Hi. My name is David Taylor, and this is my personal website. I was born in 1955 and I have taught physics at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois (the only private university in the Big Ten – Go Cats!) for 23 years. Like most teachers these days, I have generated quite a few web pages for my classes, so one summer I decided to collect a few and put them on the web in a format suitable for the general public. My motivation? Educational outreach. Nothing less, nothing more.
I think the links below are self-explanatory, but let me put in a few words about the more political-affiliated ones. I have a life-long interest in education. I have no interest in politics. Unfortunately, like it or not, some scientific topics can only be taught by out-shouting the gangs of political operatives who dominate Washington, and who have everything on their minds except education. The late Daniel Moynahan (Senator from New York) once famously said that everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but no one is entitled to their own facts. True, but alas, I am afraid someone has forgotten to tell Congress and the lobbyists. Your average potted plant is smart enough to see that most of our public affairs discourse is dominated by fabrications, fairy tales, falsehoods, fibs, fallacies, misconceptions, misinformation, misrepresentation, distortion, deceit, and dishonesty, leavened with wildly exaggerated factoids just for show.
Science is not excluded from this. There is little I can do about it, but at least the Internet lets me complain. The "political" essays on this site are perfectly factual scientifically, but unlike most scientists, I feel no obligation to pull any punches when discussing false statements made by the political class about scientific issues. (One reason the political class gets away with as much non-science as they do is because the scientific class, by and large, just politely sits back and lets them do it. The political class funds a lot of scientific research, you know.) My essays are aimed at laymen because the falsehoods told by the political class depend on an uneducated public: there is nothing they fear more than an educated citizen who can see through them, and thus the political class greatly fears teachers like myself (yes, they do), and rightfully so.
I have an education, and I'm not afraid to use it.
This page has no contact information because I already receive enough junk mail. However, anyone who really wants to can locate my email address on the Northwestern University website. My schedule is hectic, so I cannot promise that I will respond. I can promise that email containing even one impolite word will be deleted. My civility filter is set on high.
Here are the current articles. This is a work in progress, so don't hesitate to check back now and then.
(An entire website on how stars live and die.)
(An essay on why Dark Energy isn't dark energy.)
(Selected pages from my course notes to Physics 103-0, re-written for a general audience.)
(An essay on the difference between heat and temperature, and why conservatives always confuse the two.)
(An essay on the true dangers of global warming.)
(Thoughts on the future of global warming.)
(An essay on Darwin's famous theorem.)
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