Barber, N., Ph.D. (2011, February 17). Does religion make people happier? Retrieved March 13, 2016, from https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-be...
Barber asks the question of whether Atheists are happier than Christians. He did this through statistics: comparing the countries with the happiest citizens to countries with the highest level of Atheism. What he found was that countries that are more secular tends to be happier. Correlation is not equal causation, but the fact that there are no religious countries that top the happiness list is enough to suggest that it does play a role.
By knowing that Atheism can lead to a happier society, it shoots down the myth that society relies on religion to feel secure and happy. Some also believe that Atheists live very miserable lives, and Barber showed how this is not at all true.
Bethell, T. (2013, July 19). The false alert of global warming. Retrieved May 17, 2016, from The American Spectator, http://spectator.org/55208_false-alert-global-warming/
Bethell tried to argue that climate change is a liberal propaganda by trying to undermine the ethos of scientists and environmentalists. Bethell mentioned how environmentalism is a multi-million dollar industry and is a corrupt movement while ignoring the fact that its opposition — the oil industry — is worth orders of magnitude larger.
Global Analysis — Annual 2015. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2016, from https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/global/201513
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) is the organization that is responsible for charting temperature data globally. Understanding how temperatures have changed over time is crucial in arguing for the validity of climate change, as without this data the arguments scientists make would be as empty as those made by climate change deniers.
Ham, K. (1987). The lie: Evolution. Colorado Springs: Master Books.
In his book, Ken Ham tries to argue for creationism. Considered a work of fiction to most scientists, it is a humorous read for anyone with an elementary understanding of Biology. It’s important to understand Ham’s work as he is one of the most vocal creationists out there today, and understanding his work is a gateway to understanding what some if not most creationists think about regarding the creation vs evolution debate.
Hanscombe, K. B., Trzaskowski, M., Haworth, C. M., Davis, O. S., Dale, P. S., & Plomin, R. (2012). Socioeconomic Status (SES) and Children’s Intelligence (IQ): In a UK-Representative Sample SES Moderates the Environmental, Not Genetic, Effect on IQ. PLoS ONE, 7(2).
Hanscombe et al showed that intelligence is not at all correlated with genetic factors. If anything, environmental factors play the biggest role in determining the intelligence of a child. They also found that environmental factors can overturn genetic factors and alter the results. How a trait came to be is important to understand, as factors that are determined by environmental factors are sometimes used for an argument for genetic factors.
Lal, R. (2004). Soil carbon sequestration impacts on global climate change and food security. Science Magazine, 304(5677), 1623–1627. doi:10.1126/science.1097396
Lal made the connection between climate change, agricultural practices, and food security. The paper showed how climate change can have real and profound impacts. Food is something that is universal, and that every living can relate to. Without a stable and ample food supply, no organism can live and reproduce.
Nestler, E. J. (2000). Genes and Addiction. Nature Genetics, 26, 277–281.
Nestler’s article talks about how our genes play a big role in determining whether or not someone would become dependent on substances throughout their lifetime. Though the link between our genes and addiction is clear, it is still unclear how many genes are responsible for the process, and so Nestler talks about how more research should be done to better understand genetics and it’s role in addiction.
One of the requirements for evolution is that traits need to be heritable. By showing that a trait is heritable, it takes away power from environmental determinants and places the authority on genetic factors. Understanding how the intelligence of a child is determined is important because it debunks the myth that some races are less evolved than others and are therefore less intelligent. This is not true, as shown by Hanscombe’s work.
Oreskes, N. (2004). The scientific consensus on climate change. Essays on Science and Society, 306(5702), 1686. doi:10.1126/science.1103618
Oreskes’ essay is a wake up call for politicians and the public about how climate change is something that many scientists agree on, and that the consequences for ignoring it is real. It is a robust consensus, and she provides examples of different papers to support her claim.
Parry, W. (2010, December 08). Living Warmer: How 2 Degrees Will Change Earth. Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://www.livescience.com/10325-living-warmer-2-degrees-change-earth.html
Parry talks about how devastating a two degree change in temperature could be for various ecosystems on our planet. Parry also talked about how politics is getting in the way of slowing down and preventing irreversible damage from climate change, and it is important to listen to the warnings of scientists as history have repeatedly shown.
Root, T. L., Price, J. T., Hall, K. R., Schneider, S. H., Rosenzweig, C., & Pounds, A. J. (2003). Fingerprints of global warming on wild animals and plants. Nature, 421(6918), 57–60. doi:10.1038/nature01333
Root et al showed the balance of evidence from studies on plants and animals that strongly suggest that there is a significant impact of global warming is already discernible in animal and plant populations. The synergism of rapid temperature rise and other stresses, in particular habitat destruction, could easily disrupt the connectedness among species and could lead to changes in the population.
Scientific consensus: Earth’s climate is warming. (n.d.). Retrieved March 13, 2016, from http://climate.nasa.gov/scientific-consensus/
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is home to the most brilliant scientists responsible for making space exploration possible. Understanding their point of view and their stance on climate change is important, as it shows us what the most brilliant minds are thinking in regards to climate change.
Steffen, W., Crutzen, P. J., & McNeill, J. R. (2007). The Anthropocene: Are humans now overwhelming the great forces of nature. AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment, 36(8), 614–621. doi:10.1579/0044–7447(2007)36[614:taahno]2.0.co;2
Steffen, Crutzen, and McNeill defined the start of the anthropocene as the start of the industrial period. They argued that the industrial period is when humans start to really change the world they live in: everything from fuel use to the construction of cities and infrastructures.