…other than basics of how the human body functions, evolution is perhaps the most important part of biology that all educated citizens should be aware of and, therefore, it should remain in the Std X curriculum which all students study before they choose different specializations in Std XI.
The authors of the article point out that younger students (ages 12-13) will still learn about evolution, and if older students decide to specialize in biology, they will learn about it again. Nevertheless, the authors think it was a huge mistake to remove it from this particular year of study.
Why? They regurgitate the typical evolutionary propaganda that has been repeated over and over again in an attempt to make evolution more important than it really is. For example, they quote Theodosius Dobzhansky’s nonsensical comment that “Nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution” and Sir Peter Medawar’s inane idea that the only alternative to evolutionary thinking for a biologist is no thinking at all. In fact, flagellate-to-philosopher evolution makes very little sense in the light of modern biological data, and biologists not thinking in evolutionary terms have made incredible scientific discoveries (see here, here, here, here, and here, for example).
If you read Shashidhara and Joshi’s paper closely enough, you will find the real reason they (and others) are upset:
Following the Copernican and Newtonian intellectual revolutions in Europe, living organisms were the last bastion of “religious” or “supernatural” explanations in nature. The Darwinian intellectual revolution showed, that just as in the case for movement of celestial bodies after Newton, there was no need to invoke supernatural explanations to understand the living world, the diversity, relatedness and adaptedness of life forms, or of human origins (see https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xppn7ITteZw&pp=ygUeQW1pdGFiaCBKb3NoaSBFdm9sdXRpb24gUG9ldHJ5). Thus, evolution is also a central concept in our modern rational world-view, as opposed to a superstitious or mythological one…
In other words, Shashidhara and Joshi decry the loss of evolutionary content in one part of India’s curriculum because it hinders their attempt to root out any hint of religious or supernatural thinking in science. Never mind that religious thinking produced modern science and is used successfully by modern scientists today (see here, here, and here, for example). They don’t like it, so they want to keep Indian students from considering it.
It’s sad when scientists conflate their personal worldview with science. It’s worse when they try to force students to learn that worldview under the guise of “science education.”
There are many politicians and media figures (as well as a few scientists) who are desperately trying to convince us that global warming (aka “climate change”) is a dire problem that requires radical action right now. One of their most effective tools is to discuss a current event as if nothing like it has ever happened before. That way, they can blame it on climate change. This works, in part, because history education is so poor that most people don’t know what happened in the past.
…this extreme fire event and its long-ranging smoke trail indicate a much larger and concerning trend: wildfires are getting worse, lasting longer, and occurring more frequently, primarily due to climate change.
Of course, none of that statement is even remotely true. According to satellite imagery, here is the area of land burned globally by forest fires each year since 1980:
…many consider wildfire as an accelerating problem, with widely held perceptions both in the media and scientific papers of increasing fire occurrence, severity and resulting losses. However, important exceptions aside, the quantitative evidence available does not support these perceived overall trends. Instead, global area burned appears to have overall declined over past decades, and there is increasing evidence that there is less fire in the global landscape today than centuries ago.
But what about the air quality in New York? We’ve never seen anything like it before in the U.S., right? Wrong! Historically, the worst air quality recorded in the U.S. occurred on May 19, 1780 in the New England area. It’s referred to as New England’s Dark Day because the sky was so filled with smoke and fog that candles were required starting at about noon. What was the cause? It is impossible to know for sure, but the major contributor seems to be forest fires in the Algonquin Highlands of Ontario, Canada. As discussed in the link above, studies of tree rings in that area (as well as historical records) confirm that a major wildfire occurred there that year.
So while these things don’t happen often, they have happened in the past. Indeed, while one of these new fires might break it, the current record for the single worst forest fire in North America was the Chinchaga fire of 1950. In addition, the available data say that such events aren’t increasing in frequency or severity. Unfortunately, history and science education is incredibly poor these days, so most people just don’t know that. As a result, ignorant (or malicious) politicians and journalists (as well as some scientists) can prey on that lack of knowledge.
In my previous post, I wrote about the misleading concept of Young-Earth Evolution (YEE) promoted by Answers in Genesis (AiG). In essence, AiG is worried about young-earth creationists who do not wholeheartedly conform to its positions on various issues related to creation and evolution. It says:
YEE ideas are needlessly and dangerously accommodating evolutionary assumptions, ideas, and language. The advocation of subtle ideas out of step with clear Scripture undermines biblical authority, sows confusion, and is a breeding ground for compromise.
What are these “subtle ideas out of step with clear Scripture”? It turns out that they are ideas about which Scripture says absolutely nothing! For example, AiG takes issue with Dr. Matthew McClain, a young-earth vertebrate paleontologist who says that birds are more similar to dinosaurs than they are to any other creatures. This is, of course, a true statement (birds and dinosaurs share an enormous number of similarities), and Scripture says absolutely nothing about that. In fact, while Scripture describes individual animals that were probably dinosaurs (see Job 40:15-24, for example), it doesn’t mention any group of creatures that can be collectively referred to as dinosaurs. Thus, the Bible makes no comparison between birds and dinosaurs.
Why, then, does AiG say that Dr. McClain’s idea is “out of step with clear Scripture”? Well, AiG says:
Dinosaurs are land-dwelling animals. That means they were made on day six of creation (Genesis 1:24–25). Almost all birds are flying creatures to some degree, and they all have wings. Therefore, they most likely were all made on day five (Genesis 1:20–22). By saying or agreeing with the evolutionary claim that birds are dinosaurs or are most similar to dinosaurs, Dr. McLain is mixing groups made on different days of creation.
There are two really big problems with this statement. First and foremost, it ignores Scripture. Leviticus 11:13-19 lists the types of birds that are not to be eaten. What does that list end with? It ends with a BAT! So what Scripture calls a bird is not what modern people call a bird. Any unbiased look at Scripture indicates that when the Old Testament mentions birds, it is referring to all animals that fly, which includes certain mammals. Well, most mammals were made on day six, so Scripture itself mixes groups made on different days. Even AiG has to agree that bats are mammals. In addition, it must agree that whales are mammals. They are swimming creatures, which were also made on day five. Thus, Scripture says that some animals we call mammals were made on day five, while others were made on day six. If some animals we call mammals were created on day five and some on day six, why couldn’t some animals we call dinosaurs have been made on day five and others on day six?
The second problem here is that AiG even admits that all birds were “most likely” made on day five. If AiG has to hedge on its own statement about when all birds were made, how in the world can Dr. McLain’s idea be “out of step with clear Scripture”? AiG is actually admitting that the Scripture isn’t clear on this point. I think what AiG means is that Dr. McClain’s view is out of step with AiG’s interpretation of Scripture. In other words, AiG seems to be conflating its interpretation of Scripture with what clearly comes from Scripture. That’s a very dangerous path to go down!
AiG also has a problem with Dr. McClain’s view that at least some dinosaurs had feathers. This is extremely odd, since AiG has stated previously:
Nothing in the Bible precludes the erstwhile existence of feathered dinosaurs.
So which is it? Is the idea that some dinosaurs might have had feathers “out of step with clear Scripture,” or is there nothing in the Bible that “precludes the erstwhile existence of feathered dinosaurs”? Clearly, AiG’s second statement is the correct one. Why, then, is AiG complaining about Dr. McClain’s view?
In my previous post, I encouraged you to watch a 12-minute video from Dr. Todd Wood that clearly demonstrated AiG is not treating him fairly. In this article, I suggest you watch a 13-minute video to show you that AiG is not treating Dr. McClain fairly either.
Once again, I really appreciate Dr. McClain’s view on this. I have always been skeptical of the idea of feathered dinosaurs (see here, here, here, and here). However, as a young-earth creationist, I want to listen to those who have different viewpoints, especially those who are as well-versed in this issue as Dr. McClain. Based on my reading, Dr. McClain is the most qualified creation scientist to speak on the fossil record of dinosaurs. Whether or not I agree with him, I need to learn as much as I can from him. If AiG really wants to learn the truth about the details of how God created, it should try to learn from him as well!
I have been exposed to a lot of odd ideas over the years: the flat earth, the idea that we never landed on the moon, chemtrails, etc. etc. Well, I can now add another to the list. This one comes from Answers in Genesis (AiG), which is warning Christians about the dangers posed by Young Earth Evolutionists. If you looked at those three words and said “What?”, I don’t blame you. Obviously, there is no such thing as a young-earth evolutionist. Evolution (at least in the sense most people use the term) requires billions of years, so if you are an evolutionist, you cannot believe in a young earth.
What does AiG mean by “young-earth evolutionist”? Apparently, it’s a young-earth creationist who is unwilling to pledge fealty to AiG’s tests of orthodoxy. Consider, for example, Dr. Todd Wood, who has a Ph.D. in biochemistry and was once the director of bioinformatics at Clemson University’s Genomics Institute. He is a committed Christian, a knowledgeable creationist who has done original research in the field, and an expert in baraminology, the scientific study of what kinds of living organisms were originally created by God. He believes (and teaches) that the days listed in Genesis 1 were roughly 24 hours long, that there was a worldwide Flood that is responsible for most of the fossil-bearing rocks we see today, and that the land animals we see today (with the possible exception of many kinds of insects) are descended from the animals that walked off the Ark after the Floodwaters receded. In short, he is a young-earth creationist.
Why does AiG call him a young-earth evolutionist? Because he is being honest about the data related to origins. For example, AiG takes issue with his famous statement that there are “gobs and gobs” of evidence for evolution. AiG doesn’t like this, because it claims that all this supposed evidence has already been “dealt with,” so none of it qualifies as actual evidence. While the first part of this statement is true, the second part is clearly not, and that goes to the core of the difference between AiG and many serious creation scientists. Yes, creationists have “dealt with” data that seem to support evolution. However, as any serious scientist understands (and AiG gives lip service to), scientific data require interpretation. Yes, creationists can interpret data in a way that is consistent with their ideas, but evolutionists can interpret that same data in a way that is consistent with their ideas. AiG seems to think that once creationists have figured out a way to interpret the data in a manner consistent with their ideas, the data no longer qualify as evidence for evolution. That is simply not true!
Anyone who has spent any significant amount of time seriously studying science understands that there is often no way to decide which interpretation of the data is correct. Often, one side’s interpretation of the data seems desperate, but that doesn’t mean it is wrong. Let me give you two examples. First, consider the GULO pseudogene. Evolutionists think that it is a broken version of a gene that was originally functional in early mammals, but mutations rendered it nonfunctional during the course of evolution. Well, the same mutations that are thought to have rendered it nonfunctional in apes are also found in humans. This is thought to be excellent evidence that humans and apes have a common ancestor whose gene had already been rendered nonfunctional, and that nonfunctional gene was passed on to both apes and humans. It’s true that the most straightforward way to interpret the GULO pseudogene is through the lens of common ancestry. Now, of course, there are ways to interpret it in the context of young-earth creation, and I give one of them in the link above. However, if you read it, you can see that it is not the most straightforward interpretation of the data.
Next, consider the phenomenon of homology. Many very different organisms share very similar features. All vertebrates (animals with backbones), for example, have the same basic plan for their forelimbs. Evolutionists assure us that this is because all vertebrates evolved from a common ancestor that passed on its forelimb plan to each of its descendants. In other words, homology is the result of common ancestry. However, there are many, many examples of similar structures that cannot be the result of common ancestry, because evolutionists have decided that those organisms don’t share a common ancestor that could give them that structure. As a result, they say that in such cases, homology is not a result of common ancestry. In other words, sometimes homology is a result of common ancestry, and sometimes it is not. That’s not a very straightforward interpretation of the data. A better interpretation of the data is that organisms were originally made by the same Designer, who simply used the same basic design over and over again when it was appropriate.
So….is the GULO pseudogene evidence for a common ancestor between apes and humans? Absolutely yes! Can creationists accommodate the GULO pseudogene in their view? Yes, but it seems a bit desperate. Is homology evidence for a common Designer? Absolutely yes! Can evolutionists accommodate it in their view? Yes, but it seems a little desperate. To any serious scientist out there, this shouldn’t seem strange. In every field where there are competing theories, those who support one theory have a set of evidence that is very strong, and those who support a competing theory have another set of evidence that is very strong. Typically, both sides can accommodate the other side’s evidence in their theory, but often, that accommodation seems desperate. Indeed, we often make decisions between scientific theories by deciding which one seems the least desperate when dealing with all the data!
Not only does AiG hate admitting that there is evidence for any view that disagrees with its own, it really hates the way Dr. Wood explains how he personally deals with the “gobs and gobs” of evidence for evolution. He says that he has faith. It’s rather odd for a creationist organization to argue against faith, but that seems to be what AiG is doing! It claims that in emphasizing his faith, Dr. Wood comes very close to fideism, which says that faith is opposed to reason. Of course, this is a gross mischaracterization of Dr. Wood’s views, and anyone who has honestly read Dr. Wood’s work understands that.
In fact, you don’t even have to honestly evaluate his work to see that AiG is mischaracterizing Dr. Wood’s views. You just have to go to YouTube and see his 12-minute video about why he is a creationist:
I really encourage you to watch the entire video, because it shows how a serious creationist honestly deals with evidence that seems to contradict his view (he specifically mentions one piece of data and vaguely refers to another). In case you do not, however, let me summarize what he says. Like any real scientist, he says that he is comfortable not having an answer to every question related to origins. As a result, his faith can remain strong despite challenges to it, which allows him to work towards finding answers to those challenges.
Now please note that I do not agree with everything Dr. Wood says. In fact, I disagree with his idea that there are “gobs and gobs” of evidence for evolution. Based on my interpretation of the data, I find that there is some evidence for evolution (which is why serious scientists can believe in it), but the “gobs and gobs” of evidence support the creationist view. However, I am also humble enough (despite what my students might say) to admit that I could be wrong. Thus, I value Dr. Wood and his contributions to creation science. In fact, I thank God for what he is doing!
Please note that AiG calls other very serious creation scientists “young-earth evolutionists.” I plan to address that in at least one more article.
As I mentioned in my previous post, I haven’t been blogging much because I have been busy teaching classes and writing my new physics course, Discovering Design with Physics. However, that book is now at the printer, so I have more time for blogging. My previous post discussed how I begin and end the course, and now I want to give my readers an idea of what the differences are between my new physics course and the one that is still in print (Exploring Creation with Physics, 2nd Edition).
I wrote Exploring Creation with Physics, 2nd Edition almost 20 years ago, and while the material required for a college-prep physics course hasn’t changed since then, there have been some new developments in physics that are worth addressing. For example, over the past 11 years, the Voyager spacecrafts left our solar system. That is not only interesting in and of itself, but it is also a dramatic demonstration of Newton’s First Law of Motion. After all, they have been moving at roughly the same velocity since 1989, despite the fact that they haven’t used their fuel for propulsion since then! As another example, Pluto lost its status as a planet about 17 years ago. Thus, in this new physics book, it is not listed as one of the planets in the solar system.
More importantly, I decided to take a completely different approach in writing this new book. The “traditional” approach to physics is to start with the definitions of displacement, velocity, and acceleration. From there, you use equations to analyze motion in both one and two dimensions. After that, you then discuss Newton’s Laws, which actually dictate the behavior you have been using equations to analyze. That’s how I wrote Exploring Creation with Physics, 2nd Edition, because that’s the way every text from which I taught did it. However, I have never been happy with that approach. So for the new book, I decided to discuss displacement, velocity, and acceleration in the context of Newton’s Laws. That means the students learn about displacement and velocity in the context of Newton’s First Law, and then they learn about acceleration in the context of Newton’s Second and Third Laws. That way, the students learn why the motion being analyzed actually happens. The PhD physicist who reviewed the book for accuracy told me that this was a more satisfying treatment of motion.
In addition, I decided to take a new approach with the experiments as well. In the previous book, the students did several experiments where they were measuring things like acceleration, velocity, the period of a system’s motion, etc. Since those experiments involved measuring short intervals of time, the students had to repeat the experiment several times and then average the results so as to reduce experimental error. That is an important technique to learn, but it is also time-consuming. In the new physics course, the students do fewer experiments like that. They still learn the technique, but since they don’t use it as much, the experiments are not as repetitive or time consuming. Of course, that doesn’t mean there are fewer experiments. In fact, there are six more experiments in the new course compared to the old course!
Also, since I have been teaching physics for many years since the first book was written, I have learned better ways to communicate some of the more difficult concepts in the material. As a result, students will understand the material better. To ensure this, I field-tested the course with more than 70 students. They regularly communicated with me regarding how they were learning, and they even offered some excellent suggestions which led to some changes in the text. I have something very exciting to share about the results of that field test, but I am not at liberty to do so at this time. Be assured that I will do so when I am allowed.
Finally, my publisher has given me assurances that the student text will always be published as a hardcover book, since we encourage parents to use it for all their children over the course of many years. This is important, as there are some homeschooling publishers who have been producing their student texts as softcover books, which I think is unfortunate.
Of course, you might be wondering whether or not you should get this new text if you already have Exploring Creation with Physics, 2nd Edition. The new course is most certainly better than the old one for the reasons mentioned above. However, the old one is still a very good course. Thus, it really depends on how much strain the cost of the new course will put on your budget.
My blog has been mostly silent because I have been teaching classes and working on my new physics book, Discovering Design with Physics. However, classes are winding down, and my new physics book is at the printer. I will have a more thorough post about the book itself next week, including how it is different from my old physics book. For right now, however, I thought my readers might be interested in how it begins and ends. The introduction to the student text begins this way:
Have you ever taken something apart in an attempt to figure out how it works? I have. Usually, I end up ruining it and not learning much. On the rare occasion when I am successful, however, I get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment. In some ways, that’s what the subject of physics is all about. We try to “take the world apart” to see how it works. We look for laws and equations that allow us to analyze processes that occur on a very small scale (like electrons traveling through a conductor), processes that occur on an everyday scale (such as baseballs being hit by bats), and processes that occur on a very large scale (like planets orbiting the sun). If we can properly analyze these processes, we can start to understand how the world works.
As you start “taking apart” the world in this course, you should be struck by how intricately designed everything is. The world runs amazingly well, because all its parts have been designed to work together. As French physicist and Nobel Laureate Alfred Kastler states:
The idea that the world, the material universe, was created all by itself, seems absurd to me. I only conceive of the world with a creator, therefore a God. For a physicist, a single atom is so complicated and so rich in intelligence, that the materialistic universe has no meaning.
(Fabre-luce Alfred, L’été de la résurrection, Grasset 1971, p. 105, translated from French by Fernando José Walsh)
I hope that as you read this book, you will come to see the truth of Dr. Kastler’s words.
After spending 16 chapters “taking apart the world,” I end my discussion of physics this way:
You have reached the end of this high-school physics course. You have learned a lot about how God’s creation works, and I hope that this has given you a deeper sense of awe for our Creator. That’s certainly what studying physics has done for me. As I learn more and more about the intricacies of how the world works, I cannot help but be filled with wonder for its Designer.
I think Dr. Isidor Isaac Rabi, who won the 1944 Nobel Prize for physics, said it best:
Physics filled me with awe, put me in touch with a sense of original causes. Physics brought me closer to God. That feeling stayed with me throughout my years in science. Whenever one of my students came to me with a scientific project, I asked only one question, “Will it bring you nearer to God?”
(“I. I. Rabi As Educator and Science Warrior,” Physics Today, 52(9):38, 1999).
I think that’s a great question to ask of any endeavor you wish to pursue.
It’s important to note that many other scientists share Dr. Rabi’s view. Homeschool graduate Dr. Nathan T. Brewer is a nuclear physicist whose research is focused on creating new elements. He says,
I know I haven’t posted anything since September, but that’s because this has been a very busy academic year for me. I hope to get back to regular posting by the end of May, but I wanted to let my readers know about a video series that is being produced by Logos Research Associates. It promises to convey cutting edge scientific evidence for the creation account. The director of the organization, Dr. John Sanford, is one of the most gifted scientists with whom I have ever worked, and he is also one of the most genuine Christian men I know. Since he and many of the associates are actively doing original scientific research related to creation, I am sure there will be a lot of awesome information shared throughout the series.
The first presentation is scheduled for February 22, 2023 at 9:00 PM Eastern (8:00 PM Central). It will present the big picture and the relevance of creation apologetics, setting the stage for the series of talks that will follow.
If you have been reading this blog for a while, you know that I am very skeptical of the idea that global warming (aka climate change) is a serious problem. There are many scientific reasons for this, most notably the fact that we still have no real understanding of how increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere affects global temperature. However, we do know that the amount of carbon dioxide in the air is increasing, and we also know that human activity is causing that increase. As a result, it is reasonable to try to do something about that, as long as we don’t kill people or a disproportionate number of animals in the process. The problem, of course, is that most of the proposed solutions for reducing humanity’s carbon dioxide emissions do both (see here, here, here, and here).
Rather than trying to replace efficient and inexpensive sources of energy with our current unreliable, expensive, and deadly “green” sources, we should work on developing technologies that reduce carbon dioxide emissions in a way that doesn’t affect energy price and availability. One example of this better approach can be found in a recently-published study that reports on a new method which can be used to convert carbon dioxide into ethylene, a chemical that is used in a wide range of industrial processes.
The most common method currently in use for producing ethylene is called “steam cracking,” and it is a high-temperature process that is estimated to produce 260 million tons of carbon dioxide each year. However, the process described in the study can be done at much lower temperatures. It involves passing an electric current through a chemical reaction vessel that contains carbon dioxide and a water-based solution. Hydrogen atoms from the water end up combining with carbon atoms from the carbon dioxide to produce ethylene. While such methods have been explored in the past, this method is significantly more efficient. In addition, if the electric current powering the cell is produced by solar or other renewable energy sources, the process actually uses up carbon dioxide. In other words, this process turns an activity that adds carbon dioxide to the atmosphere into an activity that pulls carbon dioxide from the atmosphere.
But wait a minute. If this process requires renewable energy sources to pull carbon dioxide out of the air, aren’t we just falling back on the old “green” technologies that cause so many problems in the first place? Not really. Two of the biggest problems with current “green” technologies are that they make energy more expensive and often cannot keep up with our energy demands. This process actually reduces cost significantly, because it doesn’t require so much heat. Thus, the higher expense of “green” technologies is offset by the lower cost of the process as a whole. Also, we don’t need to be making ethylene constantly. We can make lots of it when the “green” sources are producing energy, and we can wait when they aren’t. As a result, we are not harmed by their limitations.
In addition, scaling up this technology to make it useful for industrial purposes will probably lead to ideas of how similar processes can be used in other industrial applications. In my view, this kind of technology should be the focus of any proposed solutions for reducing humanity’s carbon footprint.
When the pandemic shut down the schools, many parents were horrified to see what their children were being taught on a daily basis. Others saw that “zoom school” just wasn’t a good way to educate children. As a result, many parents started homeschooling. Along with others, I read the news reports (like this one) covering this phenomenon.
Unfortunately, I have a rather cynical view of my fellow parents. I think that a lot of people who have children would be better off with pets, because they don’t really want to spend the time, effort, and energy necessary to properly raise their children. Thus, while I was happy to see more parents choosing the most effective model of education, I was skeptical that it would last.
Well, homeschooling researcher Dr. Brian Ray has released an analysis that at least partially confirms my cynical view. Using data from the United States Department of Education, the United States Census Bureau, an Education Next survey, and all state-level departments with relevant publicly available data, Dr. Ray estimated the number of students being homeschooled in 2020, 2021, and 2022 and then compared those numbers to previous estimates. The results are shown in the graph above.
Notice that homeschooling grew quite a bit from 2020 to 2021, which is consistent with the news reports. However, in 2022, the numbers dropped, which is consistent with my cynical view of my fellow parents. Nevertheless, I am actually surprised at how little the numbers dropped. Look at the growth in homeschooling from 2016 to 2019. In that three-year period, it grew by about 9%. Compare that to the growth from 2019 to 2022, which includes the year of decline. That growth is 25%! So even after a lot of people left homeschooling, the growth has still been unusually high.
Now, of course, there are at least two caveats here. First, it is very difficult to estimate the number of children being homeschooled. However, given the fact that Dr. Ray has been doing it for decades, I think he is probably the most reliable source on the matter. The second caveat is that 2022 might not be the last year in which the numbers drop. We will have to wait and see.
Nevertheless, given what we know now, it seems that many more parents have discovered the fact that homeschooling is the best solution for their children. More importantly, they have stuck with it (at least so far). This gives me more hope for the next generation.
The Soho forum recently held an Oxford-style debate on climate change between two experts on the matter. The resolution being debated was:
Climate science compels us to make large and rapid reductions in greenhouse gas emissions.
Arguing for the affirmative was Dr. Andrew Dessler, professor of geoscience at Texas A&M and director of the Texas Center for Climate Studies. Arguing for the negative was Dr. Steven Koonin, a professor of civil and urban engineering at NYU’s Tandon School of Engineering, who served as undersecretary for science at the Department of Energy during the Obama administration. You can watch it here:
The debate was excellent, with both debaters showing why they are considered experts on the issue. However, Dr. Koonin was the clear winner, because the debate audience was asked to respond to the resolution both before and after the debate. Before the debate, 24.69% of those in attendance agreed with the resolution, while 48.77% disagreed. The rest were undecided. Thus, the audience was probably better educated on the issue than most of the public (and most politicians), since a plurality had the more scientifically-defensible reaction to the resolution. However, by the end, the “yes” votes had decreased by 5.56%, while the no votes increased by 24.69%.
Now, of course, you have to be the judge of why Dr. Koonin won the debate. For me, it was because his statements were backed up by data. I hope there are more debates like, because the better educated the public is on the science related to climate change, the more likely it will be for the world to enact sane measures to address it.