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De Omnibus Dubitandum - Lux Veritas

Monday, December 26, 2016

Green/Left Double Standard

By John Jay Ray @ Greenie Watch

Dr. Susan Crockford (email: scrock@uvic.ca) has written a well-informed and approachable book about polar bears.  She has no time for the usual Warmist scare about the bears being "endangered". The book has only just been released but the Warmists are already on the case.  A review by someone called "Eli" on Amazon reads:
"Caveat emptor: the author's vague self-description as "a professional zoologist who has studied polar bear ecology and evolution for more than 20 years" appears intended to mask the facts that her PhD and professional work are in the field of canine archaeology, and that she has no formal training or expertise in polar bear science. Up to you to decide whether she's the best source of information for you and your kids on polar bear facts and myths."
I would love to know who Eli is.  I want to ask him whether tobacco-grower Al Gore's speeches about global warming should be disregarded because Al's qualifications are in divinity and social science. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Shall Every Knee Bow?

By Rich Kozlovich

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas it is presumed our thoughts turn to issues of faith, so for the last few years between Thanksgiving and Christmas I have published this article, and will continue to do so most years, with additions expanding on the logic and factual foundation.  RK

Recently I read an article where a science commentator stated - with great confidence - the Theory of Evolution was now bullet proof.  Really?  My personal motto is De Omnibus Dubitandum - Question Everything, and I think this is worth questioning.  So, let's do that together!

There was an article I came across entitled, “Many atheist scientists take their kids to church”! The article went on to say; “about one in five atheist scientists with children involve their families with religious institutions even if they do not agree with the teachings, according to a study done by Rice University and the University at Buffalo.” The article pointed out “The findings surrounding atheists shouldn't be too surprising, since the Pew Forum Religious Survey taken back in 2008 that showed 21 percent of self-described atheists responded that they believe in God.”

Does everyone really find this to be all that extraordinary? Anthropologists have noted that in every culture in the world, and in all of human history, religion has played an important role in people’s lives. There was one prominent atheist, Antony Flew, who claimed at the end of his life he was now a believer. Why? Is it true‘ there are no atheists in foxholes’? Of course the explanation was that he had lost his mind; yet even Albert Einstein,who was not a religious person in any sense, absolutely rejected the idea of a personal God, but also rejected the idea of atheism.

For the believers among my readers the explanation is simple; we are designed to believe. For the unbelievers among my readers the explanation is simple also. There is no other logical explanation!

The other thing that triggered this effort was a political debate on television where the moderator asked the Republican candidate, running for some office or other, if he believed in the Theory of Evolution. The candidate looked foolish because he was obviously flustered by the question, which clearly was the moderator’s goal. The first thought from everyone should have been; why can’t any reasonably intelligent person answer this question intelligently? Yet many of those who profess to be believers would be equally flustered to provide a rational intellectual response in that situation. So let me help everyone! Here is the answer and the correct response.

“I wish to state categorically that I believe in the Theory of Evolution because that theory presents clear and incontrovertible scientific evidence there must be an Intelligent Designer!” Wow! I’m willing to bet that’s a shocker for many – on either side of the aisle -so let’s explore this?

For years I’ve been saying; “everything is the basics”. What does that mean? It means that in order to understand anything we must explore the foundational thinking of what it is we’re trying to understand. If the foundation is flawed, then the entire structure of thinking that it’s built on is a false premise, and will collapse under scrutiny from its own weight; that is if we wish to really see the truth. And that is the crux of the matter isn’t it?

Believing takes on many forms. For some it has to do with a higher power. For others it can take on the worship of oneself, for others it can take on the worship of some philosophy or other; but humanity has the desire to look to some higher explanation for existence, and human existence in particular. But one thing seems clear; ‘believing’is inherent to our genetic code. Otherwise how can anyone explain why so many have believed so much over so long a time of human history, and in so many different cultures? Of course, the problem for the unbelievers among my readers with this explanation is that they would then have to explain how that genetic code was designed in that manner - or designed at all for that matter - if there is no higher power.

I do find it fascinating how some can believe that Intelligent Design is “a pig that won’t fly”! The design is so complicated that it defies explanation as to how infinitely small mutations over millions of years could bring us (and all else in the universe) to what now exists. Whether one disagrees or agrees with evolution, I question how anyone can say that there is no designer. Some feel that an intelligent designer used evolution. Some feel evolution is a mistake constantly making more mistakes and changing everything all the time all by accident. I wonder how anyone can explain how this can happen by accident and develop successful organisms since "geneticists estimate that 99 out of 100 mutations are harmful, and about 20 out of the 99 are lethal."

Then there are those who [chap. 14] state there is so much “statistical data that they were at last able to confirm what they had suspected all along: Mutations were not 99 percent harmful to the DNA and the organism; they were 100 percent harmful! It was discovered that in EVERY instance, mutations caused some kind of damage—always! Out of it all, the researchers learned that DNA coding in the genes simply will not tolerate much change. More than just the slightest amount will ruin the code and the organism will be greatly weakened.”

According to the Theory of Evolution life started when electricity, in some form such as lightening, charged some molecules existing in a chemical rich ocean soup and thus became cellular life. There is absolutely no evidence that this ever occurred, and there is no evidence that it can occur since no one has been able to duplicate this mythical event in a lab - ever. They have been able to get molecules to group together, but it isn’t life, especially since no one has ever been able to generate more than four of the twenty amino acids needed for life. These “cells” are all lacking in all the things that make life possible, including a DNA molecule which can’t form without a preexisting protein. Protein molecules are amazingly complex, and are absolutely necessary for life. Furthermore, in order for a cell to function it takes 2000 protein enzymes. If life started in the ocean in some chemical rich soup, through some accidental electrical discharge; how did that cell, or group of cells, survive long enough to replicate themselves? That's foundational!

Evolutionally thought would require millions of years of mutations before the next step to propagation would come into being. If that’s so - how did they replicate? If we are to believe what proponents of evolutionary theory claim, then we have to recognize that these mythical cells would have died within seconds, minutes or days; but they would have ceased to exist long before they could have reproduced. How do I know that?

Let's go back to the foundational question once again!

If life could only advance from active cells in the ocean in some chemical rich soup, which came into being as a result of some accidental electrical discharge; how did that cell, or group of cells, replicate themselves to become what we are all now through a series of mutations occurring over millions of years?

As we explore this we must realize there is a very serious crack in the foundation of their theory - and logic. When you think this out correctly the very foundation for the explanation propounded by scientists gets even more complicated and incomprehensible. If such an event really did take place, the first order of business would not be propagation; the first order of business would be survival!

Survival means that this mythical cell, or cells, would have already had an advanced biological system in place allowing them to recognize the need for nutrition. In order for any of this to occur the cells would have to be self aware to some extent, no matter to how small a degree, which in itself would require some sort of advanced design. Which leads to the next obvious question;“How does matter become conscious of itself?”

Then it would not only have to be able recognize the need for nutrition, it would also have to be able to recognize what was nutritional and what was not. These mythical cells would then need a system for absorption, i.e., some way to eat! That would then require a digestive system, which would require an internal biological mechanism allowing the organism to recognize and separate that which was nutritional from what would become waste during the absorption process. Then the cells would require an energy storage and utilization system, and finally, all of that would require a system for waste elimination. Then and only then would propagation come into play!

What organism could possibly survive long enough without these advanced fundamental functions that would allow it to live long enough to propagate. If that were true, then it seems to me these cells would actually have to be entirely complex organisms with multiple advanced chemical and biological systems already in place - each being absolutely dependent on the other for this whole scheme to work. Does it seem rational this could possibly occur if it takes millions of years of tiny mutations to create a next step in the developmental process as scientists claim? And -once again - we are expected to believe this came about as an accident after an electrical discharge of some sort.

Okay, let’s say, for the sake of argument, it did happen - it still means the organism had to have some seriously advanced biological functions to survive past a very short time. If that’s the case, then doesn’t that imply planning and design? Doesn’t planning and design require intelligence? Do we really think these advanced systems could come into existence at once without some predetermined design?

Which brings me back to the beginning!

Evolutionally thought requires millions of years of mutations before any of these absolutely necessary biological systems would come into being before the organism could advance to the next step of propagation. So assuming these organism’s survived, we have to wonder how any organism could know which tiny mutations were beneficial, or even needed, over a million years or so, and decide to save them for a next step, which presumably was another accidentally mutation. The complexity of that kind of design would require some kind of organizational planning and implementation. With the rate of detrimental versus beneficial mutations it could not be accidental and still be beneficial!

Now let’s take a look at propagation!

Take a woman’s monthly cycle. It is amazingly complex! The right amount of chemicals, hormones and enzymes would have to come into play in exactly the right sequence of time in order to finish the cycle. However, if a woman becomes pregnant during the cycle another whole set of chemical conditions would come into play. How could any organism know how to plan for two diametrically opposing end results? Remembering that there are untold numbers of species in the world that have cycles unique unto themselves, that means that this would have to be done an incalculable number of times in an incalculable number of organisms and all be beneficial. One negative mutation would seemingly doom the organism. Yet, we are to believe that this happens through a series of positive accidents that would overcome all of these deadly accidents! Isn't that a form of belief, i.e. faith? It does seem to defy logic...or science as it were!

How would any organism know what chemicals to develop over millions of years? How did the organism know that hormones and enzymes were needed along with other chemicals? How would the organism know how to organize them? How did the organism know which chemicals would work harmoniously together and in conjunction with enzymes and hormones? How would these organisms know how to ‘create’ them? And finally, how did the organism know what end result would follow without some sort of plan?

However, even with a design - how could incredibly small mutations be of value during the whole process of millions of years? In point of fact, it seems reasonable that these mutations would hinder continued existence, not enhance it. But even if you accept the idea of small changes over millions of years the question still remains; how could all of that come into being without intelligence behind it? How could so many complex systems come into being all at once without some sort of design and an application of the design? Wouldn’t the presumption be that these cells already had an amazingly complex chemical make-up that would create an end result? If so; doesn’t that imply planning and design? Doesn’t planning and design require intelligence? And if these events actually did happen, and cells came into existence with all these complicated biological systems in place; what would you call it? Creation?

Dennis Prager wrote an article on June 18, 2013 titled, “Why Some Scientists Embrace the'Multiverse'”.where-in he cites views held by prominent scientists regarding this universal complexity and just how fragile it is.

He quotes “Michael Turner, astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and Fermilab: "The precision is as if one could throw a dart across the entire universe and hit a bulls eye one millimeter in diameter on the other side."

"The really amazing thing is not that life on Earth is balanced on a knife-edge, but that the entire universe is balanced on a knife-edge and would be total chaos if any of the natural 'constants' were off even slightly." Paul Davies, professor of theoretical physics at Adelaide University

Steven Weinberg, recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physics, and an anti-religious agnostic, notes that "the existence of life of any kind seems to require a cancellation between different contributions to the vacuum energy, accurate to about 120 decimal places. This means that if the energies of the Big Bang were, in arbitrary units, not: 1 followed by 118 zeros…but instead: 1 followed by 118 zeros and a 1, there would be no life of any sort in the entire universe."

Dennis goes on to say; “Unless one is a closed-minded atheist (there are open-minded atheists), it is not valid on a purely scientific basis to deny that the universe is improbably fine-tuned to create life, let alone intelligent life. Additionally, it is atheistic dogma, not science, to dismiss design as unscientific. The argument that science cannot suggest that intelligence comes from intelligence or design from an intelligent designer is simply a tautology. It is dogma masquerading as science.”

The universe is far more massive and complex than previously thought.  The observable universe boasts at least 10 times as many galaxies as originally estimated......This means that the cosmic census of galaxies, which has been conventionally pegged at around 100 to 200 billion, may be closer to a whopping two trillion individual galactic systems."....... “It boggles the mind that over 90 percent of the galaxies in the universe have yet to be studied". 

Are we to believe all that massive complexity is also an accident? 

I can understand anyone’s reason for not subscribing to any religious group. The sanguinary history of the world’s religions has not done much to inspire confidence over the course of human history. So I can understand someone being un-religious, and I can understand why someone would believe that there may be a higher power that doesn’t interfere in the lives of humanity. I can understand why people might not be sure and proclaim to be agnostic - although I consider that to be pragmatic atheism.

What I can’t understand is how anyone cannot believe that there must be a planner behind this phenomenally complex reality we call - existence! And that's why I say that I believe in the Theory of Evolution. Because it scientifically proves that there must be an Intelligent Designer! A Creator!

I will leave it to you to decide for yourself if there is a benevolent God. But there must be a creator. That’s foundational! That’s “the basics”!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Nature editorial ‘exploits public anxiety’ on endocrine disruptors

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In December 2016, the European Union member states will vote on proposed legislation that would mandate an ambitious program to identify and regulate “endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) in the environment. On November 22, the journal Nature carried an editorial entitled “Stand firm on hormone disruptors” by NYU pediatrician Leonardo Trasande. Rather than laying out the scientific issues relevant to consideration of the problem of chemicals in the environment and their effects on the general population, the editorial indulges in far-reaching speculation.

In his second sentence, referring to EDCs, Trasande writes, “These chemicals are everywhere – in food, personal-care products, electronics and furniture – and are widely detected in human blood and urine at levels known to affect health.”  He then goes on to state that the proposed regulation resulting in “removal of these pesticides could prevent autism and loss of cognition, which have been linked to exposure in utero.” And he claims that the annual costs associated with health effects from exposure to EDCs are in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. and Europe.

What is the evidence for Trasande’s and other advocates’ claim that EDCs are having detectable and widespread effects on public health from maladies of unknown etiology?  Rather than engaging in speculation, a number of crucial points need to be made.......To Read More....

If peer review were a drug, it would never get on the market

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Hundreds of thousands of papers are published each year in the medical literature, and each year the number of papers published continues to grow. Publication in a “peer-review” journal is a core requirement for advancement in one’s career as a scientist, and since quality is often hard to judge, quantity (i.e., number of papers published) is a widely used metric.

The peer review system is supposed to winnow out work that is not suitable for publication. The system relies on “peers,” or experts, to examine a paper prior to publication, critique it, and offer a recommendation either for or against publication. In the scientific community, it is widely recognized that, like any system that depends on human beings, the peer review system is not perfect. Reviewers are expected to donate their time, and it can take several hours to critically evaluate a paper.....To Read More.....

To Be or To Do: Which Way Will You Go?

By Rich Kozlovich

Originally published June 25, 2012, updated January 18, 2016

This morning I watched the news on NBC (my wife likes them) reporting on the trial of Jerry Sandusky and his attorney's claim that they are going to appeal. Then the report made it known the authorities weren’t done with this mess, and others may be charged as more evidence of what occurred comes out. There is the head of the athletic department and a vice president at the university that have been charged - or may be charged - with lying under oath or covering up the child abuse perpetrated by Sandusky.

I know this may seem like a strange question, but does anyone see a glimmer of enlightenment over all of this?

The glimmer of enlightenment is this: There's a difference between managers and leaders. A good leader can hire a good manager, but a good manager can't hire a good leader. 

Through the course of my life I discovered that being a good leader means standing up and saying: ‘Hold it! This is all wrong and we’re going to change!’ Whether it is in government or in business that means having the willingness to be  the rock in the current, often a life long quality.   But let’s face it -  heterodoxy isn’t for the faint of heart. Who wants to be disliked, ridiculed and rejected? 

As for the go along to get along guys who are perceived as 'good leaders': Are they in reality only ‘good managers’ who were chosen to organize the direction everyone has already decided to go? They’re easy to deal with, they're easy to get along with, they're well liked, and they would never in a million years stir up the manure. 

Take for example two arenas where this is so obvious I shouldn’t have to explain it, but most don’t get it because people believe they represent the highest standards for leadership. Military career officers and PhD’s!  Let me tell you about Col. John Boyd. (What appears below is from a site that no longer exists, but this link is just as good...maybe better.)
"Forty-Second" Boyd, the man remembered for defeating every opponent in aerial combat at the Air Force's premier dog-fighting academy in two-thirds of a minute, helped found the Fort Myer get-togethers at the end of his Air Force career”…..however this doesn’t demonstrate the “long and often painful saga of a man who, as a full colonel, went toe to toe, time after time, with a phalanx of two-and three-star generals for the good of the country, winning most of his battles and surviving long enough to help provide secretary of defense Richard Cheney the ideas needed for swift and decisive victory in the Persian Gulf War. ("Keep it simple — so that the generals will understand it," Boyd frequently told his small band of fellow guerrillas, known collectively as "The Acolytes." Boyd was…..a Pentagon "Whiz Kid"— one of the rare few who were "defined by the courts-martial and investigations they faced." He was also "the most important unknown man of his time and the most remarkable unsung hero in American military history."….. Loud and profane, Boyd's intellectual achievements were matched by his relentless guerrilla warfare against hidebound "careerists" then running the Air Force…… The tenets of this speech reflected both his spirit and values:

"One day you will come to a fork in the road. And you're going to have to make a decision about what direction you want to go." [Boyd] raised his hand and pointed. "If you go that way you can be somebody. You will have to make compromises and you will have to turn your back on your friends. But you will be a member of the club and you will get promoted and you will get good assignments." Then Boyd raised the other hand and pointed another direction. "Or you can go that way and you can do something — something for your country and for your Air Force and for yourself. If you decide to do something, you may not get promoted and you may not get the good assignments and you certainly will not be a favorite of your superiors. But you won't have to compromise yourself. You will be true to your friends and to yourself. And your work might make a difference."
He paused and stared. "To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?"
You show me a lower ranking officer in the military who tells his superiors they're all wrong and proves it - and I will show you an officer who have better find another career.  Boyd "is credited for largely developing the strategy for the invasion of Iraq in the Gulf War of 1991." "In a letter to the editor of Inside the Pentagon, former Commandant of the Marine Corps General Charles C. Krulak is quoted as saying "The Iraqi army collapsed morally and intellectually under the onslaught of American and Coalition forces. John Boyd was an architect of that victory as surely as if he'd commanded a fighter wing or a maneuver division in the desert."

The only reason Boyd ever was promoted to Colonel was because Reagan became president, but he would never be allowed to wear stars.

This pattern plays out in the universities also. Show me a graduate student who, while attempting to get his PhD. told the PhD.s evaluating him their ideas were all wet…. and worse yet …..proved it - and I will show you someone who is stuck with a Masters degree.

They both learn early on that to get along you must go along. When that happens it becomes a way of life and as they rise in the ranks they will only tolerate those just like themselves. To do otherwise would be a personal admission of failure. Eventually the ranks of “leadership” are filled with those who don’t have the courage to stand up against all odds for what is right.

Within the scientific community it has been made abundantly clear the holy grail of science isn’t ‘truth’ - its government grant money. The fraud perpetrated on the world by ‘scientists’ regarding Anthropogenic Global Warming has been exposed and now the world is aware that this has been going on for decades. The world is now aware that what appears as leadership within the scientific community is no real leadership at all - only hucksters, con artists and cowards. The only courageous leadership in science is from those that are attacked and smeared as ‘skeptics’, even to the point of being called ‘Flat Earthers’ and compared to those who perpetrated the holocaust during WWII. Those who are real leaders - those who have the courage to stand against the tide - those who are prepared to lose everything for that which is right are always called….. unreasonable.

My answer to that? I would like for someone to show me any insurmountable obstacle that was ever overcome by being reasonable!  Being unreasonable in pursuit of a noble goal takes clarity.  But the problem must be properly defined - that's what leads to clarity, which leads to understanding.  From that a vision is developed.   But a vision is valueless without courage, fortitude, and the ability to stand outside the comfort and support of the group. 

That's a view many will ridicule and being unreasonable or irrational, but I would be willing to bet the children Sandusky abused would have loved to have seen someone come forward who was courageous enough to be "unreasonable" within the universities ranks of ‘leadership’! Unfortunately there was no one - including a much beloved football coach whose legacy and reputation is now irreparably destroyed.  A coach who should have been in the forefront defending these kids. I wonder how many of that cast of characters now regret their cowardice?

Whether it's in government, military, academia or industry, this is something we need to learn, repeat, retain and practice: "To be somebody or to do something. In life there is often a roll call. That's when you will have to make a decision. To be or to do? Which way will you go?"

The $3.5 Trillion Fracking Economy Is About To Get A Lot Bigger

OPEC’s Nightmare Scenario:
U.S. Frackers Are Winning The Oil War
 

Image result for shale oil boom cartoon

Hydraulic fracturing generated $3.5 trillion in new wealth between 2012 and 2014 in spite of falling oil prices, according to a new study, but today’s rising prices could be even better for the U.S. economy. From 2012 to 2014, the shale oil industry generated 4.6 million new jobs due to an energy boom and the resulting low gas prices, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). “What’s often overlooked is the impact that the shale revolution has had throughout the economy,” Chris Warren, a spokesperson for the pro-industry Institute for Energy Research (IER), told The Daily Caller News Foundation. “Lower energy prices mean people have more money to save or spend on other day-to-day necessities. More energy production leads to job creation in other sectors of the economy, whether it’s manufacturing, healthcare, education, etc.” --Andrew Follett, The Daily Caller, 17 December 2016

If you listen closely, you can hear the cursing of OPEC’s (and Russia’s, for that matter) oil ministers bursting forth from their beleaguered petrostates as America’s oil producers add to their collective count of active rigs for the seventh straight week. We’re headed towards the worst-case scenario for the world’s petrostates, where they agree to cede market share to gain higher oil prices, only to see American companies jump on the opportunity and take that share of the market for themselves while simultaneously blunting the rebound. Hence the wailing and gnashing of teeth from all those oil ministers. --The American Interest, 18 December 2016

A two-year battle for global oil supremacy that pit Saudi Arabia, the de facto leader of OPEC, against upstart U.S. shale producers left them both badly wounded but with each side claiming victory. For U.S. shale companies, it was two years of shrinking profits and mass layoffs as dozens of producers scaled back output or sought bankruptcy protection. But the survivors became much more efficient and are now eager to grab market share at their foreign competitors’ expense. “Definitely, the U.S. is going to win the next two years because OPEC is cutting and U.S. shale is taking off,” said Scott Sheffield, chief executive of Pioneer Natural Resources Co., a U.S. producer that is already ramping up drilling in West Texas’ Permian Basin. --Benoit Faucon, Alison Sider and Georgi Kantchev, The Wall Street Journal, 15 December 2016

President-elect Donald Trump’s decision to nominate former Texas Governor Rick Perry to head the Department of Energy opens the door to U.S. energy independence in the near future — not to mention a growing economy, fueled by private-sector investment and high-paying jobs. The U.S. is now the largest producer of crude oil and natural gas in the world, but we still import about 25% of the crude we need. Opening up more federal lands and offshore production will allow us to fill that gap. Increased production will also allow the U.S. to export more crude oil and natural gas to our allies, many of whom rely on Russia for their energy needs. For example, the European Union depends on Russia for about a third of its energy and would love to have an affordable alternative. Moving the U.S. from oil importer to oil exporter will also dramatically reduce our trade deficit, another Trump goal. --Merrill Matthews, Investor’s Business Daily, 16 December 2016

The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is the single most important tool in evaluating the effectiveness of climate change mitigation policies, such as subsidies to renewables. However, the UK government has quietly ceased to use this measurement, almost certainly because after a decade of subsidy the policy cost per tonne saved is still greatly in excess of even higher estimates of SCC. The ‘solution’ is worse than the problem. The Trump administration is likely to focus on the Social Cost of Carbon in its reforms, probably introducing more reasonable and lower estimates, increasing pressure on the UK government amongst others to re-examine their climate policies. --John Constable, Global Warming Policy Forum, 17 December 2016

All energy subsidies should be ended. The shale revolution shows that businesses and markets can generate major innovations and progress with their own resources. Investors and major corporations have stepped up to the plate and pumped billions of dollars into alternative energy technologies. The U.S. energy sector is vast, dynamic, and entrepreneurial, and it does not need subsidies to thrive. --Chris Edwards, Downsizing the Federal Government, 15 December 2016

How Can Pesticides Be Safe?

Dr. Steve Savage Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Many people may find it difficult to imagine how a pesticide could ever be safe. To understand how that is possible, it is helpful to make the comparison with something more familiar: electricity. It is hard to envision modern life without electricity. As much as we enjoy and need this source of energy, it involves some hazards. Electricity can, and sometimes does, cause injury or death. 

Yet overall, we think of using electricity as a reasonably safe aspect of our lives. Safety can’t be precisely defined. What we perceive as safe is something where the benefits more than offset the minimal risks. We can enjoy electricity’s benefits with little risk through two main strategies: 1) using low-hazard forms of electricity and 2) keeping ourselves from being exposed to hazardous forms of electricity......To Read More......

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Green Notes

Cancer Scares and Reality


Will US cut off support for WHO’s IARC over pilloried glyphosate cancer report? Every day, it seems, I read an article from an activist-captured media source that quotes the International Agency for Reasearch on Cancer’s (IARC) glyphosate position and ignores the negative reactions from other scientific institutions like European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Germany’s Federal Institute for Risk Assessment (BfR), WHO-FAO, the America’s Environmental Protection Agency, the New Zealand and Canadian authorities, and the undiplomatic outrage of most of the scientific community. It is quite clear that the science defending glyphosate is not the problem; IARC’s intransigence, political bias, and bad scientific methodology is the problem.  How can we fix IARC?.............To Read More.....


Epigenetics
 
How does genetics explain non-identical identical twins? - Newspapers recently went wild with a story about identical twin sisters with a difference: they weren’t identical. Like all identical twins, Amelia and Jasmine arose from a single fertilised egg so have identical DNA, but somehow look different from each other.   One child has dark skin, black hair and brown eyes while the other has fair skin, light-brown hair and blue eyes.  How is this possible?   Have the doctors or scientists got it wrong? No one has got it wrong. They really are identical twins. ......To Read More...
 
Explainer: how epigenetics is providing insight into cancer -DNA provides the instructions to make us how we look and contributes to our life expectancy. Identical twins have exactly the same DNA, so why are slightly different in many ways? The answer is epigenetics........Epigenetic factors are chemical tags on the DNA or on proteins called histones. These chemical tags attach to the DNA and are responsible for providing the DNA-packing signals inside cells. There are lots of different epigenetic factors and the number of new chemical tags discovered are increasing......To Read More...

GMOS

There's a totally new way to genetically modify our food - Few topics in science are as hotly debated as that of genetically modified organisms, or GMOs.  These are foods — usually plants, though we're starting to see animals too — whose DNA has been modified to include genes from other organisms to produce a particular trait, such as disease or pesticide resistance..............These include the gene-editing tool CRISPR/Cas9, which works like a biological find-and-replace function to cut out genes and splice in new ones. In the last few years this technique and others have really taken off, and are already being used to develop potential treatments for genetic diseases.............But some people are already voicing their opposition to the new gene-editing technologies. Earth Open Source, a European NGO funded by the Maharishi cult, recently attacked the claim that CRISPR was more accurate than previous genetic engineering tools........To Read More.....

My Take - Why are these "anti's" against everything that makes human survival better?  Because they hate humanity.  We have to get this once and for all.  The green movement is a secular neo-pagan death cult that borders on mysticism.   If you look at everything they disapprove of and those things they approve of you will find the same pattern.  A movement designed to eliminate between four and five billion people from the planet....and that's the moderate wing of the movement.  The "radicals" want to eliminate humanity. 

2016 Presidential Race: Clinton, Trump, Stein and Johnson on Food, Farming and GMOs - As part of a multi-part Genetic Literacy Project series on the candidates’ view on genetics and biotechnology—in medicine and agriculture. In this article, we examine how Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Libertarian Gary Johnson and the Green Party’s Jill Stein address issues on food, farming, and crop genetic modification......To Read More.....

‘Crimes Against Humanity’? Who is behind the International Monsanto Tribunal circus? From October 14-16, 2016, a group of environmental activists will host a faux tribunal in The Hague to pretend to prosecute Monsanto for crimes against humanity. The Missouri-based company sells both genetically engineered seeds and pesticides, which makes them Enemy No. 1 of the anti-technology activists who lead the global environmental movement.  The International Monsanto Tribunal is being spearheaded by some of the most notable anti-GMO activists in the world, including Vandana Shiva, a philosopher and author who makes $40,000 a speech telling phony stories about Indian farmers committing suicide because they planted genetically modified seeds. The stunt (held in a small school in The Hague, not the International Criminal Court) will “hold Monsanto accountable for human-rights violations, for crimes against humanity, and for ecocide.".......To Read More.....
 
 

Buzz Kill: How the Sierra Club uses scare tactics about bee health and twists the science to raise money

Andrew Porterfield & Jon Entine | October 25, 2016 | Genetic Literacy Project

The Sierra Club, founded by John Muir in 1892 to support wilderness outings and conservation in the American west, is now on a different campaign: scaring the bejeebies out of people to raise money. The once venerable organization, once known for its eco-pragmatism, is twisting the science about bees and pesticides. Literally hundreds of thousands of people who have supported one green organization or event in recent years opened their mailboxes in the past few months to find a scare letter of epic proportions written by Sierra’s executive director Michael Brune:........In a recent series of letters sent out this fall as part of this ongoing multi-year fund-raising effort, Brune makes the case that neonics are behind Colony Collapse Disorder and responsible for a 44 percent decline in bee populations:........Deconstructing Sierra Club’s claims..........To Read More.....

Monday, October 24, 2016

Battling Bad Science!

By Rich Kozlovich, Originally posted on Saturday, October 1, 2011

Over a lifetime of reading and pontificating about everything I have come to some very basic conclusions about ....everything. One of the conclusions I arrived at many years ago is that everything we are told should bear some resemblance to what we see going on in reality. Another conclusion that I came to is that everything is the basics. Those two kind of go hand in hand. If it is too complicated it probably isn't true, and must be looked at very carefully before being accepted. If it defies what we see in life it probably isn't true. And claims by scientists are very often so complicated that most of us, including other scientists, have trouble understanding them....and very often defy reality. I recommend reading Ecological Sanity by Claus and Bolander.

There is a term in science called Occam’s razor which says that the simplest explanation is probably the correct one. Here is a discussion on Occam’s razor which explains the why’s and wherefore’s of this principle…which Occam probably didn’t even come up with himself and isn’t always correct. Some things need expansion in order to be understood. Having said that, we still have to understand that by complicating an issue, the issue can be twisted and warped into a conclusion that is preferred by those doing the complicating. Far too much of what are called scientific studies are in reality nothing more than conclusions in search of data.

When it's done by the greenies and their acolytes it usually ends up becoming policy. And that policy can have long term negative consequences with unpleasant penalties that will be paid for by society. Unfortunately the penalties are never paid for by the greenies and their acolytes....because they're "the good guys"! 

However, if some policy based on bad science may be pushed by a “for profit” company,  the activists, who would have been more than happy to use equally bad science to promote one of their pet causes, will scream and rant until they are brought to justice in the form of civil or criminal penalties, because they're "the bad guys"!

Let me make this clear as a bell. There are no good guys when science is twisted, contorted, misused or hidden in order to force a conclusion already arrived at long before the study is started and the results released. I don’t care on whose side they claim to be. They are liars and charlatans, and all of them need to be prosecuted for the consequences they have wrought, including the greenies and their acolytes. There are no good guys in bad science.

I want to thank Jeff Teague for sending this video to me called Ben Goldacre: Battling Bad Science. This is a very easy video to watch because it is quite humorous. Take the time. I will be linking it permanently on the Observations From the Back Row template.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Reform of "Toxic Substance" Rules Could Increase Health Risks

Angela Logomasini

Several years ago, the chemical industry joined forces with certain environmental groups to push reform to the federal Toxic Substances Control Act, which passed into law this year. Although it was not unwarranted for safety reasons (as I detailed before), TSCA reform has granted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) greater power to remove chemicals from the market.The drumbeat for chemical bans started quickly after President Obama signed TSCA into law last June. Activist groups have apparently placed asbestos high on their list of chemicals they want banned under the new law, and they’re likely to succeed.

It’s certainly true that asbestos fibers pose cancer and other health risks, particularly fibers of amphibole asbestos, which are relatively long and thin and easily embed in human tissue. The type of asbestos used today in the United States is mostly chrysotile asbestos, which is less dangerous because its fibers are shorter and thicker and don’t embed in tissue as easily. Still, all asbestos fibers pose risks that must be managed. [For more details see the American Council on Science and Health’s helpful paper on asbestos risk.].....To Read More.....

Thursday, September 22, 2016

We Shouldn't Give Away the Internet to Authoritarian Regimes

Sen. Mike Lee /   @ Daily Signal

If we rush this transition and it is a failure, it will be nearly impossible to get the internet back from the authoritarian regimes that are pushing for more control.

The essence of human freedom, of civilization itself, is cooperation: cooperation between friends and family; businesses and customers; entrepreneurs and employees.

History and human experience teach that humans cooperate best when they do so voluntarily, without government coercion. That is why I fully support the eventual transition of control over the internet from the Department of Commerce and to a private entity.

But I also worry that President Barack Obama is hastily rushing the current transfer of power to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN), which could make it easier for the United Nations to take over the internet.

Today, the internet is so vast and ubiquitous that it is hard to imagine it existing in any other form.

But for the first few decades of the internet’s existence, the basic roadmap for navigating the internet—the Internet Assigned Numbers Authority (IANA), the system that allocates and records the unique numerical addresses to computers—was managed by just one man on a voluntary basis.

In 1998, the Commerce Department began contracting with ICANN, a California nonprofit corporation, to take over management of IANA and the internet’s domain name system. For the most part, the Commerce Department has allowed ICANN to govern itself, but it has always maintained the authority to pull the nonprofit’s contract, which allowed the federal government to ensure that its contracting partner did not stray from its original mission.

But some governments do not like ICANN’s current hands-off approach to internet regulation. They want more control over how internet traffic is managed and what domain names are allowed to exist.
If we rush this transition and ICANN fails, it will be nearly impossible to get the internet back from the authoritarian regimes that are pushing for more control.
Just five years after ICANN was created, the United Nations established a Working Group on Internet Governance “to investigate and make proposals for action … on the governance of Internet.” And in 2012 at the World Conference on International Telecommunications, several authoritarian regimes—including Russia, China, and Saudi Arabia—called for the “sovereign right” of governments to “establish and implement public policy, including international policy, on matters of Internet governance.”

The United States firmly resisted these calls for more international control over the internet until 2013 when Edward Snowden leaked details of the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, which led the Obama administration to believe it could not maintain international support for the current system. So in March 2014, the Commerce Department announced it would be fully transferring the internet’s names and numbers functions to ICANN. In other words, the federal government would relinquish its leverage over ICANN by giving up its ability to renew—or threaten to cancel—ICANN’s contract.

Normally, I would applaud the loss of federal government leverage over a private entity. But in this case, there are some ominous signs that ICANN is not ready for the role it is about to take on.
ICANN is currently involved in litigation over alleged improper interference from governments who objected to how the organization awarded the .africa domain name. And the organization was recently admonished by an independent review panel for making decisions that were “cavalier” and “simply not credible” in relation to an application for domain names.

Also, it is unclear whether the new bylaws ICANN is set to adopt for the transition will be strong enough to prevent Russia and China from exerting more control over internet governance.
For these reasons, I am working closely with Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and other senators to delay the final transfer of internet governance to ICANN. There is no reason this transfer has to happen this year. There is no reason not to allow ICANN to work through its new governance structure on a trial basis for two years so we can make sure it will run smoothly and in a truly independent manner.

If we rush this transition and ICANN fails, it will be nearly impossible to get the internet back from the authoritarian regimes that are pushing for more control.

That is simply not a risk we can take.

Freedom fighter Ted Cruz leads charge to save the internet from liberal censors

“The Internet is one of the most revolutionary forces ever unleashed on the world.”

By Chris Pandolfo

In his opening remarks for Wednesday’s Senate subcommittee hearing on protecting internet freedom, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas (A, 97%) gave a rousing defense of internet freedom, warning that transitioning oversight of the internet to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) could put the freedom at risk......


 

The danger, Sen. Cruz points out, is that by trading the United States government’s “historic guardianship” of the internet to ICANN, First Amendment protections afforded to the Web will be removed, potentially placing censorship power into the hands of a global, multi-national corporation with limited oversight. - To Read More....

Bolton on Internet Handover: ‘Within Ten Years, the Internet as We Know It Will End’

by John Hayward

On Thursday’s Breitbart News Daily on SiriusXM, former U.N. ambassador John Bolton predicted that the impending transfer of Internet domain control from American supervision to an international body will mean the end of the Internet “as we know it.” Speaking to Breitbart Editor-in-Chief and SiriusXM host Alex Marlow, Bolton explained that we should be “very concerned” about the transfer from “a national-security perspective.”....... I will predict right here: within 10 years it will come under the control of the United Nations,...........“What we’ve gotten out of the Internet, under the shelter of a private American organization that contracts with the Commerce Department, [is] one of the few cases that I can think of in our history where we’ve had that kind of government involvement without regulation and interference,” said Bolton........Bolton called the Internet handover “a mistake of such colossal proportions that you would have thought we’d have a huge debate about it in this country.”..........To Read More....

Reading is Fundamental

Dear Friends,

Those of us who are old enough will remember when the phrase, "Reading is Fundamental", was used extensively to encourage reading among the young....and probably everone else too.  I don't see it used any longer and that's disapointing because as a society we seem to read less than ever and understand less than ever while adamantly embracing the conclusions of our ignorance, which constitutes stupid - and stupid can't be fixed because stupid people refuse to learn, and that includes a great many over educated under smart people.   

However - ignorance only means we don't know.  Ignorance is fixable - all we have to do is be willing to find out what the facts really are.   And that starts with a good history lesson - none of which can be found in America's schools or universities. 

Over the years I foolishly thought just because I read something or knew something - everyone knew it also - and I didn't understand why they didn't come to my conclusions.  Talk about dumb! 

That's not the way the universe works.  Some people read and some people don't.   Some think deeply, some don't.  Some people watched Fred Friendly's Ethics in America series and .... well.... most didn't have a clue what I was talking about, and the rest only thought they might have heard about it - and they were a very small minority.  And I was stunned!

The fact of the matter is - some people are interested and some people aren't.  I hate doing mechanical work - others think that's the greatest thing since New York style cheesecake.   But - that's the way it is! 

However, that shouldn't mean abandoning the goal of encouraging everyone  to read books - articles aren't enough - we need books for depth.   Just discussing what you've read is an encouragement, and even if they don't read - at least people will get the knowledge through you. 

I don't buy into some of the views in some of the books listed here.  As example - Saul Alinsky's Rules for Radicals.  He's a loon - a frightening loon - but Hillary, Obama and a great many on the left in powerful positions are deciples of Alinsky.  We need to know what the other side says if we're to be able to overcome those views.  We need to be in this arena if we're to be worthwhile leaders of our industry. 

So, by way of encouragement to those who might be willing to jump into this arena I'm posting the last 50 books I've read over the last few years.

Best wishes,

Rich Kozlovich
  1. Are Children More Vulnerable to Environmental Chemicals? Scientific and Regulatory Issues in Perspective, American Council on Science and Health
  2. America's War on “Carcinogens”, Reassessing the Use of Animal Tests To Predict Human Cancer Risk, American Council on Science and Health (Editor's Note:  This no longer appears to be available in book form, but the link is to a PDF of the book.  This is a must read!  RK)
  3. Ecological Sanity, by Claus and Bolander
  4. The Excellent Powder, DDT's Political and Scientific History, by Donald Roberts, Rchard Tren with Roger Bate and Jennifer Zambone
  5. Intellectuals and Society, by Thomas Sowell
  6. Inside the Third Reich, Memoirs of Albert Speer
  7. A Man of Letters, by Thomas Sowell
  8. Interpreting the Precautionary Principle, by Tim O'Riordan and James Cameron
  9. Silent Spring at 50, The False Crisis of Rachel Carson, Edited by Roger Meiners, Peirre Desrochers, and Andrew Morriss
  10. Stalin's Secret Agents, The Subversion of Roosevelt's Government, by M. Stanton Evans and Herbert Romerstein
  11. Silent Spring, by Rachel Carson
  12. Silencing Science, by Steven Milloy and Michael Gouch (Editor's Note:  This is a booklet, so I don't know why the price is so high, so explore the "See Buying Options" link.