Inside science news

models and climate

If you thought C14 was useless for dating purposes, as some revisionists declare, you may take onboard that it is now being incorporated into climate models. The increasing complexity of climate models is mind boggling. They are guzzling all kinds of data from different sources, from aerosols to feedback mechanisms, from tree rings to thermometers to satellite measurements, and yet all they have to show for it all - is noise. Noise as in a statistical gully situated between the positive and the negative.

experiments on experiments in science

At www.newyorker.com/magazine/2010/12/13/the-truth-wears-off .... I stumbled across this article as it was quoted on the Internet in a comments section. It is very illuminating. How science seems to work - all too often. It is the underlying human dimension. Not a purposeful slew of the data but a human failing, a small but significant factor when replicating experiments. Experiments may produce unusual results - even freak results. People can get very excited - but why do some experiments produce such outliers?

HMS Beagle on You Tube

At http://phys.org/print339747040.html .... sketchbooks from the voyage of HMS Beagle have been digitised to produce a video of pencil drawings and watercolours by Conrad Martens, shipmate of Charles Darwion. These are available at Cambridge University Digital Library - go to http://cudl.lib.cam.ac.uk/

Some of them can be seen in a video slide show at the Phys Org link above, bringing to life views from nearly 200 years ago.

Unravelling String

At www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/string-theory-about-unravel-180953... ... the String Theory hypothesis has been around for 30 years - and nobody has really been able to get to grips with it. Is it real ... or is it the product of being too clever by half?

This link provides a fascinating glimpse into all those high expectations associated with super strings and elaborate mathematical calculations. One suspects the theory will survive enthusiastically until all the excited young students of the time are living off a pension and swallowing statens.

Skeptical about Skeptics

American spelling above derives from a new web site at www.skepticalaboutskeptics.org which has been set up to try and counter so called sceptics. As noted before, internet sceptics are not sceptical of consensus science - instead, they are sceptical of novel ideas and new science. Most so called sceptics are out there for one reason only, to suppress science they do not personally like, or which counters the mainstream point of view. In contrast, this web site is not in cyberspace to slap the academics on the back - it is out there for one reason, to give a platform for new ideas.

African technology

At http://phys.org/print331792615.html ... a post on a professor from Zimbabwe, Clapperton Chatanetsa Mavhunga (I like his Christian name, presumably from a missionary or somebody the family were aquainted with), who says that hunting technology in his part of the world was developed on the hoof and designed for the local and specific game animals of the region. In other words, it was novel to Zimbabwe, Mozambique and South Africa.

Nicola Tesla

Nicola Tesla is one of those people very often sidelined in life but almost worshipped after his death. There is a review of him at www.livescience.com/45980-nicola-tesla-biography.html ... and it seems Tesla most famously invented AC - in opposition to Edison's DC. Tesla's AC was eventually adopted in spite of all the money and influence that Edison was able to throw at his preferred system. AC was simply more reliable.

New fangled computer modelling and science

Apparently, the BBC have recently issued a response to a complaint by the Green lobby, complaining about an interview in which Lord Lawson allegedly led listeners astray. This is all part of the campaign to silence dissent on CAGW - as so much money is riding on the scam and it must continue if wallets are not to be depleted. The complaint appears to be that Lawson was unqualified to speak on the climate - even though he had written a best selling book on the subject.

Pointing out what is wrong with a theory can get you into trouble

No. I'm not talking about climate change or global weirding - or even the elusive global warming. At http://malagabay.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/carbon-14-cookbook/ ... Tim Cullen is digging holes in C14 methodology and in this post looks at the shoddy treatment history has dished out to Eric Anderson, who worked with Willard Libby, a mainstream big gun and consensus hero of the faithful, and yet Wikipedia describes him as a student when in fact he was a physical chemist (the same as Libby).

speak of the devil ...

Speak of the devil. I mentioned Neanderthal DNA research two days ago and the very next day spied this story at http://archaeologynewsnetwork.blogspot.co.uk/2014/04/new-method-confirms... ... Technical objections to the idea Neanderthals interbred with the ancestors of EuroAsians have been overcome thanks to a genome analysis method described in the April 2014 issue of the journal Genetics. The research is ongoing and already thee are two camps in the debate.