Worthy causes of the day: “URGENT - Protect Utah Wilderness from Oil & Gas and ORVs”, “Take Action: Tell the House to Veto the FCC”, and “Prepare for Public Health Challenges of Global Warming”.
Divine misconception of the day: A good rule of thumb in any field of knowledge is that the better a conceptual model is, the better it predicts data which one has not yet observed, such as future events. “The end of the world is nigh. Its name is Gordon” presents the case of Gordon Ritchie, who has developed a system for predicting apocalyptic events based on the Christian Bible. Ritchie, by his own admission, has been wrong “Over 70” times, but that has not stopped him from thinking that his system needs more than just tweaking or acting upon the implications of his system, e.g.,
“Well, when I went on New York radio in front of two million people telling them they were going to be imminently destroyed and then they weren't, yes, I did feel a complete berk,” he says. Similarly, he took out £30,000 worth of advertising in The Sunday Times predicting that the UN would take overall political control of the world. He ran ads in March, July, September and November 2001, revising his prophecy each time. “Yeah, that turned out to be wrong, duh!” says Gordon.It should go without saying that a system this inaccurate is not worth acting on, and Ritchie should take his girlfriend’s advice to abandon it.
Today’s news and commentary:
- “The Big Lies”
- “Bloomberg Lays into Policymakers' "Political Science"”
- “Private Donor Gives Fermilab $5 Million” (See previous story for why a private donor had to give Fermilab $5,000,000. Bush gives every indication he hates science.)
- “Researchers retrieve authentic Viking DNA from 1,000-year-old skeletons”
- “Secondhand Smoke Leaves Kids Prone to Severe Infections”
- “Sales of Spam rise as consumers trim food costs” (Submitted by Barry.)