If you're old enough, you remember hearing about missile gaps that reportedly posed danger. Here's another perilous chasm: the Consensus Gap. There is virtually no scientific controversy over climate change anymore, but a lot of non-scientists think there is huge controversy in the climate research community itself. Greg Laden explains:
The point is, the gap between scientific consensus and public opinion is real, and very important. The consensus gap causes bad things to happen. ... Editorials in Main Stream Media that exploit the consensus gap could be compared to editorials at the New York Times or in the Scientific American or your local newspaper that demand more attention be given to the plight of Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster. The degree of scientific consensus that those creatures do not exist is about the same as the degree of consensus that AGW is real, though the public “belief” in crypto-critters is less than the public “belief” that AGW is not real. Why? Because Main Stream Media has not taken Big Foot or the Loch Ness Monster seriously in quite some time.
Ten years from now it will be interesting to look back and see how Main Stream Media’s editorial writers who today are sticking with “the jury is still out” on AGW managed their reputations as they looked more and more like they belonged at the National Enquirer rather than a respected news outlet.
- Tanzania offers another clue in the fascinating story of primate evolution.
- Holy smokes, look at the line up of crazy to replace Saxby I-aint-gay Chambliss; no matter who wins, it will bear much science-blogging fruit in the years to come.
- Via the Stephanie Miller Show, I posted a few hilarious excepts from Housekeeping Monthly 1955 AKA
The Good Wife's GuideHow to Lose a Woman in Five Minutes. Snopes says likely fabricated but still expresses many such sentiments common at that time.
- What could go wrong with mind reading or thought control?
- Sometimes knowing too much science can detract from a sci-fi movie ...
- The sequester kills.
- NASA plans to return a sample of an Apollo class asteroid called 101955 Bennu. The object is about half a km in diameter so no need for record-breaking rovers. One of the strange forces at work this mission will check out is called Yarkovsky Effect: a miniscule quantum force which orbital mechanics must take into account as, over time, it can change change the orbit of a small body enough that it misses the earth ... or hits us.