Sunday, June 30, 2013

Horace Cooper: Another Moron Exposed on Bill Maher's 'REAL TIME'!

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We need to really thank Bill Maher, on his 'Real 'Time show, for highlighting the dolted Morons for the rest of us. Such was the case Friday night, as Horace Cooper - Conservo commentator and goofball, was exposed as belonging to this elite group. I will say that I only pegged Cooper as a semi-Moron until he opened his yap about climate change. (As Maher pointed out, he sat on the wrong side of every other issue under discussion, so why not this too?)

Cooper interjected at one point, believe it or not: that: "true science must always challenge the status quo or accepted version". He then went on to claim that at one time the "flat Earth" was the true accepted "science" and the spherical Earthers had to challenge it! Huh?    In other words, this dolt was comparing the currently accepted science of global warming (based on thousands of papers published in peer-reviewed journals)  to the flat Earth view!

In fact, as far back as 240 B.C. it was known by the much more enlightened Greek astronomers, in particular Eratosthenes, that the Earth was spherical, not flat. This was opposed to the primitive flat Earth perceptions (NOT science!)  embraced by the sheep herder tribes of Judea, many of whom scribbled down their Bronze Age myths in the Bible. In Eratosthenes’ case, around 240 B.C., he had to first decide what exactly he had to measure to assess sphericity as opposed to circularity. This is where a key assumption entered: that the Earth was spherical and the Sun distant enough that its rays at Earth were essentially parallel.


Eratosthenes thereby performed a measurement of the angle of elevation of the Sun at noon at Alexandria, and at Syene. This value could then be used to obtain Earth’s circumference, at 250,000 stadia or about 24,900 miles. The repeat of the experiment from thousands of different directions, orientations, shows sphericity not just circularity. Why? Because if Eratasothenes (or any of his thousands or millions of followers – who repeat the experiment even today at assorted universities) were measuring a circle, they’d have to be on the circle’s EDGE to obtain its circumference . Cut out a circle from cardboard and examine it. Any distance on the circle itself would be a chord, not a circumference. One would have to stand or situate exactly ON THE EDGE to get the circumference. No untrained, non-mathematical ancient mind would remotely contemplate this, because to him one would “fall off” at the edge. (Gravitational physics would need another 2500 years to be developed by Galileo and Newton)

Thus, the very act of measuring a circumference using a shadow angle (and trigonometry) on any part or place of Earth implicitly presumes its sphericity , since the extension of all such measuring lines leads to a circle that can be oriented around any direction across Earth. What then is the sphere? Technically – as we see from calculus, it is the integration of an infinite number of conic sections that are each circles – which results in a sphere (see diagram below).

How did the ancient Greek astronomers (e.g. Eratosthenes) break out of this and arrive at sphericity? In Eratosthenes’ case, around 240 B.C., he had to first decide what exactly he had to measure to assess sphericity as opposed to circularity. This is where a key assumption entered: that the Earth was spherical and the Sun distant enough that its rays at Earth were essentially parallel.

Recall here that roundness (circularity) and sphericity are two different properties. One (circularity) applies to a simple two dimensional surface or geometry. Indeed, the property of circles was investigated by Sumerian and Egyptian mathematicians long before any of the biblical authors emerged from their caves. This is why one biblical reference often cited by literalists (Isaiah 40:22: "“It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth..." ) cannot be assumed to mean the ancient Judean sheep herders knew anything about the Earth's sphericity. No, they only possessed a crude 2-dimensional perception: i.e. of themselves situated at the center of a circular FLAT disk with edges.

Thus, mathematically to advance, we take a circle – say defined by:

x2 + y2 = 4

And rotate it around the x-axis to generate a sphere. This is done by using calculus to integrate: p(4 - x2)dx from (-2) to +2. Thus, in the process of rotation an infinite series of circles is generated, to obtain a sphere with radius 2 and volume 33.427 cubic units. That the integration yields cubic units – proves that the result is a sphere since circles lack volume as geometrically defined.

Of course, one could never expect a numbnut like Cooper to know any of this, but then he ought not have compared the flat Earth paradigm to current climate science, which is actually ass-backwards. It is the current denial paradigm which is evocative of the flat Earth in relation to global warming-  which is the true analog to the spherical Earth.

In one sentence, then, Cooper exposed himself as a full moron whose bloviations on anything to do with climate change can be ignored, just as an earlier Maher guest ('Kennedy' ) claimed warming was due to 'Sunspots!" ( see e.g. )  Meanwhile, co-panelist Dan Neil of the WSJ at least got in one of the last words when he pointedly noted that he could see the effects of global warming-climate change by merely observing the manifestations outside, in the environs he inhabits. Which makes one wonder what peculiar environs Cooper inhabits that he can't see them.

Thanks, Bill, for every now and then clearly showing whose voices we need to ignore on which subjects! (As we've since learned to ignore Niall Ferguson's on "no evidence of water contamination"  from fracking!)


Lo Downs said...

Thank you so much for writing this. I was so incensed that no one called him on this being an ecclesiastical theory over a scientific one. I wish it had happened on the show, but I am thankful it happened somewhere.

Aside from the Greek astrologers, mathematicians, and philosophers centuries before that figured this one out (an excellent point), the inductive scientific method as we know it didn't begin getting developed until the early 1600s by Descartes. Even if what he said wasn't complete bs, which it was, science in the 1400s was a very different animal. You can't compare the two and still have a valid argument.

Again, thank you for this. I'm slightly less enraged. I'm a Texan, a Christian, and a rationalist. I don't like for people to think that because you are Christian you have to be illiterate and ignorant. Mr. Cooper is perpetuating that belief. It's abhorrent.

Scott Lahteine said...

I was very gratified when one of the guests (I think it was Dan Neil, but I only heard the audio) interjected to call Horace out on this sleazy equivocation:

Bill: Do you agree "Jesus wept"? (re: Mike Huckabee on the DOMA strikedown)

Horace: I don't know if Jesus wept, because I don't know that Jesus is singling out any one kind of failing against any other particular type of failing. There are people that drink. There are people that harm their bodies. I probably who eat too much. You know, there are lots of things that—

Bill: I don't know where you're going...

Horace: We don't meet the standard that Jesus would have for us to be exceptional.

Bill: Overeating is like gay sex?

Horace: I don't think so.

Bill: If it's done right...

Horace: But one doesn't place some hierarchy on what's—

Bill: Next time I stuff my face I'm gonna think twice!

Dan Neil: Oh my gosh...

Bill: But I don't know what you're saying Horace, about...

Horace: God doesn't take one type of sin and say this is most awful, and this is the good one. God has—

Bill: But he—

Dan: This is complete sanctimony! Let's not dignify this riot

Bill: Thank you!

Dan: ...this insane sanctimony.

Bill: That's right, there you go...

Dan: There's no point. It's raw and naked prejudice. That's period, paragraph.

Bill: Alright, moving on....