Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

Audacious Visions For Future Spaceflight

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the it's-been-a-lonnnnng-road dept.

NASA 176

New submitter nagalman writes "There is a very powerful video out that takes the audio of words from Neil deGrasse Tyson, receiver of the NASA Distinguished Public Service Medal, and meshes it with powerful images of the history and successful outcomes of NASA. Through Penny4NASA, Dr. Tyson is pressing for the budget of NASA to be doubled from 0.5% to 1% of the federal budget in order to spur vision, interest, dreams, public excitement, and innovation into science and engineering. With Kansas stating that 'evolution could not rule out a supernatural or theistic source, that evolution itself was not fact but only a theory and one in crisis, and that Intelligent Design must be considered a viable alternative to evolution,' and North Carolina's legislature circulating a bill telling people to ignore climate science, maybe it's time we start listening to experts who have a proven record of success, rather than ideology that has only been 'proven' in the mind of elected politicians."

cancel ×

176 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Maybe? (-1, Offtopic)

ettusyphax (1155197) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273029)

What do you mean "maybe it's time we start listening to experts?" To which hypothetical phantasm are you directing this question? Since when has any reasonable individual listened to a politician over a scientist, to ideology over reason? This person you imagine does not exist. Therefore I suppose you might be addressing someone who has done something like the aforementioned. First, I doubt they're reading Slashdot. Beyond that, if one is an adult and hasn't come to these conclusions on their own then a burial permit is the right thing for them, not a Neil deGrasse Tyson lecture. There's some downright optimistic individuals out there and you seem to be one of them - I'm afraid you're misguided. Let the cynicism flow. Maybe then we can get some real change happening.

Re:Maybe? (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273063)

>Since when has any reasonable individual listened to a politician over a scientist, to ideology over reason? This person you imagine does not exist.

They think they are reasonable, and they vote.

>writing them off instead of fighting them tooth and nail.

Yup, a sure strategy for getting ideologues, religionists, etc, off of school committees and out of state legislatures.

Yup.

--
BMO

Conflict of interest (-1, Troll)

2.7182 (819680) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273167)

Tyson makes more money the more science in the news. He's an entertainer. It's like getting John Travolta's opinion. I know, I know, people will say "no he is a respected scientist/educator...". He is an entertainer. There is sooooo little content in his stuff. Compare with David Attenborough for example. Or Sagan.

Re:Conflict of interest (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273249)

And what would you rather have, nobody making science look good?

Without the popularizers of science, science loses funding. It's really that simple.

>He's an entertainer.

Where is /your/ PhD in Astrophysics?

--
BMO

Re:Conflict of interest (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273273)

Seriously, how do people come up with this garbage?

Have you ever heard the man speak passionately about science and astronomy? Who the hell is he 'entertaining', besides perhaps people who are interested in science and astronomy? The man is smart enough to get a doctorate in astrophysics from Columbia and be the head of the damn Hayden Planetarium. He does more to educate the public about matters of science than most actual science teachers. Yet for some reason you feel the need to put him down.

And with 'He's an entertainer.' no less. That's rich. Honestly, if that's what it takes to be heard in this country I say let him entertain. That does nothing to diminish his qualifications, intelligence, or ability to convey knowledge. Except perhaps to someone who can't see past the size of his or her own fragile ego.

My guess is you're either trolling or a complete moron.

Probably both.

Re:Conflict of interest (-1, Troll)

relic2279 (2653747) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273637)

To be fair, his qualifications are minimal compared to some of his peers. He has no significant published work and was a jock in college according to his wiki page. I'd rather listen to Ed Witten, Greene or Kaku talk and popularize science. One is a fields medal winner and the other two have advanced their field with published work.

Re:Conflict of interest (3, Insightful)

kayditty (641006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273737)

uh, the first two people you list are string theorists (lol.) so is the third, but he's also a complete charlatan [scienceblogs.com] and quack [lovearth.org] .

give me a fucking break.

Re:Conflict of interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40275519)

but but glenn beck is a figure head and he's just an entertainer, that means all figure heads are just entertainers!
awsum lawjik ftw

godamnit. i forgot what ftw means...fuck the world? fun times ahead? ah shit this is too hard...ohh a piece of candy!

Re:Conflict of interest (5, Insightful)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273871)

Tyson... He's an entertainer. It's like getting John Travolta's opinion.

One's a scientist, the other is a scientologist. People who can't see the difference is what the summary is warning about.

The most effective critics. (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273105)

The most effective critics are the ex-fundamental Christians. Michael Shermer for one. They got there because of exposure to folks, the data (or lack there of) and their ideas and thoughts.

And every so often, a light bulb goes off in one of them. Sure there are plenty who doggedly stick to their beliefs regardless of the data, but there are plenty who don't.

Part of the reason there are so many folks who still believe in these things were there is no evidence or let alone the existence conclusive evidence (like evolution) is because it is culturally acceptable for one to say that their beliefs trump data ("I just KNOW in my heart that God placed us here!"). I'm not saying at all that we should point fingers and call them "idiots", "morons" or some other derogatory name, but maybe make it as acceptable as an adult who still believe in Santa Claus or worships Zeus. And the way to do that, is to continually make science, thinking, reason, logic and so on a mainstream value - and that takes exposure, promotion and folks like Tyson to make it "cool".

When I start seeing kids wanting to be astronauts again - instead of ball players and hip-hop stars - then I'll be happy

Re:The most effective critics. (1, Troll)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273779)

Oh what the hell, it's like pissing on a house fire of bias and closed minded rhetoric. Here goes anyway.

          Part of the reason there are so many folks who still believe in these things is just as threads above stated. Experts and professionals still only possess limited fallible reason and one tends to follow what they know or believe to be true first and foremost. Other compelling reasons likely happen at the genetic level. Tearing ourselves from disciplines of Astronomy and Physics for a second and focusing on the bit of Anthropology atheists prefer to ignore; man has ALWAYS believed in a higher power. We have scientific evidence of this. We know that abilities and quirks that we EVOLVE with are there for a reason. We can only theorize and therefore fork, but not discount at this point, Creationism as a possibility.

          We cannot, however discount Creationism on the standard arguments of the various differing viewpoints of the interpretations of scripture by various sects who believe everything from literal translations to analogous parables of what they have read. Atheists tend to make the same erroneous mistakes as "Christians" gathering data for arguments. Does this mass example of relativity discount any possibility of truth? No. It keeps it in the realm of faith as it is designed to do. We can understand from what we know of the Bible that faith is required of man who is given free will. Gods purpose in this is to find who will voluntarily love him and reflect his will.( not something usually seen in the average "Christian" in the wild ,admittedly)
Well, do you want someone to voluntarily love you or be programmed by evidence to love you or else!?

          Now we can decompile this problem by eliminating the chaos of the foreground and concentrating on the background in order to show that while you can not prove creationism, neither can you disprove it. While we only have what is said to interpret, we can also make note of what is not said.
7 days of creation to get from single cells to modern man. We invoke relativity here. Gods function of time is not relevant to mans salvation so far and therefore not included in his word to man. We can theorize that one who invented time and space, has mastered it. 7 God days could be Billions of our years. For all we know, he can turn a speed control if it is his will. Dinosaurs, Cavemen? We have no proof in the Bible of HOW God decided to create.
I'm going to theorize a complex system like this was created evolutionarily. Prototypes perhaps, necessary cogs. It also could explain the lack of a diverse gene pool previously thought about the Adam and Eve inbreeding theory. Early "Man" wound up breeding with manlike creatures to get us where we are today. No proof, but a plausible explanation to an old problem. Dinos, same story, they were HOW present day animals were created. Not included in the Bible as not relevant to the purpose of faith. We could go on and on, following events and people up to the point, we begin finding Archaeological clues and evidence of various things mentioned in the Bible, but then , this would just be onerous and by now, you get the point.

          There , a meta-view of the problem shows that Creationism and Evolution could follow 3 forks. Creationism, Evolution, and Creation by Evolution.
This is Einsteins God. The one he couldn't believe didn't create all. This makes Atheism and Christianity, taken as popular cultures, just as full of shit as any Pop-culture and subject to dismissal as superfluous shouting and wringing of hands. Leakey, with his recent statements on religion and his findings is to be chastised as being biased and net very scientific. But then, if you sell Chevys, you are going to bag on Fords, probably without applying any unbiased rational, reason to it. I won't detract from what he has done scientifically, but I will point out his lack of scientific detachment and therefore call into doubt his ad hoc finding of Gods existence. Not to mention being a closed minded old codger without a helpful imagination.

        It could be helpful for all to go back to scientific detachment and quit playing politics. Also I find that increasingly more and more "scientists" graduate from an education that doesn't stress the difference between what you know, from what you think, from what you feel, from what you believe.
I blame politics and ambition for most of the problem, laziness on the rest.

      Whether there is or isn't a God will never detract from the feeling that I am on the "Planeta do los Simios" and surrounded by idiots of all faiths, creeds and philosophies.

Re:The most effective critics. (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274495)

Tearing ourselves from disciplines of Astronomy and Physics for a second and focusing on the bit of Anthropology atheists prefer to ignore; man has ALWAYS believed in a higher power. We have scientific evidence of this. We know that abilities and quirks that we EVOLVE with are there for a reason.

It might just be an artifact of our pattern recognizing brain which enables us to predict and speculate about future based previous experiences and stories of others. Without that ability we couldn't predict the best place to hunt, the right time to plow and sow, or dodge that predator behind the bush. The cultural evolution and the challenges posed by the environment to that culture shape the way this ability manifests itself.
  As social constructs, Creationism and scientific method are different in a significant way, namely that the scientific method is significantly more robust in its arguments. The way religion forms arguments is that of a con man and the current politics: the most persuasive and charismatic personality and leader wins and it is assumed he or she sees something others can't. Scientific arguments are ultimately different, as the cult of personalities crumble, traditions gets rejected and hoaxes are uncovered. The robustness follows from the simple fact that there are usually many independent observers.
  Perhaps this inherent robustness of the scientific method should be more emphasized in the arguments concerning detectable reality, which is the reality that is repeatably measurable and the results interpretable independent of the culture of the observer. The fact that the arguments are still on the trivial materialistic level (ironic considering the subject) and lack the human component, the observer, is shameful.

Re:The most effective critics. (4, Insightful)

tburkhol (121842) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274749)

Oh what the hell, it's like pissing on a house fire of bias and closed minded rhetoric.

Truer words were never spoken

Tearing ourselves from disciplines of Astronomy and Physics for a second and focusing on the bit of Anthropology atheists prefer to ignore; man has ALWAYS believed in a higher power. We have scientific evidence of this.

I can't even imagine what scientific evidence you have to prove that belief in a higher power has ALWAYS existed. Hopefully, it's not the No True Scotsman argument.
Man has used "higher power" to explain things which are currently inexplicable and allow order in a confusing world. It makes the kids stop asking where the sun goes at night. It expresses our resignation to continue living when the hunt goes poorly, when storms flatten the wheat field, or when you get passed over for promotion. Personifying the "higher power" into a Thor, Nature, or Jesus figure adds the value of fun stories to tell the kids and satisfies mankind's inclination to anthropomorphize even inanimate objects. However, a "higher power" can also be "physical laws and properties." One of those higher powers allows cultural and technological advance; one of those higher powers encourages complacency and repression.

We know that abilities and quirks that we EVOLVE with are there for a reason. We can only theorize and therefore fork, but not discount at this point, Creationism as a possibility.

"For a reason" is that some mutation provided, at worst, no disadvantage to survival. Most of them don't. Each year, according to the CDC, "Major structural or genetic birth defects affect approximately 3% of births in the United States, are a major contributor to infant mortality." When you see abilities and quirks that we EVOLVE, you are looking at only the small fraction of changes that are not immediately fatal, and ignoring billions of people who died in utero or in infancy because of errors in gene replication. If you wish to argue that some creator goes about his work by slaughtering such a large fraction of his people, then I think your notion of "design" or "directed change" is indistinguishable from random. To make a distinction between "random changes" and "random changes because god said so" is a) unnecessary and b) a little silly. To infer a "reason" for every trait and quirk you display presupposes the existence of a plan and is circular logic (ie: we have trait X that allows behavior Y; Y facilitates survival; therefore Y is part of the plan, and X was planned to allow Y)

More importantly, the only evidence for creationism is a bunch of stories handed down by several generations of oral tradition before being collected into a convenient anthology. Oh, and I suppose, if you want to include your bit of Anthropology that atheists like to ignore, the observation that humans enjoy stories. The single greatest point of divergence between atheists and Christians is that Christians will appeal to any story in their favored anthology as literal fact worthy of as much weight as the observation that the sun rose this morning in the east. What if they're just stories? I mean, did Lazarus leave any evidence or documentation from his life after being raised from the dead: I'd think that's the kind of thing a whole community might have written about. Maybe earn him a trip to Rome to meet with historians and scientists. The literal veracity of the bible is a tenuous thread upon which to hang a whole theory of the cosmos.

Evolutionists and creationists are not even having the same discussion, but the creationists are very insistent on getting their irrelevant bit into the evolutionary conversation. It's like we're all talking about what to have for dinner, and some guy demands that we first agree that Viking ranges are much better than Wolf.

Re:The most effective critics. (1)

smaddox (928261) | more than 2 years ago | (#40275255)

Leakey, with his recent statements on religion and his findings is to be chastised as being biased and net very scientific. But then, if you sell Chevys, you are going to bag on Fords, probably without applying any unbiased rational, reason to it. I won't detract from what he has done scientifically, but I will point out his lack of scientific detachment and therefore call into doubt his ad hoc finding of Gods existence. Not to mention being a closed minded old codger without a helpful imagination.

Fail.

Re:Maybe? (2)

flyneye (84093) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273415)

Well, looking at the introduction to the article, would you say as an expert that this is about raising funds for NASA or proving Creationism happened on the moon? Atheists changing the climate or intelligent design of space capsules? Circulating bills to ignore politicians?

        Folks, punctuation won't save this. If we all send in a penny, we can eventually educate writers to make coherent, cohesive statements with clarity.
Till then we will just be translating mumbled doubletalk in Esperanto.

Yes (2, Insightful)

jbb999 (758019) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273051)

Why link together disbelief in evolution with disbelief in climate alarmism?

They are polar opposites, evolution is clearly a reaonable theory only opposed by those who would rather believe in some superstition.
Climate alarmism is a theory from the 1990s and very early 2000s that fewer and fewer people believe in and generally is only supposed by people after tax or research grants these days,

Re:Yes (-1, Troll)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273321)

Climate alarmism is a theory from the 1990s and very early 2000s that fewer and fewer people believe in and generally is only supposed by people after tax or research grants these days,

Uh no. Even if there were any basis for your claims, it would be a theory from the 1970s. Too bad you don't know enough about what you're talking about to even construct a decent troll.

Re:Yes (1, Flamebait)

Orne (144925) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273545)

I think you meant 1930s. There are newspaper articles noting the decline of glaciers back even then.

What is amusing is that photos from that era show that there is more ice volume today than the 1930s.

Re:Yes (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274169)

I'll see your anecdotal "evidence" and raise you a piece of sarcasm:

Fascinating! Satellite pictures from the 1930s showing GLOBAL glacier conditions?

Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1, Troll)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273099)

Great video. I'm not sure what it has to do with Intelligent Design though. It strikes me that Intelligent Design is compatible with Natural Selection. The two theories diverge when it comes to the ultimate source of life which Natural Selection says evolved spontaneously as a single cell life form from which all other life evolved, and ID suggesting that our DNA may have come from elsewhere. It seems to me that expanding the exploration of space is key to discoving where we come from and the answer may be something which would be considered very unscientific at this point in time. Until we encounter other intelligent life in the galaxy or prove there is none and that under the right conditions life can evolve spontaneously in a previously sterile environment it would be short sighted to deny that life may have originated elsewhere.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (5, Insightful)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273181)

> The two theories diverge when it comes to the ultimate source of life which Natural Selection says evolved spontaneously as a single cell life form from which all other life evolved
Actually evolution and natural selection do not attempt to explain the origin of life. If that's something you're interested in, try looking up abiogenesis.

> and ID suggesting that our DNA may have come from elsewhere.
So it doesn't make any attempt to explain the origin of life and just moves the problem to some undefined 'elsewhere'?

> It seems to me that expanding the exploration of space is key to discoving where we come from and the answer may be something which would be considered very unscientific at this point in time.
Please give us your motivations for this belief.

> or prove there is none
Impossible to prove. Even if we could visit every location in the universe to see if aliens live there, they may have gone extinct without leaving any trace.

> and that under the right conditions life can evolve spontaneously in a previously sterile environment it would be short sighted to deny that life may have originated elsewhere.
1) We know the universe has a finite age of give or take 14 billion years.
2) We also know that no DNA from 'before' the big bang could have made it into this universe for the simple reason that early conditions were incompatible with the existence of molecules.
3) We know life exists now.
It seems to me that based on 1, 2, and 3 we have to conclude that life *must* have formed in a previously sterile environment *somewhere* at *some* point during the last 14 billion years. Attempting to explain the origin of life by introducing an (intelligent) agent only moves the problem to the origin of that agent.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (2)

dkf (304284) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273479)

2) We also know that no DNA from 'before' the big bang could have made it into this universe for the simple reason that early conditions were incompatible with the existence of molecules.

Initial conditions were also incompatible with the existence of atoms, or even atomic nuclei. Yes, the Big Bang was very harsh indeed.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (2)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273509)

My point is that the two theories are compatible. Natural selection will be effective in any system where multiple species compete for resources regardless of where the species originated. My argument is constrained to the origin of life on earth, not in the universe. I'm trying to say that by distancing themselves from creation people inadvertently distance themselves from the possibility that life originated elsewhere in the universe prior to earth and may have found its way here. As we can't travel back in time to the origin of life on earth perhaps we can seek out life elsewhere in the galaxy to see how it evolved there, or if we find intelligent life, perhaps a culture more mature than our own, we can simply ask them how we got here as their culture may be old enough to have recorded this. Yes it's impossible to prove that life doesn't exist elsewhere in the universe, that's my point, even though I had constrained that argument to life in the galaxy as it's reasonable to consider each galaxy as an island since the big bang, excepting those which have merged since.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273647)

Argh, to the extent of face saving permitted in Slashdot commentry I'd like to retract my use of the terms "creation" and "intelligent design" in that context. Those terms are clearly identified with religion but my argument wasn't intended to be.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273809)

"Don't laugh at me, I'm not a nutter! I didn't mean god, I was referring to aliens [tumblr.com] !" ;-)

Even if we assume the origin of life is extraterrestrial, there is no reason to believe any intelligence or intent was involved. And extraterrestrial life must still have spontaneously formed somewhere. Knowing that life can spontaneously form, doesn't the explanation that does not involve interstellar travel seem more likely?

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (3, Insightful)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274281)

I'm reminded of that Shakespeare quote "I could be bounded in a nutshell, and count myself a king of infinite space...". We're so primitive as a culture and know so little about the universe that all we can really do is choose a belief that fits comfortably within our realm of knowledge, or accept the fact that we don't know and that any logical theory is as valid as another in the absence of evidence.

We don't know what amount of time is required for life to spontaneously form in a given set of conditions. If we found it to be one day, in ideal conditions then yes, it's very likely it spontaneously formed here, daily. If it required several billion years for it to spontaneously form and take hold then I would say it's more likely it evolved elsewhere and that the primary form of creation is transmition.

We don't know how much other life is out there. If our Milky Way galaxy was found to be primary sterile?

There are many questions, and that's why Neil deGrasse Tyson is arguing for a bigger space program. We'd like answers.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274485)

> any logical theory is as valid as another in the absence of evidence.
Not a fan of Occam's razor, are we?

> There are many questions, and that's why Neil deGrasse Tyson is arguing for a bigger space program. We'd like answers.
If you want to know more about the origin of life, try investing in biology, not NASA. Besides, it looks like Neil is arguing for a bigger space program not to answer questions, but to inspire 'dreams' and innovation and promises of a more successful economy.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274647)

Not a fan of Occam's razor, are we?
Are you saying we shouldn't investigate because the simplest answer is good enough?

If you want to know more about the origin of life, try investing in biology, not NASA
Yes, astrobiology ;-)

Neil is arguing for a bigger space program not to answer questions, but to inspire 'dreams'
Wouldn't you consider the possibility of answers to some of life’s most fundamental questions inspirational?

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

Thiez (1281866) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274997)

> Are you saying we shouldn't investigate because the simplest answer is good enough?
Depending on how you define 'good enough': yes.

> Yes, astrobiology ;-)
Not exclusively I hope? Considering it's rather expensive to go into space, perhaps we should primarily focus on the (comparatively cheaper to research) option of life originating on earth?

> Wouldn't you consider the possibility of answers to some of life’s most fundamental questions inspirational?
People have been inspired without the answers to those questions for thousands of years. While it would be nice to know about the origin of life, I strongly doubt it will significantly influence inspiration one way or the other. I also don't think funding NASA is the most effective way to get these answers.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274059)

2) We also know that no DNA from 'before' the big bang could have made it into this universe for the simple reason that early conditions were incompatible with the existence of molecules.

What is time without space or entropy? Undefined. Time began at the Big Bang. There is no such thing as time before the Big Bang.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274227)

"There is no such thing as time before the Big Bang."

Yet you seem happy to use the word "before".

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274649)

There is no fallacy in its use. Before is only making a comparison to what is afterwards in a mathematical sense. It is comparing an undefined time with defined time and saying that using an undefined time is meaningless. It is saying that for any tt_0, where t_0 is the time of the Big Bang, any function of t is undefined.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

kermidge (2221646) | more than 2 years ago | (#40276049)

Thanks for one of the better comments on this stuff, by far, than most all I've seen in the past six months.

"...only moves the problem to the origin of that agent."

Yeah. In '52 I asked my mother, "Where did I come from?" She said God made me, and made everything. My next question obviously was "Who made God?" To this day I won't use Ivory soap - it tastes terribly.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (2)

webgovernor (1852402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273195)

While ruling out the possibility that some alien species created us may be a bit hasty... the lack of evidence of these aliens, and the evidence suggesting spontaneous creation of organic enzymes being much stronger, I find it difficult to put any faith into the alien "theory."

...unless you meant that the Flying Spaghetti Monster created life. That's just, well, even less probable than aliens.

I guess I'm trying to say that for something to be seriously considered scientifically, there must be at least one plausible theory that correlates with the way we understand things currently, or abstract data — at the very least — to support further investigation. I do not see aliens or Santa Claus matching this description.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

Spiked_Three (626260) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273227)

Last I read (somewhere), statistics indicated life probably did NOT get created on earth, but more and likely arrived on an asteroid or something similar, possibly a space craft, but that was just one of the possibilities. So, I have come to take the side that nothing is impossible, only not likely. It is both not likely that life evolved just on earth, and it also not probable that a supreme being existing in our reality created it. The latter eliminating something whose image we are made from, and fathering a child. This leaves us with a conclusion, that yes, life came from the flying spaghetti monster, and there are virgins and pirates in heaven.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

modmans2ndcoming (929661) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273263)

That is not accurate.

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273385)

> and there are virgins and pirates in heaven

FSM only allows pirates and slashdotters into heaven?

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40275275)

Statistics aren't any better than the models and input they are built on. We've seen how miserably investment bankers have screwed up using risk models. But even if one does cook up some different viable twist for the earliest spark of life, it doesn't change or refute the considerable evidence verifying our evolution and that of other forms of life here. It certainly wouldn't support any fairy tales of the Earth being mere thousands of years old, or the first woman coming from a man rib.

The whole "in his image" thing, and a supreme being having geender that can make a woman pregnant without being there, seems to be an odd mix of greek mythology and an ancient counterpart of a frat party for good measure. Throw in a star with a huge flare and one has the plot for a story. Maybe we can cook up another with a solar eclipse and the transit of Venus. I bet there's a mutant out there somewhere just waiting to be written into a story.

It's really disturbing that so many people seem to buy into nonsense. It'd not that hard to teach basic critical thinking skills. It's not something we're born with. With a little work we can use logical means to help insure that we form valid conclusions. Increasing diversity in the ownership of media in the U.S. might help. Back in the days when news really was public affairs programming instead of a profit center, and when one corporate couldn't own more than 7 AM, 7 FM and 7 TV stations (instead of thousands), we as a nation seemed better educated. Do away with paid political ads to cut much of the money flow for corruption, and maybe there's be a little less rule of greed-driven non-sense.

Besides the right-wing tea-baggers and friends, sampling some of the other twisted stuff (most of it?) on AM talk radio would provide fodder for a good sci-fi plot where much of the population had become overly trusting and easily twisted with the help of drugs or residual hormones or something in the water supply, milk and other foods (added directly, or leeching in from container compounds not used elsewhere). Some certainly sound like they're either in need of medication, or are getting something they shouldn't. They're more than just numbed by reality tv and celebrity gossip.

I doubt that we as a group are quite a messed up (percentage of us) as has been portrayed here recently. It seems more like there's a massive influx of shills with the idea of burying some ideas in the noise, and sweeping up some others in the bandwagon of nonsense. There seems to be no limit as to what corporate dollars will do. Beyond that, is there any illegal effort by government to use propaganda on citizens masking it as some kind of cyberwarfare?

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273253)

Natural selection explains what happens *after* you have life. Its whole basis is reproduction, inheritable variation, and selection. If you don't have reproduction (i.e. it's not life), then it doesn't apply. It's like saying that stellar evolution theory explains the origin of the universe. Well, no, not exactly. That's the Big Bang theory. Stellar evolution explains what happens to stars once the materials exist to form them.

Intelligent Design wraps the whole kit and kaboodle into a vague philosophy that can be summed up in "the designer did it". Most scientific theories about origins are more modular and specific in terms of the processes they address, rather than "everything".

And I don't see why Intelligent Design necessarily suggests "our DNA may have come from elsewhere". There's nothing incompatible with that idea and natural selection (it would apply to alien life as much as Earthly life, unless it doesn't reproduce), and natural selection says nothing about where (besides Earth) life may have originated. You are confusing it with hypotheses about abiogenesis, which are necessarily a lot more speculative. Given that the conditions thought to occur early during the Big Bang were pretty inhospitable to life, any "designer" idea is going to have to have an origin for the designer that involves populating an otherwise sterile universe, unless they are somehow outside it or omnipresent and independent. I know the latter two ideas are somewhat popular with some people, but the idea isn't exactly easy to address scientifically, if it is possible at all.

Umm... No. (1)

denzacar (181829) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273311)

The two theories diverge when it comes to the ultimate source of life which Natural Selection says evolved spontaneously as a single cell life form from which all other life evolved, and ID suggesting that our DNA may have come from elsewhere.

Sorry, but you are reading-in things that you like into an ideology which doesn't support it. BTW, how did you like Prometheus?

First off, let me correct your Natural Selection definition. Not "a single cell life form" but life formS.
Also, underneath that is a layer (or more accurately LAYERS) of inorganic matter reacting for thousands of millennia until some of it started clicking together, creating amino acids.

It strikes me that Intelligent Design is compatible with Natural Selection.

What you seem (to me) to be thinking is that when you get right down to it, life and intelligent life is a pretty straightforward path - from sub-atomic particles, to simple hydrogen, to more complex elements and molecules (I mean, WTF would atoms HAVE to link into molecules? Says who?), to inorganic, to organic, to cells, colonies, multicellular organisms, plants, animals, intelligence.
I mean... it's as if someone actually planned it that way? Or at least as if the laws of the universe have strangely conspired to make it so.

So, isn't that exactly what ID claims to be the case?

Well... for one, that "pretty straightforward path" is anything but.
It is more like a game of statistics. Throwing shit at the wall and seeing what will stick after a couple of billion years.
Also, just because that whole carbon-hydrogen thing worked for us, doesn't mean that somewhere else it didn't go in some other direction.

Plus there is all that blackish-darkish [wikipedia.org] ... umm... stuff... out there that the most of the universe is made of.
We are actually here by accident - IF the whole thing is "designed".
Designer was actually making all that other stuff. We are the waste product of the universe.

And the I-D-ers will have none of that.
Cause their version always ends with Jesus/Jehovah deliberately, purposefully making the ENTIRE universe just so he could make US.
None of that "throw the basic elements in the bowl and see what comes out of it" crap.
And not only that, but because their thinking is led by fairy tales - they are vehemently refusing every single step in the chain above.
"God made us in HIS image, not in the image of monkeys!"

That what you are seeing as compatibility is them making compromises in the face of indisputable facts.
"OK, both we AND the monkeys came from the same ancestors, but God still made US into not-monkeys. We are still created in his image."

Re:Umm... No. (1)

abelb (1365345) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273725)

Prometheus was a bit of a dissapointment - it had so much potential!

Re:Natural Selection is compatible with ID (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273485)

Sure Natural Selection is compatible with Intelligent Design. Some organisms are selected on their ability to do intelligent design - my species for example.

What Intelligent Design is not compatible with: a wise and good Creator of everything who neglected to include evolution of species in his design. In that case you'd have to explain where all the kludges and naturally defective "designs" come from, not to mention the evidently malicious or sadistic design features.

What Intelligent Design "Theory" is not compatible with: Christianity. In the wisdom of God the world by [theorizing and politicking] knew not God.

Intelligent Design is not a theory. (2)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273497)

Intelligent Design, at best, is a hypothesis.

BIG difference.

Re:Intelligent Design is not a theory. (2)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273567)

>Intelligent Design, at best, is a hypothesis.

It's not even that. It has been found *in court* by a Reagan appointed judge, to be Religion, capital R and thus not science and thus cannot be endorsed by the government and thus not allowed in the science classroom with equal weight to actual science.

There are facts and then there are lies. ID is a lie. It is a mealy-mouthed reaction to real science, by those who are frightened that their faith could be shaken by truth.

ID is a lie from both the religion POV (IDers would have burned alive in the 15'th century as heretics) and invents entire circular, untestable arguments that say "here is where you stop investigating, because you cannot reduce the structure any more."

--
BMO

Your title is a lie, abelb (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273501)

ID is religion.
The investigation of Natural Selection is science.

They are *not* compatible, by definition.

--
BMO

Wouldn't it blow their minds if.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273121)

Someone proved we either evolved from some pan-spermic event, OR our planets fauna was some alien experiment? The latter also incorporates intelligent design also, just not THEIR view of intelligent!

If you want to hear an entire speech... (4, Informative)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273125)

...on this topic, it is WELL worth your time. I was fortunate to see Neil deGrasse Tyson speak in person recently at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. It's well worth a little over an hour of your time:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uqJzHHkmJ-8 [youtube.com]

Re:If you want to hear an entire speech... (2)

Intrepid imaginaut (1970940) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273215)

I think he messed up by comparing NASA's budget to social safety net and education budgets in the video though, the implication that one should grow at a cost to the others is not going to sit well with many. He carefully stepped around mentioning the bloated military budget for some reason.

Re:If you want to hear an entire speech... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273817)

If you boost economy (and space exploration does that) then you need less money for social services.

In other words, every penny spent on NASA plays itself multiple times over, unlike money for social.

You hit the nail squarely on the head (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274899)

Of course, many folks don't understand this fundamental truth. There is no more succinct way to say it than you did.

That's because he's not anti-military (2)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274849)

I think he messed up by comparing NASA's budget to social safety net and education budgets in the video though, the implication that one should grow at a cost to the others is not going to sit well with many. He carefully stepped around mentioning the bloated military budget for some reason.

In fact, I thought about including a comment about this in my post —

He realizes that our military infrastructure is one of the things that also drives and protects our society, and while war isn't preferable to other motivations for technical progress and scientific research, it is one of the chief motivations throughout our history. He also realizes that exploration can reinvigorate the human spirit, even stoking industry and the economy, which actually would help the people served by the "government safety net" more in the long term by creating a robust economic environment instead of having an environment where half of US households are on the government dole [wsj.com] .

There was an interesting part of his UW-Madison speech where he reflected on how many Americans assume that NASA's budget is a lot larger than it actually is. He then went on to (jokingly) propose a new model for government budgets, wherein each agency would get the amount of money that the public thinks they get.

I was amused because if that were true, even among this informed and educated audience, that would mean that DOD would get something like "50%" or "over half" of the federal budget — as many people erroneously assume — when in reality, all of "national defense, veterans, and foreign affairs" is closer to 20% [imgur.com] , while "Social programs" and "Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement" are what accounts for "over half" (55%) [imgur.com] of our spending.

And some people will still say it's too much; to that I say that China exceeded US space launches for the first time in 2011, has increased their military spending 12% every year for the last decade, and is on track to exceed US military spending by 2025 [economist.com] . Hint: that's not all for "peaceful regional defense" [nytimes.com] . In sum, Neil deGrasse Tyson isn't anti-military, and recognizes its necessity and the significant scientific and research contributions it has brought to our society. He also talks about the broader historical context for war. You should really listen to his speech.

I was expecting (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273161)

Tyson to bite someone's ear off. I was disappointed.

That's not fair! (2)

webgovernor (1852402) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273163)

I don't believe climate change skeptics and those who support intelligent design should be wrapped together. While I don't fit into either group, I find that those who believe in "ID" are very often... well... retarded, but I've met individuals who are skeptical of climate change and do not appear to be retarded.

Given the input that I've received, I find this to be somewhat unfair to the global warming skeptics.

not a panacea (5, Insightful)

sega_sai (2124128) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273209)

Being an astrophysicist (and not american), I'm entirely pro-science, and would support spending more on NASA vs say on war. But for some reason, the video by Tyson make the case that spending on science (and particularly big PR projects like flying to Mars) is the solution to all problems. I don't think it is. I think spending a good chunk of GDP on science is very productive way to incurage innovation etc., but it is not a panacea. Furthermore, I'm a bit skeptical about projects like flying to Mars, which are good PR, probably very good for engineering and technology, but not that exciting from scientific prospective.

Re:not a panacea (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273261)

I am neither a scientist, nor american. I had a similar thought. IMO a Mars mission is pushing the limits on the logistics, while the majority of problems have already been figured. It would serve as PR stunt and create jobs in the field, while the benefit to science might be limited.

Instead of a Mars mission, I would like to see more Amercian effort in the ITER project and in the friendly competition with CERN. Those are the projects that are currently pushing the frontiers of science and engineering, that have the potential to create a lot of jobs while solving so many problems our world economy is about to face.

Re:not a panacea (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273409)

Honestly, I think the idea Dr. Tyson has is that a mission to Mars would get the American public interested in science again.

I don't know if you are aware that in America superstition and anti-intellectualism is winning more and more each day, among other issues highlighted by this 'evolution v. intelligent design debate'. Currently we spend more on war/defense (over 1 trillion dollars) in a single year than we have given NASA in it's entire history (somewhere around 5-600bn dollars over the course of it's 50+ year history).

These days not many Americans children dream of being astronauts or physicists or much of anything scientific. I'm sure there are some, but it's nowhere near where it was back when we were going to the moon.

The idea is getting the public excited via something tangible, like being the first to put a person on Mars would increase excitement/passion for science which would hopefully then increase ingenuity and critical thinking in this country, giving us the passion to reach for greater things, as well as improving education, providing more research/project money, and any number of side benefits this excitement/passion would have.

The cost of a mission to Mars would be small in the face of results like that. At least, Dr. Tyson believes so. As do I.

Re:not a panacea (4, Insightful)

Trepidity (597) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273411)

I agree with that view. While we're proposing fantasy budgets, instead of doubling NASA's budget from its current $18 billion to $36 billion, I think the promotion of science would be much better served (at a lower cost, even!) by doubling the National Science Foundation's budget from its current $7 billion to $14 billion.

Re:not a panacea (3, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273679)

Furthermore, I'm a bit skeptical about projects like flying to Mars, which are good PR, probably very good for engineering and technology, but not that exciting from scientific prospective.

I guess that depends on whether you think vastly more science done on the surface of Mars in real time (rather than a small amount staggered out over decades) is exciting or not.

People seem to forget the many lessons of Apollo. One of those lessons is that a knowledge person on site with relatively simple tools does a lot more and covers a lot more ground than even our best landers/rovers over the foreseeable future will do. Despite being mostly a national prestige project, Apollo got a remarkable amount of science done and radically changed our understanding of the early Solar System.

Big countries need big projects (1)

k(wi)r(kipedia) (2648849) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274335)

Furthermore, I'm a bit skeptical about projects like flying to Mars, which are good PR, probably very good for engineering and technology, but not that exciting from scientific prospective.

I don't think it needs to be exciting from a scientific perspective. Going to space should be seen as an exercise in engineering and nation building.

When it was growing rapidly, Japan, either by force or choice, didn't pursue a manned space flight program. The Japanese became rich but they had no vision (or should I say delusion) for the future beyond purchasing the newest gadget.

The US managed to recover from its economic crises better than the Japanese because the US had, besides its war machine, a space program, even if that consisted merely of flights to low earth orbit or the afterglow of the Apollo program (relived on TV or the movies). In contrast, Japan, whose GDP was close to surpassing the US, stagnated.

China's ruling clique probably knows this too well. So it's pushing for a manned space program of dubious benefit. (I say dubious because autonomous space hardware is much better from a military or economic perspective.) It allows the Chinese, laboring at their iPhone factories, to feel proud of their country without the need to smartbomb some tyrant into submission or kingdom come.

Big countries need big projects. Ancient Egypt had its pyramids. Ancient China had its Great Wall. These projects united people. Without these big projects, a big country might as well dissolve itself into smaller independent states whose interests are more mundane.

the first related video is good, too (1)

ChipMonk (711367) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273243)

After watching the first link, talking about "why," I found Mr. Rogers [youtube.com] at the top of the related videos, demonstrating "how" to dream big, in the "Garden of your Mind." It dovetails with Neil deGrasse Tyson surprisingly well.

We just don't care about Space, nor should we (1)

arcite (661011) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273271)

We want the economy to improve, we want jobs, we want to make money. Instead of feeding an overstuffed pig such as NASA, with bloated budgets and projects that accomplish little, PRIVATE space industry should be supported, subsidized, and given free reign. The first private space ports are only now opening around the world. This is the new hi-tech industry for the 21st century, the US needs to take and KEEP the lead in this cutting edge new frontier. Let us relegate NASA to the bygone era of the coldwar. Space is the future of humanity, it must not be monopolized or held hostage by political whims of self-serving elected officials. Give space back to the people, the entrepreneurs, the visionaries. I could care less if NASA sends a manned mission to Mars, I would much rather have a job working in orbit, or a lunar colony....or even able to buy a ticket for a sub-orbital flight to cross the world in under an hour.

Re:We just don't care about Space, nor should we (0, Flamebait)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273503)

Instead of feeding an overstuffed pig such as NASA, with bloated budgets and projects that accomplish little, PRIVATE space industry should be supported, subsidized

Yes, that's what NASA does now.

and given free reign

That's "rein". Don't use phrases or words you don't understand. Here's a nickel, kid. Even if you're on mobile that should cover loading dictionary.com.

Re:We just don't care about Space, nor should we (2)

cellocgw (617879) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273747)

and given free reign

That's "rein". Don't use phrases or words you don't understand.
Who knows? Maybe he meant to turn private industries into monarchies? We're practically there as it is (thank you, Citizens United).
PS it could have been worse: at least the OP didn't try to "beg the question"

Re:We just don't care about Space, nor should we (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273763)

you don't know what you're talking about. when you give something free reign, you are giving that thing rule over some other thing.

reins are straps attached to horses. you can "rein in" a thing, but you don't give people "rein" over anything.

Re:We just don't care about Space, nor should we (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274253)

you don't know what you're talking about. when you give something free reign, you are giving that thing rule over some other thing.

When you give a horse free rein, you give it its head (no, not give it head, let's not go there today) to go where it will. If it gets out of hand then you rein it in. Hope this little English lesson helps you out in the future.

What will doubling the NASA budget do? (5, Insightful)

queazocotal (915608) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273293)

NASA is not at the moment a space organisation.
They are a welfare organisation for aerospace.

For example - taking the budget for the Space Launch System up till the first couple of flights, and purchasing commercial launch from SpaceX gets you 85000 tons or so launched. (Assuming that reusability does not kick in)

Everything done in space by NASA is driven by launch costs.

The size of spacecraft has to be reduced, and they have to be more carefully engineered and built, which dramatically raises costs.

NASAs previous attempt to lower launch costs (X33) picked a major aerospace companies bid.
This company proposed, with NASAs encouragement to use three seperate fundamentally untried technologies on the one vehicle.
(Linear aerospike, conformal tanks, and metallic TPS).

SpaceX (for example) is building on their successful rocket launches so far, with the aim of reusing their rockets several-many times.
At the moment, space launch costs several thousand dollars a kilo.
The soon-to-be-launched http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grasshopper_(rocket)#Grasshopper [wikipedia.org] is a test stage, to test propulsive landing for the first stage - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sSF81yjVbJE [youtube.com] is a video outlining this.

The absolute starting point for any space program has to be getting things into space.
Doing this expensively, for political reasons (SLS, ...) means you have a welfare reason, not a space reason.

A sane space agency should have very limited mission definitions.
'Fly safely to ISS, dock using this adaptor'.
Previously they've made a practice of making proposals that effectively pick from one of several large aerospace corporations.
By requiring technologies they've developed, for no good reason, rather than simple functional requirements.

A fundamental change in space could occur if SpaceX (or one of the other new entrants) gets reusability up and running.
The fuel cost for a launch is well under $10/kg.
Even if you 'only' get to $100/kg, from the current $5000/kg or so, that enables a dramatically different space program.
It becomes feasible to put a lot more people up, and have them debug stuff on orbit.
It becomes comparatively cheap to have massive redundancy in systems, based on comparatively inexpensive and massive designs.

You don't end up spending 220 million to design an air-conditioner.
You launch 5 candidate systems built by bidders for $10M, and see which one works.

Re:What will doubling the NASA budget do? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273951)

Sorry, SpaceX is the Bitcoins of space exploration: A libertarian pipe dream at best.

sure (1)

KingBenny (1301797) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273297)

all revenue from trolling cases goes straight to nasa but the trolls themselves can keep the moral win if they like, that should solve two bits at the same time

I don't believe in the Theory of Kansas! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273329)

I don't believe in the Theory of Kansas!

I've never been there.

The maps are just a giant conspiracy by geographers!

NSF, DOE, NIH more important (2)

profjoak (2658701) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273355)

We'd see much better results if we increased the budget of National Science Foundation from 0.2% to 0.5% instead. I'll take solid results in basic research over vision, interest, and dreams any day.

Re:NSF, DOE, NIH more important (1)

bmo (77928) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273663)

>I'll take solid results in basic research over vision, interest, and dreams any day.

Vision, interest, and dreams are prerequisites for solid results.

HTH.

--
BMO

Explains a lot (1)

Anonymous Codger (96717) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273379)

"maybe it's time we start listening to experts who have a proven record of success, rather than ideology that has only been 'proven' in the mind of elected politicians."

And this is exactly why NASA and other scientific endeavors will never get the funding they need.

FYI (1)

neokushan (932374) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273407)

That powerful video uses music from Mass Effect 3. It works a lot better in this video than it did in the game, although considering that the plot of the game is that all space faring races are being systematically wiped out, I'm not sure it sends the right message.

i was onboard until... (0)

DSS11Q13 (1853164) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273425)

the random anti-religious rhetoric, wtf?

Re:i was onboard until... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273517)

That's because science is under attack from powerful religious people and this is a bad thing.

Re:i was onboard until... (1)

Rostin (691447) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274131)

I agree, for what it's worth. The submitter blames "ideology" for what he perceives as an underfunding of scientific research by the government, but I think he should take the plank out of his own eye. Acceptance of the conflict thesis has become almost universal in forums like /. even though it is mostly rejected by people who study the history of science for a living. The conflict thesis basically says that religion and science are locked in a winner-take-all fight for dominance in the public square. If that's what you believe, then you tend to see disagreements over climate science and the teaching of evolution as being necessarily and simply linked with other disagreements over funding for space science and exploration. You view them as being essentially the same: all fronts or skirmishes in this supposed war.

One of the benefits to portraying these disagreements in Manichaean terms is that it can energize a small number of people to go out and try to make a difference in the world. One downside is that you risk alienating lots of people -- including apparently you and me -- who might support giving NASA extra money but who don't pass the ideological purity test. In general, this view encourages people to support or not particular policies based on which side they're supposedly on in this imaginary conflict, rather than seeking compromise or looking at issues one by one, which might actually get more people what they want.

the climate science creationists... (-1, Troll)

harvey the nerd (582806) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273453)

are people who promote institutionalized biases of greater than Piltdown Man(nian) proportions in CAGW. "Climate science" has a reek of fraud that if combined with illegitimate governmental force that will lead to a meltdown down, of civil society, not glaciers.

Re:the climate science creationists... (1)

cyber-vandal (148830) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273525)

And your meteorological qualifications are?

Renewable Energy (1)

coffeeaddict2004 (2655143) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273455)

Why not drop 0.5% of the federal budget on government backed renewable energy research. Innovate now and get off fossil fuels before there is a real global energy crisis. The market is not going to solve this problem without a large amount of government of spending because fossil fuels are currently too cheap, and once they become scarce - it will be too late for the world economy and perhaps the planet.

As an added bonus there will then be clean, cheap energy available for the exploration of space.

Re:Renewable Energy (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273515)

Why not drop 0.5% of the federal budget on government backed renewable energy research.

It would not help. We proved in the 1980s at Sandia NREL that biodiesel from algae would be economically feasible by the time Diesel #2 hit $3/gallon. Where is it? I'll tell you where it is, it's nowhere because you can get a permit to mine coal or drill oil in BLM land, but not for a solar station or to grow algae.

Oh man, you kill me. I'm gonna save this one for later so I can laugh again and again.

Religious wackos are darwinism embodied (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273459)

All that natural selection in regards to whoever is the wackiest nut has the most chances to breed and survive only means that good old genes are finally starting to kicking in on the american society

Kansas? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273469)

That Kansas thing was a long time ago and they overturned it.

God created everything except evolution (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273477)

Apparently God created everything *BUT* evolution in the minds of these lot! He created heavy and earth, but not evolution, even though its demonstrably measurable in things like evolving bacteria.

This is a faith test, some manipulative person invented it as a way of controlling people, by using their religion against them to further Republican aims, whether its pro oil, or anti-science.

Neil for President (3, Insightful)

sl4shd0rk (755837) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273481)

If only we could get quality people of this caliber to choose from. It would put an air of confidence around the future of the US instead of the corporate-sponsored Reality TV show it's turned into.

Go Neil!

My take on this... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273491)

Global warming/climate change? How about cutting pollution for the sake of cutting pollution? Cleaner air is certainly nice even if it doesn't have any effect on global warming.

Schools need to stick to science regardless of whether that theory is incorrect. When it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that intelligent design is true, then it could be introduced into our schools. But until it is, it needs to be kept out of schools. However, as to scientific debates and discussions in science classes, well, if it's kept academic and relevant, would there be any harm?

Re:My take on this... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274705)

Global warming/climate change? How about cutting pollution for the sake of cutting pollution? Cleaner air is certainly nice even if it doesn't have any effect on global warming.

yeah... but.. what if it's just a hoax? [cartoonistgroup.com]

Audacious visions? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273499)

Like all the other nonsense about space for the last 50+ years? Visions is all you'll ever get. That's why Space Nuttery is so powerful; like a religion all it has is imagery and vague promises. As soon as you look at the reality it all falls apart. There is no conceivable combination of physics, chemistry, biology and economics that makes even the least audacious vision feasible.

Space is dead. Face it.

the role of government (1)

kayditty (641006) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273583)

in the video, with its predictable post-rock sounding uplifting score (I called it before even clicking the link), Neil Tyson asks of me: how much would [I] pay to "launch our economy?"

um, I'm sorry, pal, but I don't think that's how "the economy" works.

With Kansas stating that 'evolution could not rule out a supernatural or theistic source, that evolution itself was not fact but only a theory and one in crisis, and that Intelligent Design must be considered a viable alternative to evolution,' and North Carolina's legislature circulating a bill telling people to ignore climate science, maybe it's time we start listening to experts who have a proven record of success, rather than ideology that has only been 'proven' in the mind of elected politicians.

or maybe it's time to get the government out of education?

The problem with 1% for NASA (5, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273721)

The big problem with this proposal is simply that NASA as it currently exists is a colossal waste of money. One would not want to put in 1% of the federal budget only to have NASA squander it on developing a vastly overpriced, heavy lift rocket (SLS and Ares V, for example). The money has to go into something useful or it's just another money sinkhole like so much of defense spending was.

Re:The problem with 1% for NASA (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273979)

I would prefer my money to be wasted on rockets into space instead of rockets launched at brown people. I would rather throw my money at NASA scientists than to throw it at corn/oil subsidies.

Some error in the summary (5, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 2 years ago | (#40273787)

With Kansas stating that 'evolution could not rule out a supernatural or theistic source, that evolution itself was not fact but only a theory and one in crisis, and that Intelligent Design must be considered a viable alternative to evolution,' and North Carolina's legislature circulating a bill telling people to ignore climate science, maybe it's time we start listening to experts who have a proven record of success, rather than ideology that has only been 'proven' in the mind of elected politicians."

First, Kansas no longer says that. From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

The Kansas Board of Education voted 6â"4 August 9, 2005 to include greater criticism of evolution in its school science standards, but it decided to send the standards to an outside academic for review before taking a final vote. The standards received final approval on November 8, 2005. The new standards were approved by 6 to 4, reflecting the makeup of religious conservatives on the board.[75] In July 2006 the Board of Standards issued a "rationale statement" which claimed that the current science curriculum standards do not include intelligent design.[76] Members of the scientific community critical of the standards contended that the board's statement was misleading in that they contained a "significant editorializing that supports the Discovery Institute and the Intelligent Design networkâ(TM)s campaign position that Intelligent Design is not included in the standards", the standards did "say that students should learn about ID, and that ID content ought to be in the standards", and that the standards presented the controversy over intelligent design as a scientific one, denying the mainstream scientific view.

[...]

On August 1, 2006, 4 of the 6 conservative Republicans who approved the Critical Analysis of Evolution classroom standards lost their seats in a primary election. The moderate Republican and liberal Democrats gaining seats, largely supported by Governor Kathleen Sebelius, vowed to overturn the 2005 school science standards and adopt those recommended by a State Board Science Hearing Committee that were rejected by the previous board.

[...]

On February 13, 2007, the Board voted 6 to 4 to reject the amended science standards enacted in 2005. The definition of science was once again returned to "the search for natural explanations for what is observed in the universe."

It must have been an unpleasant year and a half, but Kansas voters did fix the problem as quickly as they could.

It's also worth noting that the North Carolina bill forces only a particular planning agency (for NC ocean shores) to ignore certain climate predictions (and may have been in response to possible abuse of such climate predictions by the planning agency in question).

It's far more limited in scope than claimed in the summary above and while short-sighted may have been proposed in response to valid concerns about what the planning agency was going to do.

Public Crowd Sourcing (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40273993)

Use Kickstarters or NASA start its own crowd sourcing site. I will donate directly to NASA and NASA projects. Heck, I will skip paying tax just to donate to NASA. BTW, peoples who think or say NASA is giant waste of money in the current form, find a way to fix it. Destroy it and rebuild it, but please don't believe in our future. I am not even an US national.

Or here's a thought (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274591)

We could all just stop being lead around by a bunch of politicians picking fights for us over trivial matters like religion in the classroom and focus on getting rid of the corrupt bastards in office before accepting any solution the government derives.

Start Listening to the Enemy You Mean? (4, Interesting)

Baldrson (78598) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274593)

When, in 1991 I was testifying before Congress on a grassroots-promoted bill to require NASA to procure launch services from the private sector, a NASA employee, flown in on my tax dollars while I had to pay my own way, pointed at me and said "There's the enemy."

NASA started being friendly toward private launch services only when it was apparent it could no longer play the same good-ole-boy game that had for so long presented an anti-competitive barrier to the entry of true freedom to pursue industrially reasonable launch services.

To now listen to "experts" that are designated as such by NASA telling us to pump huge amounts of money into NASA so it can turn SpaceX and others into yet another good-ole-boy network is the moral equivalent of pumping huge amounts of money into creation science.

Rejoice! (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#40274679)

Dr. Tyson is pressing for the budget of NASA to be doubled from 0.5% to 1% of the federal budget

At last, twice the Muslim outreach.

First Part Okay, But then... (2)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274701)

The first part of your post was okay. I actually think it would be handled better by companies like Spacex rather than NASA. But then you yourself plunge into ideology and political discourse. Then again, unfortunately the reality of science is that it does not exit in a vacuum. I dislike the political and ideological baggage tossed in there by all sides. It won't go away either.

Problem solved: (3, Funny)

meta-monkey (321000) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274763)

NASA, just make a kickstarter project. "Mars base. $4 trillion goal."

budget isn't the biggest issue right now (4, Interesting)

Goldsmith (561202) | more than 2 years ago | (#40274817)

NASA needs to make the transition from an executing agency to a support agency, more like NSF and less like the post office.

It's still appropriate to have NASA labs and NASA projects, but the next big advances are going to come through private partnerships and creative investments. NASA's budget is more than 5 times DARPAs budget, for example, but DARPA grabs much more of the public eye these days. The key difference is that program managers (people who control the money) serve 3 year terms in DARPA. There's no time for empire building or lawyering up, which are BIG problems at NASA.

Spend on fusion, not space (2)

Animats (122034) | more than 2 years ago | (#40275719)

We'd be much better off spending research money on fusion power than on space. If we get fusion, we'll get space. Sending people to Mars is a dead end. We know what Mars looks like. We have a space station, and no use for it.

It looks like Space-X has the low-cost booster thing figured out. That took long enough, especially considering that the US mass-produced ICBMs in the 1960s.

Closing about half the NASA centers would be a good start. NASA Slidell (the "Stennis Space Center") was scheduled to downsize, but instead they got funding for a big museum. NASA Ames is dead except for the wind tunnel. NASA still has 23,000 employees, and that doesn't include the contractors.

Grab some popcorn (2)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | more than 2 years ago | (#40276217)

... Sit back, relax, and enjoy the flame wars as Slashdotters discuss evolution vs creationism instead of, you know, the TOPIC, which is the sorry state of NASA's funding.
Load More Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>