Sticking to truth in science sets humankind free

In ancient times, a solar eclipse was a bad omen, a sign of the apocalypse in some cultures.

Now thanks to science, we know such celestial events are a natural occurence resulting from the motion of heavenly bodies. Our scientific knowledge discovered by such giants as Copernicus, Galileo and Newton even allows us predict them, as we have done for today, August 21, during the early afternoon.

Thanks to science we know that life goes on before, during and after an eclipse, and to that end, we’d like to know what the people around the Copper Country were doing during the eclipse. Since science has driven technological advancement in ways many of us only dreamed of 30 years ago, we know this eclipse will be extremely well documented with instant high-quality digital imagery that can be published worldwide as it is recorded. We invite Copper Country residents to share their documentation with us, and we’ll print it in the paper and online. Submit images to at “Submit News” with information about the images.

While scientific knowledge shows that we need not fear eclipses, when the sun is removed from the sky, there is still much more to learn.

Yet with all that we know that has been confirmed with all the technological advancements we’ve accumulated, there is a disturbing trend about, especially in this country, in which science takes a back seat to politics and misguided beliefs in public discourse and areas where the scientific knowledge is proven, given what we know; or it is used to promote values in areas where it is lacking.

This is done by people on each side of the political spectrum on issues of sciences such as climatology, geology, psychology and biology. Even in astronomy and astrophysics, for instance, many if not most scientists, along with most people, believe without a doubt that, given the apparent size of the universe — there are more stars in the universe than grains of sand on the Earth — there is intelligent life out there somewhere. The fact is, as of today, there is not one shred of evidence, not one signal, not one indication of that wish.

The scientific rebuttal of that wish is the Fermi paradox, named after physicist Enrico Fermi, who asked, noting the nonexistence of convincing evidence of alien intelligent life: “Where is everybody?”

What Fermi meant is after coming up empty through decades of searching, we should have come across something at least inexplicable, even in this tiny section of the universe.

Eclipses tend to prime humankind’s intellectual creativity and inspiration. Maybe it also can renew our appreciation of science.

A Daily Mining Gazette editorial