Monday, February 21, 2005

BookTV on CSpan was particularly good over the weekend, which extended to today because of George Washington's Birthday. (No Presidents' Day for me.)

Michael Crichton was on talking about his latest book, State of Fear, or something like that. When I saw it at the store, I read the dust cover and the back and could not figure out what it was about. Now I know why they obscured the topic. It is a novel but it tries to debunk global warming. That is very un-PC.

I thought global warming was the least interesting thing he talked about. He talked about the related topic of politization of science. I can myself think of many examples of this. On the left the criticism of the Harvard president for his remarks about women in science, the IQ controversy of a few years back (the book was The Bell Curve)AIDS and Aids research, and the right has not been immune. I think about the latest research on the ineffectiveness of abstinence education.

He touched briefly on what is science. He was taught that science is setting testable hypotheses. On that basis what is string theory? And what is anything that Stephen Hawking does? His theories about the end of the universe can not be proven by either testing or observation. Does he just do the mathematics and never, ever says "Assume...."

Then Thomas Woods spoke on his book The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History. Did you know that Thomas Jefferson believed or at least studied nullification?

Mr. Woods says that we did not have a civil war. He says a civil war is when two internal entities struggle for control of the government. If the South had won, it would not have thrown Lincoln out of the White House.

he did not elaborate but said that neither Roosevelt nor World War II got us out of the Depression.

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