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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Between fact and opinion

Posted by: Hammer / 9:00 AM

Update, 2/8/05: per the comment below, Mr. Deutsch lied on his resume and has resigned.

Minvolved's Morning Read directs us to this NY Times article

The Big Bang memo came from Mr. Deutsch, a 24-year-old presidential appointee in the press office at NASA headquarters whose résumé says he was an intern in the "war room" of the 2004 Bush-Cheney re-election campaign. A 2003 journalism graduate of Texas A&M, he was also the public-affairs officer who sought more control over Dr. Hansen's public statements.

In October 2005, Mr. Deutsch sent an e-mail message to Flint Wild, a NASA contractor working on a set of Web presentations about Einstein for middle-school students. The message said the word "theory" needed to be added after every mention of the Big Bang.

The Big Bang is "not proven fact; it is opinion," Mr. Deutsch wrote, adding, "It is not NASA's place, nor should it be to make a declaration such as this about the existence of the universe that discounts intelligent design by a creator."

This is why you don't put non-scientists in charge of science. As the adage goes, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. Not everyone is entitled to their own theories. A theory means something:

1. A set of statements or principles devised to explain a group of facts or phenomena, especially one that has been repeatedly tested or is widely accepted and can be used to make predictions about natural phenomena.

The Big Bang theory has been repeatedly tested -- actually, by making predictions about natural phenomena, then measuring the phenomena. If the predictions match the measurements, the theory is more likely to be true. Some of the facts supporting the Big Bang theory are here.

What's tragically hilarious about this is that Deutsch's ignorance leads him to demand a truthful description of the theory in his disingenuous effort to mislead. Of course the Big Bang is a theory -- so is gravity. Ignorant detractors of either theory should be held up to the same degree of public ridicule.

(It's entirely possible, of course, to have a scientific disagreement with either theory. So long as you propose some experiment that can be done to prove your alternative. And, no, "Asking Jesus" does not count as a experiment.)


We have a new slogan for the President's new science/math initiative...

"Bush science: It's not just ID anymore."


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:41 AM  

Scariest thing you'll ever read on a bumper sticker.

By Blogger Hammer, at 10:55 AM  

Deutsch quit. Turns out he faked his résumé, too -- he wasn't really a Texas A&M grad.

Another promising career of lying & cheating goes down the crapper.

By Blogger Joey de Vivre, at 8:33 AM  

It would be interesting to see whether or not Mr. Deutsch needed a security clearance for his position at NASA.


By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:47 AM  

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