TANSTAAFL

Science Alert reports that accurate testing of the so-called EM reactionless drive showed that it does not produce any thrust. A previous test at NASA Eagleworks lab claimed to have detected thrust, but at a statistically insignificant level.

The latest attempt to replicate the shocking results has resulted in a simple answer: the Eagleworks measurement was from heating of the engine mount, not any new physics.

The Conservation of Momentum is a bedrock principle of Physics, so no one should be surprised when a real world apparatus conserves momentum. There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.

It All Depends On What You Mean By “Equality”

The House has passed a legislative nightmare called the “Equality Act.” If it passes the Senate and becomes law, it would amend federal statutes to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and it explicitly will destroy religious freedom protections related to sexual and gender identity. The bill explicitly states: “The Religious Freedom Restoration Act of 1993 (42 U.S.C. 2000bb et seq.) shall not provide a claim concerning, or a defense to a claim under, a covered title, or provide a basis for challenging the application or enforcement of a covered title.”

Stephen Kruiser has suggested that the Equality Act is proof that the Democrats are clinically insane. OTOH, The Party may need the words “equal” and “equality” to have different meanings. Sometimes  two plus two equals four. But not always.

Sometimes they are five. Sometimes they are three. Sometimes they are all of them at once. You must try harder. It is not easy to become sane.

Don’t Know Much About a Science Book

Uh, no, the failures in Texas are what happens as a result of the pursuit of unreliable “green” energy sources instead of reliable, science/engineering-based systems.

BTW, because I viewed the tweet on one of my engineering computer which has its clock set to Coordinated Universal Time, the timestamp on the tweet is +5 hours from Eastern Time. 0500 UTC is 12 midnight ET.

At the Intersection of All Things

Noted warmmonger Gina McCarthy, who ran Obama’s EPA, has been appointed as His Fraudulency’s National Climate Advisor. She posted a video over the past weekend making the pitch that climate change is a racism/social justice issue. No verifiable facts were offered to support any of her claims.

One of the claims that she makes is that the Xiden climate program will result in the creation of good paying “union jobs.” 27 states have right-to-work laws that allow people to work without having to join a union, and very few of those states cast electoral votes for Joe Xiden. Is this “union jobs” claim a threat to shift economic activity away from those states to punish them? Would that be socially just?

Another claim is that the Xiden climate program will leverage existing technologies. OK, how will the administration deal with the problems created by those technologies? The blades from worn-out wind turbines are going into land fills because there is no economically viable way of recycling them. Solar arrays that have reached the end of their useful lives are beginning to pile up, creating a significant amount of waste that includes heavy metals such as arsenic, lead, and cadmium. Will racial and social justice require this waste to be disposed of in Palo Alto, Belle Meade, Stamford, or Bethesda?

And back to those union jobs? Where will they really be, and what will they be doing? Under the Xiden program, they won’t be for pipe fitters building pipelines in the middle of America. When Gina McCarthy was running the EPA, American labor saw a lot of “clean energy” jobs making equipment such as solar panels and wind turbines move offshore, principally to China. Past performance is no guarantee of future results, but usual the safe way to bet.

Is it 2025 yet?

A Science Experiment

Whether or not they have realized what they were doing, the political leaders of several states have been conducting a scientific experiment. Their implied hypothesis is that extended draconian restrictions on the activities of the people in their states would result in fewer deaths from the Wuhan virus pandemic. Simultaneously several other states took the opposite approach to managing the pandemic, effectively providing a control group for the restrictive state experiment. We now have data comparing the results of the two approaches. Has the restrictive state hypothesis been falsified?

Here’s a chart of the relative performance of the states plowing relative levels of restriction versus death rate. A higher number on the death rate axis corresponds to a higher death rate. A higher number on the restriction axis corresponds to tighter restrictions.Chart Source: Wallethub

While there are more restrictive states among the ten best performing states, restrictive states account for half of the ten worst. Thus, the data do not support the hypothesis that tight restrictions on the public’s activities necessarily will result in relatively lower death rates.

It’s possible that tight restrictions on public activity might be beneficial in some circumstance, but the data also suggest the possibility that many other factors have affected the variation in performance among the states. For example, Hawaii and Vermont have relatively high restrictions, but are their low death rates a result of their relative isolation from the nation’s large population centers or some other factor? Could such relative isolation have a part in Nebraska’s low death rate? Could California’s high poverty rate be affecting its poor performance?

The science isn’t settled on exactly why some states are doing better than others, but it does seem to show that lockdowns and other such measures weren’t and aren’t a magic bullet.

Oh, one more thing …

The average unemployment rate in the the most restrictive states is 7.1% (9% in California). The national rate is 6.7%. The rate in the least restrictive states is 4.7% (3.1 % in Iowa).

I’m Confused

After ending a prayer with the word awomen [autocorrupt really fights me when I try to type that word], the Democrats imposed a new rule on the House of Representatives that eliminates the use of such “gendered” words as mother, father, brother, sister, aunt, or uncle.

So are they for celebrating the biological differences between the sexes, or are they insisting that we’re all the same and the differences are socially constructed?

Or will they also end prayers with words like atrannie?

2020 has turned 21 and is now drinking openly.

Don’t Know Much Biology

The New England Journal of Medicine has published a paper titled Failed Assignments — Rethinking Sex Designations on Birth Certificates which claims that designating a child’s sex on a birth certificate can be harmful. Here’s the paper’s abstract.

Sex designations on birth certificates offer no clinical utility, and they can be harmful for intersex and transgender people. Moving such designations below the line of demarcation wouldn’t compromise the birth certificate’s public health function but could avoid harm.

Boys and girls grow and develop at different rates and in different ways. I am not a physician, but it seems to me that knowledge of a child’s normally expected development should have real clinical utility and that ignoring it could be a form of malpractice.

BTW, neither of the two physicians among the paper’s authors is a pediatrician. The third author is a lawyer.

Titania McGrath was unavailable for comment.

The Party of Science

I believe in Science, but I don’t believe in the “science” that the Party of Science is peddling. I’ve previously described the Science in which I believe in a post that can be found under the Science and the Bible tab on this site’s menu. Here’s that explanation—

* * * * *

Figure 3. The Scientific Method.

Science shows us thing that we can’t see with our own eyes—germs, atoms, electrons, x-rays, solar fusion, and genes. All of these unseen things were made known through scientific inference.

The flow chart at right outlines the scientific method. Because new observations and testing occur continually, the four steps are practiced concurrently. New observations, even unpredicted ones, may provide data that will cause a hypothesis to be refined. However, Science is much more that just naive observation and measurement. What distinguishes Science from other disciplines is that the observations are interpreted, tested, and used.

* * * * *

Coming back to the present, …

Of course, Science isn’t the only form of knowledge that should inform our actions. The Scientific Method may lead us to knowledge, but our Morals should inform our application of that knowledge. Let me offer an example.

Suppose I make an observation of the world and notice  the there is a significant range of economic disparity among members of various societies. I’ll offer the hypothesis that the lives of the members of that society would be generally improved if they rearranged their polity in a socialist manner. Assume that I have the power to make that prediction testable, and I create the Soviet Union. The history of the Soviet Union in the Real World suggests that the prediction is false, but that may be experimental error. Further, rerunning the experiment in China and Cambodia give similar results.

Those observations allow me to form a second hypothesis that the previous forms of socialism tested weren’t real socialism, suggesting that international socialism is not the real thing but that national socialism should be a society’s organizing principle. I rerun the modified experiment, but Berlin and Auschwitz c. 1945 falsify that hypothesis.

Fortunately, no one had the power to actually run the 20th Century as a science experiment. Unfortunately, the 20th Century happened anyway. Clearly, causing over a 100 million deaths to test the viability of socialism would have been an immoral experiment. Yet, the Party of Science wants to force all sorts of experiments of similar questionable hypothesis on American society—and it wants to ban discussions of competing hypotheses and the actual results of their experiments.

No thanks. I’ll stick with the real thing.

Fake Remake of a Fake

I was scrolling through the Twitterz this morning and found that someone had sent me a link to a story that ran last year in our online paper of recordNASA Announces All-Female Remake Of Staged Moon Landings.

There’s an interesting story about why the first “videos from the Moon” were black and white when all the later “landings” were shown in color. Color cameras were available, but there was a dust control problem. The sound stage had been built in a very remote location to prevent it from being discovered, but the filters initially used in the HVAC system weren’t adequate, so monochrome cameras were used to keep viewers from noticing the red Martian dust.

Don’t Know Much Biology

There’s a post over at HillFaith that asks the question, “Is Being Gay Genetic?” The post contains a link to a video from the Colson Center that argues the evidence for a gay gene simply doesn’t exit. The post ends with these words—

That doesn’t mean such a gene will never be found, but it ought to encourage advocates on all sides of these issues to avoid definitive declarations about what the science does or does not prove[.]

Yes, the lack of evidence should lead both sides to be careful in their scientific claims. However, I suspect that if there is a gay gene or gay mutation, it should be recessive because it would tend to limit reproduction and be less likely to be passed to succeeding generations.

There are self-destructive or immoral behaviors which may be affected by genetics. Alcoholism probably is in some individuals. While our individual genetics may make some parts of our lives easier and other parts more challenging, our genes shouldn’t control our moral destiny.

Humans are clearly complementary sexual beings. We come together as male/female partners to create and raise the next generation. Living a life that denies that fact places one at odds with the truth not unlike an unfortunate character in a novel by Dostoevsky. Life is filled with difficult choices, but choosing truth always works best in the end.

Science tells us how. Religion tells us why. They complement each other, and we should pay attention to both.

Misgendering

In a message to another FBI lawyer about whether he planned to remain at the DoJ after Donald Trump took office, Kevin Clinesmith, who is copping a plea in the Russian Collusion Hoax case, replied, “Viva le resistance.”

Of course, the French noun la resistance is feminine, so using the masculine article le misgenders it.

Qui se croit sage est un grand fou.

—French Proverb