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The Republican Party's war on science jeapordizes America's democracy


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Initial post: Oct 25, 2012 1:52:11 PM PDT
Ehkzu says:
That's the essence of the lead article in this week's lead article in Scientific American's weekly online edition.

Scientific American is America's leading scientific publication for lay readers, and has been in publication continuously for well over a century.

You can read the article here:
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article.cfm?id=antiscience-beliefs-jeopardize-us-democracy&WT.mc_id=SA_WR_20121024

From the summary of the article:

" A large number of major party contenders for political office this year took antiscience positions against evolution, human-induced climate change, vaccines, stem cell research, and more...

"Partisans at both ends of the political spectrum have been guilty of science denialism. But the Republican version is particularly dangerous because it attacks the validity of science itself."

You can see the truth of this article in the constant attacks on science posted in this forum by right wing zealots.

I'm sure the ancient Greeks and Romans would never have dreamed that the civilization they lived in, which included vigorous exploration of science and technology, would be replaced by a millenium of darkness where theocratic authorities judicially murdered anyone guilty of science.

Likewise it's hard for modern Americans who are educated about science to imagine that there are enough drooling mouthbreathers to drag our great nation backwards into the past.

Yet reputable polls show that a majority of Americans don't believe in the validity of scientific method as they reject evolution, human-caused global warming, and especially the use of scientific analysis to dissect the nonstop torrent of whoppers emanating from the GOP's Ministry of Propaganda. Right now even if President Obama wins re-election it will probably be by the narrowest of margins, showing that about half the population has been bamboozeled.

This goes far beyond debates about political philosophy, which are valid. Personally I disagree with many positions of the Democratic Party. But the GOP, as Scientific American describes in this article, has gone far beyond philosophical disagreements.

This Party has devolved into a primitive tribal entity that has replaced reasoning over political issues with the "philosophy" of the lynch mob, complete with flagrant racial overtones.

But most germane to this forum is the Party's persistent, broad-spectrum attack on the fundamental validity of science itself and also on the integrity of most scientists.

And of course all of this is being driven by money poured into the fray by unbelievably wealthy people whose vast wealth has only made them greedy for even vaster wealth--even at the expense of polluting the environment and making the world a far worse place for our children and their children to live in.

So vote. Even if president Obama wins, the GOP Ministry of Propaganda will immediately launch a campaign to delegitimze his second term--especially if the President wins the Electoral College vote but loses the popular vote. So even if you're in a non-battleground state, your vote still matters. A lot.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012 3:38:22 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
Yes, we're having our very own Dark Ages thanks to the extremists. Hopefully it won't last centuries.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012 3:57:00 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 3:58:37 PM PDT
DRM says:
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Posted on Oct 25, 2012 4:01:37 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 4:01:52 PM PDT
DRM says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 4:34:52 PM PDT
The Weasel says:
DRM says:
Yes, if everyone doesn't Swallow Whole the Current Scientific Trends that are more about Politics than Pure Science, well, that's Not Following In Line and it's Not Blindly Following the Group Think that we Want From Our Minions.

"It's The Dark Ages because there's "Other Evidence that Does Not Support our Side of the scientific issues" being expressed. Why won't you let us Censor Counter Views to Our Scientific Group Think?"

"But The Sun DOES revolve around the earth, just accept it and stop giving Counter Dark Age Views."

What's accepted as Settled Science often becomes Unsettled with More Enlightenment and Less Political Correctness.

"But a Big Bang DID come from Nothing and Nowhere to "create" this universe.

Sure it did...
***
I'll believe in God when he shows his face. Or if he stops having women raped. Or at least makes it impossible for them to get pregnant due to rape. Until then a big bang is hugely preferrable than an arbitrary and cruel creator.

Posted on Oct 25, 2012 4:35:31 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 6:36:37 PM PDT
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In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 4:59:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 25, 2012 5:15:43 PM PDT
Ehkzu says:
Thanks to "DRM" for providing a perfect example of what I'm talking about. This is obviously someone who wouldn't know a scientific evaluation from an appendicularian.

Note the liberal use of crude stereotypes and--ta da--a fundamental rejection of science. So handy when your side's positions are generally medieval.

The notion of "settled science" being anything but is especially pernicious. The Koch Brothers have taught this confident pawn well.

Half the country doesn't realize that virtually every revolutionary advance in science doesn't obsolete the prior settled science--it stands on its shoulders.

Thus Einsteinian Relativity doesn't change Newtonian Mechanics for the most part, and Newton's laws and formulas are still in use today. Quantum Mechanics does nothing to Einstein's work, which is still perfectly relevant.

The descriptive biology of Linneas' era is still useful except where convergent evolution made separate evolutionary lines appear closer than they really were, or conversely for divergent evolutionary forces. But overall we still use Linneas' typology.

These antiscience types are profoundly Manichean. Something is either entirely right or entirely wrong. And they can't tell the difference between scientific hypothesizing and speculation vs. settled science with strong predictive capabilities--and of course they're even more thrown by the probabailistic nature of so much of reality that dwells in the world of fractal mathematics.

As for the Big Bang....this guy would need to study science at at least a high school level for a couple of years before I could even talk to him about it. It would be like trying to explain aerodynamics to a New Guinea Highlander.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 25, 2012 5:14:13 PM PDT
Ehkzu says:
Wow, this guy just swallows everything the GOP's Ministry of Propaganda cranks out--regardless of it all being constantly proven wrong by nonpartisan fact checkers like Factcheck.org and politifact.com.

And, um, while coal & petrochemical-based energy is inherently polluting ("clean coal" is an oxymoron), nuclear energy isn't--and the frenzied opposition to it by the Greens has increased global warming dramatically (not helped by the fact that Fukushima's operator was criminally negligent and the Japanese government as inept as it has been in previous disasters. But the current designs are sound and should be in wide use.

Solar and wind are useful but not under all circumstances. The contemptuous rejection of all green energy without thought is a perfect example of the effectiveness of the petrochemical industry's propaganada machine (which has become synomous with the GOP's propaganda machine), preying on the emotions and mental weaknesses of Americans with two-digit IQs.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 8:03:27 AM PDT
Brian Curtis says:
Still running and hiding from the question you're scared to answer, eh Haynes? Too bad it's not going to work. Here it is again:

"So basically, every sighting of a UFO, dragon, ghost, Superman, sharks with lasers, or any other outrageous claim made by someone actually DID happen because, after all, they observed it happening, right?"

Creationists are laughed at by anyone with better than a fourth-grade education.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 9:26:28 AM PDT
I vote today. I must admit that I was on the fence for awhile.

Romney appears to have a bit better business sense. At least that's what most business people say probably out of self interest.

On the other hand, we have many republican candidates that don't have a clue about science or evidence. They are guided by their religious zealotry and are willing to impose their parochial view on others.

When I read about the two idiotic republican candidates's views on rape and pregnancy they bumped me off the fence. I'll vote for the candidate that accepts diversity, supports education, champions individual rights and supports science.

One guess on who that is!

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 9:36:26 AM PDT
[Deleted by Amazon on Nov 12, 2012 2:26:58 PM PST]

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 10:10:57 AM PDT
The Weasel says:
John A. Gerling says:
I vote today.
****
Voting is a patriotic act. You've discharged your duty, congratulations.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 4:06:32 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2012 4:07:29 PM PDT
RR says:
Chris,
""Ahem to avoid societal disruptions casued by depletion of fossil fuels, we must immediately initiate our transition to renewable sources."
Phew, he sure likes them big words."

Chris, keep up the good work and Obama will be sure to win.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 26, 2012 4:16:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Oct 26, 2012 4:17:13 PM PDT
RR says:
DRM,
"What's accepted as Settled Science often becomes Unsettled with More Enlightenment and Less Political Correctness."

Unlike Settled Religion, which doesn't become more Enlightened and for several centuries jailed people for political incorrectness.

The story of the last 5 centuries is that Settled Science has it all over Settled Religion.

Posted on Nov 10, 2012 2:02:29 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
re: after the election

Science won on Tuesday, though to be frank the Left has its share of anti-science dogma; but it's a lot less pernicious than that of the Right, especially since it's not amplified by big bucks from big polluters.

And with 30 states controlled by Republican legislative majorities and governors, we still need to be on the lookout for anti-science moves at the state and local level.

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 12:42:31 PM PST
DRM says:
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In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 1:47:57 PM PST
RR says:
DRM,
"Many Republicans are considerably more intelligent and educated than Many Liberals."
You account that as an insight?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 2:40:52 PM PST
DRM: Many Republicans are considerably more intelligent and educated than Many Liberals.

BPL: And yet the ten best educated states went for Obama, while nine of the ten worst-educated went for Romney. Hm...

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 9:50:02 PM PST
Davyd says:
Seriously, here. Republicans, as a whole, have better schooling. Admittedly this buys into the stereotype of the upwardly moblie self-improving go-getter. But I've found that to be the case in many instances. I've found some Democrats in similar circumstances, sure, but in general the Republicans had completed more schooling. I recoil from saying "better educated"
since I don't think many modern-day Republicans have learned anything (beyond accounting) whatsoever and are definitely not better educated.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 11, 2012 10:55:10 PM PST
HelVee says:
Davyd: Republicans, as a whole, have better schooling

HelVee: You sure about that?

http://www.eduinreview.com/blog/2008/09/are-democrats-more-educated-than-republicans/

"According to Watchblog.com:

States that voted for Kerry in 2004 had 21 percent more college graduates than states that voted for Bush.
The states that ranked the lowest for high school and college graduates were all red states.
Eight out of 10 of the states that ranked the highest for high school college graduates were blue states. (The number one state, by far, is Colorado - technically a red state because it went for Bush by a small margin, but effectively a "purple" state because it's become so politically mixed.)"

http://www.watchblog.com/democrats/archives/005153.html
http://www.census.gov/population/socdemo/education/cps2004/tab13.pdf

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 11:29:34 PM PST
SinSeeker says:
Christopher Haynes says: "Phew, he sure likes them big words."

What are BIG WORDS to Chris are normal vocabulary to just about everyone else ...

Posted on Nov 11, 2012 11:51:05 PM PST
A customer says:
Don't forget that many Republicans believe that home schooling is better.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 12, 2012 11:35:00 AM PST
Last edited by the author on Nov 12, 2012 11:35:44 AM PST
Science won on Tuesday, though to be frank the Left has its share of anti-science dogma; but it's a lot less pernicious than that of the Right, especially since it's not amplified by big bucks from big polluters.

TS: But it is a smaller % and much milder in intensity on the Left than on the hard Right.

Plus the Republican dogma is run by GREED and monied interests -- and threaten the planet.

One is mild and the other is very intense and dangerous.

Doesn't intensity and consequences matter?

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 2:35:54 AM PST
D: Republicans, as a whole, have better schooling.

BPL: Cite a source.

In reply to an earlier post on Nov 13, 2012 6:47:41 PM PST
D: Republicans, as a whole, have better schooling.

BPL: Cite a source.

TS: I agree with BPL. I have read those with college education, especially in areas outside of business -- are more likely to be Democrats.
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Discussion in:  Science forum
Participants:  14
Total posts:  25
Initial post:  Oct 25, 2012
Latest post:  Nov 13, 2012

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