I’m pretty sure Sphere was the first novel I read straight through in one sitting, I’d never read anything like it. Michael Crichton’s fast-paced prose and scientific themes created an entirely new genre of fiction, the techno-thriller. He was so popular in the mid-90s that at one point he had the #1 film, television series, and book in America (ER, Jurassic Park, and Disclosure). He passed away far too soon in 2008 at the age of 66.

His legacy lives on not only through his popular works of fiction, but through his frequent lectures as well. A collection used to reside on his website, but have been removed. An internet search, however, will quickly find the text or even a video on occasion.
These speeches, late in his life, caused much consternation on the left. Crichton came out publicly as a global warming skeptic and wrote a book, State of Fear, fictionalizing his journey from someone who generally agreed with the consensus to someone very critical of the science. The environmental left went nuts.
If you haven’t read the book, this lecture, titled "Aliens Cause Global Warming,"is a primer on Crichton’s thought process. At first blush it seems impossible that Crichton could make a serious argument out of that title, but he handles the task with ease. I want to pull one quote Crichton used in this lecture that I think sheds some light on the current state of science as it relates to both media and politics.
Crichton quotes Freeman Dyson criticizing Carl Sagan’s work to popularize the Nuclear Winter meme in the early 1980s: "It’s an absolutely atrocious piece of science, but who wants to be accused of being in favor of nuclear war?" Keep this in mind as I discuss two pieces of news that have come up this week.
The first is an expose, for lack of a better work, in The Federalist discussing possible fabricated quotes in presentations made by Neil deGrass Tyson. This story, in particular, catches Tyson misattributing a quote from President Bush. Tyson is attempting to be the Carl Sagan of this generation, to the point that he recently starred in a remake of Cosmos. He may also have inherited Sagan’s truthiness.
The interesting part is that Tyson is speaking to a group of self-proclaimed skeptics, some of the most pedantic people in the world. None of them bothered to challenge Tyson likely because (a) it sounds like something GWB would say because (b) they all know he is an idiot. To put it another way, "Sure the quote might be wrong, but who wants to be accused of supporting George W. Bush?"
Everyone makes mistakes, and I’ve yet to hear a verified response from Tyson on the charges Davis lays out so I’ll reserve judgement. But charges of fabrication tend to feed internet sleuths who, no doubt, are looking through Tyson’s archives to see what else they can find.
The second piece of news is an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal by Dr. Steve Koonin, appointed by President Obama as Undersecretary for Science in the Energy Department. Titled "Climate Science Is Not Settled," Koonin makes that case that "Any serious discussion of the changing climate must begin by acknowledging not only the scientific certainties but also the uncertainties, especially in projecting the future."
We continually hear that the "science is settled" and it is time to act on climate change
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