Author: Objective Science

The Truth About Climate Change

By Andrew Bernstein Climate change is real and persistent. Even a brief study of the recent past illustrates this, but it becomes all the more certain when one broadens the scope to take in the vast sweep of geologic time. Is nature’s inherent dynamism responsible for the climate change of our era? Or are the cause(s) man-made? Many scientists, environmentalists, journalists, and such politicians as Al Gore claim the latter. They argue that: The earth is warming. Human emission of such greenhouse gases as CO2 is the predominant (perhaps exclusive) cause. Such warming, in various forms, is pernicious to...

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NASA Telescope Reveals Seven Earth-Size, Habitable-Zone Planets Around Single Star

NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope has revealed the first known system of seven Earth-size planets around a single star. Three of these planets are firmly located in the habitable zone, the area around the parent star where a rocky planet is most likely to have liquid water. The discovery sets a new record for greatest number of habitable-zone planets found around a single star outside our solar system. All of these seven planets could have liquid water – key to life as we know it – under the right atmospheric conditions, but the chances are highest with the three in the habitable zone. This discovery could be a significant piece in the puzzle of finding habitable environments, places that are conducive to life,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator of the agency’s Science Mission Directorate in Washington. “Answering the question ‘are we alone’ is a top science priority and finding so many planets like these for the first time in the habitable zone is a remarkable step forward toward that goal.” At about 40 light-years (235 trillion miles) from Earth, the system of planets is relatively close to us, in the constellation Aquarius. Because they are located outside of our solar system, these planets are scientifically known as exoplanets. This exoplanet system is called TRAPPIST-1, named for The Transiting Planets and Planetesimals Small Telescope (TRAPPIST) in Chile. In May 2016, researchers...

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David Harriman’s Fundamentals of Physical Science: A Historical Inductive Approach

by Lisa VanDamme One of the most formative courses in my educational history was David Harriman’s “Fundamentals of Physical Science” – formative of my knowledge of science, formative of my views on education, formative of my very ability to think. It taught me what it really means to learn science, and by extension, what it really means to learn. Let me illustrate the difference between science as it is conventionally taught and science as it is taught by David Harriman, using Newton’s law of universal gravitation as a striking case in point. If your education was like mine, this...

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Vaccination: An Essentialized History of a Life Saving Technology

Amesh Adalja, M.D., discusses the history of vaccination with special attention to the heroic figures who developed this technology. Particular consideration is given to the chain of reasoning leading to the first vaccine, as well as how the germ theory of disease led to a plethora of vaccines that allowed humans to experience a rapid improvement in lifespan and quality of life. Adalja is a board-certified physician in infectious disease, critical care medicine, emergency medicine and internal medicine, specializing in the intersection of national security with catastrophic health events. He publishes and lectures on bioterrorism, pandemic preparedness and emerging infectious diseases and appears as a guest on national radio and television programs. This talk was delivered on Wednesday, July 6, 2016, at Objectivist Summer Conference 2016 in Bellevue,...

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