We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our ignorance is truly staggering. According to some estimates, 95 percent of organisms in the soil alone are unknown to science. Many of them labor unseen, in the dark, serving as the churning stomachs of our planet, digesting dead plants and animals and, in the process, enriching the earth we depend upon for food and fiber. Other organisms expel their gaseous waste — a precious resource known as oxygen —to create the atmosphere that supports and sweetens the earth with such glorious creatures as toucans and manta rays and blue morpho butterflies, not to mention writers and academics. Some bacteria are even thought to contribute to the formation of clouds.
And from New Scientist, A field guide to bullshit: How do people defend their beliefs in bizarre conspiracy theories or the power of crystals? Philosopher Stephen Law has tips for spotting their strategies -
In Adelheid Fischer’s “A Home Before the End of the World,” I did not read about “errors in science writing,” but mistakes caused by bad or no research and assumptions made by writers of fiction. The assumptions are of greater worry than lack of research, because segments of society too often assume knowledge based on “I feel this to be true.” Feelings in bad writing and reading transfer to bad votes at election time.
If this interview with Stephen Law is indicative of the best a philosophy lecturer can reason I no longer feel undereducated. What pointless bilge! I only wish he had been asked for his views on AGW, which I'm certain would be positive.
"And yet, in the earth's sixth great extinction event, currently under way, many organisms — great and small — are silently sliding unnamed into oblivion. According to some estimates, by the end of the 21st century, one-quarter or more of all species of plants and animals now living will have gone extinct or been issued a non-refundable one-way ticket off the planet. And they are being snuffed out at a rate that is 1,000 times more rapid than that of any extinction event documented in the fossil record. This great disappearing act, as Gruchow points out, is "one of destroying, and thereby rendering forever nameless, more information about life than we are gaining."  "
Do you really believe that? I dislike that reality is not fact checked in fiction, but to link that to alarmist conjecture is dishonest.
Try this one, http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/counting-species-out
or this one, http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/01/04/where-are-the-corpses/
or maybe this one, http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v473/n7347/full/nature09985.html
My favourite comment on this topic comes from George Carlin, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScDfYzMEEw