Gravitational Royal Wave

Gravitational waves are a consequence of the physics described in Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity.  Paraphrasing far too simplistically, general relativity suggests that gravity is not a force per se but the distortion of space-time around mass.  Furthermore, these distortions propagate through the universe at the speed of light.  The gravitational waves detected by theContinue reading “Gravitational Royal Wave”

Endless Wars, Endless Research Money

The era of “big science” was ushered in by the scientific advancements of World War Two.  Because that war, in particular, required a stunning advancement of technology to keep up with the Axis powers, the government invested heavily in research laboratories, industry, and universities.  This relationship grew stronger after the end of WW2 and wasContinue reading “Endless Wars, Endless Research Money”

CRISPR Questions

CRISPR technology is used to edit genes.  It uses the CAS9 enzyme to cut a small portion of DNA out of a gene and replaces the removed sequence with the desired sequence.  This has and will continue to revolutionize biology, medicine, and even wildlife conservation.  This technology, if used on viable human embryos, has theContinue reading “CRISPR Questions”

The Road to Hell Is Paved With Higher Education

Eugenics is the practice of forced “genetic hygiene.”  Put another way, eugenics involves preventing “undesirable” people from reproducing.  This can include forced sterilization, social pressure, institutionalization and even murder.  Medical professionals, and, far worse, politicians and judges, used the language of Darwin to suggest that the “feeble-minded” would overwhelm the productive through breeding.  The ideaContinue reading “The Road to Hell Is Paved With Higher Education”

Moral Philosophy and The Engineer

The reasons for the interest are obvious.  Geoengineering offers a partial solution to climate change that could buy time to make the necessary changes to curb carbon emissions. This could ease economic pain and some companies could profit from it.   The issues that I brought up in my blog post for week 3 regarding theContinue reading “Moral Philosophy and The Engineer”

Practical Solutions Are More Effective Than Extremism

The science is clear that carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas and the burning of fossil fuels the main contributor to global climate change.  This has been accepted by the professional scientific community for some time. Reidy and Swartz show that knowledge of carbon dioxide being greenhouse gas has existed for even longer. Hall reportsContinue reading “Practical Solutions Are More Effective Than Extremism”

Long But Worth It

The final question of the reading prompt asks us to examine the notion of a technological fix and it’s potential pitfalls. There is, however, a definitional flaw at the heart of this discussion which, in my opinion, obscures the true nature of the problem.  To really understand the issues associated with a techno-fix, one mustContinue reading “Long But Worth It”

Methods of Approaching the History of Science

Johnson refers to three models of studying the history of science. In the “Progressive” or “Great Man” theory of science history, the central actor is the individual.  Progress is achieved through the singular genius of a brilliant individual. Heroic overtones permeate the historical thinking in this model and although the “hero’s” contributions stand on previousContinue reading “Methods of Approaching the History of Science”