Friday, August 22, 2008

Cardinal Bellarmine and Galileo's telescope

Or they suppose that science speaks with one voice, and the only dissenters must be Luddites such as the notorious Cardinal Bellarmine, who allegedly refused to look through Galileo's telescope, whereas the truth is that many of Galileo's assertions, including those about the pendulum, were contested by careful observers, including Descartes and Mersenne, probably the leading physicists of the time. And if peoples' miseducation in science has simply taught them to be dogmatists, they can hardly complain if those on the outside can see only dogmatism. But the reality is that science is a human activity, not an abstract calculus, and this properly makes its great achievements a subject of pride and awe, not suspicion and skepticism. It should also make us aware of its desperate fragility, and the hostile cultural forces that it constantly has to overcome. by Alan Sokal

1 comment:

Date the Fossils Not the Rocks said...

Our Paleo group has submitted extensive data for to NASA and the US House Science committee and are being stonewalled - I guess we are considered "darwinian heretics." Here is the final summary in our 10page proposal to NASA on July 17, 2013: Summary and Relevance: The objective of this proposal is to determine the correct chronology of Earth events. The outcome has tremendous implications regarding natural hazards, even the age of the earth and the universe itself and the meaning of human existence. The reproducibility and concordance for dinosaur bones in the thousands of years are indeed remarkable from lab to lab, from dinosaur to dinosaur and from individual dinosaur bone fractions themselves and demonstrate the relevance of the 14C data. As stated in the Introduction: Thus NASA needs to perform similar experiments on other dinosaur bones and even fossil wood from core samples so as to develop a superior degree of confidence that their projected models for possible hazardous future events with NEO’s etc. are based on accurate and reliable chronological data. Keep in mind that all dinosaur bones appear to contain endogenous carbon of some kind irrespective of their burial and fossil condition and so must have been buried rapidly. Some even contain original collagen and soft tissue where none should exist, if the samples are 100,000 years old—let alone 70 million years old or older.

When confronted with the evidence many scientists wonder: “How can this be?” or say with conviction, “You can’t 14C date dinosaur bones – they are too old!” or “There must be something wrong with the data.” The reason why both scientists and non-scientists alike wonder “How can this be?” and therefore find it difficult to accept our data is simply because students have been taught for the past 150 years that dinosaurs are solid rock and became extinct 12 Ma BP in 1925, an estimate that has been inflated five-fold in recent times to 65 Ma BP. Now, however, scientists are beginning to realize that there is endogenous carbon in all dinosaur bones and that they are not completely petrified. So which is the correct date for the demise of most dinosaurs: Twelve Ma, sixty-five Ma or thousands of years ago? These 14C reproducible data are real and justify efforts by other scientists to test for 14C content in dinosaur bone collagen, total organics and/or bioapatite from USA, Alberta, Canada, Gobi Desert and Zhucheng, China, Russia and Argentina. NASA and the US House Science, Space and Technology committee have a unique opportunity to come to an agreement on this very serious matter by accepting the challenge to test for 14C content in dinosaur bones and fossil wood. Our proposal and protocol should guide both organizations in answering that and other relevant questions so as to develop an accurate chronology of Earth’s history.