This week in science: Perspective

Nebula

A schematic of an iconic celestial object. To see it and a couple of its more exquisite cousin in full visible wavelength glory, click the image.

My skeptical peers and I were buoyed to see the hundreds of millions of people on earth who do not profess belief in religion given some positive attention in the media this week thanks to the Pope’s hopeful statement on atheism. I’d love to see top-notch sites where this volatile topic is discussed, like FreeThoughtBlogs or Patheos, mentioned on air more often.

It’s unavoidable for a science-blogger in this day and age to write on the conflict between modern science, some forms of fundamental religious dogma, and related political opportunism. But there’s is always the risk a flame war might erupt between theist and atheist. Wouldn’t it be more productive if we would look at our dedicated counterparts across the virtual and spiritual divide in comments below, and each in our way be thankful for Christians or Muslims, Jews or Hindus, atheists or agnostic etc., for invaluable help on issues of science, the environment, civil liberties and many others where we are far, far more united than divided.

  • NASA is making tentative plans to capture and move a 10 meter asteroid from interplanetary space to our neighborhood using revolutionary next generation thrusters:

    NASA Administrator Charles Bolden dropped by JPL on Thursday to outline the agency’s plans to capture an asteroid, and to look at a model of a powerful new ion thruster that has enough strength to drag a space rock into orbit around the moon.

  • Humans “benefited” from climate change is a dicey way to say it.
  • Egad! Homeopaths without borders does indeed exist.
  • Daily Kos diarist RL Miller on California Gov. Jerry Brown and his relationship with the fossil fuels industry.
  • For some inexplicable reason this makes me feel slightly better:

    This is a brief chronology of the current Conservative Canadian government’s long campaign to undermine evidence-based scientific, environmental and technical decision-making. It is a government that is beholden to big business, particularly big oil  … It is a government that is more interested in keeping its corporate masters happy than in protecting the environment.


Daily Kos

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