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Art Hobson

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Commentary: The tragedy, and lessons, of Hiroshima

Subscriber onlyI was eleven on that August morning in 1945 when the bomb exploded over Hiroshima. It carried the explosive energy of 18,000 tons of TNT, an energy equal to the total conventional bomb capacity of 4,000 World War II heavy bombers. People still debate the effect of the Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombs on the conduct of the war. Many of my friends will disagree, but my conclusion is that Hiroshima hastened the end of the war, saved many American and Japanese lives, and was far less horrible than the planned alternative, a long ugly battle following invasion of the Japanese mainland. I do think we should have waited much longer than three days before dropping the second bomb. Continue reading...

Commentary: From Fayetteville To The Nuba Mountains

Totten, Others Risk Lives To Deliver Aid To Those Trapped By Conflict In Sudan

Subscriber onlyWe're all kin. Continue reading...

Commentary: World's Energy Future Is Changing

Subscriber onlyThe tide is turning. Energy use is entering a time of fundamental change and great hope. Some changes have surprised me and changed my views about energy use and the climate problem. Continue reading...

Commentary: U.S. Must Proceed With Care In Middle East

Subscriber onlyWe need to keep our thinking caps on as America is once again drawn into Middle Eastern chaos. We frequently either charge in with guns blazing, or else shrug the whole thing off. Neither will do. Continue reading...

Think More, Believe Less

Many Conservatives Wage All-Out Battle Against Science

Subscriber onlyMost of my professional life has been devoted to scientific literacy: educating the general public about science. Industrialized democracies cannot survive unless the general public understands the general principles of the science that drives our economy and shapes our culture. Continue reading...

Commentary: Why Is U.S. No Longer In The Top Tier?

Subscriber onlyAmerica emerged from World War II as the leading nation, but today this is far from true. We need to recognize this and ponder it. Continue reading...

Commentary: Recent Evidence Of Big Bang "As Big As It Gets"

Subscriber onlyThroughout history, humans have speculated about the origin of the universe. This speculation has recently progressed to scientific theories and evidence, and is a great example of the scientific process. Continue reading...

Commentary: Male instincts and the appeal of war

Subscriber onlyThe most obvious example of the "modernity paradox" -- the contradictions between science and primitive beliefs -- is modern warfare. Past wars killed and maimed combatants, while leaving most non-combatants and infrastructure intact. Beginning with aerial bombing in World War II, modern wars have been fought in the midst of civilians, and have often even been aimed directly at civilians. Continue reading...

Commentary: Climate change and the clash of cultures

Subscriber onlyThe general theme of my columns has been that a fatal contradiction runs through these modern times. On the one hand, our economy is based primarily on science and rational thought, while on the other hand our beliefs remain mired in primitive instincts and medieval superstitions. We see all around us, most obviously in places such as Syria and more subtly in American anti-intellectualism and materialism, the consequences of this clash between evidence-based conclusions and traditional beliefs. Continue reading...

Commentary: Recent Developments In Human Evolution

Subscriber onlyThanks to modern science, we're gradually learning one of the greatest stories ever told: how humans evolved. Continue reading...

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