One small step for a man

July 20 was the 41st anniversary of a human being landing on the moon.  The tiny spacecraft was guided by computers with far less capability than the one you are using to read this blog.  “One small step for a man,” said Neil Armstrong, “one giant leap for mankind.”   Was it really?  Watch the video of that dramatic 1969 telecast.  (If it isn’t appearing in your browser, click “comments.”)

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, the on-board computer that guided the Eagle was less powerful than the cheapest hand-held calculator you can buy at a dollar store. So the Apollo program was extremely courageous – going to the Moon and back with far less navigation technology than many motorists use today.

    The only thing that has kept us down in low Earth orbit, and that continues to keep us down, is a lack of will. Not a lack of technology – not one bit.

  • Tom Hering

    Actually, the on-board computer that guided the Eagle was less powerful than the cheapest hand-held calculator you can buy at a dollar store. So the Apollo program was extremely courageous – going to the Moon and back with far less navigation technology than many motorists use today.

    The only thing that has kept us down in low Earth orbit, and that continues to keep us down, is a lack of will. Not a lack of technology – not one bit.

  • Winston Smith

    Well, in one sense it’s a lack of technology, because apparently a lot of the technical knowledge from the Apollo era has been lost or forgotten. The Apollo engineers, going boldly where no one had gone before, had to resort to a certain amount of ad hoc solutions and improvisation, without always leaving detailed records. Many of those engineers are either very old or dead. Going back to Tranquillity Bay would require some reinvention, this time with Google Earth and Mapquest.

  • Winston Smith

    Well, in one sense it’s a lack of technology, because apparently a lot of the technical knowledge from the Apollo era has been lost or forgotten. The Apollo engineers, going boldly where no one had gone before, had to resort to a certain amount of ad hoc solutions and improvisation, without always leaving detailed records. Many of those engineers are either very old or dead. Going back to Tranquillity Bay would require some reinvention, this time with Google Earth and Mapquest.

  • Tom Hering

    Winston Smith @ 2, you’re right. (We discussed loss and reinvention here.) The astounding thing is we’re already well along on the road of reinvention – the Orion capsule, the Altair lander, the Ares I and V rockets – but we want to throw it all away, again. Fortunately, the House is recommending we not waste the billions we’ve invested in the Constellation program since 2005.

  • Tom Hering

    Winston Smith @ 2, you’re right. (We discussed loss and reinvention here.) The astounding thing is we’re already well along on the road of reinvention – the Orion capsule, the Altair lander, the Ares I and V rockets – but we want to throw it all away, again. Fortunately, the House is recommending we not waste the billions we’ve invested in the Constellation program since 2005.

  • Tom Hering
  • Tom Hering
  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I always feel compelled in such discussions to blurt out, “Velcro and Tang, people! Velcro and Tang!” Which, by the way, makes a horrible cocktail. Forewarned is forearmed.

    I don’t really think it was much of a “leap for mankind”, but I do think it was a leap for the United States, and an arguably necessary one in its context. I don’t see such a context anymore, however.

    I mean sure, yeah, it’s cool to have a space program. It’s a source of pride. Of jobs. It requires (and generates) a lot of engineering knowledge. But then, so would a project to, oh, I don’t know, build a giant artificial moon that would illuminate the night sky with projections of popular American films. It wouldn’t be necessary by any means, but it would fulfill the same goals that most champions of the space program seem to vocalize. Plus, we could probably subsidize the cost of the movie-moon program by charging companies to broadcast their films and ads to several billion people. The current space program is lacking in that regard. I mean, people were complaining yesterday about per-passenger subsidies on Amtrak, but that’s nothing compared to getting to the moon!

    As for Tom’s notion that “the on-board computer that guided the Eagle was less powerful than the cheapest hand-held calculator you can buy at a dollar store” (@1), I’m sorry, but no. That goes too far. Less powerful than a modern scientific calculator? Sure. Read for yourself[1]. The “Block II” Apollo Guidance Computer had far more memory than your dollar-store calculator, among other ways to measure computing power.

    And Winston (@2), you apparently aren’t aware that there’s already Google Moon[2], though it doesn’t give directions … yet.

    [1]wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer
    [2]google.com/moon/

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    I always feel compelled in such discussions to blurt out, “Velcro and Tang, people! Velcro and Tang!” Which, by the way, makes a horrible cocktail. Forewarned is forearmed.

    I don’t really think it was much of a “leap for mankind”, but I do think it was a leap for the United States, and an arguably necessary one in its context. I don’t see such a context anymore, however.

    I mean sure, yeah, it’s cool to have a space program. It’s a source of pride. Of jobs. It requires (and generates) a lot of engineering knowledge. But then, so would a project to, oh, I don’t know, build a giant artificial moon that would illuminate the night sky with projections of popular American films. It wouldn’t be necessary by any means, but it would fulfill the same goals that most champions of the space program seem to vocalize. Plus, we could probably subsidize the cost of the movie-moon program by charging companies to broadcast their films and ads to several billion people. The current space program is lacking in that regard. I mean, people were complaining yesterday about per-passenger subsidies on Amtrak, but that’s nothing compared to getting to the moon!

    As for Tom’s notion that “the on-board computer that guided the Eagle was less powerful than the cheapest hand-held calculator you can buy at a dollar store” (@1), I’m sorry, but no. That goes too far. Less powerful than a modern scientific calculator? Sure. Read for yourself[1]. The “Block II” Apollo Guidance Computer had far more memory than your dollar-store calculator, among other ways to measure computing power.

    And Winston (@2), you apparently aren’t aware that there’s already Google Moon[2], though it doesn’t give directions … yet.

    [1]wikipedia.org/wiki/Apollo_Guidance_Computer
    [2]google.com/moon/

  • Tom Hering

    Oh Todd, you’re such a spoil space. Tang and velcro? I don’t think so. The moment, the achievement, that captures what the space program is all about happened on Christmas Eve, 1968, after the first manned mission to the Moon entered lunar orbit. The crew broadcast pictures of the Earth and the Moon back to us, and addressed us as follows:

    William Anders:

    “For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you”.

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
    And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

    Jim Lovell:

    “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
    And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
    And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

    Frank Borman:

    “And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
    And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth.”

  • Tom Hering

    Oh Todd, you’re such a spoil space. Tang and velcro? I don’t think so. The moment, the achievement, that captures what the space program is all about happened on Christmas Eve, 1968, after the first manned mission to the Moon entered lunar orbit. The crew broadcast pictures of the Earth and the Moon back to us, and addressed us as follows:

    William Anders:

    “For all the people on Earth the crew of Apollo 8 has a message we would like to send you”.

    “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
    And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep.
    And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
    And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.”

    Jim Lovell:

    “And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day.
    And God said, Let there be a firmament in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters.
    And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.
    And God called the firmament Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day.”

    Frank Borman:

    “And God said, Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear: and it was so.
    And God called the dry land Earth; and the gathering together of the waters called he Seas: and God saw that it was good.”

    “And from the crew of Apollo 8, we close with good night, good luck, a Merry Christmas, and God bless all of you – all of you on the good Earth.”

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@6), Most. Expensive. Church. Service. Ever.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@6), Most. Expensive. Church. Service. Ever.

  • Tom Hering

    By the last lunar mission, the Moon program had cost each American alive in 1972 a total of $122 ($642 in today’s dollars). Break that down by a decade’s worth of weekly services, and the cost of the Apollo 8 Christmas Eve message was a little over $0.02 per American (about $0.11 in today’s pennies). Does your pastor know you consider that an exorbitant amount to drop in the collection plate? :-)

  • Tom Hering

    By the last lunar mission, the Moon program had cost each American alive in 1972 a total of $122 ($642 in today’s dollars). Break that down by a decade’s worth of weekly services, and the cost of the Apollo 8 Christmas Eve message was a little over $0.02 per American (about $0.11 in today’s pennies). Does your pastor know you consider that an exorbitant amount to drop in the collection plate? :-)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom, Tom, Tom (@8). “A decade’s worth of weekly services”? How many services were held, again? So far, you’ve but told of the one.

    So, to sum up, for that one service, I had to give an offering of $642 (an amount that rather exceeds what tithing might otherwise suggests), which offering was not voluntary but taken from me through a collusion of church and state, without my even being consulted for it. And, while there are a multitude of options for me to participate in the services in my own church, in this one case, I wasn’t even invited to the service, just to tune in to the broadcast.

    And I didn’t even get coffee or doughnuts. For $642, I expect coffee and doughnuts.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom, Tom, Tom (@8). “A decade’s worth of weekly services”? How many services were held, again? So far, you’ve but told of the one.

    So, to sum up, for that one service, I had to give an offering of $642 (an amount that rather exceeds what tithing might otherwise suggests), which offering was not voluntary but taken from me through a collusion of church and state, without my even being consulted for it. And, while there are a multitude of options for me to participate in the services in my own church, in this one case, I wasn’t even invited to the service, just to tune in to the broadcast.

    And I didn’t even get coffee or doughnuts. For $642, I expect coffee and doughnuts.

  • ptl

    Most highly recommend the movie “In the Shadow of the Moon”
    http://www.intheshadowofthemoon.com/
    It will make you feel good about a golden moment for our country. Saw it at an artsy-fartsy kind of theater in liberal ole Portland, Or and at the end of the movie, the audience gave a standing ovation, yeah!

    To me the space race was primarily a cover and PR campaign for the real race in the Defense world between us and our enemies, but a good one and necessary and it produced much of the technology that we take for granted in our everyday lives right now…maybe even including this internet thing. If it wasn’t the space race, then it was the arms race. In any case, it wasn’t a race for wimps or whiners, nor snakes or slugs and that’s why we were winners back in those golden days!

  • ptl

    Most highly recommend the movie “In the Shadow of the Moon”
    http://www.intheshadowofthemoon.com/
    It will make you feel good about a golden moment for our country. Saw it at an artsy-fartsy kind of theater in liberal ole Portland, Or and at the end of the movie, the audience gave a standing ovation, yeah!

    To me the space race was primarily a cover and PR campaign for the real race in the Defense world between us and our enemies, but a good one and necessary and it produced much of the technology that we take for granted in our everyday lives right now…maybe even including this internet thing. If it wasn’t the space race, then it was the arms race. In any case, it wasn’t a race for wimps or whiners, nor snakes or slugs and that’s why we were winners back in those golden days!

  • DonS

    tODD: Or, in this case, perhaps Tang and freeze-dried ice cream would be more appropriate. :-)

    I kind of like your movie-moon proposal, by the way. Lots of possibilities there.

  • DonS

    tODD: Or, in this case, perhaps Tang and freeze-dried ice cream would be more appropriate. :-)

    I kind of like your movie-moon proposal, by the way. Lots of possibilities there.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@10), you might be able to credit the Cold War for “this internet thing” (fka ARPANET), but I don’t think you can work the space race into that equation.

    Don (@11), regarding the movie-moon (Moonvie? will we get sued by the CEO of CBS if the French refer to “les Moonvies”?), I know, right? Makes more sense to me than does manned spaceflight (I have more appreciation for NASA’s satellite or otherwise scientific ventures). Not sure how the sound would work, though.

    What is clear is that the first movie to be shown on it would have to be Star Wars (Episode IV, that is). And when Obi-Wan utters his classic line, “That’s no moon!”, I’ll just laaaaaaugh.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    PTL (@10), you might be able to credit the Cold War for “this internet thing” (fka ARPANET), but I don’t think you can work the space race into that equation.

    Don (@11), regarding the movie-moon (Moonvie? will we get sued by the CEO of CBS if the French refer to “les Moonvies”?), I know, right? Makes more sense to me than does manned spaceflight (I have more appreciation for NASA’s satellite or otherwise scientific ventures). Not sure how the sound would work, though.

    What is clear is that the first movie to be shown on it would have to be Star Wars (Episode IV, that is). And when Obi-Wan utters his classic line, “That’s no moon!”, I’ll just laaaaaaugh.

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, okay, okay, Todd @ 9. If you’re going to nitpick my superbly creative argument, I’ll substitute “a decade’s worth of weeks in the Moon program” for “a decade’s worth of weekly services.” Sheesh. The point was “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” By means of Apollo 8′s Earthrise at Christmas, and the Hubble’s Pillars of Creation, and the wonders that will be – and only can be – discovered by human space exploration. This matters very much, I think, in an age when most people live in cities, rarely look at the heavens, and can’t see a lot when they do – because of air and light pollution. Anyone here seen the Milky Way from their backyard lately?

  • Tom Hering

    Okay, okay, okay, Todd @ 9. If you’re going to nitpick my superbly creative argument, I’ll substitute “a decade’s worth of weeks in the Moon program” for “a decade’s worth of weekly services.” Sheesh. The point was “The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.” By means of Apollo 8′s Earthrise at Christmas, and the Hubble’s Pillars of Creation, and the wonders that will be – and only can be – discovered by human space exploration. This matters very much, I think, in an age when most people live in cities, rarely look at the heavens, and can’t see a lot when they do – because of air and light pollution. Anyone here seen the Milky Way from their backyard lately?

  • ptl

    tODD, yes probably true that the darpanet ….you say arpa, i say darpa :) gets most of the credit for the basic structure of today’s internet, but have always thought that much of the miniaturization of the electronics in a spaceships or satellites (in order to increase their processing power as well as decrease their weight) created all the chips and microprocessors, etc. etc. that made personal computers, home routers and modems, etc. possible as well as provide the kind of processing power and cheap computer memory needed to run our modern browsers what with their very, very code-intensive windows (not to be confused with microsoft) based interfaces (just imagine how many folks would be surfing the web without the point and click graphical user interface, and that would be impossible without the kind of computing power made possible with our extreme miniaturization of electronic circuitry, etc) not to mention the very huge memory requirements for all the digital pics and music that whizzes around the net……sorry to ramble, and could go on, but hopefully you get my reasons for giving some credit at least to the space race, if even at best just indirectly? if not, that’s ok too…it is just my opinion and not easy to prove in a deterministic sort of way :)

  • ptl

    tODD, yes probably true that the darpanet ….you say arpa, i say darpa :) gets most of the credit for the basic structure of today’s internet, but have always thought that much of the miniaturization of the electronics in a spaceships or satellites (in order to increase their processing power as well as decrease their weight) created all the chips and microprocessors, etc. etc. that made personal computers, home routers and modems, etc. possible as well as provide the kind of processing power and cheap computer memory needed to run our modern browsers what with their very, very code-intensive windows (not to be confused with microsoft) based interfaces (just imagine how many folks would be surfing the web without the point and click graphical user interface, and that would be impossible without the kind of computing power made possible with our extreme miniaturization of electronic circuitry, etc) not to mention the very huge memory requirements for all the digital pics and music that whizzes around the net……sorry to ramble, and could go on, but hopefully you get my reasons for giving some credit at least to the space race, if even at best just indirectly? if not, that’s ok too…it is just my opinion and not easy to prove in a deterministic sort of way :)

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@13), my apologies if I’m misreading your tone here. Your failure to use sufficient emoticons leaves my reading emotionally uncaptioned ( ;) I am being a little silly here).

    I have no problem with Hubble and all it’s done, including the image you linked to — or, again, most satellite ventures. But that’s not “human space exploration”. And no matter how many things we put up in space, none of them are going to help me see the Milky Way from my backyard (besides, it’s usually too cloudy here). I’d much rather that everyone in the US greet their neighbor from their backyard than be able to see the stars, anyhow, in terms of problems that need addressing. Human space exploration is just as likely to solve that problem, too, I guess. ( :( I am being a bit cynical here, though my repetition of this device remains a bit silly, so I’ll also toss in a ;) ).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Tom (@13), my apologies if I’m misreading your tone here. Your failure to use sufficient emoticons leaves my reading emotionally uncaptioned ( ;) I am being a little silly here).

    I have no problem with Hubble and all it’s done, including the image you linked to — or, again, most satellite ventures. But that’s not “human space exploration”. And no matter how many things we put up in space, none of them are going to help me see the Milky Way from my backyard (besides, it’s usually too cloudy here). I’d much rather that everyone in the US greet their neighbor from their backyard than be able to see the stars, anyhow, in terms of problems that need addressing. Human space exploration is just as likely to solve that problem, too, I guess. ( :( I am being a bit cynical here, though my repetition of this device remains a bit silly, so I’ll also toss in a ;) ).

  • Tom Hering

    Todd (Tom smiles in a friendly way), not to worry. I think many people feel they go along with human space explorers on their missions. And those explorers communicate things back to us that robots and satellites can’t. This connectedness has brought people together. Think (I remember this well) of neighbors getting together in each others’ living rooms, or the crowds in public places around the world, watching or listening to the first moon landing, or following the struggles of Apollo 13. No, we haven’t seen that sort of thing in a long time. But then, we haven’t done human space exploration in a long time.

  • Tom Hering

    Todd (Tom smiles in a friendly way), not to worry. I think many people feel they go along with human space explorers on their missions. And those explorers communicate things back to us that robots and satellites can’t. This connectedness has brought people together. Think (I remember this well) of neighbors getting together in each others’ living rooms, or the crowds in public places around the world, watching or listening to the first moon landing, or following the struggles of Apollo 13. No, we haven’t seen that sort of thing in a long time. But then, we haven’t done human space exploration in a long time.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Perhaps then, Tom (@16), this is a generational thing. People who remember experiencing the moon landing want to return to that.

    Me? The defining space-travel event of my generation was the explosion of the Challenger. (I suppose the beginning of the shuttle program was momentous, but I was a bit too young to celebrate that significantly.) And the generation after me? They saw the Columbia streak across the Texas sky. Not to be too maudlin, but for a lot of young people out there, manned space exploration is a reminder of our shortcomings, and doesn’t necessarily carry with it an air of progress.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Perhaps then, Tom (@16), this is a generational thing. People who remember experiencing the moon landing want to return to that.

    Me? The defining space-travel event of my generation was the explosion of the Challenger. (I suppose the beginning of the shuttle program was momentous, but I was a bit too young to celebrate that significantly.) And the generation after me? They saw the Columbia streak across the Texas sky. Not to be too maudlin, but for a lot of young people out there, manned space exploration is a reminder of our shortcomings, and doesn’t necessarily carry with it an air of progress.

  • Tom Hering

    Todd, we watched the crew of Apollo 1 burn to death on the launch pad. Two-and-a-half-years later, we watched the Apollo program achieve its incredible goal. More to the point you raise, those of us who grew up in the 1950s and ’60s grew up with high expectations of the space program. We continue to feel that America has unfinished business to get back to. Maybe we just need to accept that America will never do the things it once dreamed of doing. But I understand how watching fourteen shuttle astronauts die in order to carry cargo, launch a satellite and conduct Earth research – all without a higher goal – would raise questions about the need for manned space flight.

  • Tom Hering

    Todd, we watched the crew of Apollo 1 burn to death on the launch pad. Two-and-a-half-years later, we watched the Apollo program achieve its incredible goal. More to the point you raise, those of us who grew up in the 1950s and ’60s grew up with high expectations of the space program. We continue to feel that America has unfinished business to get back to. Maybe we just need to accept that America will never do the things it once dreamed of doing. But I understand how watching fourteen shuttle astronauts die in order to carry cargo, launch a satellite and conduct Earth research – all without a higher goal – would raise questions about the need for manned space flight.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I don’t really think it was much of a “leap for mankind”, but I do think it was a leap for the United States, and an arguably necessary one in its context. I don’t see such a context anymore, however.”

    One of my physics professors in college remarked that more human lives have been saved due to the space program than from all of the biomedical research over the same period. The space program rolled back ignorance and forced invention on a grand scale. Truly inspiring, just like the rest of our western civilization which flourished by the grace of God.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “I don’t really think it was much of a “leap for mankind”, but I do think it was a leap for the United States, and an arguably necessary one in its context. I don’t see such a context anymore, however.”

    One of my physics professors in college remarked that more human lives have been saved due to the space program than from all of the biomedical research over the same period. The space program rolled back ignorance and forced invention on a grand scale. Truly inspiring, just like the rest of our western civilization which flourished by the grace of God.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@19), and how did he (or you) defend this claim of so many lives saved? Over what years, exactly? And just due to the “rolling back” of ignorance and “forced invention” — this alone saved lives? How?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@19), and how did he (or you) defend this claim of so many lives saved? Over what years, exactly? And just due to the “rolling back” of ignorance and “forced invention” — this alone saved lives? How?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Todd, he referred to the challenges of putting humans into space, as well as miniaturization, and basic physics research that in turn led to diagnostic technologies. Basically many questions had to be answered in order to accomplish the goals. The answers to those questions turned out to have manifold utility in medical technology as well as in many other technological fields. He did not pass out a list with calculations to prove his point, if that is what you are asking. NASA publishes its recent relevant medical tech online http://www.techbriefs.com/tech-briefs/biomedical-techbriefs.

    I can’t say I didn’t want to believe him. I didn’t hold bio research in high esteem because of their cruel and wasteful overuse of live animals.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Todd, he referred to the challenges of putting humans into space, as well as miniaturization, and basic physics research that in turn led to diagnostic technologies. Basically many questions had to be answered in order to accomplish the goals. The answers to those questions turned out to have manifold utility in medical technology as well as in many other technological fields. He did not pass out a list with calculations to prove his point, if that is what you are asking. NASA publishes its recent relevant medical tech online http://www.techbriefs.com/tech-briefs/biomedical-techbriefs.

    I can’t say I didn’t want to believe him. I didn’t hold bio research in high esteem because of their cruel and wasteful overuse of live animals.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@21), if all it takes is overcoming challenges, basic physics research, and answering many questions to accomplish goals, then we might as well similarly claim that Germany’s WWII rocket program similarly saved more lives than the medical research of its day. Or, heck, of any period. With the level of scrutiny we’re giving these claims, why not?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@21), if all it takes is overcoming challenges, basic physics research, and answering many questions to accomplish goals, then we might as well similarly claim that Germany’s WWII rocket program similarly saved more lives than the medical research of its day. Or, heck, of any period. With the level of scrutiny we’re giving these claims, why not?

  • Tom Hering

    Can I claim that the cheapest hand-held calculator you can buy at a dollar store has saved more lives than Germany’s WWII rocket program?

  • Tom Hering

    Can I claim that the cheapest hand-held calculator you can buy at a dollar store has saved more lives than Germany’s WWII rocket program?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I am not sure if you honestly doubt the contribution of stuff like medical diagnostic imaging and lasers and laparoscopy and robotic assisted surgery to saving lives. Basically I thought the guy’s point was plausible based on the general agreement that early detection is what has so greatly improved outcomes during that time frame. He certainly was in a position to know about the research behind the technology. No other medical miracles during that time come to mind. Polio and flu vaccines came out before the space program. Those were huge. Antibiotics were huge. Also prior to the space program. After that it was slow expensive development of therapies targeting specific disease. The big revolution in managing infection had passed and the new era of early detection and treatment had come. So, medical research became a game of diminishing returns while the tech from the space program was a giant leap forward toward detecting and treating many conditions including many that would have been fatal. This is really common knowledge. So other than scrutinizing exactly how many cancer patients’ lives were saved because they were diagnosed stage 1 instead of stage 4, it seems pretty obvious. That is why they are always pushing getting tested. I am not aware of medical technology inspired by Germany’s rocket program.

    Besides, I clearly stated it was his observation not mine anyway. It was basically the right thing at the right time. Also pharmaceutical companies are primarily driven to sell product. They need to find treatments that you have to keep buying. Sure, they want to save lives too, but like I said, at this stage of diminishing returns, they are focused on bringing in revenue and staying in business. In an era of lifestyle based disease, what exactly should they do? or can they do? The most inspiring work I have seen from the pharmaceutical industry was when some scientists quit to form a nonprofit pharma company to find treatments and vaccines for diseases common in poor countries where there is practically no way to make a profit from the drug. They actually came up with one drug or vaccine for one malady. I read it awhile back. Don’t remember the details. Still in the spirit of our great western tradition to go out and help those poor helpless suffering folks. And very inspiring.

    I don’t know if this will post, I keep getting error messages.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I am not sure if you honestly doubt the contribution of stuff like medical diagnostic imaging and lasers and laparoscopy and robotic assisted surgery to saving lives. Basically I thought the guy’s point was plausible based on the general agreement that early detection is what has so greatly improved outcomes during that time frame. He certainly was in a position to know about the research behind the technology. No other medical miracles during that time come to mind. Polio and flu vaccines came out before the space program. Those were huge. Antibiotics were huge. Also prior to the space program. After that it was slow expensive development of therapies targeting specific disease. The big revolution in managing infection had passed and the new era of early detection and treatment had come. So, medical research became a game of diminishing returns while the tech from the space program was a giant leap forward toward detecting and treating many conditions including many that would have been fatal. This is really common knowledge. So other than scrutinizing exactly how many cancer patients’ lives were saved because they were diagnosed stage 1 instead of stage 4, it seems pretty obvious. That is why they are always pushing getting tested. I am not aware of medical technology inspired by Germany’s rocket program.

    Besides, I clearly stated it was his observation not mine anyway. It was basically the right thing at the right time. Also pharmaceutical companies are primarily driven to sell product. They need to find treatments that you have to keep buying. Sure, they want to save lives too, but like I said, at this stage of diminishing returns, they are focused on bringing in revenue and staying in business. In an era of lifestyle based disease, what exactly should they do? or can they do? The most inspiring work I have seen from the pharmaceutical industry was when some scientists quit to form a nonprofit pharma company to find treatments and vaccines for diseases common in poor countries where there is practically no way to make a profit from the drug. They actually came up with one drug or vaccine for one malady. I read it awhile back. Don’t remember the details. Still in the spirit of our great western tradition to go out and help those poor helpless suffering folks. And very inspiring.

    I don’t know if this will post, I keep getting error messages.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My comments are not showing. I did not use the “s” word.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    My comments are not showing. I did not use the “s” word.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do you honestly doubt the contribution of stuff like medical diagnostic imaging and lasers and laparoscopy and robotic assisted surgery to saving lives? Basically I thought the guy’s point was plausible based on the general agreement that early detection is what has so greatly improved outcomes during that time frame. He certainly was in a position to know about the research behind the technology. No other medical miracles during that time come to mind. Polio and flu vaccines came out before the space program. Those were huge. Antibiotics were huge. Also prior to the space program. After that it was slow expensive development of therapies targeting specific disease. The big revolution in managing infection had passed and the new era of early detection and treatment had come. So, medical research became a game of diminishing returns while the tech from the space program was a giant leap forward toward detecting and treating many conditions including many that would have been fatal. This is really common knowledge. So other than scrutinizing exactly how many cancer patients’ lives were saved because they were diagnosed stage 1 instead of stage 4, it seems pretty obvious. That is why they are always pushing getting tested. I am not aware of medical technology inspired by Germany’s rocket program.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Do you honestly doubt the contribution of stuff like medical diagnostic imaging and lasers and laparoscopy and robotic assisted surgery to saving lives? Basically I thought the guy’s point was plausible based on the general agreement that early detection is what has so greatly improved outcomes during that time frame. He certainly was in a position to know about the research behind the technology. No other medical miracles during that time come to mind. Polio and flu vaccines came out before the space program. Those were huge. Antibiotics were huge. Also prior to the space program. After that it was slow expensive development of therapies targeting specific disease. The big revolution in managing infection had passed and the new era of early detection and treatment had come. So, medical research became a game of diminishing returns while the tech from the space program was a giant leap forward toward detecting and treating many conditions including many that would have been fatal. This is really common knowledge. So other than scrutinizing exactly how many cancer patients’ lives were saved because they were diagnosed stage 1 instead of stage 4, it seems pretty obvious. That is why they are always pushing getting tested. I am not aware of medical technology inspired by Germany’s rocket program.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I broke it up into two parts to post separately. The first worked, the second didn’t.

    And I swear I didn’t use the “s” word.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I broke it up into two parts to post separately. The first worked, the second didn’t.

    And I swear I didn’t use the “s” word.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Besides, I clearly stated it was his observation not mine anyway. It was basically the right thing at the right time. Also pharmaceutical companies are primarily driven to sell product. They need to find treatments that you have to keep buying. Sure, they want to save lives too, but like I said, at this stage of diminishing returns, they are focused on bringing in revenue and staying in business. In an era of lifestyle based disease, what exactly should they do? or can they do? The most inspiring work I have seen from the pharmaceutical industry was when some scientists quit to form a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to find treatments and vaccines for diseases common in poor countries where there is practically no way to make a profit from the drug. They actually came up with one drug or vaccine for one malady. I read it awhile back. Don’t remember the details. Still in the spirit of our great western tradition to go out and help those poor helpless suffering folks. And very inspiring.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Besides, I clearly stated it was his observation not mine anyway. It was basically the right thing at the right time. Also pharmaceutical companies are primarily driven to sell product. They need to find treatments that you have to keep buying. Sure, they want to save lives too, but like I said, at this stage of diminishing returns, they are focused on bringing in revenue and staying in business. In an era of lifestyle based disease, what exactly should they do? or can they do? The most inspiring work I have seen from the pharmaceutical industry was when some scientists quit to form a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to find treatments and vaccines for diseases common in poor countries where there is practically no way to make a profit from the drug. They actually came up with one drug or vaccine for one malady. I read it awhile back. Don’t remember the details. Still in the spirit of our great western tradition to go out and help those poor helpless suffering folks. And very inspiring.

  • Tom Hering

    I used some sort of no-no word in the North Korea thread yesterday, and my comment still hasn’t shown up. I’m pretty sure the word was “disinf0rmati0n” (spelled with zeros this time).

  • Tom Hering

    I used some sort of no-no word in the North Korea thread yesterday, and my comment still hasn’t shown up. I’m pretty sure the word was “disinf0rmati0n” (spelled with zeros this time).

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Oh, and by the way, Tang, and Velcro did not come from the space program. CAT scans did, however. See what happens when you get your info from TV.

    http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/spinfaq.htm

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Oh, and by the way, Tang, and Velcro did not come from the space program. CAT scans did, however. See what happens when you get your info from TV.

    http://www.sti.nasa.gov/tto/spinfaq.htm

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “See what happens when you get your info from TV.”

    The snideness of that comment reflects how much I hate TV, not all the thoughtful commenters here. After I thought about it. I figured that might come off as directed at people, which was not my intention.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    “See what happens when you get your info from TV.”

    The snideness of that comment reflects how much I hate TV, not all the thoughtful commenters here. After I thought about it. I figured that might come off as directed at people, which was not my intention.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@31), thanks for clearing that up. Especially since I was hardly being serious with my comment (@5) in the first place, though it was a reference to the popular notions addressed in the page you linked to (@30).

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@31), thanks for clearing that up. Especially since I was hardly being serious with my comment (@5) in the first place, though it was a reference to the popular notions addressed in the page you linked to (@30).

  • Peter Leavitt

    Andy McCarthy in an article It’s About Sharia writes:

    It makes no sense to dismiss our enemies as lunatics just because “secular …” elites, as Gingrich called them, cannot imagine a fervor that stems from religious devotion. We ought to respect our enemies, he said. Not “respect” in Obama-speak, which translates as “appease,” but in the sense of taking them seriously, understanding that they are absolutely determined to win, and realizing that they are implacable. There is no “moderate” sharia devotee, for sharia is not moderate. Gingrich noted that in response to global outcry against the prospect of death by stoning for an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, convicted of adultery, the mullahs’ great concession appears to be that she will be hanged instead. Islamism is not a movement to be engaged, it is an enemy to be defeated.

    We need to realize that these radical Islamic fighters are a serious enemy that needs to be squarely faced and fought hard.

  • Peter Leavitt

    Andy McCarthy in an article It’s About Sharia writes:

    It makes no sense to dismiss our enemies as lunatics just because “secular …” elites, as Gingrich called them, cannot imagine a fervor that stems from religious devotion. We ought to respect our enemies, he said. Not “respect” in Obama-speak, which translates as “appease,” but in the sense of taking them seriously, understanding that they are absolutely determined to win, and realizing that they are implacable. There is no “moderate” sharia devotee, for sharia is not moderate. Gingrich noted that in response to global outcry against the prospect of death by stoning for an Iranian woman, Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani, convicted of adultery, the mullahs’ great concession appears to be that she will be hanged instead. Islamism is not a movement to be engaged, it is an enemy to be defeated.

    We need to realize that these radical Islamic fighters are a serious enemy that needs to be squarely faced and fought hard.


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