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Comment: Re:This is interesting.... (Score 1) 573

For every article I can find, you can find a dissenting one: maybe. For every scientific paper I can find that argues for or accepts AGW, you're not going to find a dissenting scientific paper. The scientific consensus is overwhelmingly that AGW is happening and is dangerous, and that's always the way to bet.

I don't know what triggered the low fat craze, but most of the diet crazes I've seen haven't been based in science, at most sensationalized accounts of a few studies. People pushing diets have never been slow to talk about scientific backing, whether it existed or not. There were a lot of "Mayo Clinic" diets, none of them actually associated with the clinic. Eventually, the Mayo did put out a diet book, and it was rather general, trying to help the reader come up with a good diet.

Comment: Re:Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 1985 (Score 1) 573

Having lived through some of this time period, you're wrong. (Well, the 1960s on; it's irrelevant now what party stances before 1900 were.)

First, what's the difference between the parties switching spectrum and the parties changing their stances? There were a lot of conservative southern Democrats in those days, and southern Democrat Johnson was instrumental in pushing civil rights, accepting losing much of the South to Republicans. Civil rights was a primarily Democrat position, and those opposed tended to join the Republicans. Obviously this says nothing about any individual Democrat or Republican, but on the whole the Democrats pushed it and the Republicans dragged their heels.

In the 60s, pretty much everybody was opposed to Communism. The Vietnam War radicalized a lot of people, who reasoned that (a) we shouldn't be involved in Vietnam, and so (b) the North Vietnamese were partly the Good Guys, and (c) Communism really wasn't that bad. It wasn't good reasoning, but the revulsion to the Vietnam War did a lot of unfortunate things. (I consider this largely LBJ's fault.) You're misinterpreting Reagan's role here.

Communism never was the threat it was presented as, and the US allowed its actions to be controlled far too much by opposition to Communism. For example, the US in this period destabilized and overthrew democratic governments because they looked socialist and were talking to Moscow (if the US is strongly against you, who the hell do you talk to?), often replacing them with brutal right-wing dictatorships. Communism was indeed that bad, but the US tended to lump in socialism and simply being left-wing with Communism, and made up what fictions it needed to say that brutal right-wing dictatorships were better than Communist governments.

I've never been sure how many movements moved to Communism just because they were anti-American, and the only source of help for anti-Americans was the overrated Communist bloc (Red China and the Soviet Union were never buddies).

Comment: Re:Surprisingly badly written article (Score 1) 143

by david_thornley (#49323613) Attached to: Excess Time Indoors May Explain Rising Myopia Rates

Actually, I've got an increased risk of retinal detachment, although my ophthalmologists never mentioned increased risk of cataracts or glaucoma. I function normally with rather thick glasses, and would find it very difficult to function without them. No big deal, really, but it annoys me now and then.

Comment: Re:I think space is still expanding at FTL (Score 1) 162

by david_thornley (#49323569) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

There's no point of origin. If you inflate a sphere, each Flatland observer on the sphere sees itself as the center of expansion. "What created it" is not currently answerable, since we can only perceive so far back and run the laws of physics backwards from there only so far. It seems likely that we'll never know.

Comment: Re:What about the objects in that space? (Score 1) 162

by david_thornley (#49323557) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

Yes, at least in theory that happens. We can't actually observe it, since we can't observe anything going faster than light away from us. Over short distances, the expansion of space is negligible. There is speculation that the expansion will speed up so that it's significant even over shorter distances, tearing apart the local group of galaxies, then galaxies, then stars and planets, and finally ordinary things and molecules and atoms. That's called the "Big Rip".

Comment: Re:Or Space isn't expanding (Score 1) 162

by david_thornley (#49323453) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

Why must spacetime separate two Big Bangs? If we can detect another Universe caused by another Big Bang, there's obviously something connecting us. If not (and I've heard of no such detection), they don't need to be in the same spacetime. You're speculating wildly, coming to conclusions that the evidence is positively against, and trying to build on that.

In fact, we can detect precisely one Big Bang. We can't detect anything before it, and we can't detect anything outside a certain boundary in spacetime. Parallel Universes are a fun speculation, and science fiction and fantasy can come up with unexplained ways to move between them, but AFAIK there's no evidence for them, and no way to find out.

BTW, your understanding of physics and physicists sucks. Physicists don't treat Einstein as gospel, but his Special Relativity and much of his General Relativity have stood up incredibly well to continual testing. We know that some known physics is wrong in some way, because we get inconsistencies, but physics theories are thrown away when we have theories that match the evidence better.

All you need to do to get taken seriously is to show that your theories account for observed reality about as well as existing ones do, and have at least a way of distinguishing them from current theories by observation or experiment. If you're unwilling to do that, you're a crackpot and not a physicist. If you don't have the understanding to do it, then go back to reading the popularizations and leave the real science to people who know what they're doing. If you have the will and understanding, and can't explain observed reality as well as the existing theories, then you're wrong.

Comment: Re:Isn't that how warp drives work? (Score 1) 162

by david_thornley (#49323245) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

When you get into the weirder areas of physics, it becomes somewhere between very hard and impossible to describe the physics in nontechnical terms. We generally understand reality on a human scale, and all our intuition is based on massive experience with objects of a scale that you usually need neither quantum mechanics nor relativity to understand them. There's exceptions: the frequencies of black-body radiation and some other things depend on light coming in discrete pieces, which means you have to have some wave-particle duality, but we don't normally perceive the details.

Comment: Re:I thought I did know the principles (Score 1) 162

by david_thornley (#49323197) Attached to: How Space Can Expand Faster Than the Speed of Light

Special Relativity doesn't mean nothing can go faster than light, and there's nothing obviously nonphysical about imaginary coordinates. Coordinate systems describe reality, they don't mandate it.

It is true that you can't accelerate to the speed of light. It's also true that, given Special Relativity, FTL travel is equivalent to time travel.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig

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