Thursday, 17 September 2009

Gross Stupidity – 144 Times Ordinary Stupidity

It appears that NASA is going to bomb the moon. OK, not really bomb just drive a craft into it at high speed.

That is not the stupidity. There are very good reasons for doing this. The impact will penetrate deeper in the moon than we could on a reasonable timescale any other way, and imaging and sampling from another spacecraft (even possibly from the Earth) will allow us to analyse what is there, especially water. This is important if we are going to set up a permanent base on the moon, and there are sound (although I will admit debatable) reasons for doing that.

No, the stupidity is in the comments. Almost every one is against the project. Some for economic reasons, which I think have missed the point but could argue a case. The rest really do beggar belief. They think that NASA is doing significant damage to the moon. The actual moon. The 70-billion-billion-tonne satellite orbiting Earth. The one hit by huge numbers of asteroids with a lot of energy many thousands of times in its 4-billion-years or so. This one, with the scars that make it obvious it can take an impact.

Night St Columb 045 cropped - Copy

I’m quite pleased with this picture. Taken with quite an old DSLR and 300 mm lens.

One suggests that we might shift the moon’s orbit and cause climate change of “omega” proportions.

I know I am supposed to be open, sceptical and doubtful, not scornful, but it is hard. It is difficult not to wonder why these people think they are knowledgeable enough to have something relevant to say. Are they arrogant enough to think that, despite little scientific education, they have seen some great catastrophe not considered by NASA engineers and scientist? Is the standard of world science education so low that people with scientific education can think these things? I can’t think of any other explanation.

It does strike me as significant in the environmental movement though. these are people who are worried about humans having an impact, however trivial. They have no sense of proportion at all. They have taken onboard the green lobby’s most extreme ideas and blown even those out of proportion, in scale or in time. Why are these people arrogant enough to think that humans could possibly do something in a universe of 100 billion galaxies, with maybe 100 billion stars in each that is relevant to except to us?

Hat tip to Instapundit.

Stumble Upon Toolbar


Katabasis said...

OK - I went to have a look.

I'm really quite upset by what I read there.

"What if advanced aliens really do have bases on the moon - will they regard this as an act of war and do the Earth a favour and destroy all mankind?"

I mean - WTF!? Really?

What on earth (pun intended)is the demographic of SciAm readers / commenters? I've seen more reasoned argument on a Myspace page about some Emo crying because his girlfriend didn't put a tattoo of his face next to her little Emo stars.

Now one of the reasons I'm quite upset is because I have recently been reading Thomas Friedman's 'The World is Flat', where seeing that the U.S. is going to have trouble competing in the global economy within a generation, he outlines the advice he is now giving his daughters: "Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, 'Tom, finish your dinner - People in India and China are starving.' My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework - people in China and India are starving for your jobs."

Doubting Richard said...

I agree with you. My education, albeit entirely provided by the state, was excellent. Unfortunately the state no longer provides education to that standard. My old school is a shadow of its former self, and my university struggles to find state-educated students of sufficient ability. On the other side of the coin, young people who are told that they can and will succeed but not how to do it fail to appreciate the need to broaden their education.

Post a Comment