Discovered scienceblogs.com today, as is convention on the internet, by chance. Which in my case is the sometimes random, oftentimes logical following of (unidirectional, pew pew Ted Nelson!) links. :)
But who could resist a Ring of Fire cover by a glaciologist, anyway?? :)
Science is always fascinating (if you filter out the data, vital to some of course, compiled by pretentious but unambitious non-writers) and oftentimes a step closer to truth.
For those not deep into a certain field (few scientists do them all; what human would cope, at least at the extreme level of detail scientists usually apply?), it can be daunting.
I read around and found surprisingly many articles to follow easily and a tight community with their mind in the right place. Commenting about the danger of eejots taking over the world :) and linking to some juicy prime examples. Taking over, as in being voted into office by eejotees (probably through lack of choice?), not in the homicidal loner arms collector sense.
I would never use the ‘ee word’… more than twice. :) Of course there are a lot of uneducated people in the world, and many, many intelligent, logical, reasonable people outside those who have science as profession. I just feel a bit sad at how important decisions are made, sometimes without a proper basis, scientific or not. If there were a larger percentage of politicians with a science degree, I’m sure the world would be better no end from it. This will be my hope until the day I die, i.e. before people will suffer the use of public transportation. Sigh :)
But I digress.
As a random (again, not quite) example of the articles on scienceblogs.com, this is a nice, simple and concise article, entitled: “What wiped out the dinosaurs?”
A good starting point for a follow-up could be to go into detail about the layer of ash of “a few hundred thousand years” and “mass extinction all at once”, as Ethan writes. What were the mechanics of this sudden yet (I know, sudden in geological terms) drawn out period?
The other starting point could be the Iridium contained in that layer. Would an asteroid contain enough to show up in the layer around the world. How did it spread, how evenly (ie. more concentrated around said impact crater, or not?), and above all, is the estimate of the total amount (surely it has been calculated?) enough to form an asteroid of the mass required to make the right size crater?
There is no doubt an asteroid could be pure Iridium, but it would have to be “the size calculated from the impact data” or larger (not pure Iridium) to qualify.
If someone has data on the above, feel free to link (I’m not current on these things…). It will be much appreciated!
That’s what science is all about, as Ayn Rand has hinted at. The lure of having knowledge of a piece of the truth and the obsession of devoting oneself to the pursuit of that truth.
Though the truth may not always be found on the web (cue applause), I will be pursuing and critically filtering what it has to offer on the subject tomorrow. :)