASKAN WILDLIFE PAYS THE PRICE.
>Congress said no to ANWAR, not much is flowing out of Iraq, and
>we're not doing business with Iran. The solution is to open up
>389,000 acres in Alaska that had been off-limits to energy
>development. This time it's migratory birds that will suffer.
>But energy problems are great for zero-point energy scams.
>2. BLACKLIGHT POWER: SOME IDEAS ARE SIMPLY TOO DUMB TO DIE!
>Since 1991, http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN91/wn042691.html ,
>WN has followed the strange case of the "hydrino," tiny hydrogen
>atoms in a "state below the ground state," according to Randell
>Mills, M.D., author of The Grand Unified Theory of Classical
>Quantum Mechanics. We haven't heard much about Mills and his
>company, BlackLight Power, since they lost a patent appeal three
>years ago http://bobpark.physics.umd.edu/WN02/wn090602.html . But
>with the start of the new year, Dow Jones Newswires ran a story
>about deep-pocket financial gurus that are backing BlackLight. A
>retired head of energy banking at Morgan Stanley commented that
>physicists are "hostile" to Mills ideas. Bob Park, was the only
>physicist quoted. Sure enough, he was hostile. "Park represents
>an entrenched physics establishment that fears losing billions in
>funding and having its work discredited," Mills explained.
>3. CREATIONISM: KITZMILLER V. DOVER SCHOOL BOARD DIDN'T END IT.
>Who thought it would? In Dover, the issue was that intelligent
>design was misrepresented as science. So why not misrepresent it
>as something else? In Lebec, CA, a course on the Origins of Life
>is listed as Philosophy, but it's still intelligent design. The
>Calvary Chapel Christian School in Murrieta, CA is suing the
>University of California for not giving credit for courses with a
>"Christian viewpoint." At Calvary Chapel, that's everything but
>mathematics. In Ohio, they don't bother to disguise it. The
>Board of Education voted to keep a controversial biology lesson,
>Critical Analysis of Evolution, that tells students to examine
>"alternate theories of evolution." Lamarckian perhaps? In a
>fundraising letter, Discovery Institute founder Phillip Johnson
>dropped all pretense, "our ultimate goal is to affirm God and
>defeat Darwinism...to shape public policy in accordance with
>conservative Christian philosophy and get it into our schools."
>4. SCIENCE ADVISORY PANELS: POLITICAL LITMUS TESTS ARE OUTLAWED.
>The NIH funding bill, signed into law on 30 Dec 05, contains a
>measure inserted by Richard Durbin (D-IL) to prevent political
>interference in scientific decisions. There are some 1,000
>federal advisory panels that examine science issues, such as safe
>drinking water standards. In 2004, the National Academy of
>Sciences had found that nominees to these panels were often
>questioned about their political affiliations and voting history.
>The new law makes it illegal to ask such questions of nominees,
>however, it provides no penalties if the ban is violated.
>THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND.
>Opinions are the author's and not necessarily shared by the
>University of Maryland, but they should be.
>Archives of What's New can be found at http://www.bobpark.org
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