Not often do I start a post off with a joke, but many NOVA shows are becoming science jokes.
Recently I read a good joke in sci.math that went similar to this:
Physicist, mathematician, logician were travelling in a tour bus in CERN countryside where the Higgs boson is pursued. And the physicist notices a black cow on the hillside and says "all the cows of CERN are black". The mathematician corrects the physicist by saying "there exists one cow of all the CERN cows that is black". The logician chimes into the conversation by saying, "There exists one cow of all the CERN cows whose one side is solid black."
Now we laugh at that because the logician has it correct, even though it seems a bit trite, but it points out the huge ways of mistakes that the physicist and even the mathematician have opened up for themselves. Because if we visit the other side of the cow and find out it has white blotches with black, then the logician was the only correct answer. And the above points out all the silly nonsense of Higgs boson theory at CERN with its ten thousand assumptions hunting down some ephemeral particle.
But let me talk about how NOVA science programs have become dreadfully absent of logical reasoning. Can you even have science if logic is poor or absent? I would say no. That if you have holes in logic, that the performance is not science but perhaps art or drama, but not science.
And this new NOVA show "Decoding Neanderthals" fails in logic. I say that because the earlier shows of Neanderthals by NOVA some year or two ago showed the facts that Neanderthal was not the same species as Homo sapiens, that Paabo had found 3 mutations that signifies Neanderthal was a different species. But in this program, Paabo and Green deflect the earlier conclusion of different species and is wanting us to take in the idea that Neanderthals were breeding left and right with the incoming Homo sapiens. And where is the logic in that? If you are different species, you cannot be doing this interbreeding.
So in the earlier NOVA shows of Neanderthal, Paabo had determined they were different species, and in this show they are saying Neanderthal interbred with the Homo sapiens.
That cannot be true. Either the Neanderthals were of the same species but a different race and thus could interbreed, or, Neanderthals were a different species and interbreeding would not be viable.
So NOVA has serious problems of logic in these Neanderthal programs. But the problems of logic run deeper through many of the NOVA programs and suggests that they have no editor in charge of seeing whether the programs are logically sound.
Perhaps the most silly logic of any NOVA show to date is the program that wanted its viewers to believe that the Easter Island statues were moved upright many kilometers away from the quarry.
Another silly logic NOVA show was a alpine lake in Colorado that was a death trap for prehistoric animals, and instead of offering the obvious scenario of too many animals on the ice and the ice broken through that enmasse drowning, yet this NOVA show tried to foster this quicksand collapse due to earthquakes.
If NOVA continues with these illogical shows, maybe they should change their name to that of the Bugs Bunny Looney Tunes show.
-- Google's archives are top-heavy in hate-spew from search-engine- bombing. Only Drexel's Math Forum has done a excellent, simple and fair archiving of AP posts for the past 15 years as seen here: