Science History

Prior to World War II and dating back to the 1890s, the phrases “social technology” and “social engineering” carried strong connotations of central planning. This became particularly true in the Soviet Union, where the terms appeared in various tracts.
For about a day I had been trying to read Real Clear Science, particularly the article linked Evolution Debate: Blame Atheists.  Alas, every time I visited the site I got a message:
This site is temporarily down and we are working on restoring service. Sorry for the inconvenience.
It’s now back up, but in the interim I have taken the opportunity, since I run on OScar from Sesame Street Systems, to have a Grouch.  Fear not, North Americans, it is directed at my fellow Brits.
Bill Bryson edited a very good book in 2010 titled, “SEEING FURTHER – The Story of Science and the Royal Society”.

This is interesting, on the BBC website:

Before the telegraph was invented, messages could travel as fast as the fastest mode of transport available. Today, however, advanced communication technologies have changed the scenario to a great extent. Messages now travel at the speed of light through cables and optical fibers, and are delivered in the least time possible. Mobile phones have made communication an on-the-go process. Messages, emails, news, videos, status updates, tweets are all just a click away.

“It is said, with prefect truth as regards many matters, that ‘a little knowledge is a dangerous thing’, but there is no doubt in my mind that even a little knowledge – provided it be sound knowledge – of allied sciences is of the very greatest value to engineers of all sorts.”

A trunk-load of maps and letters reveals Marco Polo’s greatest secrets. He served as a “field agent” for the Polo Brothers’ Spy Team.

Sent to observe and infiltrate the government of Kublai Khan, Marco participated in Chinese explorations in the Canadian Arctic and along America’s West Coast during the 13th century. Examination of the documents by researchers at the New World Discovery Institute in Seattle was completed in October of 2011.
You know the idea of separation of church and state?

I propose another principle: 

Let's keep the church and science separate.


The church is the antithesis of science. While science is at its heart all about facts, the church does not like facts, but rather is focused on feelings and beliefs. The church has truths, but of course truths are not facts. Truths are what each individual person feels is right.

We got a perfect example of why mixing religion and science is incompatible this week when the Vatican held its first every scientific meeting on stem cells. We learned earlier this year that the church had committed $1 million to a high risk stem cell biotech company as well. 
Teacher turned artist Kelly Houle has set herself to the task of creating an illuminated version of the unabridged first edition of Charles Darwin's world-changing book. An example of such an illuminated page:

(Credit: Kelly M. Houle)

The project is intended to be completed by 2018, with a celebration event in 2019, in time for Darwin's 210th birthday and the 160th anniversary of the publication of his seminal work. 

For more information, be sure to visit the website of the project, where you can find more information on the process and the artist.

A year and a half ago, an article about cycads at the University of Giessen brought to my attention the University’s most famous member, about whom Wikipedia says: