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Bad as the Right is about science, the Left has serious problems with science too


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Initial post: Nov 10, 2012 2:07:29 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
1. Overpopulation denialism.
2. Luddite stuff like hysterical opposition to GM foods.
3. Opposition to nuclear power which has caused many, many coal-fired power plants to be built. Fukushima notwithstanding, the biggest danger to the planet now is global warming, not the odd radiation leak.
4. The anti-vaccination movement.
5. Denial of the existence of human races--something even some biologists promote.
6. Abandonment of scientific method whenever hot-button issues come up, just as the Right does, because all ideologues, Left & Right,try to derive reality from their ideas instead of vice-versa.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 2:44:49 PM PST
The difference is, the above (that are accurate) is a tiny minority of Democrats.

For Republicans, the right nutcases have taken over the Party.

Not to mention, you have some items wrong on your list.

1. I would argue that overpopulation denalism most represents the Hard Right, not the Hard left.

2. Denial of the existance of human races -- what is that about?
They couldn't find a race gene in our DNA -- until they started looking statistically at clusters of DNA patterns. Next?

Pathetic post.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 2:54:59 PM PST
bleep

us tea baggers know that monsanto will destroy our food supply
and until that happens they will get a monopoly like opec and gouge everyone to buy their patented frankenfood

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 6:51:41 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 10, 2012 6:52:11 PM PST
S. Kessler says:
I don't know how you are defining leftists. I am certainly on the left side of the spectrum, but I certainly don't hold any of the beliefs you list other than being wary of GM foods.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 10:02:27 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
I know plenty of liberals who don't hold these beliefs, and I stiuplated that the Right is worse about its anti-science issues than the Left, in general. Nevertheless those of us who lean Left shouldn't think "our ideologues good their ideologues bad" when it comes to science.

Overpopulation denial is especially pernicious. That was once a cornerstone of the Sierra Club, but its leadership abandoned the issue in exchange for a ginormous donation by a rich Catholic donor, back in the 1970s. This isn't just some conspiracy theorizing. It was tracked down and reported by the LA Times, a fairly liberal-learning newspaper and a major one as well.

The fact that someone's on the Left and does or doesn't hold any or all of these antiscience beliefs isn't meaningful. Only that these beliefs are found among a statistically significant number of people on the Left side of the political spectrum. I consider myself "Left-leaning" and hold none of these beliefs, for that matter. But I started a thread on the Right's pernicious War on Science, and felt obligated to criticize some on my own side as well.

There are also many people on the Left--particularly liberal Catholics--who are anti-abortion on unscientific grounds, yet whose public arguments against abortion are ostensibly science-based.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 10, 2012 10:13:12 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
Truthseeker, anti-nuclear power hysteria is found in far more than a "tiny minority of Democrats." I shouldn't have to give you reputable sources to prove that.

The Left is full of movements to feed starving people--and some 700 million plus people are starving--and to provide medical care for them, quite disproportionate to efforts to improve family planning. Nor do Left-leaning media discuss overpopulation, because it's a hard issue with ugly but necessary solutions.

And both Democratic and Republican administrations have complained about China's One Child policy as a human rights violation.

Overpopulation denialism is a feature of both Left and Right---it's the one social issue they generally agree on, to the great discredit of both.

Race denial continues. Of course there's no one gene for race. Of course it's distinctive constellations of genes generally found in most/all of us. Nonetheless you will still see doctrinaire Leftists arguing that because there's no one gene for race there's no such thing as race, because they want to remove any and all bases for racism.

What's pathetic is doctrinaire ideologues being unable to accept criticism of their own side about standing up for scientific principles and conclusions when they're inconvenient, and trying to act like all wrong is on the other side--which is itself an antiscientific belief that flouts studies of partisans during the 2004 presidential elections that showed that both hardline Democrats and Republicans processed political information below their cortical regions, systematically downplaying their own side's wrongs while systematically exaggerating those of the other side...then rewarding themselves with a rush of endorphins. Look it up.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 9:55:24 AM PST
S. Kessler says:
What is you evidence that the beliefs you lusted are held by a statistically significant number of people on the left? I know no one on the left, for example, who denies that overpopulation is a serious issue.

As for ideologues, I don't pay much attention to them unless they use facts to uphold their ideas. And if they do, well, they aren't ideologues, are they?

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 2:29:05 PM PST
John Donohue says:
I have to concur with the OP -- just bring up nuclear power when discussing global warming [I truly don't know how some of my fellow liberals think we can get to zero carbon with wind and solar alone] or GM foods; sometimes they get berserk over alternative "medicine" like chiropractic or homeopathy. Scientific consensus only works for some when they already like the conclusion.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 6:42:32 PM PST
"Luddite stuff like hysterical opposition to GM foods."

How about a concern for the way GM foods are tested and distributed?

"5. Denial of the existence of human races--something even some biologists promote."

The fact that it's "even some biologists" and not "most biologists" should give one pause, no?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 7:09:45 PM PST
HelVee says:
"4. The anti-vaccination movement."

HelVee: okay, I'm an Australian so maybe it's different here. But anti-vaccination a leftist position?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 8:26:26 PM PST
Doctor Who says:
Not in any major way. Anti-vaccination promoters may vote on the left but the party and candidates don't support that view. This is kind of like blaming the right for supporting imprisonment of gays. You can find people with those beliefs but they don't represent the majority of the party (unless of course you look at those tiny fringe parties, then all bets are off).

I'm not sure if right and left mean the same thing, but in the US "right" refers to small government, anti-tax, anti-gay, anti-abortion, and pro christian group. Left refers to the more, honestly, moderate to polar opposite views. The right sees many voters now who believe that everything from the police department to food inspection should be privatized. (yes, this is true. They do exist, but thankfully they are a small, if vocal, minority)

This seems to have been a recent move and may explain why the right lost so badly in the past election.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 8:46:30 PM PST
Horse: us tea baggers know that monsanto will destroy our food supply
and until that happens they will get a monopoly like opec and gouge everyone to buy their patented frankenfood

TS: Thank you for proving conservatives feel the same way here.

So what are your views on going nuclear, if I may humbly ask.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 8:50:01 PM PST
Ehkzu: Overpopulation denial is especially pernicious. That was once a cornerstone of the Sierra Club, but its leadership abandoned the issue in exchange for a ginormous donation by a rich Catholic donor, back in the 1970s.

TS: I've only known conservatives who said increased population was good.

Again, on the main -- your post has no basis.

Sure, I don't care for many Left Wingers either. But the Right Wing has taken over the Republican party. The Left Wing has not taken over the Democrats.

And the Left Wing has it about right about global warming -- except they emphasize the worse case scenarios and the timing.

The right wing says it doesn't exist.

You have to measure the scale of how anti-science the views are too.
It's not a siomplistic on or off switch.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 8:58:56 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2012 9:00:46 PM PST
Ehkzu: Truthseeker, anti-nuclear power hysteria is found in far more than a "tiny minority of Democrats." I shouldn't have to give you reputable sources to prove that.

TS: What I read, is that liberals wanted to try other alterative sources before nuclear, but a good number have now flipped./

Doesn't matter. Are you aware it is FINANCIAL reasons that are the cause of nuclear power plants being stalled.

Ehkzu says: The Left is full of movements to feed starving people--and some 700 million plus people are starving--and to provide medical care for them, quite disproportionate to efforts to improve family planning. Nor do Left-leaning media discuss overpopulation, because it's a hard issue with ugly but necessary solutions.

TS: They discuss planned parenthood -- condoms and the pill. Africa proves the starvation method doesn't work. Those who remain have large families. When Melissa Gates interviewed African women and asked what she could do to help. She said overwhelmingly the response was to give them access to birth control.

Ehkzu: Race denial continues. Of course there's no one gene for race. Of course it's distinctive constellations of genes generally found in most/all of us. Nonetheless you will still see doctrinaire Leftists arguing that because there's no one gene for race there's no such thing as race, because they want to remove any and all bases for racism.

TS: You are very confused. Liberals say there is no evidence that race correlates with intelligence. Because even if the average mean is highest for Asians, then whites, then blacks -- the variations between individuals is broad enough you could have a black person still be a genius.

By the way DNA shows there IS no one gene. It used to be said they couldn't find any difference in DNA. It wasn't until statistics was used to find clusters of DNA that correlated with race (and still isn't perfect) that anyone could find a relationship of DNA to race.

Ehkzu: both hardline Democrats and Republicans processed political information below their cortical regions

TS: Where did Democrats try to interfere with actual science studies.
They did not.

Maybe you need a refresher of what it was like under the Bush administration. There is NOTHING of this magnitude on the Democrat side.

================================================

<The Bush Administration's War On Science

Our government is waging a war against science, endangering millions of lives in the U.S. and beyond.

February 27, 2008 |

Over the past eight years, the lives of millions of people in the United States and beyond have been endangered by the US government. No,

I'm not talking about the war in Iraq. I'm talking about the quiet, systematic war the government has been waging against science.

You may have heard about gross examples of the government censoring scientific documents. For example, it was widely reported last year that a government regulatory group excised at least half of the statements Centers for Disease Control director Julie Gerberding was set to make at a congressional hearing about how climate change will affect public health. You may also have heard about the scandal in 2004 when a whistleblower at the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that five of the seven members on a panel of "independent experts" stood to gain financially from shutting down a scientific investigation of a controversial mining technique called "hydraulic fracturing." The panel claimed that in its expert opinion, the technique didn't require regulation, despite many scientists' concerns that it might pollute groundwater.

But these are the stories that hit the headlines. There are hundreds more where they came from, and many of them are documented meticulously in a study released earlier this month by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) called "Federal Science and the Public Good."

The UCS report documents, in chilling detail, how agencies have fired scientists who disagreed with government policies. For example, in 2003, experts in nuclear physics were dismissed from a panel within the National Nuclear Security Administration because some of them had published about how the George W. Bush administration's beloved "bunker buster" weapons weren't very effective. And scientists who spoke out against the administration's stem cell policy were booted from the President's Council on Bioethics.

Worse, the government has falsified scientific studies to bolster its policies and undergird its ideological positions. Perhaps the most egregious example of this was when the EPA lied outright to Americans that the air around ground zero directly after Sept. 11 was safe to breathe. In fact, according to the UCS report, the EPA made this statement without even testing the air. As a result, the authors of the report write, "thousands of rescue workers now plagued by crippling lung ailments continue to feel the impact of this public deception."

There's also an example of the Food and Drug Administration inventing a fake study to support its decision to approve the drug Ketek, along with many others.

Most intriguing, though, is the UCS report's suggestion that many federal regulatory agencies may in fact be breaking the law by cutting real science out of government policy decisions. Both the Clean Air Act and the Endangered Species Act require the EPA and the US Fish and Wildlife Service to base their decisions on "the best scientific data available." And yet the UCS has documented countless examples of both agencies, as well as others, refusing to take into account the latest research on climate change, animal populations, and systems biology.

http://www.alternet.org/story/78056/

So SHAME on you@!

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 9:16:12 PM PST
HelVee says:
Doctor: 'in the US "right" refers to small government, anti-tax, anti-gay, anti-abortion, and pro christian group. '

Helvee: It's the same here in Australia. In general our right wingers aren't as extreme as those in the US, but given time I'm sure they'll get there.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 9:37:48 PM PST
Davyd says:
So ... what are we left with?

Have to feed the people who are going to reproduce exponentially and demand even more resources. Because we're the nice guys. Seriously here? We all die because we're too weak to say something and we respect the right of people to disagree on principle? Perhaps you can tell me what a 'right' is? What colour is it, how much does it weigh?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 9:47:29 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 11, 2012 9:49:54 PM PST
Have to feed the people who are going to reproduce exponentially and demand even more resources.

TS: FACT: Population growth is negative in countries where there is a higher standard of income AND women have access to birth control.

Then of course, there is the Chinese solution. Seems cruel in the short term, but they have their reasons. When Bush was still in office, a poster noted world starvation rates were way down. Incredulous, I looked it up. He was right. But it was almost entire due to China. They had large starvation rates before they embraced capitalism and had strong birth control laws.

India has strong capitalism. But they are out of control on their population. The country is in terrible shape because of it.

Starvation isn't the solution. Africa has one of the fastest growing populations in the world, despite all the starvation and AIDS. Why? large families at a young age. When Melissa Gates talked to African women and asked how she could help, she reported they almost universally answered they wanted birth control access. And despite being a Catholic, Melissa Gates is bucking the right wing of her religion to see she can help there.

That is the humane way and the effective way.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 10:40:38 PM PST
HelVee says:
TS: That is the humane way and the effective way.
HelVee: Yup. Education and family planning.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:44:12 AM PST
According to an ABC News poll, a large percentage of Repubs, Dems, and Independents oppose GM foods, so it's not just a "leftie" position.

"Republicans divide evenly on whether genetically modified foods are safe or unsafe. Independents rate them unsafe by a 20-point margin; Democrats, by a 26-point margin."

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/story?id=97567&page=1#.UKEKy-T7KQ0

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:45:40 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 7:13:58 AM PST
Likewise opposition to building new nuclear power plants is widespread in both parties:

Resistance is bipartisan, with majorities of Democrats, Republicans and independents alike opposed to new nuclear plant construction. Still, there are differences among groups; opposition is higher among Democrats (75 percent, vs. 59 percent of Republicans and independents combined), women (73 percent, vs. 53 percent of men) and liberals (74 percent, vs. 60 percent of moderates and conservatives).

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/nuclear-power-opposition-grows-japan-earthquake-abc-news/story?id=13412262#.UKELV-T7KQ0

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 6:49:11 AM PST
Opposition to vaccination is also not just a "leftie" position. Remember in the Republican primaries when Michele Bachmann voiced sympathy with the idea that the HPV vaccine might cause mental retardation? A lot of conservatives were opposed to requiring the HPV vaccine, as I recall.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:07:56 AM PST
Don't forget Donald Trump is an anti-vaxxer as well.

And I would have thought that DT's anti-vaxx status would have clued in Bill Mahr.

Fortunately I can't think on any actual (D) representatives who are anti-vaxxers, unlike the (R).

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:52:25 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 8:52:51 AM PST
AF: According to an ABC News poll, a large percentage of Repubs, Dems, and Independents oppose GM foods, so it's not just a "leftie" position.

TS: Thanks AF. Horse already proved she felt the same. It is also the same with nuclear power.

EDITED: Ah. You covered that in your next post. Excellent.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 8:56:55 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 8:59:21 AM PST
CHALLENGE to Ehkzu:

The fact is, there is a tiny % of Luddite uber liberals. But let me repeat that -- a TINY %.

Compare that during the latest Republican primary who were almost unamimously--

(1) saying they did not believe in evolution
(2) that global warming was a hoax, or naturally happening.
(3) and mum on all but the most crazy statements on rape and abortion.

The only exceptions were John Huntsman and Ron Paul.

Republican congressional leaders also welcome skeptics on global warming who are skeptical of CFCs affecting the ozone hole, acid rain being a problem, and the oceans are in danger.

Find me where Democratic LEADERS hold similar anti-science positions please.

Or recant now.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 1, 2012 5:12:44 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 1, 2012 6:42:39 PM PST
Ashwood says:
Ehkzu says: 3. Opposition to nuclear power which has caused many, many coal-fired power plants to be built. Fukushima notwithstanding, the biggest danger to the planet now is global warming, not the odd radiation leak.

Ash : The left are also against more coal fired plants being built because of their effect on global warming, so how is their position anti-science? It is a political problem, the left wants more renewable energy and conservation (like higher gas mileage standards) and the right wing blocks that so we end up with more coal-fired plants.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  28
Total posts:  151
Initial post:  Nov 10, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 13, 2012

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