Not to pick too much on Scientific American, but the magazine is such an easy target for people who think rather than feel about the world.
Arabian Brainpower, a nice fuzzy little article on the opening of a university in Arabia – and the prediction that it really will be a university. This is nonsense, of course, but nice fuzzy stuff for a left-of-center mag. For context, a friend joined the Peace Corps in 1977 and taught Physics in Kabul, Afghanistan. Or tried to. The moon was landed on by man? Don’t be absurd – Mohammed said it’s only as large as the space between your thumb and finger – see? Celestial and orbital mechanics? Nonsense – Mohammed tells us that the earth rides on the back of a fish. Water purification? We don’t need it – Mohammed tells us that when water has turned over seven times in a stream it has been purified. (The fact that we have people drinking out of public sewers and mountain streams 21 feet from where someone is pissing, and that we have 50% infant mortality is unrelated to this.)
A real university? In Arabia? Ain’t gonna happen.
From Race to DNA is a cute little article with this fascinating phrase: “Lumping people by the social categories of race…” Isn’t that nice. Social categories. If a group of humans have similar skin, eye, hair and feature characteristics – whether light or dark, straight or curly, exactly how is that a “social construct”? Answer – it isn’t. And until race is dealt with as the real thing that it is, it’ll remain difficult to diagnose and treat diseases that affect people of that particular race. Like everything else, dealing honestly with the facts is the only way to find an answer. Last time I checked, sickle-cell anemia wasn’t more harshly affecting a “social construct,” but a race.
Doesn’t really matter if you like it or not; that’s the way it is. You’d think a science magazine would get this right.
And, on page 32, of course we hear about why the government needs to spend more than the $60B its already spending on health care.
Of course. What possibly could be done without the government spending more money.
Perhaps Scientific American would like to be taken over by the Feds in their insistence that only the government can do things properly?
No? Why not?