Donald R. Prothero

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Donald R. Prothero


Born
in Glendale, The United States
February 21, 1954

Website


Donald R. Prothero is a Professor of Geology at Occidental College and Lecturer in Geobiology at the California Institute of Technology. He teaches Physical and Historical Geology, Sedimentary Geology, and Paleontology. His specialties are mammalian paleontology and magnetic stratigraphy of the Cenozoic. His current research focuses on the dating of the climatic changes that occurred between 30 and 40 million years ago, using the technique of magnetic stratigraphy. Dr. Prothero has been a Guggenheim and NSF Fellow, a Fellow of the Linnean Society, and in 1991 received the Schuchert Award of the Paleontological Society for outstanding paleontologist under the age of 40, the same award won by the renowned paleontologist Stephen Jay Gould. He ...more

Donald R. Prothero isn't a Goodreads Author (yet), but they do have a blog, so here are some recent posts imported from their feed.

False Equivalence

Some people say, "Oh, there's anti-science on both sides of the political aisle." But that neglects one important fact: in only ONE political party are the leadership and the party platform dominated by science denial.
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Published on September 06, 2014 02:00
Average rating: 4.05 · 5,545 ratings · 500 reviews · 37 distinct worksSimilar authors
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Quotes by Donald R. Prothero  (?)
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“I have blogged previously about the dangerous and deadly effects of science denialism, from the innocent babies unnecessarily exposed to deadly diseases by other kids whose parents are anti-vaxxers, to the frequent examples of how acceptance of evolution helps us stop diseases and pests (and in the case of Baby Fae, rejection of evolution was fatal), to the long-term effects of climate denial to the future of the planet we all depend upon. But one of the strangest forms of denialism is the weird coalition of people who refuse to accept the medical fact that the HIV virus causes AIDS. What the heck? Didn’t we resolve this issue in the 1980s when the AIDS condition first became epidemic and the HIV virus was discovered and linked to AIDS? Yes, we did—but for people who want to deny scientific reality, it doesn’t matter how many studies have been done, or how strong the scientific consensus is. There are a significant number of people out there (especially among countries and communities with high rates of AIDS infections) that refuse to accept medical reality. I described all of these at greater length in my new book Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten our Future.”
Donald R. Prothero

“[N]early every creationist debater will mention the second law of thermodynamics and argue that complex systems like the earth and life cannot evolve, because the second law seems to say that everything in nature is running down and losing energy, not getting more complex. But that's NOT what the second law says; every creationist has heard this but refuses to acknowledge it. The second law only applies to closed systems, like a sealed jar of heated gases that gradually cools down and loses energy. But the earth is not a closed system -- it constantly gets new energy from the sun, and this (through photosynthesis) is what powers life and makes it possible for life to become more complex and evolve. It seems odd that the creationists continue to misuse the second law of thermodynamics when they have been corrected over and over again, but the reason is simple: it sounds impressive to their audience with limited science education, and if a snow job works, you stay with it.”
Donald R. Prothero, Evolution: What the Fossils Say and Why It Matters

“Science seeks the truth. And it does not discriminate. For better or worse it finds things out. Science is humble. It knows what it knows and it knows what it doesn’t know. It bases its conclusions and beliefs on hard evidence—evidence that is constantly updated and upgraded. It doesn’t get offended when new facts come along. It embraces the body of knowledge. It doesn’t hold on to medieval practices because they are tradition. If it did, you wouldn’t get a shot of penicillin, you’d pop a leech down your trousers and pray.”
Donald R. Prothero, Reality Check: How Science Deniers Threaten Our Future

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