Science & Society

Today, the American Society of Crime Laboratory Directors issued a an urgent public alert regarding the dangers posed by drugs currently circulating America’s streets and neighborhoods as a result of the current opioid crisis.   This alert is intended to help the public recognize and avoid suspicious materials when they are nearby.

“The threat is unprecedented,” warns ASCLD President Ray Wickenheiser. “Some of the clandestine substances being sold or made accessible have formulations that are so toxic that it’s better to consider them poison.”

I've been writing Doomsday Debunking articles for a couple of years now. The amount of fake news about the end of the world on the web is incredible. What makes it worse is that stories that say the world is about to end get widely shared, linked to, read over and over, and rise right to the top of Google and Apple news. If you are intrigued by a news story about the search for "planet X" by astronomers, say, and go to Google News, the top result is usually one or other article from the Daily Express who regularly publish fake news saying that an extra planet is about to hit Earth or fly past Earth in the next week or month.This is followed by pages and pages of search results consisting almost entirely of "news" in a similar vein.

The First Amendment was crafted in an era when the government was the most powerful entity on Earth. That's no longer necessarily true.

Sure, when it comes to physical power, the government reigns supreme. Nobody can compete with an institution legally allowed to possess tanks, hellfire missiles, and nuclear bombs. But in the arena of information, agencies like the CIA and FBI no longer remain unchallenged. Instead, internet companies like Google and activist websites like Wikileaks have become the global gatekeepers of knowledge.

Short summary: A scrap book of nonsense. Theologically, morally, astronomically and politically abysmal. The author would not be accepted for admission to a course on astronomy at a university, never mind actually pass such a course. And it’s a similar position for theology. Most of the book, 75%, is not even written by him but just copy / pasted from the internet. It is appalling to think that this book reached the #1 position for astronomy books in Kindle on Amazon, and #5 for paperback. I’ve asked them to take it down for breach of copyright.

Recently, in the New Statesman, under the headline David Attenborough: Brexiteers “probably don’t understand” facts, we read:

Admittedly, I hold a rather dismal view of my fellow human beings. The average person just isn't all that bright or informed. Google "Jay Leno Jaywalking," "Lie Witness News," or "Florida Man," and you'll see what I mean.

This will seem utterly bonkers to most of you. But while reading this please bear in mind that very young children, many as young as 14 and younger, have been driven to the edge of suicide by these prophesies. More on this later but I want to open out by showing to them how bonkers his ideas are. The rest of you may find amusement in it too. But it has a very serious side to it. Remember this chap is making people suicidal with his prophesies, and he is heavily promoted by the Daily Express. What can we do about it? It's a major societal problem.

When corporate media revealed during the 2016 U.S. Presidential election campaign that Donald Trump had expressed anti-vaccine sentiments, Democrats in "blue states breathed a sigh of relief. Finally, journalists could claim anti-vaccine sentiment was bipartisan.
With 89 guns for every 100 people, the U.S. by far has the most number of guns per capita. In total, there are about 310 million weapons in the United States.

While that sounds alarming, the number of guns isn't necessarily the problem. Indeed, according to CNN, several European countries have a high prevalence of gun ownership, as well. Switzerland (46 guns per 100 people), Finland (45 per 100), and Sweden (32 per 100) are all packing pretty serious heat.

I'm not easily alarmed. Nuclear war, climate meltdown, economic collapse, zombie apocalypse -- nothing really fazes me. I just assume that worst-case scenarios pretty much never happen, so everything will work out in the long run.

Maybe that isn't rational. Throughout all of human history, things often didn't work out. There were countless wars. Infectious disease claimed the lives of hundreds of millions. To this very day, war and starvation kill people in poor parts of the world. Perhaps the political and economic stability of the developed world is just an illusion; in reality, the world is teetering on the brink of chaos, and my blind optimism is based on naïveté and complacency.