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Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” OK with Jailing Climate Change Deniers

Bill Nye, “The Science Guy,” OK with Jailing Climate Change Deniers

Sarah Palin: “Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am”

I just noted that environmental activists are ramping up a social media campaign against energy giant Exxon Mobil, as the Attorneys General for 17 states are looking to nail that company under racketeering statutes.

This attack is the latest in the pseudo-science based thuggery that progressives have directed at those who opt to hold different, data-based views on the nature of climate and weather.  The Koch Brothers, apparently the dark center of all evil in the universe, were singled out by Robert F. Kennedy Jr. in an epic rant in 2014:

“Those guys are doing the Koch Brothers bidding and are against all the evidence of the rational mind, saying global warming does not exist,” Mr. Kennedy said, Climate Depot reported. “They are contemptible human beings.”

…I think it’s treason. Do I think the Koch Brothers are treasonous — yes, I do,” Mr. Kennedy said, Climate Depot reported. “They are enjoying making themselves billionaire by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should be in jail — I think they should be injuring three hots and a cot at the Hague with all the other war criminals. Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is is criminal offense and they ought to be serving time for it.”

When Climate Depot’s Marc Morano asked for a comment about the vitriolic rhetoric directed and about Kennedy’s statements, Nye replied: “We’ll see what happens.”

Nye made the fallacious comparison about how Exxon Mobil used its climate data to how the tobacco industry suppressed cancer study results.

…Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive, and so on?”

“In these cases, for me, as a taxpayer and voter, the introduction of this extreme doubt about climate change is affecting my quality of life as a public citizen,” Mr. Nye said. “So I can see where people are very concerned about this, and they’re pursuing criminal investigations as well as engaging in discussions like this.”

Normally, I don’t question someone’s science background, or lack of it, during disagreements on global warming. I typically respond with data.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, however, has a different take:

“Bill Nye is as much a scientist as I am,” the 2008 Republican vice presidential nominee said, according to The Hill. “He’s a kids’ show actor, he’s not a scientist.”

Palin, who was speaking at the Washington premiere of the anti-climate change film “Climate Hustle,” targeted Nye during a rant against the “alarmism” of climate change activists.

… Palin urged parents to teach their children to “ask those questions and not just believe what Bill Nye the Science Guy is trying to tell them” about climate change.

A review of Nye’s educational background reveals more of an emphasis on engineering than pure science. He graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Cornell University and occasionally returns as a guest-lecturer of introductory-level astronomy and human ecology classes.

Bill Nye’s career began in Seattle when he worked for Boeing where he then began to be part of training films. Also, he was able to develop a resonance suppressor making use of hydraulic pressure which is still a part of today’s Boeing 747. A few years later, Bill worked in the aeronautics industry as a consultant. In an interview for the St. Petersburg Times in 1999, he once told that he applied to become one of the astronauts of NASA every once in a while but was never accepted.

No matter what you make of Nye’s education and experience, I think he essentially tore-up his “Science Guy” card by wanting to silence opponents rather than enter a lab and find the data to refute their theories.

In terms of whether engineering is a “real science”, I will let Dr. Sheldon Cooper explain:

“Engineering, where the noble semi-skilled laborers execute the vision of those who think and dream. Hello, Oompa Loompas of science!”

(Featured Image Via CNN/Twitter).


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Epic battle of the dunces.

Whiskey Bravo | April 16, 2016 at 12:48 pm

Never could stand the guy. Even less now–and I didn’t think that was possible.

Bill Nye seems to be more fascist, than scientist.

    Rick the Curmudgeon in reply to rinardman. | April 17, 2016 at 10:12 pm

    REAL scientists don’t have to threaten their philosophical opponents with jail;

      legacyrepublican in reply to Rick the Curmudgeon. | April 18, 2016 at 2:01 am

      I used to make that point by saying that weather forecasts would greatly improve if we instituted the death penalty for a bad forecast. These days, with idiots getting college degrees because they agree with their leftest professors regardless of the facts, I don’t use that joke for fear someone will agree with me and make it so. Someone like Bill Nye the Science Denier.

Sarah is wrong. By the standards of today, Nye is on par with Einstein. With celebrities addressing Congress, Wikipedia being the first choice for research, and Congressmen asking if Guam might tip over, competition for the brightest bulb is wafer thin.

I take my science advice from Arthur Jeffries, not Bill Nye.

I don’t think it’s productive to engage in debates about Bill Nye being a scientist or not due to his engineering background. His problem is not that he’s an engineer but that he’s ignoring the scientific method, which in my days was taught in high-school. That is his real problem. Any kid at school today is able to explain scientific concepts by following that methodology and anyone who tries to “argue” that catastrophic climate change is real should be ask to explain it using the method that has been around for centuries.

It it was good for Galileo, it should be good for Bill Nye or anyone claiming to believe in science.

    Paul in reply to Ulises. | April 16, 2016 at 1:37 pm

    You are absolutely correct. Basing public policy on predictive models which have not shown any track record of accuracy is by no means “following the science.”

    One doesn’t have to be a scientist to understand the basics of the scientific method, or to understand that what these alarmists are screeching about is NOT “settled science.” Merely uttering the words “the science is settled” belies one’s ignorance of the scientific method.

    The scientific rock stars of the left are idiots. Whether they’re ignoring science to stay on the leftist course or are truly ignorant, it’s all the same. Nathan De Grasse, Bill Nye, and Richard Dawkins all have said stuff that is so anti-science, it should forever revoke their credibility in the public forum. Like you said, school kids know better, and they could refute them.

    When I was in college, I took astronomy, and the final day of the semester, the final lecture, the summation of the entire course by the professor was this: Scientists can explain everything in the universe, except where all the hydrogen came from. For that you should consult the priest or rabbi of your choice.

      You want to have some fun? Next time you’re at the local science center ask to see their climate change exhibit. I did it once in the Maryland Science Center in Baltimore and I was funny listening to their explanations as to why they don’t have one. This particular science center has a good weather exhibit, but nothing to “explain” climate change…

    Arminius in reply to Ulises. | April 17, 2016 at 7:28 am

    It’s appropriate that you bring up Galileo in this discussion. There’s are Youtube videos of Senators holding hearings on AGW, and they are constantly bringing up Galileo as if either the myth or the facts of the Galileo affair somehow helps their case. You can see one such video of a Senator embarrassing himself in this manner here.

    “Tables turned: Scientist Judith Curry and Author Mark Steyn question, school Sen Markey on climate”

    I recall seeing even more withering assaults on these ignorant Senators by the same team of “deniers;” Steyn and Curry had reduced Sheldon Whitehouse to a quivering mass of jello by the end of his five minutes. Quite literally, all he could do was keep repeating his talking points over and over again in a trembling voice.

    Getting back to the subject of Galileo Galilei, neither the myth that has grown around him nor the facts, which are quite different from the myth, support the the AGW hysteric position. Which is also appropriate as these people who are so cock sure that the evidence for AGW is entirely on their side get everything wrong. Including Galileo.

    According to the leftist mythology, Galileo had apparently achieved something or had acquired the data to prove the earth revolves around the Sun. In fact they even attribute the theory that the earth orbits the sun to Galileo. And that the superstitious, anti-science Catholic church rejected the evidence and condemned Galileo to be locked up for the rest of his life.

    If you watch the video Markey first brings up Galileo around the 2:20 mark and then at approx. the 4:30 mark says something about how there is as much consensus on AGW “as there was in Galileo’s original theory.”


    Even according to the myth these senators and AGs are playing the role of the Catholic Church. For some twisted reason that defies all reason and logic they compare the people they want to lock up to the Catholic Church, an analogy that fails et every level if we subject it to the slightest scrutiny and look at the actual facts of the case, which was well documented.

    First, the theory that the earth and other planets orbit the sun was developed by Copernicus in the early 16th century before Galileo was even born. Copernicus published his treatise, On The Revolutions of The Celestial Spheres in 1543. And the Catholic church had no problem with it. You must remember that Copernicus, like most scientists of the period, was a Catholic cleric. He had to get church approval to publish his work. Not only did he get that approval, he dedicated his treatise to the Pope. The majority of the surviving evidence supports the idea he did so because he was far more afraid of the dreaded “scientific consensus” than he was of the church. There is some fragmentary evidence that he was afraid of a backlash from both church theologians and astronomers, but the bulk of the evidence shows he was worried about the negative reaction from astronomers.

    This, again, has parallels with today’s enforced silence by the AGW hysterics. “Heretics” from AGW orthodoxy can’t get published, and often their jobs are threatened if, as many graduate students have learned, they’re even allowed to advance and get a Phd at all if their views are discovered. And the government grant money which is the vast bulk of the cash flowing into this area goes to researchers who tell those governments what they want to hear.

    That sort of thing was what Copernicus was worried about 5 centuries ago.

    So I’m at a loss to understand what “original theory” of Galileo’s Markey thinks he’s talking about. Galileo had none in terms of astronomy; he simply was an enthusiastic adherent to Copernicus’ theory.

    One must understand that made Galileo part of a decidedly smaller minority than the 3% of scientists who don’t belong to repeatedly refuted, debunked, and entirely discredited 97% of scientists who supposedly are rock solid on the theory that humans are causing catastrophic global warming.

    But at the time there really was overwhelming consensus that the earth was stationary and everything else orbited around it. I’ve read some of of the correspondence 1600 between Galileo and Keppler and both were ardent Copernican heliocentrists. And both expressed concerns about “coming out of the closet” as it were for the theory.

    So as the facts come out, the similarities between the Senate and these rabid AGs who want to lock up heretics, i.e. science “deniers,” and the inquisition becomes even more apt.

    Until it starts to break down in one regard. The Catholic Church was far more open minded and willing to accept even a tiny, miniscule minority’s theory that the earth revolved and other planets revolved around the Sun if the heliocentrists could provide evidence. So the US Congress goes roaring past the Catholic Church in terms of ignorance-based intolerance of valid scientific views and as the facts continue to come out their lead over the Catholic Church in that respect only continues to grow. A race that the Catholic Church wisely never even tried to compete in.

    Unlike these climate scientists, who have solid evidence that humans are not causing the majority of warming and/or the warming is not dangerous, Galileo and his fellow helieocentrists did not have a shred of evidence to back up the claim.

    Back in the 16th and 17th centuries the church functioned as sort of a European Academy of Sciences with a police force to back up its decisions on what was acceptable to be taught (most Universities were affiliated with the Church) and what was not acceptable. Copernicus’ theory was acceptable as long as it was taught only as a hypothetical. Even the church recognized that as a mathematical theory it was much more elegant than the classic Aristotelian cosmology of geocentrism. But there was no evidence that it was in fact true.

    In the late 16th century a Danish nobleman and astronomer named Tycho Brahe combined what he saw as the best features of Copernicus’ theory with the geocentric model of the universe. It was still a geocentric system as the earth was at the center of the universe and the sun, moon and stars revolved around it. But the other five planets revolved around the sun. The motions of the sun, moon, and planets relative to the earth are mathematically identical to Copernicus’ theory.

    Galileo was a brilliant man, but he had achieved far more in other fields such as mechanical engineering than he ever did in astronomy. After he developed the telescope he made observations that could not be accounted for in the Aristotelian, or Ptolomaic, theory of geocentrism. But that didn’t cause people to flock to Copernicus. Instead it made Tycho Brahe’s theory, the Tychonic system, more popular among astronomers and educated Europeans.

    And these were very bright people. They weren’t adhering to Brahe’s theory (or various modifications or adjustments of it) out of superstition, stubbornness, or even religious dogma. There was one major evidentiary flaw with Copernicus’ theory. Everybody knew what would be proof positive that Ptolemy was wrong and Copernicus was right. If the earth was in motion then there would be an observable stellar parallax.

    Parallax is the phenomenon when two distant objects, one slightly nearer and one farther, appear to change position relative to each other as the position of the observer changes. For instance if you’re hiking along a trail in a lightly wooded area and you come around a bend in the trail, a tree some distance away might appear to line up with a tree even further away. As you walk along those trees no longer are in visual alignment, and as you get closer to the nearer tree it now appears to line up visually with a different tree in the background.

    So the church and astronomers actually had a valid reason to reject Copernicus’ theory and in fact were 100% correct. It’s just that astronomers weren’t able to observe this phenomenon until the 19th century Brahe was actually a brilliant astronomer and alchemist who made significant contributions in both fields (as an alchemist he developed medicines that were still being used into the 20th century). He developed a comprehensive catalog of stars that, when you remember he was the last of the great naked-eye astronomers and died before Galileo developed the telescope, were very precisely measured. The average precision of the position of the stars he cataloged are within 1.5 arcminutes of where we have them today.

    Good but not good enough to observe parallax. The instruments even after Galileo weren’t precise enough to observe and measure parallax until about 1830 when and astronomer first observed parallax of three-tenths of an arcsecond.

    If Galileo had presented evidence to support the heliocentric theory rather than condemn Galileo and lock him up the church would have accepted it and if necessary changed their interpretation of scripture. This is a letter from the Church’s chief theologian at the start of the decades long Galileo affair to one of Galileo’s early collaborators:

    “Letter from Bellarmine to Father Foscarini

    April 4, 1615

    …First, I say it seems to me that your Reverence and Signor Galileo act prudently when you content yourselves with speaking hypothetically and no absolutely, as I have always understood that Copernicus spoke. For to say that the assumptions that the Earth moves and the Sun stands still saves all the celestial appearances better than do eccentrics and epicycles is to speak with excellent good sense and to run the risk whatever. Such a manner of speaking suffices for a mathematician. But to want to affirm that the Sun, in very truth, is at the centre of the universe and only rotates on its axis without traveling from east to west, and that the Earth is situated in the third sphere and revolves very swiftly around the Sun, is a very dangerous attitude and one calculated not only to arouse all Scholastic philosophers and theologians but also to injure our hold faith by contradicting the Scriptures.

    …Third, I say that, if there were a real proof that the Sun is in the centre of the universe, that the Earth is in the third sphere, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth but the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should rather have to say that we did not understand them than declare an opinion to be false which is proved to be true. But I do not think there is any such proof since none has been shown to me. To demonstrate that the appearances are saved by assuming the sun at the centre and the earth in the heavens is not the same thing as to demonstrate that in fact the sun is in the centre and the earth is in the heavens. I believe that the first demonstration may exist, but I have very grave doubts about the second; and in case of doubt one may not abandon the Holy Scriptures as expounded by the holy Fathers.”

    Bellarmine was not a scientist himself, but he was a logical rational man who was well versed in the Aristotelian-Thomist philosophy that among other things established rules of logic that eventually did lead to the scientific method. He also relied heavily on the church’s collegium in Rome to evaluate and advise him on the scientific value of Galileo’s work. And while Galileo has been called the “Father of modern Physics” and the “Father of Modern Science” he basically screwed himself by abandoning reason when he became too emotionally invested in Copernicus’ theory.

    Galileo got into his final conflict with the Catholic Church because of a treatise he published that we know of as his Dialogue Concerning The Two Chief World Systems. That is, a dialogue about heliocentrism and geocentrism. Galileo had to get a license to publish this work from the Church. This was, again, no problem. The Pope had actually encouraged him to publish this work, and Galileo had promised that he would not present Copernicus’ model as if it were established fact but treat it purely as a mathematical hypothetical.

    But the title isn’t Galileo’s. The printer came up with that because when the Church gave Galileo license to publish this work it was under the condition that he could not use what had been his working title as he was writing it; On The Ebb and Flow Of The Tides. Galileo was convinced that the tides were caused by the earth’s motion as it orbited the sun. The position of the Church was that if it allowed Galileo to publish it using his desired title that would imply they endorsed his theory of the tides which, frankly, the church collegium of scientists (mostly Jesuits) thought was absurd.

    As I said earlier Galileo’s emotions got the better of him. He couldn’t help himself. He had long been in the habit of assuming heliocentrism to be true, and believing anyone who didn’t immediately embrace it as he did was an idiot. So he did not treat heliocentrism as merely a mathematical hypothetical but rather made argued for it as an established fact. The pope took this personally; he believed Galileo had broken a promise to him that he made right to his face. Also, Galileo compounded the insult by giving the job of making the Aristotelian case to a character named Simplicio. Galileo said the character was named after a philosopher and devout Aristotelian named Simplicius who lived a thousand years earlier in, I believe, Alexandria. Simplicius becomes Simplicio in Italian, the language in which Galileo wrote. The problem is the more common meaning of Simplicio in Italian is simpleton. It was widely known that the Pope had in the process of encouraging Galileo to write this treatise had also insisted that he include the Pope’s defense of the Aristotelian cosmology. And Galileo did as the Pope asked, but gave the job of expressing the Pope’s views to a simpleton. Galileo may not have done this maliciously, but everyone including the Pope took it as a deliberate insult.

    Until the late 19th century when the Pope was stripped of the Papal States, he was a temporal ruler as well as the spiritual leader of Catholic Europe. No king or prince would let an insult such an insult slide, particularly as the Pope was then caught up in a web of court intrigues that had him worried about threats to his papacy and even his life. He had to respond decisively. So the Pope had the book banned from circulation and the Roman inquisition review it for heresies.

    The rest worked out pretty much like the mythology would have it except for one major difference. Galileo was condemned not so much for his science but for straying into philosophy and theology. In the early and mid 16th century there was a great deal of confusion where the line dividing science and philosophy was to be drawn. There wasn’t yet any recognized distinction, with most sciences still viewed as forms of natural philisophy, but they science and philosophy were growing increasingly distinct from each other.

    Galileo had overstepped his competence by departing from science and into philosophy. He believed that he had not only refuted geocentrism but the Aristotelian-Thomist philosophy that underpinned it. He had not. And Galileo had also become very dogmatic about his assertion that the Church had to change its interpretation of scripture, or even worse that he had proven scripture wrong.

    And the thing was, Galileo hadn’t proven a damned thing. Even his observations that were incompatible with Ptolemaic geocentrism were perfectly compatible with Tychonic geocentrism, and his theories on tides were seen as just as ridiculous then as they are now.

    Einstein was a great admirer of Galileo, but even Einstein had to admit that Galileo had gone of the deep end with that theory. He wrote in a preface to an early ’50s translation of Galileo’s Dialogue that even Galileo, had he been in his right mind, would have rejected his own theory on tides as proof of anything. The problem was that Galileo was at heart a mechanical engineer, and he so passionately wanted to observe mechanical evidence of the earth’s motion that he saw it where it didn’t exist.

    Paul Feyerabend, who trained as a physicist before becoming a philosopher of science and gaining considerable fame during his thirty year career at UC Berkeley, wrote that the Catholic Church “at the time of Galileo kept much more closely to reason than did Galileo himself, and she took into consideration the ethical and social consequences of Galileo’s teaching too. Her verdict against Galileo was rational and just, and the revision of this verdict can be justified only on the grounds of what is politically opportune.” Feyerabend also wrote that, at least in his dealings with Galileo, Bellarmine proved to be the better scientist.

    Given the state of scientific knowledge at the time of Galileo’s troubles with the Catholic Church, the Church actually had the better case. The science, not just some consensus, was actually on the Church’s side and they knew it. Galileo had no support for what he was asserting, and unfortunately for Galileo what he was asserting went far beyond astronomy. Had he stuck to astronomy he would have not had any problems.

    So the analogy these scientifically and historically illiterate Senators keep trying to make between the “science deniers” they want to lock up and the Catholic Church not only fails at first glance, but at second, third, forth, or how many looks you give it. On the surface, even the mythology fails to support the analogy. Then as you get beyond the myth and start looking at the facts, the analogy not only fails, it becomes obvious that the science “deniers” aren’t the one who fit the cartoon version of the Catholic Church that the myth tries to perpetuate. It’s the Senators who are acting like the caricature of the Catholic Church they’re attempting to prop up. As are the state AGs and Loretta Lynch, whom they want to lock up scientists who fail to adhere to the ridiculous AGW orthodoxy.

      Arminius: Galileo was condemned not so much for his science but for straying into philosophy and theology.

      Oh gee whiz. Galileo was “vehemently suspected of heresy, that is to say, of having held and believed that the Sun is the center of the world and immovable, and that the earth is not the center and moves”

        Arminius in reply to Zachriel. | April 17, 2016 at 9:36 pm

        You have to dig a little deeper than that. Even Galileo knew what was stated in the verdict was not really the reason he was condemned.

        “From this and other circumstances from which it would take too long to repeat here it will be seen that the fury of my powerful persecutors continually increases. The have at length chosen to reveal themselves to me; for about two months ago, when a dear friends of mine at Rome was speaking of my affairs to Father Christopher Griemberger, mathematician at the college there, this Jesuit uttered the following precise words;—‘If Galileo had only known how to retain the favor of the fathers of this college, he would have stood in renown before the world, he would have been spared all his misfortunes, AND COULD HAVE WRITTEN WHAT HE PLEASED ABOUT EVERYTHING, EVEN ABOUT THE MOTION OF THE EARTH.’ From this you will see, honoured Sir, that it is not this opinion or that which has brought, and still brings about my calamities, but my being in disgrace with the Jesuits.”

        If you get beyond the superficial and get deeper into the material including Galileo’s own correspondence (and only a fraction is at the link I provided), you’ll see Galileo had it figured out. It’s an understatement to say he had fallen out of favor with the Collegium. Galileo seemed to go out of his way to make enemies, such as when he named the character defending the Pope’s views in his Dialogues “simpleton.” He was insulting toward anyone who disagreed with him despite the fact that he had no evidence to support his position. As the Italian journalist Vittorio Messori wrote in the Milanese daily “Avvenire” (Future) in October 1989 Galileo was not condemned so much for what he said but how he said it:

        “…Since he did not have objective evidence for what he said, the things he said in his private letters to those men [of the Roman College] made him suspect of dogmatism supporting the new religion of science. One who would not immediately accept the entire Copernican system was ‘an imbecile with his head in the clouds,’ ‘a stain upon mankind,’ ‘a child who never grew up,’ and so on. At depth the certainty of being infallible seemed to belong more to him than to the religious authority…”

        There are only 14 letters archived at that site, and most are just excerpts. The fact is that in Galileo’s correspondence not only did he deride everyone who didn’t accept Copernicus’ theory despite the fact he had no proof, he had to attack the Church’s “pseudo-philosophy” in addition to its theology, declaring in his correspondence decades before he was condemned by the inquisition in 1633 that his discoveries were the “funeral” and “final judgement” on the Church’s philosophy.

        If you read his Dialogue it’s clear that he is denigrating and ridiculing the Church’s Aristotelian-Thomist philosophy. The first hint is that the defender of that philosophy is a simpleton. And he calls the adherents mindless slaves to Aristotle. He has to, because one of Aristotle’s arguments against the earth orbiting the sun was that if the earth is in motion we ought to be able to detect it.

        After chipping away at the simpleton’s defense of Aristotle’s theories, which is really a straw man argument and not an honest representation of what the adherents of that school of thought actually said, he gets to his final proof of the motion of the earth; Aristotle was wrong because we can detect the motion of the earth in the motion of the tides.

        “…Indeed, far from searching for a relativity principle, Galileo would have been thrilled to discover subtle effects that showed when the ship was in motion, since these could also be used to prove the Copernican hypothesis. Indeed, so desperate was he to find and exhibit such effects, he placed his deeply flawed explanation of tides as the triumphant conclusion to the Dialogo. 4. The theory is unsatisfactory on many points, but tries to account for tidal motion as a sloshing” caused by the movement of the earth and would have been directly refuted by a principle of relativity.

        4. Einstein makes this suggestion in his foreword to Drake’s translation of the Dialogo: “It was Galileo’s longing for a mechanical proof of the earth which misled him into formulating a wrong theory of the tides.” [Galilei(1632/1953), xvii].”

        If you look at those selected letters you’ll see one to Galileo from a Monsignor (later Cardinal) Piero Dini in March 1615 and a response from Galileo to Monsignor Piero Dini in May 1615. Galileo consulted wiDini because Dini was a highly respected theologian. And Galileo conth sulted with Dini because essentially he wanted to develop theology. In other words, he was going well beyond what Copernicus had ever done, and was getting into a subject he knew nothing about.

        “With Bellarmine I spoke at length of the things you had written….And he said that as to Copernicus, there is no question of his book being prohibited; the worst that might happen, according to him, would be the addition of some material in the margins of that book to the effect that Copernicus had introduced his theory in order to save the appearances, or some such thing-just as others had introduced epicycles without thereafter believing in their existence. And WITH A SIMILAR PRECAUTION YOU MAY AT ANY TIME DEAL WITH THESE MATTERS. If things are fixed according to the Copernican system, it does not appear presently that they would have any greater obstacle in the Bible than the passage ‘[the sun] exults as a strong man to run his course,’ etc., which all expositors up to now have understood by attributions motion to the sun. And although I replied that this also could be explained as a concession or our ordinary forms of expression, I was told in answer that this was not a thing to be done in haste, just a s the condemnation of any of these opinions was not to be passionately hurried….I can only rejoice for you…”

        In an excerpt from a letter that isn’t included on that site, Dini again told Galileo that, yes, Copernicus’ theory was indeed “plausible” but not yet proven. And he advised Galileo to follow Copernicus’ example:

        “…He merely presented his theory as a mathematical hypothesis. At any rate, it is prudent not to throw yourself into theological quarrels regarding the denial of the texts of Scripture”

          Arminius: You have to dig a little deeper than that.

          That’s lovely. While there were many political forces at work, Galileo was *literally* convicted of heresy for having believed the Earth moved, contrary to your statement otherwise.

        Arminius in reply to Zachriel. | April 17, 2016 at 10:05 pm

        I’ll just wrap things up this way as my laptop is acting up again. Galileo was told repeatedly that as long as he confined himself to mathematics and observable phenomenon nobody had any problem with his discussion of heliocentrism. But they warned him that he couldn’t advocate heliocentrism as if it were physically true unless and until he could provide convincing evidence to support that conclusion. And Galileo could not. If he had, even the Church’s chief theologian at the time the inquisition first warned Galileo not to go too far admitted the Church would have to revise its understanding of scripture. As Cardinal Bellarmine wrote to Father Foscarini in 1615:

        “…if there were a real proof that the Sun is in the centre of the universe, that the Earth is in the third sphere, and that the Sun does not go round the Earth but the Earth round the Sun, then we should have to proceed with great circumspection in explaining passages of Scripture which appear to teach the contrary, and we should rather have to say that we did not understand them than declare an opinion to be false which is proved to be true…”

        And as Monsignor Dini relayed to Galileo, also in 1615, his conversations with Bellarmine:

        “…And although I replied that this also could be explained as a concession or our ordinary forms of expression, I was told in answer that this was not a thing to be done in haste, just a s the condemnation of any of these opinions was not to be passionately hurried…”

        The church was open to Galileo’s ideas. They weren’t going to accept them hastily as true. They needed evidence if they were going to revise scripture. But neither were they going to hastily condemn Galileo or his theories.

        Yeah, if you just confine yourself to the text of the verdict against Galileo in 1633 it appears they were condemning Galileo for his science. But that’s because in 1633 there was no clear demarcation between science and philosophy. Science and philosophy were still thought to be largely synonymous. the impression you have, that the Church condemned Galileo for his science, simply reflects this basic confusion and the limitations of the language to reflect concepts that hadn’t yet been developed.

        If you read more, if you read even the bulk of the documents on that site, it’s clear that the Church had no intention of condemning Galileo for his science. They had in fact been cautioning Galileo to confine himself to the purely scientific, and if he had he would have had no problems with the church. It was only when he went too far in his dialogue that the Pope and the church withdrew their patronage and referred Galileo’s treatise to the inquisition.

        I really don’t know how you can reject the copious evidence that Galileo could have written what he wanted from the correspondence both before and after his trial, and instead cherry pick to language you want just from the verdict.

        In any case my point stands. The leftists in Congress are far more unscientific, irrational, and superstitious than the Church ever was.

          Arminius: They needed evidence if they were going to revise scripture. But neither were they going to hastily condemn Galileo or his theories.

          No. They condemned Galileo for the heresy for believing the earth moved after long reflection and a trial. They did, however, get him to admit his error under threat of the Inquisition.

          Arminius in reply to Arminius. | April 18, 2016 at 8:16 pm

          We have a 20 year paper trail that shows otherwise, Zacharias. I the only reason I can think that anyone would ignore that is to maintain the fiction the Catholic Church, and religion in general, is hostile to science.

          “They condemned Galileo for the heresy for believing the earth moved after long reflection and a trial.”

          This is simply not true. It flies in the face of the entire historical record. The Church had long tolerated, even welcomed Galileo’s work, and had honored him for his discoveries. Pope Urban VIII had been the one who encouraged Galileo to publish his Dialogue on the Two Chief World Systems.

          The only condition was, Galileo had to treat Copernicus’ theory as a hypothesis. He could not present it as a physical fact or as literally true. Which, for the time, was reasonable as he had no actual proof.

          When Galileo chose to pick a fight with the Church by publicly advocating the Coperinican theory as true, and publicly insulting the Pope in the bargain, the Pope withdrew his support and the Church did about face and reversed what had been a fairly indulgent attitude toward Galileo.

          If Galileo hadn’t decided to make enemies over the issue, and burned his bridges, he could have written all he wanted about heliocentrism or anything else for that matter. There’s no evidence that the Church authorities ever wanted to shut down Galileo’s scientific work. In fact, they didn’t even interfere with him even after they placed him under house arrest they still didn’t interfere with his work.

          “They did, however, get him to admit his error under threat of the Inquisition.”

          What do you mean “under the threat of the inquisition?” There was no “threat;” he was actually hauled before the Roman Inquisition. What do you think an inquisition is except a inquiry or investigation?

          By 17th century standards Galileo got off with a slap on the wrist. He’s lucky he chose to insult the Pope. Had someone published a work in France insulting the French king, or Spain insulting the Spanish king, or any other kingdom or principality where the ruler took Lese Majeste really seriously, they wouldn’t have allowed that someone to live out the rest of his days in a beautiful and luxurious villa.

          Actually it wouldn’t have been limited to the king. If anybody had similarly insulted Cardinal Richelieu, then King Louis XIII’s First Minister, as Galileo insulted Pope Urban VIII and he would have lost his head. A historical fact.

          Zachriel: They condemned Galileo for the heresy for believing the earth moved after long reflection and a trial.

          Arminius: This is simply not true.

          Of course it’s true.

Even after all these years, I am still amazed at how lacking in self-awareness these people are. They’re typically the first ones to scream “FASCIST!” for the least little thing, yet are completely deaf, dumb, and blind when it comes to what they propose (Nye’s not the first to assert that “deniers” should be imprisoned or otherwise made to, in the Goracle’s words, “pay a price”).

Imagine if we said the same thing about everyone who didn’t support and defend the Constitution? Matters of degree (treason, etc.) aside, they’d be swarming the streets in protest, organizing a variety of demographically-isolated marches (one for BLM, one for Occupy, one for La Raza, one for women, one for LBGT, etc.), drafting up petitions, setting things on fire, etc.

“Engineering, where the noble semi-skilled laborers execute the vision of those who think and dream. Hello, Oompa Loompas of science!”

Hogwash, of course.

Some time ago, back when I was professionally very concerned with such questions, I managed to pinpoint the difference between science and engineering.

When the Voyagers started to send back photos of the moons of Jupiter, I attended a little seminar at MIT, where a gaggle of the physics and astronomy professors discussed some of this data.

Listening to the banter, I soon realized that …

… building robots which could survive the unholy shock and heat of launch, but could also operate in interplanetary cold and vacuum; propelling and navigating them to the outer planets, foreseeing the generally unexpected radiation belts around Jupiter (bloody obvious in retrospect, but a surprise at the time) and building electronics which would still function after intense irradiation, orienting the cameras, processing the photos, aiming the antennas at a very tiny planet a ridiculous distance away and sending the images back with a ridiculously low-powered radio (entirely solar-powered, and sunlight is basically bright starlight at the distance of Jupiter), picking them up with Earth-based antennas, filtering out all the noise of interstellar space and reconstructing the photos into something recognizable to humans …

All that was engineering.

Sitting around a little table and misinterpreting the data … that was science.

I ended up with degrees in both scientific and engineering disciplines. And, speaking from subsequent experience; if you want both mind-bending imagination and profound technical insight, talk to the engineers. (Not all of them, of course; as in any field, there’s a considerable range of knowledge, skill, and ability. One important difference, if you want to talk to somebody about something technical, is attitude; the scientists will tend to dismiss you as a childish barbarian and brush you off if you don’t understand their own little bag of tricks; the engineers won’t, if you seem interested in learning. I don’t know why this is, but I’ve seen it in action too often to ignore.)

I’ll spare you the anecdote about the General Relativity course which was offered jointly by the departments of Physics and Mathematics. That was also very enlightening … but it’s not so relevant here.

    Tom Swift: I tease with love, of course.

    I have nothing but respect for engineers, (except for social ones). My son may be one in the future…he wants to design and build space vehicles for a private firm.

    My appreciation for engineers was enhanced by watching a PBS special, “This Old Pyramid.” An engineer basically ignored a barrage of Egptologists and pyramid design theorists to assemble an incipient pyramid…and greatly enhanced our understanding of its construction:

    Shock Discovery: No aliens were involved…illegal or otherwise.

      I personally appreciate you sentiments, Leslie.

      I’m a retired engineer who has worked in the national defense sector and the semiconductor industry.

      Engineers don’t get much recognition but that’s Ok.
      The work is quite rewarding in itself.

So this guy is all in for trashing Sarah Palin?


Answer: Cruz Militant

…Even Though Cruz Has No Chance, Thus Will Get No Chance, Of Winning A National Presidential General Election.

The Democrats Would Pulverize Ted To Smithereens

    Who’s the guy?


    “Zachary | April 16, 2016 at 12:44 pm

    Epic battle of the dunces.”

    These people have more in common with Black Lives Matter & Feel The Bern Bots And Would Vote For Either Hillary Or Bernie.

    No matter… there isn’t enough of them to effect the general election and award the Democrats the win.

      Zachary in reply to VotingFemale. | April 16, 2016 at 2:00 pm

      Thanks for clarifying, I was so curious about why you felt the need to bring the Cruz stuff into this thread.

      I just figured you were getting lonely and bored with no election articles to spam Twitter feeds into.

      Now excuse me, I have some militanting to do.

    Where in this post does Bill Nye “trash” Sarah Palin? Or even mention her?

      God forbid that one would actually read the article! Let’s just turn this thread into a Trump-fest. Oh, geez, Female, spare us. I go to the threads that aren’t about Trump so I can find the posters that actually have something to say and there you are!

        JoAnne in reply to JoAnne. | April 16, 2016 at 2:18 pm

        And I am not saying YOU have anything to say that’s worth listening to. It’s just that you’re commenting on a post that doesn’t have anything to do with Trump!

        Show me a comment here uttering the “T-word,” JoAnne dear.

        I am defending Sarah Palin from a Cruz militant attacking her.


          The trouble with this, VF, is that no one at LI, in this comment section, or in this LI post attacked Sarah Palin. That is all in your imagination. You introduced some random nobody’s tweet into the conversation for the sole sake of refuting it so that you can shift the conversation to Cruz. In internet parlance, that is called “hijacking a thread.”

          There are a lot of things going on in this world and in which people are interested that have nothing to do with Cruz, Trump, the GOP primary, or the general election. Everything is not about these topics, and honestly, if you were able to discuss something besides the primaries, you’d be a much more interesting person. You mention above that you used to work in engineering, so why not add your expert opinion on the topic of this post to the comments on this post? That is something I would be interested in reading.

          “Zachary | April 16, 2016 at 12:44 pm

          Epic battle of the dunces.”

          Only people I see typing the “T-word” in the comment section? You and JoAnn (so far).

          Real-American engineers deal with the realities of the laws of physics; understanding it and using it to advantage our nation and it’s people… and, not to the advantage of politicians waging a global warming scam to line their pockets and enslave the human race.

          I’ve been battling the Global Warming Scam for many years. In the article below, Al Gore struts alternatives of fossil fuel ‘to save the planet from global warming.’

          Al Gore: The earth core is 2 million degrees… geothermal energy is new; This guy is a scientific Moron!

          Al Gore REMOVES ALL DOUBT that he has no grasp of Science yet no one seems to have told him he doesn’t.

          Face it Gore… your credibility was shot in the ass as soon as you said you invented the Internet and has gone down hill from there, in spite of Socialist Pals of yours hanging on your every uninformed word.

          Going on the Conan O’Brian Show and pontificating about Geothermal Energy?


          The Sun is rated at a spectral class of G2V… thus has a surface temperature of 5,780° Kelvin, 5,510° Celsius, 9950° Fahrenheit.

          The Earth’s core temperature is estimated to be about 3273° Kelvin, 3,000° Celsius, 5432° Fahrenheit.

          Geothermal adaptation for use as an alternative energy source is certainly NOT, I repeat… NOT… “relatively new.”

          Geothermal to Electric Power generation has been around in the US since 1922.

          the rest is here:

          LOL, I remember when Gore said the earth was millions of degrees “just below the surface”! The guy is a complete boob. He also said over five years ago that in five years the polar ice cap would be gone, GONE! But yeah, we’re the ones who are “anti-science.” Hmph!

          At last we find common ground, you and me.

          Generally speaking, ‘scientists’ push the envelop of human knowledge of the yet unknowns of physics & ‘engineers’ apply their researched knowledge.

          It is a symbiotic relationship.

          JoAnne in reply to VotingFemale. | April 16, 2016 at 5:01 pm

          The lady doth protest too much, methinks. You may not have said the T-word but it was implicit! And I’m very few peoples’ dear!

          I should of just held my tongue but I am so sick of the Trump/Cruz battle. I would just love to go back to what this blog used to be – full of smart people teaching me things I don’t know and showing me different ways to think.

          Yet, you insist on keeping that door open.
          Give is a rest, JoAnn.

    Ragspierre in reply to VotingFemale. | April 16, 2016 at 2:55 pm

    “Answer: Cruz militant.”


    You’ve lost what “mind” you once had.

….exactly what any good little totalitarian brown shirt would suggest…

Freedom of speech depends on the “speech” in LiberalLand.

so since bill nye, al gore, michael mann, et. al cannot prove concusively that the earth is warming as a direct result of human actions…
it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt the data used for al gore’s hockey stick chart, most of the “record temperaures”, and much of the other basis for the warmist culture has been manupilated and/or cherry picked….
all the computer generated temperature projections, catastrophic weather events, and sea level rises have not happened as promised….
should every states A.G. not file fraud and consperisey charges against bill nye, al gore, michael mann et. al???

    Paul in reply to xtron. | April 16, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Because GOOD INTENTIONS! The get-out-of-jail-free-card enjoyed by Marxist Progressives everywhere!

Love that Sarah.

By the way: people who advocate imprisoning the Paul Reveres sounding the alarm of the global warming scam – should go to prison.

Let’s see that b.s. artist Bill Nye become the prison guy. He’ll be on his knees most of his stay, and when he’s not, he’ll washing his daddy’s socks.

BTW: this clown is paid by PBS – which Boehener had the chance to defund. May Boehner join him in the darkest, most horrific dungeon, and later, the depths of hell.