Friday, December 14, 2007

Indulgences Again

A study reported by the International Journal of Climatology says that today’s models for measuring warming are flawed, and that the atmosphere may not be warming as much as was thought. This study was done by scientists who are not global warming skeptics, and who are in fact the world's premier authorities on collection and analysis of satellite-derived temperature data.

The response from the scientific community to this report was, “it does not agree with current Scientific Consensus.”

Scientific Consensus? Since when does science depend on consensus to determine truth and not the facts? Apparently for some time now. A Google search of the term reveals page after page of results, most dealing with global warming. Some go so far as to say that science uses “scientific consensus” to reach a determination of truth!

Basically, this is the way it works: if a majority of scientists believe something, say, that the Earth is flat, then the Earth is scientifically shown to be flat. Any facts contrary to consensus by definition are wrong.

Where is Galileo when you need him? Our perhaps what the scientific community needs today is a modern Martin Luther, considering how dogmatic it has become.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Golden Compass: a Review

(Caveat: German is definitely the “tri” of Non-Modern’s “trilingualism.” This film was seen in German and some nuances may have therefore been missed.)
This movie was entertaining. Being the first of multiple books it had an incomplete feeling, much like Fellowship of the Ring. That being said, the storyline was not quite as engaging. The climax was decidedly anti-climactic.

There was a gem to be found, however, and that was the Daemon concept. The idea of showing a person’s spirit externally was used effectively for some very interesting and enlightening scenes. An interaction between Nichole Kidman’s character and her spirit was one of the best moments in the film.

The visual technique of showing the Compass in action, on the other hand, was less than satisfactory. If the viewer is not supposed to get a clear idea of what the compass is revealing, why show it visually at all? Or if it is shown, why make it visually non-stimulating?

The reported anti-religious message is thus far inoffensive and in actuality a good take on the danger of governing religious power.

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