16 April 2008

Teens challenge science, but do they get it right?

In case you saw the recent news story that a teenager corrected NASA about the probability of an asteroid impact... check here.

Besides, arguing about correct probilities over something like asteroid impacts seem to have a certain... I don't know... squishiness to it. It's not something that is going to have a definite answer, like the probability of throwing snake eyes in dice. It's going to be complex, and low probability, and highly subject to revision anyway.

Apparently, there's also been another story circulating in the US about a teenager who is doubting that climate change is caused by human burning of fossil fuels (no link now).

What is the point of such stories? In neither case is the teen rebel providing any sort of definitive evidence. They're getting press just for doubting at a slightly more sophisticated level than their peers. I'm glad they're interested in science, but shouldn't they get attention when, you know, they contribute actual data? Like all the rest of us professionals?

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