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  1. 10 Jul '16 06:40 / 3 edits
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2016/jul/08/thirty-meter-telescope-may-not-be-built-in-hawaii-say-astronomers

    the protesters may have successfully stopped the building of a telescope there because of their belief that the Mauna Kea summit is 'sacred'. I am appalled. I suppose it could be built elsewhere but it is the principle of the thing; stupid superstition hampering science. Perhaps the scientists there should make a stand there and say they will not allow stupid superstition get in the way of science?
  2. Standard member DeepThought
    Losing the Thread
    10 Jul '16 10:34
    Originally posted by humy
    http://physicsworld.com/cws/article/news/2016/jul/08/thirty-meter-telescope-may-not-be-built-in-hawaii-say-astronomers

    the protesters may have successfully stopped the building of a telescope there because of their belief that the Mauna Kea summit is 'sacred'. I am appalled. I suppose it could be built elsewhere but it is the principle of the thing; stupid s ...[text shortened]... ld make a stand there and say they will not allow stupid superstition get in the way of science?
    They regard the place as sacred and people keep littering it with telescopes. It's unreasonable to expect people to accept alterations to their cultural heritage (there's not necessarily "superstition" involved) solely for the sake of science. There are already 13 telescopes there and the locals probably felt that that's enough and that if they didn't draw a line the entire mountain top would be built on. There's still a fair chance it will be built there, the court decision just said the state government hadn't followed its procedures correctly when giving the permit to build and they had to go through the process again. If it's not built there then there are plenty of other suitable places.
  3. Standard member sonhouse
    Fast and Curious
    10 Jul '16 13:42
    Originally posted by DeepThought
    They regard the place as sacred and people keep littering it with telescopes. It's unreasonable to expect people to accept alterations to their cultural heritage (there's not necessarily "superstition" involved) solely for the sake of science. There are already 13 telescopes there and the locals probably felt that that's enough and that if they didn't ...[text shortened]... ough the process again. If it's not built there then there are plenty of other suitable places.
    Like the backside of the moon
  4. 10 Jul '16 14:07
    Originally posted by humy
    Perhaps the scientists there should make a stand there and say they will not allow stupid superstition get in the way of science?
    Why should science take priority? I think it all depends on local laws and who is considered to 'own' the mountain. If it is held as common property then I do think the locals should have a greater say in what happens to it than people who don't live there.
    There are other places that it could be built, so its not really a case of it 'getting in the way of science'. More likely it would be getting in the way of cost, or politics. If the telescopes are not significantly benefiting the local economy, then I can understand locals not wanting more of them.
  5. 10 Jul '16 14:15
    Note that those opposing the construction are quite concerned about the endangered species of the area. One could argue that that too is 'science'.
    https://sacredmaunakea.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/bbc-london-world-update-interview/
  6. 10 Jul '16 15:14 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    Note that those opposing the construction are quite concerned about the endangered species of the area. One could argue that that too is 'science'.
    https://sacredmaunakea.wordpress.com/2015/05/27/bbc-london-world-update-interview/
    Which species is said to be endangered by the telescopes and is there any evidence or reason to believe that the telescopes just located there could credibly effect that species there in a way significantly harmful enough to contribute to its possible extinction and, if so, how so and is that how so credible?

    I am not saying there couldn't credibly be any examples of that but I for one so far haven't heard of one and no such examples was explained in the video making me suspect either there isn't any such examples or, if there is, at least that isn't the main motive behind his rejection of telescopes.

    My suspicion was reinforced somewhat when he specifically mentioned that the place is sacred to a "sky god" as the very first reason he said in his list of reasons for rejecting the building of a telescope there.
  7. 10 Jul '16 15:59
    Originally posted by humy
    I am not saying there couldn't credibly be any examples of that but I for one so far haven't heard of one ...
    But then you probably know nothing about the area, so that's not saying much.

    and no such examples was explained in the video making me suspect either there isn't any such
    That seems like a rather unfair suspicion - and as it turns out, wrong.

    A very brief search on the internet reveals that there are genuine concerns about certain endangered species unique to the area. If you want an example:
    http://www.ifa.hawaii.edu/info/vis/natural-history/fauna/wekiu-bug.html
    http://www.protectmaunakea.org/#!Does-the-Thirty-Meter-Telescope-Pose-Environmental-Risks/cip6/553ea5bb0cf21fee134eceb5

    The fact is that there are significant and genuine concerns with regards to environmental impact and building the telescope will come at a cost to the environment. Which is more important, and whether the impact can be minimised is an issue for the local government etc to decide. But you are wrong to assume that it is all superstition.
  8. 10 Jul '16 16:24 / 4 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    But then you probably know nothing about the area, so that's not saying much.

    [b]and no such examples was explained in the video making me suspect either there isn't any such

    That seems like a rather unfair suspicion - and as it turns out, wrong.

    A very brief search on the internet reveals that there are genuine concerns about certain endanger ...[text shortened]... for the local government etc to decide. But you are wrong to assume that it is all superstition.[/b]
    Your link doesn't work for me.
    I tried an internet myself but none of the sites seem to let me read them.

    But you are wrong to assume that it is all superstition.


    But the fact that much of it is still appalls me.

    I don't deny there might be valid environmental concerns by some people and I am actually relieved if there is.
  9. 10 Jul '16 16:52 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by humy
    Your link doesn't work for me.
    I tried an internet myself but none of the sites seem to let me read them.

    ....
    OK, at last I have found a link that actually works and, yes, there are some legitimate environmental concerns.

    I would say that, when the officials consider their decision on whether to allow the building of the telescope there, they should totally disregard all consideration of all claims of the mountain being 'sacred' and ONLY consider the other concerns as possible legitimate concerns. I assume they would do this?
  10. 10 Jul '16 16:58
    Originally posted by humy
    But the fact that much of it is still appalls me.
    I think we should be understanding of superstition even when it seems inconvenient. In this case it is far less harmful than Christianity which has a much more far reaching effect in the US and against science.
    In this particular case, the beliefs seem to consist of respect for nature, which seems to be the sort of superstition one should be encouraging not disparaging.
    It is entirely possible that the beliefs are mostly being brought up because they know that they are likely to have more political sway than other arguments. When the government wants to build a dam, that is when people remember the river god.
    I suspect that the current telescopes have not been run particularly well with regards to the environment, and it is clear they haven't put enough effort into getting involvement from the local people. They probably sold the previous telescopes as job creators etc and then it didn't pan out as expected.
  11. 10 Jul '16 17:11
    You may find this informative about some of the issues:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opposition_to_the_Mauna_Kea_Observatories

    of particular note, the rush to build it is not because of science as such but in order to compete with the Europeans.
  12. 10 Jul '16 18:09
    Yes, let the backward savages stifle scientific progress.
  13. 10 Jul '16 18:24
    Originally posted by sonhouse
    Like the backside of the moon
    actually, if only if it wasn't for the horrendous cost, that would be a very good idea.
  14. 10 Jul '16 18:33
    Originally posted by humy
    actually, if only if it wasn't for the horrendous cost, that would be a very good idea.
    No, actually, it wouldn't. The moon would block out half the observable sky at any given time, so even if you can move the telescope, you are limited in where you can point it.
    In addition there would be a dust hazard, although I don't know how serious that is.
    A space based telescope beats a moon based one in just about every conceivable way.

    Plus the far side of the moon means you can't even use it for earth observations.

    I believe the lack of atmosphere does mean that you can use it during the day.
  15. 10 Jul '16 19:05 / 5 edits
    Originally posted by twhitehead
    No, actually, it wouldn't. The moon would block out half the observable sky at any given time, so even if you can move the telescope, you are limited in where you can point it.
    That isn't a significant problem unless you are in a big hurry to see a particular part of the sky right now!
    That is because, within each lunar cycle, because the moon turns on its axis, you would have the opportunity to point it just about anywhere you like.

    If you have more than one telescope on the Moon, it makes sense to have them widely spaced over the Moon in such a way that, if for some reason you were in a big hurry to see a particular part of a sky, at any point of time, there is usually at least one telescope that can immediately point that way.


    A space based telescope beats a moon based one in just about every conceivable way.

    Not necessarily.
    If it is a radio telescope, being on the far side of the Moon would mean almost all radio interference from the Earth (except some of the extremely long wavelengths ) would be blocked by the Moon from reaching it. This would be an advantage.

    I envisage in the far future, if it is a giant telescope, it can be much more feasibly be built via robots and robot factories on the Moon using processed material mined from the Moon. Out of the many alternatives, I think the alternative of bringing all that material from the Earth into space would be much more problematic although there are alternatives not involving the Moon that avoid that.


    Plus the far side of the moon means you can't even use it for earth observations.


    Most star-gazing telescopes aren't for observing Earth.
    I would think Earth-satellite telescopes, like what we already have, especially made and put in space to just observe the Earth only all the time and not the stars would be better for that.
    I believe the lack of atmosphere does mean that you can use it during the day.

    and at least if the telescope also looks at the infrared, preferably with giant portable/adjustable shades to keep a shadow constantly case over the main reflector to keep it cold else infrared part of that astronomy would be more limited.