Crankin the geology stupid past 11 . . .

August 17, 2008

It’s gotta be a virus, and pray to God it isn’t contagious.

Jennifer Marohasy made jaws drop with a stunningly under-informed claim about energy equilibrium and light bulbs, confusing watts as a measure of heat, getting thermodynamics wrong, and generally acting as if her wits temporarily headed to the beach.

And then she came right back with this one [moved to here]:

I have become curious about something. The core of the Earth is alleged to be molten. It’s also a fact that the deeper you dig into the Earth, the warmer it gets. Where is that heat coming from… surely not from the Sun. What’s the possibility that the Earth generates some of it’s own heat from geothermal processes?

The possibility is 100%. Ernest Rutherford had the goods on the issue just after the turn of the 19th to the 20th centuries. He won the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1908 for his work on radioactivity, which included calculations on how the planet Earth is heated from within. Some sources say Rutherford identified planetary heating as early as 1896.

Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Foundation photo

Ernest Rutherford, Nobel Foundation photo

Marohasy lives in Australia — is Google disabled for that continent or something?

These are the people who lead the charge for climate change skeptics? Anthony Watts, where are you?

This is a preview of the sort of ignorance that will elbow its way into Texas science if the State Board of Education succeeds in dumbing down Texas science classes, pulling down the intelligence quotient with creationism.

“Alleged to be molten.”

And water is alleged to be wet.


Dr. Doom

August 17, 2008

Alone among economists, Nouriel Roubini of New York University accurately predicted the current economic woes of the United States.

Nouriel Roubini, NYU photo

Nouriel Roubini, NYU photo

Who knew? Do you know anything about what he predicts now?

Read this profile from The New York Times.

Roubini contributes to RGE Monitor.

Other resources:


Rick Warren and George Washington

August 17, 2008

At American Creation, Tom Van Dyke looks at the questions paster Rick Warren asked Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama, with an eye to history.

George Washington probably would have flunked the test, had he been on the dais yesterday, Van Dyke notes.

Santayana’s Ghost shifts nervously.

Washington Bible - image from the Masonic Library and Museum

"Washington Bible" - image from the Masonic Library and Museum


Creationist success: Thermodynamicophobia strikes climate change denialists

August 17, 2008

Every once in a while we get a glimpse of what the future would be like if the creationists ruled education and could teach some of the fantastic things they believe to be true as fact.

For example, creationists have for years complained that the basic chemistry of life somehow violates what chemists and physicists know as the “laws” of thermodynamics. Patient explanations of what we know about how photosynthesis works, and how animals use energy, and what the laws of thermodynamics actually are, all fall on deafened ears.

Comes Jennifer Marohasy, an Australian blogger at The Politics and Environment Blog, with this fantastic explanation about how the well-established notion of radiative equilibrium, simply doesn’t work.

“For the Earth to neither warm or cool, the incoming radiation must balance the outgoing.”

Not really.

No, really. Go read the post. And see these critiques, at Tugboat Potemkin, where problems with the rules of the principle of Conservation of Energy are noted, and Deltoid, where LOLCats makes a debut in explaining physics to the warming denialists.

Then go back and read the comments at Marohasy’s blog.

It’s not just the confusion of terms, like treating watts as units of heat. There’s an astonishing lack of regard for cause and effect in history, too:

Conservation of energy: it’s not just a phrase. The theory of radiative equilibrium arose early in the 19th century, before the laws of thermodynamics were understood.

Probably didn’t mention it here before, but Marohasy is also one of those bloggers who suffers from DDT poisoning. Among other things, she and Aynsley Kellow (whose book she recommends) use an astounding confabulation of history to claim DDT wasn’t harming birds at all, completely ignoring more than 1,000 research studies to the contrary (and not one in support of their claim).

Suggestion for research: Is the denialism virus that affects creationists, DDT advocates, and climate denialists, the same one, or are there slight variations? A virus seems the most charitable explanation, unless one wishes to blame prions.

Creationist physics, denialism in meteorology, physics, chemistry, and history. It makes a trifecta winner look like he’s not trying.

See also:


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