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Evolution is so absurd but the idea of humans walking with dinosaurs is quite interesting.

Climate change is a liberal commie Nazi plot

Now we have the Big Bang

WASHINGTON, April 21 (UPI) -- In a new national poll on America's scientific acumen, more than half of respondents said they were "not too confident" or "not at all confident" that "the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang."
Now I wonder what is the basis of their opinion/lack of confidence?

Oh right.

The same as everything else when faced with complicated theories.

suggesting more respondents are aware of the science than originally suggested -- they just don't believe the science.
I don't believe. WTF?

It has come to the point where all debate is reduced to belief, that is all well and good when debating about fairies at the bottom of the garden.

What annoys the crap out of me is that it has become the lazy way of getting around having to study and think.

I don't believe the science, yada, yada  plus vacuous anecdotal evidence; fairy dust.

Well fuck you then

Show me some bloody data or just admit that you don't know.

3:11 PM PT: Night Night and don't let the bed bugs bite

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar: Oh and happy bunny days (207+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    One Pissed Off Liberal, annieli, jfromga, Mannie, kenwards, P Carey, CwV, ontheleftcoast, political mutt, bleeding blue, thanatokephaloides, BMScott, Most Awesome Nana, clarknyc, terremoto, kevinpdx, JrCrone, Calvino Partigiani, Puddytat, Glen The Plumber, FloridaSNMOM, sfbob, mungley, ChemBob, sidnora, Angie in WA State, dougymi, twigg, T100R, wilderness voice, otto, jaf49, yawnimawke, WisePiper, buckstop, greengemini, Eileen B, Youffraita, JayBat, lineatus, badscience, chimpy, zerelda, Storey, devis1, CanisMaximus, slowbutsure, implicate order, George3, tegrat, Jim R, 1BQ, offgrid, HeyMikey, StrayCat, oceanview, Nattiq, vicki, oldmanriver, Teiresias70, skod, SherwoodB, Matt Z, Hammerhand, enhydra lutris, joynow, Shockwave, trumpeter, rapala, dandy lion, cybersaur, Blue Bell Bookworm, Debs2, rb608, Johnny Nucleo, eru, Wolf10, alx9090, dotdash2u, Smoh, NonnyO, Miggles, ruleoflaw, myrmecia gulosa, democracy inaction, Simplify, Tool, greenotron, gizmo59, PeterHug, FarWestGirl, Paul Ferguson, OhioNatureMom, Anne was here, gmats, ericlewis0, YucatanMan, owlbear1, llellet, nirbama, chrississippi, dewtx, Jazzenterprises, elpacifico66, Alumbrados, Paragryne, dansk47, psnyder, bbctooman, ATFILLINOIS, raincrow, millwood, Involuntary Exile, roses, frsbdg, Denver11, i saw an old tree today, OllieGarkey, Daulphin, LI Mike, Bule Betawi, IndieGuy, SCFrog, VTCC73, rduran, Buckeye Nut Schell, GeorgeXVIII, Prav duh, AdamR510, Lily O Lady, Ohiodem1, begone, howabout, pixxer, NM Ray, Dolphin99, stone clearing, Freedomfreak, histOries Marko, basquebob, Nisi Prius, petulans, jamess, Mother Mags, Trendar, Terre, kbman, Mathazar, numble, Yang Guang, walkshills, MarkInSanFran, valadon, quill, anodnhajo, Jeff Y, thomask, Yosef 52, Sharon Wraight, Robynhood too, oldliberal, 84thProblem, onionjim, BlogDog, BarackStarObama, Rogneid, Onomastic, Cassandra Waites, sydneyluv, CenPhx, MKinTN, jayden, jiffypop, aznavy, Steven D, allie4fairness, Sean Robertson, The ghost of Lenny Bruce, bartcopfan, MadEye, lyvwyr101, EighteenCharacters, reasonshouldrule, blairhoughton, Sir Roderick, hnichols, kvnvk, Teal Cuttlefish, opinionaire, raspberryberet, penelope pnortney, Terry S, sendtheasteroid, dewolf99, silverfoxcruiser, UFO Sherlock, nedog, DarthMeow504, beesknees, tuesdayschilde, fishnleo, groupw, zootscoot, Toprow, Enduring Angst, HashHoward, cnmiley

    "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

    by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:22:51 PM PDT

  •  You want data, facts, as if that'll matter? (28+ / 0-)

    People just don't know what facts are.  Facts and opinions are given the same priority.  People really, really, have lost the ability to reason and think critically.

    Now stop and think that someday you may be falsely accused of a crime, and half the jury doesn't "believe" the universe is 13+ billion years old, evolution is real, or global warming is a serious problem.

    •  and that is what makes me angry, there is (28+ / 0-)

      no shame in not knowing, but just brushing it off with belief is crazy

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:42:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The "big bang" is not a fact..... (9+ / 0-)'s a theory and that's a fact.

      I predict it will remain a theory forever.

      I'm really pissed off this time

      by suspiciousmind on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:58:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Perhaps, but then again who knows for sure (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        suspiciousmind, nellgwen, Denver11

        "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

        by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:00:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  like evolution and gravity are theories. (13+ / 0-)

        and quantum mechanics...

        Bad terminology makes it no less real.

        •  No, agh, maybe you were being cute (8+ / 0-)

          but evolution is a fact, not a theory; Darwin's notion of "natural selection" as the mechanism by which evolution takes place - that is a theory.  Lamarck had a different theory; biologists these days have more complicated ones built on those earlier ones (like "punctuated equilibrium" or "phyletic gradualism")

          The fact of evolution is easily demonstrable in the rapid evolution of microorganisms, for example, that give us "the flu" every year (evolving the ability to infect human beings, and not only birds, say).  

          Similarly, gravity is a fact, not a theory; Newton offered one theory to explain what gravity 'is' and how it operates (action of gravitational "forces" at a distance), complete with very good equations giving a high degree of predictability that gave his hypothesis the status of a theory. Einstein gave us an even better theory to explain gravity (as curvature of space), with equations far more complicated but also more accurate than Newton's.

          The term 'theory' when used by scientists does NOT have the same meaning that it has in common parlance.  What we commonly call "a theory" is what scientists call a hypothesis - an educated guess.  What a scientist calls 'theory' is "an educated guess supported by a great deal of evidence and generally considered to have a high probability of being correct".  

          People who think "well, 'creationism' and 'evolution' are both 'theories', after all, so why not teach both" are wrong on two levels. First, 'creationism' does not and (likely) never will have the status of a theory in the scientific sense, because it is not testable, not 'falsifiable'.  Second, evolution is a fact, not a theory (see above).

          •  Well, sometimes we become sloppy with language (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            pollwatcher, allie4fairness, dcnblues

            For example, 'striving to understand an explanation of gravity' becomes 'striving to understand gravity' which leads to 'gravity' becoming conflated with 'an explanation of gravity'. Same for evolution.

            So, an unambiguous example might be: The photoelectric effect is a fact, and quantum mechanics is a theory that accounts for this fact.

            Photoelectric Effect (Wikipedia)

          •  I say "Evolution is an observale phenomenon" (0+ / 0-)

            Facts are kinda like 'data points' - observable events and 'things' that are part of an over-arching trend but not the entire trend by themselves.  

            E.g.  I can raise 30 generations of house flies and compare the preserved corpses of the first generation with the 30th  - I can make measurements of features and calculate means & standard deviations and statistically analyze whether the differences in populations is significant - that would be a fact.

            -- illegitimi non carborundum

            by BadBoyScientist on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:48:41 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  typical positivist epistemological confusion ;) (0+ / 0-)

              you are confusing your measurements with the reality you measure.  Set a strobe camera to picture a falling object, and you have a succession of "data points" - would you seriously like to argue that the acceleration of the object toward the ground was not a "fact" but merely an "interpretation" (derived from an 'interpolation' of data points)? That's just begging the question.

              Of course, if you really want to push it then I will say I agree with you: my preferred epistemology is rooted in phenomenology (Gadamer's hermeneutics); in that explanation what we call 'fact' is a kind of convention; all we really have are "interpretations" of varying degrees of probability, and all of which are relative (as in Einstein's universe, or quantum physics).  For you and I, gravity is a fact, and so is evolution - they are realities that shape and limit our existence. For quarks and leptons, not so much.

        •  So, the big bang is real? (0+ / 0-)

          That hasn't been, and never will be, proven.

          As I understand it, the cosmos, as observed by scientists, astronomers, physicists, etc., "appears" to be expanding. They've hypothesized that there must've been a big explosion in the middle to create this expansion and all matter within.....what else could cause that?

          I believe it is far more likely that it will be discovered that the "perception" that the cosmos is expanding is flawed due to a slight error in their calculations due to relativity (the observer moving at some speed relative to target) and, there's actually no expansion at all.

          Space and time is infinite in all directions IMO and that, will never be proven either but, the further we're able to look out, and in, the more we see.....always.

          I'm really pissed off this time

          by suspiciousmind on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:56:55 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Ugh. Just Ugh. (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            suspiciousmind, pollwatcher

            That description would get a 'C-' on my tests ... if I were in a good mood.

            There are observables (these are what we usually refer to as facts - but since the word fact carries too many diverse connotations let us avoid using it here) things such as the cosmic microwave background, the large scale structure of the Universe, the cosmological red shift.   Anyone could go out and observe these things.  Further, they are more subtle variations in the cosmological redshift that indicate that the expansion of the Universe is accelerating - we call this 'Dark Energy'

            There are models (such as Big Bang Theory, Inflationary Universe, etc) that explain these observables - we call these 'theories' (well, after they've been tested enough to earn the confidence of the majority of experts).  Theories cannot be proven - by their nature - however the degree of confidence we have continues to grow.  

            Pointing out that some theory can never be proven is really pointing out your own lack of science literacy.  Anyone who is literate in science knows that and has moved on to deeper more inspiring thoughts about science.  

            -- illegitimi non carborundum

            by BadBoyScientist on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:56:28 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  So's gravity (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        GreenMother, Hayate Yagami, kvnvk

        Please don't equate the words "theory" and "guess".  They're very different animals.

      •  The word "theory" has a very definitive... (5+ / 0-)

        ...and concrete meaning in the world of science. Just because non-science people have bastardized the word "theory" to mean any guess that anyone can pull out of their ass doesn't mean that the word "theory" when used in a scientific context loses its more definitive meaning.

      •  Actually, it is a theoretical construct and is (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        suspiciousmind, kvnvk

        constantly being revised as new evidence pours in.
           The BICEP data tends to confirm the "inflation" version of the Big Bang, which was necessary because the original "Big Bang theory" did not match the available data.
           You're right, it will always be theory.

  •  See, this is what happens when ... (29+ / 0-)

    religion exceeds its design parameters.

    If life weren't so damn hard, we’d have no need for fabric softeners.

    by glb3 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:41:39 PM PDT

    •  Unfortunately It's Enlightenment That Exceeded Its (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      design parameters.

      It only works in a relatively egalitarian economy with enough surpluses flowing in that the rich can be allowed extreme accumulation.

      Enlightenment does not have only minimum conditions, it also has maximum conditions, and we've passed too many of them.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:36:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I get so sick of this "belief" or "disbelief" (28+ / 0-)

    of science.

    Science is evidence and observation based...there is no "belief" to it

    whether or not you accept the REALITY of science is your issue, not the scientists.

    •  So tired of it being an acceptable reply as well. (10+ / 0-)

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:49:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I'm waiting for the day when they don't (15+ / 0-)

      believe in gravity anymore (too "sciency").

      Yet these are the same people who rely on science for medical advancements, new drugs, and the latest electronics.  

      Their ignorance is quite selective.

      There already is class warfare in America. Unfortunately, the rich are winning.

      by Puddytat on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:13:28 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I believe (5+ / 0-)

      "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

      by voracious on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:29:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Love it! The Book of Mormon was the funniest thing (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        voracious, rarely comments

        I have ever seen, I never laughed so hard in my life. I'll be seeing it again in a couple months.

        Everyone needs to go see it if it comes through your city. It's great.

        "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

        by yg17 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:28:00 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I saw it on Broadway with the original cast (0+ / 0-)

          and again this year in San Francisco. It is an outstanding production. The soundtrack is always in my CD player.

          "Pulling together is the aim of despotism and tyranny. Free men pull in all kinds of directions.” --Lord Vetinari

          by voracious on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:43:50 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Nice, I wanted to see it on Broadway when (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            I was in NY a couple years ago but just couldn't fit it into my schedule, so I saw it in London's West End last year, I figure that's just as good. Seeing it in Indianapolis again in June. I am normally not a fan of musicals at all, but this is the one exception.

            I kinda wish they'd turn it into a movie so I could buy it for 20 bucks and see it over and over again.

            "How come when it’s us, it’s an abortion, and when it’s a chicken, it’s an omelette?" - George Carlin

            by yg17 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:57:22 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for reminding me (0+ / 0-)

          I've been meaning to buy tickets for me and my son and grandson. Just bought them.

          Can't wait! My grandson is almost 17, he's never seen a Broadway touring company. Or any professional stage production.

    •  While I disagree with them completely (0+ / 0-)

      and get sick every time I read about a child's life being endangered, I can at least somewhat respect Christian Scientists for walking their talk.  

      We view "The Handmaid's Tale" as cautionary. The GOP views it as an instruction book.

      by Vita Brevis on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:53:30 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I dunno... (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        dinazina, Vita Brevis

        Several years ago I got a gig singing at a Christian Science church on Christmas morning. It was my first time at this kind of church. When I went to the bathroom I saw that there was anti-bacterial hand wash next to he sink. I wondered if that wasn't a bit hypocritical...

        "Today is who you are" - my wife

        by I Lurked For Years on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:34:23 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  And we need to demonstrate that, over & over, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      from the beginning, until they realize that it's not going to evaporate just because they want it to.

      Facts are interconnected and interdependent. Self consistent. Dependent on specific conditions and varying with those specific conditions.

      They've been told we're just making stuff up the way their preachers do. We have to show them that facts work and are immutable regardless of who is using them. As long as they're using them correctly. And doing it right makes a difference, the thought doesn't count, it's the execution.

      Damn, where'n the hell'd this soapbox come from?

      Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
      ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

      by FarWestGirl on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:13:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  that's just what they hate, FWG (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        FarWestGirl, kvnvk

        having their ignorant noses rubbed in reality.
        It immediately activates the 'nanny state, overbearing, for-your-own-good' librul stereotype they so love to loathe.
        Nevermind that we overbearing, didactic liberals are constantly put in this position by the loudmouthed, arrogant ignorance of the magical thinkers (see hunters's current reclist diary). They force us to correct the record when they say, and stand by, incredibly idiotic opinions.
        This is exacerbated by the conservative takeaway from the "I'm OK, you're OK" days of the 70s; namely that your ill-considered, half-baked and prepackaged gut level reaction to any poll question somehow is just as valid as the considered, researched analysis of a slew of professionals. And you should be proud of that!
        And when that paradigm is nicely entrenched, we can then take seriously polls that ask questions like 'do you feel safer' from terrorism etcetcetc. Because the reality of security is inconsequential (in the marketplace), but the snuggly feelings of people who have no freaking idea how safe they actually are becomes the only metric that matters.
        I have watched this steady progression of polling questions from a test of the public's understanding of an issue to measuring the autonomic nervous systems of the polling sample with dismay. Poll questions today are no more than tests of the effectiveness of propaganda.

        Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

        by kamarvt on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:12:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It's so embarrassing to be American these days. (11+ / 0-)

    I hate the idea of traveling abroad, because everyone is going to automatically associate me with all these idiots, and there's not enough hours in the day to disabuse them all.

  •  That poll had poor questions (12+ / 0-)

    The question "how confident are you that the universe the universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang"  calls for making two judgments.  The first relates to the big bang, whereas the second is regarding the timing.

    As a scientifically literate person, I can answer the first part "yes" with a lot of confidence.  As to the second part--less so:  is it 12 billion? 13.8?  14?  What's the range on those estimates?

    A better question would have been,"how confident are you that the universe the universe began with a big bang billions of years ago."

    "Well, I'm sure I'd feel much worse if I weren't under such heavy sedation..."--David St. Hubbins

    by Old Left Good Left on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:49:27 PM PDT

    •  Although there is quite a lot of data (7+ / 0-)

      pointing to the start date.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:52:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yes but the question asked (7+ / 0-)

        how confident are you....?

        A lack of confidence could mean a lack of belief or a lack of knowledge.  I have a PhD in Biology.  I know that there is substantial evidence for a Big Bang and no reason to doubt that one happened.  I accept it.

        However I have to confess that if you had asked me the estimated date of the big bang I wouldn't have had any idea prior to reading this diary.  I'm sure I have been exposed to it several times but the exact number is relatively meaningless to me personally.  I would have been sure it was more than 10 billion and less than 20 billion but beyond that I wouldn't have had a clue  So I wouldn't have been very confident.

        In other words I agree with OKGL.  It was a bad question that conflated general knowledge of importance, specific knowledge of less importance, and acceptance.

        "To see both sides of a quarrel, is to judge without hate or alarm" - Richard Thompson

        by matching mole on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:26:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  The question may have been poorly worded (0+ / 0-)

          but the reply is consistent when science is involved at the moment.

          "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

          by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:29:43 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  I agree with you (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Cassandra Waites

          While I am confident that the Big Bang is an acceptable theory for the origin of the universe, I am not sure whether the current estimate is 13.4 billion years or 13.7, etc.  I knew it to be in that range, but I would have difficulty stating how confident I was that the number was one or the other, rather than "around" 13.8.

          I suspect that the authors of the question were contrasting 13,800,000,000 with 6000- but to anyone with a literal or scientific mind, the question immediately raises questions of error bars, confidence limits and statistics.

          That said, I also suspect that the majority of those who felt unconfident of the statement did so because they believed th earth was only 6000 years old.

          As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

          by BPARTR on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:22:30 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  You gotta watch (0+ / 0-)

          more Big Bang Theory. :)

          The theme song says "Nearly 14 billion years ago...", so if you can sing along, you'll remember the number.

          I am not religious, and did NOT say I enjoyed sects.

          by trumpeter on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:38:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  yeah (3+ / 0-)

      They're probably off by a little, so I'd guess that most of the answers that say they don't believe are probably due to that.  


      I know you weren't really saying that.  I just thought it was funny to consider that there would be that many poll respondents who even had half an idea about the issue.  


      by otto on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:32:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I don't believe in gravity (7+ / 0-)

    or atoms, or electricity or magnetism...

    all just "theories", teach the controversy!

    And then the rest of the world continues their research and development and education without getting religious approval and leaves the good ole USA in the dust...

    This tug of war between rational thought and "belief" reminds me somewhat of the clash between Spain and England for supremacy in Europe.

    We had the English freethinkers (by the standards of their time) versus the Spanish whose lines of thought and inquiry had to fit within the framework of the teachings of the Church.

    Didn't take long for the reality based English to come out on top. Too many in this country (I'm looking at you GOP and its base!) seem to want us to emulate the Spanish and then "believe" that God and Jesus will keep the USA on top anyway.

    Blue is blue and must be that but yellow is none the worse for it - Carlisle Wheeling

    by kenwards on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 01:52:30 PM PDT

  •  This is why we can't have nice things. (21+ / 0-)

    "Nothing in all the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity." --M. L. King "You can't fix stupid" --Ron White -6.00, -5.18

    by zenbassoon on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:02:22 PM PDT

  •  Well, Ms. Science Know-it-all, maybe it's... (5+ / 0-)

    because they know something you don't!

    "Caedite eos. Novit enim Dominus qui sunt eius." -- Arnaud Amaury

    by terremoto on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:04:19 PM PDT

  •  Reason is obvious (4+ / 0-)

    Because Murica.  Rename it the 'Big American Bang' and it'll get overwhelming support.

  •  I don't believe in the science behind the (7+ / 0-)

    so-called Big Bang Theory either.  I mean who actually believes this?:

    Entropy increases during big bang turbulence are by thermal
    and viscous dissipation of temperature and velocity variance χ and ε, so by dimensional analysis the temperature power spectrum should be the Corrsin-Obukhov form φT =
    βχε-1/3k-5/3, where β is a universal constant of order one and k is wavenumber. Strong forces freeze out at temperature 1028 K to produce quarks and gluons, but a false vacuum supercooling causes a brief exponential stretching of space by a factor of 1025 according to
    the Einstein theory of general relativity and the Guth theory of inflation. The temperature spectrum is stretched to scales larger than the horizon scale of causal connection ct, where c is the speed of light and t is the time, so that the expanded pattern of turbulent temperature fluctuations is the first fossil temperature turbulence. The fluctuations reenter the horizon at 10-9 s before nucleosynthesis and imprint the fossil turbulence pattern on the resulting density and species concentration fields because of the extreme temperature sensitivity of these reactions.
    Yeah, like Einstein was actually a real person.  Pfft.

    "Trust me... I've been right before." ~ Tea party patriot

    by Calvino Partigiani on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:08:43 PM PDT

  •  I think I might have polled being (6+ / 0-)

    skeptical about the Big Bang theory. I tend to lean toward an oscillating universe that postulates the the universe is an unending cycle of "branes" colliding within a higher dimensional "bulk". Or, as some scientists have mused, this entire physical reality is really an illusion (which I believe when I hear Rush Limbaugh's voice). I would be interested as to what were the sentiments of the majority and why most people do not believe in the Big Bang. I know a lot of physicists think there might be better theories than the term Big Bang which was coined by someone who never believed in the Big Bang.

    The big question I always had if there was no space and in effect a void, what banged, how did it bang and why did it bang? You cannot blame people for being skeptical when even the greatest and most intelligent scientists cannot explain what the singularity is. The only thing we do know is there is a red shift when observing galaxies from our reference, we can pick up microwave background from the early remnants of the event that spawned our existing universe and we now have evidence of gravitational waves that are consistent with inflation of the universe in the fractions of a second after the event. I just do not know what banged. Anyone who says they do is smoking some good stuff.

    Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

    by tazz on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:14:17 PM PDT

    •  My question has always been what happened (5+ / 0-)

      just before, I don't know, but rather than disbelieving the science the data is being filled in quite well, now to see what that data actually means, and that is the job of much cleverer people than I.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:18:47 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  My take (5+ / 0-)

        What practical purpose does it serve me to know for certain?  

        If I know for certain, does it actually change anything?  Would I behave any differently?  

        All answers, as far as I'm concerned, are provisional.  That doesn't mean I'm going to act as if gravity will somehow change tomorrow.  

        Understand the limits of science, know its possibilities.   It's important to know the specific answers that science can address.  

        That said, I am practically unable to imagine the mindset of the believer who feels threatened by science.  

         I also think it's imperative to consider the negative consequences of scientific research.  We might develop things that turn out to be negative, but it's not like we should be making moral decisions along the way that prevent people from having access to new advances that science lead to.  


        by otto on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:29:05 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  PS. My annoyence is more along the lines (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      that by not even trying to think that the go to now is the disbelief in science as a whole.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:20:19 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  I doubt that most (4+ / 0-)

      of those whose polled skeptical would be interested in your hypothesis, either. Better think a 6-day job, ending with Jesus riding a dinosaur.

      "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

      by sidnora on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:34:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I don't know about Jesus riding a dino (4+ / 0-)

        but according to quantum mechanics, it is a possibility Jesus not only rode a dinosaur, but he played outfield for the San Francisco Giants with his brothers Matty and Felipe.

        Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others....Groucho Marx

        by tazz on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:59:51 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I don't think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          that that Jesus rode on a dinosaur, either. Those Alous, they were good.

          "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself."........ "The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much; it is whether we provide enough for those who have too little." (yeah, same guy.)

          by sidnora on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:11:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

        •  In one alternate reality, Sheldon said that his (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          tazz, sidnora

          calculations indicated that he might well be a clown made of candy.

          So anything is possible at this point.

          "It were a thousand times better for the land if all Witches, but especially the blessing Witch, might suffer death." qtd by Ehrenreich & English. For Her Own Good, Two Centuries of Expert's Advice to Women pp 40

          by GreenMother on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 05:37:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  The Brane Theory Is Very Much In Play (5+ / 0-)

      Thank you tazz for having not to waste a lot of energy writing something similar.

      I will posit (totally subjective): of 1000 people polled, only 1 would say they had problems with the big bang because of the competing brane theory.

      •  Big Bang Brane (0+ / 0-)

        But M-theory supports the Big Bang. In fact, it supports a whole bunch of Big Bangs, an infinity of them. The branes brush against each other and when the entropy rates are similar, there's an energy transference. Boom. Big Bang.

        So I wouldn't call it "competing." More like "adjunctive."

    •  The singularity... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...supposedly contained everything, right?

      Where else is there a singularity? A black hole.

      And there is evidence of not only supermassive black holes, but mathematical evidence that black holes can "merge." Eventually, what if a black hole grows so massive over trillions of years of consumption that it literally swallows everything, and then you've got everything crammed into a singularity -- which explodes in a Big Bang, birthing a brand new universe?

  •  The term was originally a mockery (4+ / 0-)

    I announce a contest for a renaming "The Big Bang."


    Time plus 1.




    by otto on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:21:01 PM PDT

  •  It is not that they don't believe the science, (9+ / 0-)

    it is just that they do not believe in science, period. They don't even know the science that describes the Big Bang specifically, so the article writer letting that quote pass is bullshit.

    The first thing I'd ask anyone saying they "don't believe the science" is, "So tell me what you know of the science." The BS answer will start with, "The bible says..."

    I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. - Susan B. Anthony Everything good a man can be, a dog already is. - pajoly

    by pajoly on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:26:31 PM PDT

  •  i believe in science on faith! (4+ / 0-)

    because it is all over my head (when it comes to biological and physical science)!

    People have tried to teach or explain but it i have to take most of it on faith.

    I am better at believing in science than God.  Not sure why.

    •  try praying your cellphone battery awake (0+ / 0-)

      a coupla thousand go's at that and you'll probably give up and plug the damn thing in, no  matter how religiousy you might try to be.
      maybe that's why? It worked for me when i tried to clear a gap jump over and over as a kid. My dad explained i couldn't generate enough speed on the hill available. He taught me to increase the hill or decrease the gap; hoping for an exemption from the laws of ballistics was not working and was never going to.
      I liked science that day because it made the pain go away :)

      Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

      by kamarvt on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:25:52 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  That's the great thing about science (4+ / 0-)

    and the terrible thing about our modem Free Press...

    Science doesn't care whether or not you believe in it - it just IS.

    Unfortunately for everyone who gets their News and other Information via the TV, the Media has inculcated two (nearly 3) generations to believe everything being broadcast in America on a program with the word "News" in its title is true.


    "I like paying taxes...with them, I buy Civilization"

    by Angie in WA State on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:29:00 PM PDT

  •  If the Universe had known that a species (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, zbob stupid as our appears to be would result from the "Big Bang", perhaps it would better be called a "Big Whimper" instead.

    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" -- (Talbot, in: The Maid of Orleans by Friedrich Schiller)

    by rfall on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:31:16 PM PDT

  •  What do the doubters want? A photograph? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, waterstreet2013

    "Against stupidity the gods themselves contend in vain" -- (Talbot, in: The Maid of Orleans by Friedrich Schiller)

    by rfall on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:32:06 PM PDT

  •  Data Is Science. You Want People Opposed to Data (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    to make their point with data?

    You need to get right with the Word.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:34:10 PM PDT

  •  The precise reason why conservatives are always (5+ / 0-)

    ... trying to defund education.

    As we are witnessing in Nevada, "dumbfucks-with-guns" is the right wing sweet spot.

    "Bob Johnson doesn't have special privileges, because really, why would I entrust that guy with ANYTHING?" - kos, November 9, 2013

    by Bob Johnson on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:36:39 PM PDT

  •  lol! I know! it's very hard to even look at people (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    because I'm constantly wondering if they are stupid. The odds are in the favor of them being stupid. So i go to the grocery store or wherever and look at people and wonder. How do they function with the mind boggling concept of internal combustion engine? I imagine the sliding doors they walked through just magically work? Or that can that the beans are in, just magically came out of someone's butt...

    Earth: Mostly harmless ~ The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (revised entry)

    by yawnimawke on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:37:06 PM PDT

  •  . (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    LaFeminista, yg17

    English usage is sometimes more than mere taste, judgment and education - sometimes it's sheer luck, like getting across the street. E. B. White

    by Youffraita on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:37:34 PM PDT

  •  wait, hang on (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    First of all, you're running together a new poll result with something that the NSF did or reported on. (The UPI story seems fundamentally confused here: Science and Engineering Indicators is a report, not an annual survey.)

    Why shouldn't many people be "not confident at all" that the universe is 13.8 billion years old? How is that different from admitting that they don't know?

    Now, let's put that thing about "just don't believe the science" back in the context of the supporting research. The NSF report notes that the 2012 General Social Survey did a half-sample experiment in which half the respondents were asked about the proposition that "the universe began with a big explosion," and half were told that "According to astronomers, the universe began with a big explosion." The NSF report says that, without the preface, 39% of respondents said the statement was true; with the preface, 60% said it was true. (The tables I ran indicate that actually the percentages are more like 55% and 76%; right now I can't account for the discrepancy, and the NSF doesn't appear to give a source.)

    Now, how on earth does UPI descry from that that "more respondents are aware of the science than originally suggested -- they just don't believe the science"? What does that even mean? That who originally suggested? My takeaway is that a lot of people aren't aware of the science, and so merely attributing it to "astronomers" is enough to change their answers.  How many people actually obdurately deny the big bang? I haven't seen a study that gives a satisfactory answer.

    "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

    by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:50:46 PM PDT

    •  Don't know would have been an acceptable reply (0+ / 0-)

      However it is much more fashionable to say, that they don't believe, no reasoning required it is the stock answer at this time.

      You have to put the reply in the cultural context of today

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:55:01 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  IMO that has to do with question construction (0+ / 0-)

        The proportion of people who volunteer "don't know" responses varies widely depending on many factors. It's true that people often volunteer responses when the most honest response would have been that they don't know. But a question that asks people how confident they are of [X] doesn't lend itself to a don't-know response. Heck, I'm a pretty insecure guy, but I at least know how confident I am that the universe is 13.8 billion years old. It would be pretty roundabout to have to say "don't know" in order to communicate the right attitude toward science. (Changing the wording to "billions of years" would surely change my answer.)

        That's my professional critique of the question design. I'm sure there are people who are firmly committed to a young universe, as well as people who would tend to give young-universe answers without actually caring very much. I just don't think these questions reveal how many there are.

        "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

        by HudsonValleyMark on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:07:18 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  it's part of a larger problem (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          'belief' in evolution and climate science is dropping as the evidence in support of both keeps on piling up and the evidence against continues to be completely nonexistent.
          that's not a wording problem. It's a society-wide acceptance of magical thinking and permission to deny observable reality wholesale. Whether it's intellectual laziness, propaganda, the herd mentality, or a combination of all and more I do not know.

          Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

          by kamarvt on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 05:33:19 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  evidence? (0+ / 0-)

            "Belief" in climate change has ebbed and flowed, but Pew found a considerable increase between 2010 and 2013. The GSS shows an increase in "belief" in evolution from 2006 to 2012, although that is less robust. I haven't canvassed all available polls, but I don't see the basis for your confidence that the trends are in the opposite direction.

            It seems to me that if you don't know whether it's "intellectual laziness," then you also don't know whether it's "acceptance of magical thinking." Most people haven't thought much at all about either climate change or evolution. That doesn't strike me as surprising or blameworthy. I suspect that hardcore public denialism is a very small part of the problem, but I'm open to contrary arguments.

            "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

            by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:14:16 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  plenty (0+ / 0-)

              lots of dismay from scientists in that article.
              Here's a money quote;

              "Science ignorance is pervasive in our society, and these attitudes are reinforced when some of our leaders are openly antagonistic to established facts," said 2013 Nobel Prize in medicine winner Randy Schekman of the University of California, Berkeley.
              The whole thing is an indictment of the fostered ignorance gaining traction in America. It's a short read. It bolsters the diarist's case nicely.

              Then there's this; Gallup's polls on evolution over time.
              The trendlines are absolutely in the direction i stated over the last three years. It's the sharpest divergence from the mean in the 32 years of data.

              Those were two of the top three results when I typed evolution polling into Google. A lot more came up, but you can peruse them without my help.
              There are polls showing both an increase and a decrease in creationism vs evolution, as it is lately a hot issue politically (that alone is alarming, imo). So, like all else these days, we can all choose a poll that confirms our own views.
              that's helpful, isn't it?
              As to magical thinking, check out the graph of 'what people do and do not believe' in this article from Harris interactive.  'God' and 'miracles' top the list at over 70%, and Darwin's theory of evolution polls behind the virgin birth of Christ.

               Climate science 'acceptance' goes up and down with local current weather; if that's not the epitome of uninformed opinionating, I don't know what is.
              I'm old enough to remember a time when if people didn't know much about an issue, particularly one where there was cold data and science to strengthen the claims made, they made an effort to learn something about it before shooting off an opinion, but those days are over. Now it's a circus of gauging knee-jerk 'public opinion' on things where their damned opinion is uninformed and irrelevant to the reality.

              Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

              by kamarvt on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:03:01 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  a few things (0+ / 0-)

                Scientists expressing dismay about the public's science knowledge? Stop the presses!

                The Gallup numbers to which you linked show, over the last three decades, a slight increase in the opinion that "God had no part in [the] process" and no other clear trend. Support for the 'creationist' opinion may have gone down in 2010 and then back up in 2012, but it is far from clear.

                Climate science 'acceptance' goes up and down with local current weather; if that's not the epitome of uninformed opinionating, I don't know what is.
                Who said it wasn't uninformed?

                "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

                by HudsonValleyMark on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 07:38:48 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

                •  I couldn't find a quote like the first one (1+ / 0-)
                  Recommended by:

                  that I used above from anytime prior to the turn of the Century. Maybe I'm not so good at teh google.
                  Public pushback on the distrust of science is relatively new, because the coordinated creation of that distrust by a major political party (not a fringe group) is also new. The Snopes trial was not countenanced by a major tv network, a major political party, and a vast network of talking heads. If it were to play out today, that would be different (Cliven Bundy).  That's devolving, and that's never a good thing for a society. The Republican party mainstream is in the midst of an overt pr campaign to accuse the entire scientific community of a world changing conspiracy. that is pretty darn radical stuff.

                  You see a 4 point trend down in creationism in 2012 (actually that's from mid 2008-2011),  what I see is a polarization; the six point rebound between 2011 and 2013 came almost entirely from people abandoning the intelligent design 'compromise' and going all in with creationism. We can quibble about the minutiae and MoE, clearly a rigorous treatment of this would require both of us devote at least the day to it. Most volatile time of all is recently. No four or six point swings prior to the last few years. One thing that seems to parallel; the rise and fall of the fortunes of the political right match that of support for creationism.  That four point drop was during the worst of the recession and the most hopeful time of Obama's first term. Rationality seems to have been on the rise, but took a beating with the ascendance of the republicans in late 2010.  Similar dynamic with the Clinton years; creationism's peak was during the Lewinsky/impeachment affair.

                  I think we can agree that there has always been a streak of this willful ignorance (call it what you will) in American culture;  my concern is the fueling of this attitude by people and groups that certainly know better, but are playing with fire for financial gain. Their reach is vast, and the disinformation they spread is viral in a way it could never have been in days of yore. I am also troubled because our lives are more dependent on the science that is snubbed than they were centuries ago, so the consequences of not only ignorance but hostility toward science are more damaging than ever. I see it gaining ground in the same obnoxious way that overt racism is making a comeback in public life; that's why I push back in my own ways. Maybe you don't see it the same way; and that's to be expected.

                  Last full month in which the average daily temperature did not exceed twentieth-century norms: 2/1985 - Harper's Index, 2/2013

                  by kamarvt on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 08:35:39 AM PDT

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  here's the thing (0+ / 0-)
                    Most volatile time of all is recently. No four or six point swings prior to the last few years.
                    You're inferring that from very sketchy evidence. Essentially there is one poll result "out of line" with the others, perhaps due to sampling error (bear in mind that we should expect some poll results to be outside the MoE) or conceivably a question order effect.

                    Also bear in mind that the SE of a proportion is a function of the proportion, so we expect to see the sample proportions for the large categories "moving" more than the proportions for the small category even if the population isn't changing at all.

                    I'm not slavishly wedded to the null hypothesis (in social science, it generally isn't literally true), but the broad-brush generalizations seem oddly situated in a thread about science. Also, if Republicans want to bury reality in a phony culture war, we don't have to go out of our way to help them.

                    "Democracy is a political system for people who are not sure they are right." —E. E. Schattschneider

                    by HudsonValleyMark on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:51:27 AM PDT

                    [ Parent ]

  •  I must say... I have faith but I do not (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    have enough faith to believe in the big bang theory.
    Physics can make an elephant dangle by the tail off a cliff tied to a daisy and religious fanatics can go into all kinds of  strange delusional realities but I am concerned for keeping separation of church and state separate.  

    I also have enough to do to keep up with my 60 plus years here on planet earth..without scoping out billions of years before or  after my time is up.. There are clear and present dangers with the here and now..

    I won't debate it.. I just don't have enough faith to accept a big bang.

    Just how much Koch do Right Wingers want in their life? . United Veterans of America

    by Vetwife on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 02:50:50 PM PDT

  •  I can forgive Americans for this (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    The Big Bang Theory is effing complicated.  I don't mean the Scientific American articles, I'm talking about how they measure the mass of the universe, cosmic background radiation, and how to reverse-extrapolate (I couldn't figure a better term for this) what the universe must have been like from the current rate of space time expansion.  All of those things had to be measured, double checked, triple checked, and then the physicists had to hit the chalk board and invent new mathematical language to show this stuff is true.  

    To actually have an understanding of the theory, not the simplified version but of how they got from point A to D, is beyond the average American without a Physics degree, or like me, to be really into physics and teach yourself.

    "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

    by sujigu on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:00:25 PM PDT

    •  As I said, don't know, not sure but (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      "don't believe the science" either means you have a better data set or it's just a sloppy way of thinking, I say the latter.

      "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

      by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:04:35 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my experience "don't believe the science" (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        LaFeminista, kamarvt, bartcopfan

        means you don't like the implications for whatever reason you decided you didn't like them.  This happens outside of religious circles too.  It's human prejudice.

        The problem is I could prove to you that galaxies are moving away from us and I could also use red shift and show you that it's happening.  The proof, though, is a big ream of paper with thousands of numbers on it and most people would never bother with it.

        With Astronomy, especially, the measurements are of objects trillions of miles away.  You look for small wiggles and very, very slight changes in brightness.  Most people can't get that, so they just go for the shortened version and if they don't like it, that's the end.

        "Hatred is never appeased by hatred in this world. By non-hatred alone is hatred appeased. This is a law eternal."

        by sujigu on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:08:10 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Again I return to the use of belief when (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          applied to science in a cultural setting, it has become the standard response, its lazy, and sometimes willfully so.

          "I decided it is better to scream. Silence is the real crime against humanity." Nadezhda Mandelstam

          by LaFeminista on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:10:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  C'mon - (0+ / 0-)
    ...the point where all debate is reduced to belief...the lazy way of getting around having to study and think.
    - it explains the influence of Fox and other r/w media. Hell; come to that, today's Republican party.

    Just. Believe.

    Which brings another "f-word" to mind, and there you have the perfect dovetailing.

  •  The Big Bang happened (0+ / 0-)

    and it doesn't care who believes it happened, it happened anyways.

    Rick Perry - the greatest scientist since Galileo!

    by Bobs Telecaster on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:26:57 PM PDT

  •  I'm reasonably well educated (0+ / 0-)

    And an atheist, and I still think the big bang makes no sense whatsoever.

    I'm not saying it's wrong.  I'm saying it's absolutely crazy.

    Which is to say that it's so illogical that its only defense is that it just might be right.  So in this case, I think it's actually fairly reasonable to disbelieve it.

    There's a lot about science denialism that pisses me off, but not this.

    •  What is crazy and illogical about it? (4+ / 0-)

      We can actually see the background radiation that is reaching us from the event itself.

      The math predicts everything right down to the trillionth of a second (IIRC) after the initiation of the expansion.

      •  Well let's see (0+ / 0-)

        ...A whole lot of everything coming from something like nothing, or a very compact mass, given what we know about the compressability of matter, and supposed laws about the conservation of energy...either way, its contrary to otherwise observable physical phenomena outside of very advanced physics.

        Second, in your own response, the implication that the universe expanded faster than the speed of light, given that C is otherwise treated as the fastest speed possible in physics.  If the universe didn't expand faster than the speed of light, that 'background radiation' wouldn't just now be reaching us.

        What I mean by it's crazy is that it defies the sort of easily graspable innate logic of the human mind, which is largely rooted in the clear cause and effect of the Newtonian world.  You have to go well beyond that to make the big bang work.

        Again, I'm not saying it's wrong...I'm saying that it defies simple logic.

        I'm at work, so I'll leave it at that.

      •  It's the math. (4+ / 0-)

        First, the notation systems are impenetrable. Even if an amateur can find a technical explanation, this is hopeless.

        Second, who has met a universe-containing singularity ??? Or can come to grips with the ekpyrotic model(s) ?

        In truth, I trust the physicists. They have the intellectual tools to match these problems.

        This universe had to come from something. And the physicists believe that it came all at once, at one time.

        If I don't believe the physicists, then who should I believe ???

        Believing in my own ignorance is no solution to this problem. While I do not quite trust the Big Bang theory, many of the physicists offer it as the best that they have for us today. That's good.

        I'll take "good."

        "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

        by waterstreet2013 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:39:58 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Some of that needn't be believed (0+ / 0-)

    I have always supported the Big Bang Theory, even when it was figured at 5 billion years ago.  (Which was less than 8 billion years ago!)  To insist on it being a particular length of time definitely undermines the argument that it should be viewed with certainty.

    Pay no attention to the upward redistribution of wealth!

    by ActivistGuy on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:39:15 PM PDT

  •  Yet we're not allowed to criticize religion (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    waterstreet2013, quillsinister

    or we're "fundamentalist atheists."

    If you're religious, this is your problem to solve. You can't tell me religion must be respected, but people who actually believe what the revered holy books are somehow backwards idiots who can be mocked with no repercussions.

    If you think criticizing the tenants of Islam, Christianity or Judaism is offensive then you shouldn't be criticizing these people for their deeply held (if incorrect) beliefs. This is why religion should be questioned and criticized just like Republican economic policies are questioned and criticized.

    You can say that Young Earth Creationists are "not real Christians" but I don't see how any of us can be the arbiter of that given that they can cite scripture just as well as you can.

    If you believe there is a personal god who created the universe, answers prayers and 2000 years ago went to earth and impregnanted a woman with himself to redeem humanity, is it really THAT FAR of a stretch to say he created the cosmos as is 6000 years ago?

    When we stop putting leaders from the past up on pedestals and ignoring their flaws, we can start seeing our present leaders for what they really are.

    by PhillyJeff on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 03:46:19 PM PDT

    •  Quoth George Carlin; (0+ / 0-)
      What about Goblins, huh? Doesn't anybody believe in Goblins? You never hear about this. Except on Halloween and then it's all negative shit. And what about Zombies? You never hear from Zombies! That's the trouble with Zombies, they're unreliable! I say if you're going to go for the Angel bullshit you might as well go for the Zombie package as well.

      "You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room is the greatest arsenal we could have—arm yourselves!" -The Doctor

      by quillsinister on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:15:00 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I'm not "confident" in the Big Bang (0+ / 0-)

    theory or the 13,800,000,000 year age calculations.

    -- We don't know enough to say with certainty that light/photons can travel unaltered (through whatever space has looked like all this time) for billions of years.

    -- We also have such as the ekpyrotic model for creation of this universe.

    If the membrane/brane theory of string-based reality is correct, then a collision of parallel branes is mathematically consistent with what is observed. That's what I'm told. That is not a "singularity" and "turbulent expansion from a point" simple model.

    The kids enjoy turning my head inside out.

    Don't even begin to imagine that I understand the math. My dips into diff-e and stochastic calculus and engineering apps came years ago.

    Betcha most engineers agree with me. We learn to start at blank/hopeless humility where new, complicated problems hit us.

    "Stealing kids' lunch money makes them strong and independent." -- Ryan Paul von Koch

    by waterstreet2013 on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:00:35 PM PDT

    •  I believe in a Big Bang collision as well (0+ / 0-)

      I suspect one brane is based on quarks.  Forgive me but I think of this brane as a quark-verse.

      I suspect the other brane is based on neutrinos.  I think of this as a neutrino-brane.  I think of the thing physicists call dark matter as neutrinos at or near rest.

      I suspect we live in a "foamy" verse, an emulsion of quark particles covered enveloped by neutrinos.

      I suspect the inflationary period of expansion occurred when the quark-verse and neutrino-verse first collided, causing the dimensions some physicists say are hidden, to be compressed.

      How would I answer the question, did the Big Bang occur?

      If I thought the question asked, was it a Big Bang explosion , I probably would have said no.  If I thought the question asked, was it a Big Bang that might possibly have been a collision, I would have said yes.

  •  I guess I believe in the Big Bang (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, Cassandra Waites

    AND God.  Everyone's lives would be so much easier if we accepted paraconsistent logic.  A and B might both be true and we don't have to despise each other.

  •  Not new (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Cassandra Waites

    The fundies have had a hard on for the Big Bang theory at least as long as I've been teaching earth science (17 years).

    This is one I truly don't understand.  I can't see that it is a threat to belief in any way.  Didn't Augustine support the creatio ex nihilo position? How is that any different from a Big Bang.  Seems much easier to me to reconcile with belief in a creator than evolution.

    Light is seen through a small hole.

    by houyhnhnm on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:36:51 PM PDT

  •  Curiously, I have heard many religionists (0+ / 0-)

    use the Big Bang Theory as an argument for believing in a God.

    They argue "Since you don't know what came before the big bang, it must have been (my) god doing it."

    The argument of ultimate reductionism, just as it is also applied to creationism and fossil intermediates (see God of the Gaps) basically says- If you don't have an explanation for what went before (or between) it must have been god.  

    Happily to take such a position, one doesn't have to answer, "Well what was before god? Who created the creator?"  To that the answer is "god always was." A non-answer.

    As my father used to say,"We have the best government money can buy."

    by BPARTR on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 04:38:15 PM PDT

    •  We can deal with those people (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Cassandra Waites, jayden

      There are plenty of decent and well-meaning people who seem to believe in a "God of the gaps".  Whatever science can't explain, God did that, but otherwise they live in the modern world.  We can live with that, and what's left for their God to do will tend to shrink over time.

      On the other hand, I don't know what to do with the people who say that the world is 6,000 years old, that global warming is impossible because some reading of the Bible says it can't happen, that if the schools are ordered to pretend homosexuality doesn't exist their kids will turn out straight and Republican.

    •  It's funny how they... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      ...never deal with the resultant question, what then created God? If God doesn't need anything before it to have created it, then why does the universe need a definitive startpoint.

      •  They've been clinging to Aristotle's Unmoved Mover (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        idea since at least Aquinas. And, between you and I (and the rest of the Internet), I don't think they've ever quite gotten over Earth not being at the center of the universe. Carl Sagan once spoke of "our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe," and how the cosmos as revealed by science basically blows all of that out of the water.

        Some people have taken the shattering of that antiquated worldview harder than others.

        "You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room is the greatest arsenal we could have—arm yourselves!" -The Doctor

        by quillsinister on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 10:07:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  1 of the criticisms I've had about the new Cosmos (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    raincrow, jayden

    series is that they haven't built a solid foundation.

    The fact that the speed of light has been measured implies a great number of things, all based on that (proven) fact. Carbon dating, electricity, compression & tension in architecture, the math that describes all those things. Those are all building blocks, inextricably interconnected. Removing any one of them negates the others. And since all those are based on things we can see and measure, they should be emphasizing that process and the implications so that people can understand and reproduce the thought process, or the experiments, themselves instead of having to 'trust some scientist' over their crazy, power-hungry preacher.

    Being able to see for themselves and fetching up against the inevitable conclusions is the way to lead them out of ignorance and dependence on the liars.

    Just my sideline kibbitzing. ::sigh::

    Information is abundant, wisdom is scarce. ~The Druid.
    ~Ideals aren't goals, they're navigation aids.~

    by FarWestGirl on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 06:04:56 PM PDT

  •  Heard some hopeful news from Chicago (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Chicago Museum of Science and Industry is training 1000 teachers to better teach science to kids.

    THIS IS THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM (yes, I know I'm singing my usual song) -- we don't teach kids that all of us do science every day, starting as infants. Even in our most secular schools, science is too often taught as a Mystery performed by Elitists using Strange And Unfathomable Apparatus, when formal science is just a more elaborate version of our lifelong approach to manipulating the material world.

    Taught as it is today, by people who don't understand what science really is, undermining it is simply a matter of casting doubt on Elitists (yes, Those People), at which point it's fairly easy to supplant "science belief" with "anti-science belief."

    I hope more science museums, as well as universities and community colleges, will consider following in this Chicago museum's footsteps. If universities and colleges can be convinced to engage in this kind of remedial training, perhaps it will drive improvements to the education curriculum for elementary education majors.

    Fight them to the end, until the children of the poor eat better than the dogs of the rich.

    by raincrow on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:24:40 PM PDT

  •  Hey, they're just taking Stevie Wonder's advice. (0+ / 0-)

    They don't understand the science, so they don't believe in it.

    To put the torture behind us is, inevitably, to put it in front of us.

    by UntimelyRippd on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 07:26:43 PM PDT

  •  Another day, another pointless, poorly worded poll (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    concerning the average American's opinion on topics well out of bounds of his interests and competence.

  •  Neil deGrasse Tyson is working his (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    quillsinister, jayden

    fingers to the (figurative) bone and this is the result? For godzilla's sake, people! Facts are facts. Science is science. Myth is what we had before we had science. We can move on now.

    "The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power. Now do you begin to understand me?" ~Orwell, "1984"

    by Lily O Lady on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 08:46:35 PM PDT

  •  Dear Religious Right, (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    There is only one thing that defeats science, and that's better science. If you have some, out with it! If you do not, and the only alternative you can offer is the mythology of humans who had no idea where the sun went at night, then you really should consider observing the faith of your choice privately and allowing the rest of the species to tackle the problems of our day without your input. There is important work to be done with countless lives hanging in the balance, and you're not helping.

    Science has never claimed to have all the answers, but it remains the most potent tool yet devised for seeking them. Feel free to take off the intellectual training wheels and join in.

    "You want weapons? We're in a library! Books! The best weapons in the world! This room is the greatest arsenal we could have—arm yourselves!" -The Doctor

    by quillsinister on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 09:53:43 PM PDT

  •  "The price of freedom is eternal vigilance"doesn't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    mean you need to have more aircraft carriers than the whole rest of the world or own a houseful of deadly weapons for "protection". Far from it.
    Eternal vigilance that all your citizens are well-educated.
    Eternal vigilance that all your citizens have access to health care, and fully understand the importance of vaccines in the control of disease.
    Eternal vigilance that the powerful or special interests don't gain control of the government.
    Eternal vigilance that our government doesn't neglect vital public services or national infrastructure.
    Eternal vigilance against mismanagement and corruption of elected officials.
    Eternal vigilance that justice will not be vengeance against the have-nots, and immunity for the crimes of the haves.
    Eternal vigilance of a free press that prizes truth over convenience.
    Eternal vigilance has nothing to do with starting wars, spying on your own population, or conniving to get every dollar possible, legal or illegal, for your company.
    What you do not watch and guard carefully, will be stolen away from you. Over the next decades Americans will suffer for their years of nonvigilance to things like proper education. This wave of ignorant, susperstition-laden citizens is only the beginning of the end.

    Ash-sha'b yurid isqat an-nizam!

    by fourthcornerman on Mon Apr 21, 2014 at 11:31:54 PM PDT

  •  Bedbugs? I don't believe the science. Therefore, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    jayden, bartcopfan

    there are no such things as bedbugs.

    Ow! Something bit me!

  •  I wonder about the question... (0+ / 0-)

    I'm not at all confident of it, either.  Maybe it was closer to 13.7, or 13.9...Heck, maybe it was 14.2.  The number has changed more than once, so I'm not at all confident as to its accuracy of its value.

    Of course, I'm pretty confident in the big bang itself.

  •  it's the 13.8 that would cause me to say .. (0+ / 0-)

    Not at all confident.

    Right now, I've seen studies that indicate it could range wildly from 13.4-16B years ago, and we may be wrong about that.. in fact, it's one of the biggest reason we need better research into space optics/etc. and a better understanding of the impact on universe expansion.

    I think the question would have been better if it had excluded an exact #.

    Gandhi's Seven Sins: Wealth without work; Pleasure without conscience; Knowledge without character; Commerce without morality; Science without humanity; Worship without sacrifice; Politics without principle

    by Chris Reeves on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:31:15 AM PDT

  •  The vast majority of Americans, including very (0+ / 0-)

    well educated non-physicists, simply do not have the background to assess whether or not the various theoretical constructs known as the Big Bang theory are correct or not.
      We either believe it because we believe scientists know what they're doing, or we don't believe scientists for some reason.
       The belief vs disbelief in the so-called Big Bang theory doesn't say anything about the knowledge level of Americans.
       It does say something about who the American people believe are true authorities.
       Disbelief in Big Bang and evolution is an ominous trend, because it shows that many Americans are rejecting scientific authority for magical thinking.

  •  Their "evidence" is that they don't believe it. (0+ / 0-)
    Show me some bloody data or just admit that you don't know.

    "Push the button, Max!" Jack Lemmon as Professor Fate, The Great Race

    by bartcopfan on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 09:12:56 AM PDT

  •  Something Else not to Believe in (0+ / 0-)

    These folks suffer from intransigent ignorance; a condition that cannot be remedied by logic, reason or fact. The best thing to do is ignore them until or unless they insist on imposing their ignorance on others. Left to themselves, evolution will take its natural course, and they (and their intransigent ignorance) will fade gradually fade away.

  •  To be fair, I don't know the age of the universe (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    off the top of my head. I think the Big Bang is the most convincing theory we have right now for the beginning of the universe, especially with the evidence that came to light last month about the expansion of the universe.

    But if someone said, "how sure are you that the Big Bang occurred 13.8 billion years ago?" I'd be wary about saying I was certain, in case it turns out scientific consensus is that it was 8, or 15, or 20 billion.

    Note that when the part of the question that included the age of the universe was dropped, confidence in the idea rose.

  •  Duh, my faith tells me it ain't so. (0+ / 0-)

    So, it ain't so, so says the Lord God according to the Bible that was written in stone and then broken up in pieces to throw at adulterers and those who take the Lord's name in vain.

  •  That survey was atrocious (0+ / 0-)

    Has it come to the point where if everyone doesn't agree with exactly your opinion then they must be effing idiots?  Why don't you think a little bit before you write!

    Almost every question in that survey was very poorly worded.

    "Smoking causes cancer."

    Well, false.  Smoking MAY cause cancer.  My father died at age 66 of heart attacks brought on by extreme coughing due to his clogged lungs caused by over 50 years of smoking.  He never developed cancer.

    "Overusing antibiotics causes the development of drug-resistant bacteria."

    Again, it may cause it, but not always.

    "The average temperature of the world is rising, mostly because of man-made heat-trapping greenhouse gases."

    I don't know, but there isn't a box on the damned survey to say that.  The actions of men are contributing to it, but is that the major component?  I don't know.  Can you say yes, for sure?

    "The universe began 13.8 billion years ago with a big bang."

    Well, the furthest detected objects in the universe seem to be 13.8 billion light years away, as indicated by their red-shift.  How long did it take for them to get that far away?  Oh!  Yeah!  It happened in the first few billionths of a second after the big bang.  Right!  The whole big bang theory is such a house-of-cards that I keep waiting for some astrophysicist somewhere to run into something that collapses it and then be brave enough to say "Whoops!"  The universe will still be billions of years old (not 5 to 6 thousand) but a new theory of the creation of the universe will be the result.  (Fred Hoyle!  Come back!)

    With the way this survey is worded, and the way it was interpreted, my answers would have contributed to your opinion that most Americans are idiots. The correct interpretation should maybe be that the survey takers themselves were idiots.  (And maybe you.)

  •  Sometimes Religion is not Harmless (0+ / 0-)

    There very little doubt the cause of Big Bang Denial has everything to do with Adam and Eve, and secondarily very poorly educated/exposed populations.
    The geographic analysis would be enlightening .
    Accepting one single fable leads to a trail of denying the facts.
    Just like one lie leads to another.
    Our challenges are formidable as information / education accelerates around the world. Our education profile has too many Religious compromises.

  •  The thing about substantiated facts (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Believing in them, or not believing in them, is immaterial.  It changes nothing.

  •  That would be fine (0+ / 0-)

    Actually I have long disciplined myself into not believing in believing. If these errantly selective people would just follow my prescription, their minds may actually become open to the richness of nature and its causes and effects as is known. That will take a life time and still be unfinished. Question on the order of the bog bang are irrelevant--what does one do with that supposition? Argue on internet forums with other amateur astrophysicists? It won't get you laid--or even entry to the subway.

    "Education Is Not the Filling of a Pail, But the Lighting of a Fire" W.B. Yeats

    by RareBird0 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:11:41 PM PDT

  •  We can't accept science as a religion either (0+ / 0-)

    We need to be careful to not fall into the trap of "well, science says it, so it's absolutely true."  Even the things that we understand as absolutes, according to science, are really only absolutes according to what we have been able to observe, measure, comprehend, calculate, theorize, and apply.

    Remember this: according to cutting-edge science a few hundred years ago, it was absolutely true that the sun went around the earth.  We now know that that is wrong, and we can see all of the incorrect observations, poor measurements, lack of comprehension, mistaken calculations, bad theories, and messed up applications that led to it.  So we can easily laugh it off as silly and say "yeah, but they were wrong!  WE ARE RIGHT!"  And I do believe that in this particular example, we really are right.

    Now let's look at the Big Bang and the age of the universe for a minute.  Yes, it does seem to fit our observations etc.  And so we can say, with absolute certainty ACCORDING TO OUR CURRENT CAPABILITIES that it is the correct theory that explains the origin of the universe.

    But in 500 years, when they have better observational capabilities, orders of magnitude better measurements, different ways of thinking and comprehending, more complex ways of calculating (and more computational power), theories we haven't considered yet, and ways of applying those theories, are WE going to look like the backwards ones with our quaint little Big Bang theory?

    I don't know.  Maybe we've nailed it, and maybe we haven't.

    So in an average conversation, with an average person, I'm willing to say I believe in the Big Bang.  Because it's the best we've got right now.  But I don't follow the religion of Science any more than I follow the religion of Creationism - I do question it.  Not because "I don't believe the science", but because I don't by any means believe that tomorrow's science will necessarily look anything like today's.

    Of course, I doubt that's what most people who say "I don't believe the science" mean.  I think they mean "derp.  God don't say it's that way, so I ain't believin' it"

    "Males ae biologically driven to go out and hunt giraffes." - Newt Gingrich "Some folks you don't have to satirize, you just quote 'em." - Tom Paxton

    by rsf1967 on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:14:10 PM PDT

    •  I don't think there's much danger... (0+ / 0-)

      ...of science being made into a religion.  There's no Holy Book with which you absolutely cannot argue.  There are no prejudices against a whole slew of people, based on said inarguable book.  Most of all, no pretty gowns and red slippers and red satin beanies.

      Ain't gonna happen.

      QUESTION: What can dumb and fearful people always be counted on to do? ANSWER: Try to control and manipulate everyone in their environment. --James Lee Burke

      by Petsounds on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:46:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This is why it was so important... (0+ / 0-) make the SATs easier.  Because, you know...DAMN!  Do you want students to actually learn stuff?  And worse, to learn how to think and reason?  What are you--some kind of Nazi commie?

    QUESTION: What can dumb and fearful people always be counted on to do? ANSWER: Try to control and manipulate everyone in their environment. --James Lee Burke

    by Petsounds on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 01:43:52 PM PDT

  •  I Tell Idiots Who "Don't Believe In Science" (0+ / 0-)

    That they don't HAVE to believe in it. It just is, unlike their gods or whatever.

  •  Why don't the Bible thumpers make the mental leap (0+ / 0-)

    that the Big Bang could have been the "first day" described in Genesis? Are they that determined to disbelieve anything scientific "just because"?

    Republicans - A pathology, not a party.

    by storeysound on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 02:41:27 PM PDT

  •  The BIG Bang (0+ / 0-)

    For the record, I am an ordained Christian theologian with a graduate degree from seminary.  I also am a seasoned senior executive in the private business sector.

    I am in awe of the FOX series "Cosmos".  (The ONLY time  I will watch FOX except for pro football!)

    I do not see God and evolution as mutually exclusive or in contradiction with one another.  If we 'humans' were not supposed to have the knowledge we have gained from very gifted scientists, we would not have it.  Frankly, I do not care who believes or who does not.  I do believe.  I see the extraordinariness of a Divine Being in this cosmic revelation.  The naysayers are relying on Holy Scripture which is in fact just as "mythical" as the science they want to refute and deny.

  •  Lies, da** lies, and surveys (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    a gilas girl

    Let's be careful with how one views this survey. Look at the question, they are asked to believe BOTH how old the universe is AND that it started with a big bang. It would be very interesting to see what the numbers would be if those were done independently of each other.

    And, not believing the universe is 13.8 billion years old is not the same as believing that it is only a few thousand years old, nor is it the same as believing humans coexisted with dinosaurs.

    There is no doubt that science is under attack, but taking a poll like this, and misrepresenting it, is not the way to fix the problem. If you want to attack such a poll, attack it on its lack of rigor, on it's poor execution. Use science and logic to show why its numbers are meaningless.

    This sounds more like an alarmist "the sky is falling" kind of argument which only adds more confusion and illogic to the debate, weakening the arguments in support of scientific views.

    I strongly recommend reading A Candle in the Dark by Carl Sagan.

  •  "No sé!" (0+ / 0-)

    "...just admit that you don't know."

    MILITANT AGNOSTIC: I don't know and you don't either!  

  •  Thinking (0+ / 0-)

    We have an inadequate educational system. We are products of that system. We talk a lot about common core, STEM, etc. but seldom about how to think, critical thinking. We are NOT born knowing how to think. LaFeminista is a good example of a self indulgent ranter who accomplishes nothing. We must understand why the ignorant are ignorant and address the basic problems. The hard is usually the right way, something most Americans can't deal with. The nonsense that everyone is entitled to an opinion is obvious nonsense. Opinions have to be earned, again, the hard way. Increasing critical thinking skills in the USA is going to take a long time and very hard work made much more difficult by the people who profit from ignorance. It should be easier to explain to nonthinkers the effect of the big cons on their pocketbooks than the implications of Planck's constant. The eff word is a turn off. Rude, crude, and lewd rants are useless.

  •  Well fuck you then Show me some bloody data or ju (0+ / 0-)

    Not a very rational statement from someone looking for a rational answer, don't you think?
    I mean, do really expect to get an explanation in the limited space available for comments here?
    There is solid validity for doubting science, not because it isn't true, but because of how blindly we use it.
    What benefit have we derived from science that hasn't automatically included unintended consequences and a progression of disasters threatening the very ability of life to exist on this planet.
    I know you've heard of WWI, WWII, Love Canal, Chernobyl, the BP Gulf oil spill, Fukushima, and hundreds of other good things from science gone bad.
    Is the comfort of your couch and big screen TV worth the inherent polluted air, water, and food supplies we depend on to live?
    Are all the patented drugs worth the highest rates of disease ever known?
    Whether we believe in science or not, we are all mostly forced to accept it to live, while at the same time we orchestrate our demise making science "practical" because it's profitability trumps any benefits we might derive form responsible use of science.
    Intellectual Russian Roulette.

  •  Let's see now, (0+ / 0-)

    why is it that they call it a theory?

  •  Who was it who said (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Science won the war with religion when they started putting lightening rods atop churches.

    Trouble is, like the apocryphal Japanese soldiers on pacific islands, too many religionists haven't gotten the message.

    -- illegitimi non carborundum

    by BadBoyScientist on Tue Apr 22, 2014 at 06:10:44 PM PDT

  •  "I don't believe it..." (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Centuries of careful, fact-based research and the battle against ignorance and superstition has been thrown right out the window. Why? Facts make people uncomfortable. They disturb the pleasant little humming in those people's brains, the sound of dogma and blind faith bumbling along like fat and happy bumblebees. It's an apt analogy considering that bumblebees have no intelligence to speak of and precious little individual will.

    Wherefore then this idiotic reliance on religious dogma and blind faith? Springsteen once commented: "Blind faith in your leaders will get you killed." No kiddin', Bruce? What a pity that those who prefer a comfortable lie instead of the facts and the truth are willing to throw away the one thing that separates us from the rest of the species on this Earth: the ability to think clearly and reason from the facts.

    I think fear is the driver of this phenomenon. (That, and a whole bunch of inadequately-evolved brains) Imagine for a moment how terrified those people who cannot accept scientific facts must be. They're scared to their very bones. Their comfortable existence is threatened by the very nature of this universe. Since they learned very little about science in school, it must all seem like a big, senseless wave of water washing away their castles in the sand. They cannot tell the difference between truth and lies and so they choose what makes them feel best: the notion that science is unimportant and probably a series of lies intended to deceive them. (Which has always been the message from organized religions and conservative politicians)

    We used to think of these folks as nutcases, back when this country actually spent money willingly to educate its young. Now we are all but required to respect their superstitions and paranoid fantasies as if those idiotic beliefs were factually equivalent to scientifically verified truths.

    Here's a quote from Isaac Asimov, a true scientist and a brilliant mind tragically done too soon:

    "Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

    (sigh) It's an uphill battle, innit? But quitting the battle will only make it worse. Fight the good fight, folks. Keep telling them that they're wrong and why they're wrong. Anything less and the damned stupid barbarians will win.

  •  Jeez... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Haven't you ever watched the movie "Caveman"?

  •  Big Bang ISN'T necessarily true! (0+ / 0-)

    The Big Bang THEORY has some contradictions, and not all who question it are unscientific.

    For starters, it claims that all the mass in the universe started in a tiny point.  But we know that extremely concentrated mass has extreme gravity, which would form a black hole!

    That tiny mass never would have expanded.

    Secondly, to explain the uniform distribution of mass in the universe, the Big Bang THEORY requires that the expansion happened faster than the speed of light.

    There's no evidence this is possible.  Inventing an exception just so your theory will work is called a "kludge".

    Third, they say the light from 13.7 billion light years away was generated near the Big Bang, and took 13.7 billion years to reach us.  But if the Big Bang was true, we were NEAR that light when it was generated, and it would have passed us long ago.

    There are HOLES in the Big Bang theory, and unquestioningly accepting it is being just as dogmatic as the religious anti-science people.

    A more plausible explanation is that a collision with a parallel universe "bent" our space-time continuum, forming matter.

    We know that matter bends the space-time continuum (this has been shown experimentally), so it's not too wild to suspect that it also works in the opposite direction: Bending space-time creates matter.  I like to think of matter as "ripples" in space-time.

    This would account for the uniform distribution of matter, without faster-that-light kludges. and would not require the inexplicable expansion despite ultra-black-hole matter densities.

  •  This is just a further comment (0+ / 0-)

    on the deplorable condition of our public education system.  In 2008, the first people to be laid off were teachers, a demographic that has been dwelling near the bottom of the feeding chain for years.  Without good teachers, we have uneducated children.  Without educated children, we have ignorant adults.  With ignorant adults we have representatives who make stupid decisions and thus fulfill the fairy tale dream of the Koch brothers.

  •  the dangers of religion and bad education. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This is a direct result of huge monetary efforts to keep people in republican states undereducated, and to keep them in specific churches that exist only to provide the views given to you by traitors like the Koch brothers. They want you stupid and afraid, so you forget what the constitution actually says.

    They WANT you clinging to your guns and religion. They do not want you to have health care. They want you to die in big numbers so they can aggregate more wealth, and keep you uneducated and poor. Check it out! Look at the education in your gop controlled states. Look at the IQ level of those states versus democratic ones. Oklahoma, the reddest of the red, receives two dollars in federal aid for every dollar paid in federal tax. Massachusetts receives 83 cents on the dollar. Why? Because while you cower in fear, clinging to your false religions and your guns, we are making progress and are keeping this country afloat, including the deadbeat te party states.

  •  You can take solace ... (0+ / 0-)

    ... Feminista, in the fact that science, facts, etc., DON'T CARE if we believe in them or not - they simply and stubbornly remain true, no matter how many blockheads refuse to believe in them.

    OF COURSE the New Right is wrong - but that doesn't make WRONG the new RIGHT!

    by mstaggerlee on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 08:53:40 AM PDT

  •  I have to wonder... (0+ / 0-)

    just who is being polled for these numbers ?
    Are they mostly Fox channel viewers ?
    America can't be all that ignorant... right ?

  •  !! (0+ / 0-)

    If ignorance is bliss there are a lot of happy red states.

    No country can be both ignorant and free - Thomas Jefferson

    by fjb on Wed Apr 23, 2014 at 03:17:47 PM PDT

  •  Science naysayers are dumbasses... (0+ / 0-)

    I say we send all science naysayers, the dumb fucks who don't believe the Universe began 13.8 billion years ago following the Big Bang, to Geneva, Switzerland. There, the physics researchers can throw them all into the Large Hadron Collider and launch them via the particle accelerator to knock some sense into their collective thick heads. And who knows? Maybe they'll even find the elusive "God particle" that's theorized to have started this whole Universe thingy. Would THAT make believers out of them?

  •  The irony of this idiocy (0+ / 0-)
    The particular irony in this case is that Big Bang theory at least potentially is friendly to a generally religious worldview. I know what Stephen Hawking has recently said on the subject but quite frankly that's more speculation than hard physics, open to interpretation to say the least, and while he's a very great physicist, he's an amateur philosopher at best. Also forget for the moment conjectures about multiverses or "nested" universes, as far as this universe is concerned the Big Bang does not contradict in theory creation ex nihilo because not only space but time itself was created/bubbled forth, whatever at a discreet point of near infinite density. Thank Einstein and Edwin Hubble. Einstein because he proved space and time were not separate and Hubble because he proved the universe is expanding (at the speed of light no less). So it's strictly meaningless to speak about anything "before" the Big Bang even in a multiverse model. This shit's out there and there nothing irrational about having some kind of religious response to it, nor is there anything wrong with not having such a reaction. Too bad so many Americans are a bag of nails or they'd get that.

  •  correction (0+ / 0-)

    In my last post I spoke of the universe expanding at the speed of light. You can't really say that because there's nothing to measure that velocity against. The expansion is accelerating however. That's the most you can say. Has to do with what's called the "Red Shift" if you recall. But there's also a Blue Shift for objects approaching the Milky Way, especially the Andromeda galaxy which we're on a collision course with in approximately 4 billion years.

  •  Easy example (0+ / 0-)

    When somewhat says " it is only a theory' remind them that gravity is only a theory and that while we have been able to measure gravity we do not know what it is. I know of two theories, relativity and quantum mech, that are totally different. Therefore, go jump out the window. It is only a theory and God will catch you!   I explained gravity ( easy relativity version) to a woman who came up to talk to me about Jesus. I gave her a couple science lessons, explained fossilization, and told her many of the greatest scientists believed in God themselves, so she need not chose God or science.

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