Are Republicans or Democrats More Anti-Science?

Comparing the scientific ignorance of our mainstream parties

A fight has broken out in the blogosphere over whether Team Blue or Team Red is more “anti-science.” Microbiologist Alex Berezow, editor of RealClearScience, struck the first blow in the pages of USA Today. "For every anti-science Republican that exists," he wrote, "there is at least one anti-science Democrat. Neither party has a monopoly on scientific illiteracy."

The battle of the blogs was joined when Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science, denounced Berezow’s column as “classic false equivalence on political abuse of science,” over at the Climate Progress blog at the Center for American Progress. He accused Berezow of trying “to show that liberals do the same thing” by “finding a few relatively fringe things that some progressives cling to that might be labeled anti-scientific.”

Berezow acknowledged that a lot prominent Republican politicians including—would-be presidential candidates—deny biological evolution, are skeptical of the scientific consensus on man-made global warming, and oppose research using human embryonic stem cells. As evidence for Democratic anti-science intransigence, Berezow argued that progressives tend to be more anti-vaccine, anti-biotechnology when it comes to food, anti-biomedical research involving tests on animals, and anti-nuclear power.

In support of his claims, Berezow cited some polling data from a 2009 survey done by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. In fact that survey identified a number of partisan divides on scientific questions. On biological evolution, the survey reported that 97 percent of scientists agree that living things, including human beings, evolved over time and that 87 percent of them think that this was an entirely natural process not guided by a supreme being. Some 36 percent of Democrats believe that humans naturally evolved; 22 percent believe that evolution was guided by a supreme being; and 30 percent don’t believe humans have evolved over time. The corresponding figures for Republicans are 23 percent, 26 percent, and 39 percent, respectively. 

On climate change, the Pew survey reported that 84 percent of scientists believe that the recent warming is the result of human activity. Among Democrats, 64 percent responded that the Earth is getting warming mostly due to human activity, whereas only 30 percent of Republicans thought so. That is truly a deep divide on this scientific issue. 

The Pew survey next asked about federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. Democrats favored such funding by 71 percent compared to only 38 percent among Republicans. The Republican response is likely tied to two issues here: (1) the belief that embryos have the same moral status as adult people; and (2) less general support for spending taxpayer dollars on research. With regard to the latter, the Pew survey reports that 48 percent of conservative Republicans believe that private investment in research is enough, whereas 44 percent believe government “investment” in research is essential. As Mooney might say, the partisan differences over stem cell research might be considered a “science-related policy disagreement” that should not be “confused with cases of science rejection.”

But what about Berezow’s examples of alleged left-wing anti-science? Mooney’s basic response is that some groups on the left are in fact anti-science with regard to those issues, but he asserts that they are fringe groups with no power, unlike the Tea Party activists who are driving Republican politics. For example, Mooney argues that PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) “is not a liberal group commanding wide assent for its views on the left, doesn’t drive mainstream Democratic policy, etc.” Fair enough. But the Pew survey does report that Democrats are split right down the middle on using animals in scientific research, with 48 percent opposing it and 48 percent favoring it. Republicans divide up 62 percent in favor and 33 percent opposed. Like stem cells, using animals in research is often framed as a moral issue.

With regard to nuclear power, the Pew survey found 70 percent of scientists in favor of building more nuclear power plants. For their part, 62 percent of Republicans favored more nuclear power plants, compared to 45 percent of Democrats. This difference is likely related to views on nuclear safety. For instance, a 2009 Gallup poll reported that while 73 percent of Republicans are confident in the safety of nuclear power plants, only 46 percent of Democrats agree.

Climate Progress blogger Joe Romm chimed in to Mooney’s column, arguing that the nuclear power industry was done in by commercial considerations rather than leftwing opposition. And that’s true because coal and gas-fired electricity generation plants are considerably cheaper to build. However, if policies limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels are adopted, nuclear becomes more commercially attractive. In fact, much more attractive than the solar power alternatives pushed by Democrats like Romm. But that is not a scientific argument; it’s an economic one.

What about partisan attitudes toward genetically enhanced crops and animals? A 2006 survey [PDF] by the Pew Trusts found that 48 percent of Republicans believe that biotech foods are safe compared to 28 percent who did not. Democrats at 42 percent are just slightly less likely to think biotech foods are safe while 29 percent think they are not. Back in 2004, the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) issued a report on the safety of biotech crops that noted: “To date, no adverse health effects attributed to genetic engineering have been documented in the human population.” That is still the case today. In 2010, the NAS issued another report that found that biotech crops offer substantial environmental and economic benefits.

Mooney in his response to Berezow allows with regard to genetically enhanced crops and animals that “there’s some progressive resistance and some misuse of science in this area—no doubt.” But he waves that resistance off and asserts, “it is not a mainstream position, not a significant part of the liberal agenda, etc.” But that only holds true if groups that oppose biotech foods such as the Sierra Club, the Consumers Union, and Greenpeace can be considered to be on the fringe of Democratic Party politics.

Mooney does however acknowledge that he doesn’t know if Democratic congressional resistance to allowing the Food and Drug Administration to go forward with its process for evaluating a biotech salmon variety that grows faster than conventional ones should count as a “misuse of science.” He suspects that it is a mere “policy disagreement.” Maybe. But consider that a bunch of mostly Democratic lawmakers sent a letter opposing FDA approval this summer. One signer of the letter, Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska), asserted, "We don't need Frankenfish threatening our fish populations and the coastal communities that rely on them.” Actually a formal environmental assessment [PDF] submitted to the FDA last year concluded that producing the biotech salmon would be “highly unlikely to cause any significant effects on the environment, inclusive of the global commons, foreign nations not a party to this action, and stocks of wild Atlantic salmon.”

What about vaccines? Berezow mentions data showing that vaccine refusals are highest in notoriously Blue states like Washington, Vermont, and Oregon. However, he could have cited the Pew poll that shows that 71 percent of both Republicans and Democrats would require childhood vaccination. Scientists favored mandatory childhood vaccinations by 84 percent.

However, the vaccine/autism scare was fueled in part by prominent lefties like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. writing in popular publications like Rolling Stone and Salon. In fact, such fringey characters as then-Sen. Barack Obama lent further credence to the vaccine scare when in 2008 he declared, "We've seen just a skyrocketing autism rate. Some people are suspicious that it's connected to the vaccines. This person included. The science right now is inconclusive, but we have to research it." Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) made similar statements.

Mooney modestly asserts that “liberal journalists like myself… have pretty much chased vaccine denial out of the realm of polite discourse.” And good on him. With similar modesty, I note that some of us who are not left-leaning have been working to do the same thing for some years now.

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  • Blame the Victim||

    What we call "science" is not neutral. It's loaded with motives and assumptions that came out of, and reinforce, the catastrophe of dissociation, disempowerment, and consuming deadness that we call "civilization."

    ~Ran Prieur
    Science the Destroyer
    http://www.ranprieur.com/essays/scidest.html

  • Objectification ||

    Science is only a manifestation and locking in of an urge for control that we've had at least since we started farming fields and fencing animals instead of surfing the less predictable (but more abundant) world of reality, or "nature." And from that time to now, this urge has driven every decision about what counts as "progress." In a little known fork in the road of science, Goethe experimented with optics in a different way than Newton: where Newton shined lights through prisms, producing projected spectra for detached observation, Goethe had people look through prisms, and developed these experiments into a theory that was deeply different from Newton's but equally verifiable and self-consistent. No one knows what strange technological path this theory would have led us to, because of course it was ignored in favor of Newton's theory, which was more compatible with objectification.

  • sevo||

    Objectification |10.4.11 @ 6:10PM|#
    "Science is only a manifestation and locking in of an urge for control that we've had at least since we started farming fields and fencing animals instead of surfing the less predictable (but more abundant) world of reality, or "nature.""

    Yep, flying planes, clean water, abundant foods, and Nagasaki; all just 'text', right?

  • RandomGermanDude||

    Goethe's studies went more into a perceptional direction while Newton's went more into a analytical direction. Still both aspects are encompassed in our current knowledge about color. It's not like Goethe's approach was entirely discarded.

    But even when we accept the premise that the approach was entirely discarded you would need to back up the assertion that it was "objectification" that lead to discarding it.

  • Matt Damon||

    It's intrinically paternlistic.

  • Old Man With Candy||

    Newton's "Principia" is a rape manual.

  • STEVE SMITH||

    ALL BOOKS RAPE MANUAL! YOU JUST NEED KNOW HOW TO READ RIGHT!!!

  • ||

    You still drumming for Journey?

  • ||

    Where's the mention of the typically Prog/New Agey anti-science superstitions of crystal powers and organic farming?

  • ||

    The science is settled on these.

  • ||

    What about irradiation? DDT? Any comprehensive and abjective(dare I say scientific) study would conclude that the left's policys concerning science have been far more destructive than any comprable scientific policy on the right. Without doing mental gymnastics, please tell me how not believing in evolution has caused ahybody any harm. But hey Ron, you have to please your left wing buddies! Don't admit the truth. The left's anti-science crusade has been much more destructive and oppressive to progress than anything you can point to on the right.

  • ||

    Remember that the trial lawyers are the Democrats mainstream constituents. What about bankrupting companies over frivolous lawsuits? Silcon breast implants is a case in point. The left is far more destructive.

  • ||

    "please tell me how not believing in evolution has caused ahybody any harm"

    It's simple, TommyT. Without an understanding of evolution much of modern agriculture, medicine and other benefits that flow from applied biological research would not exist. No biologically customized medical treatments, high yield genetically engineered crops, etc. Science ignores politics, but the fact that more scientists are probably liberals than conservatives does say something about where logic and reason, the principle tools of science, tend to lead.

  • ¢||

    Lest anyone think that I’m defending Republicans,

    Stop punching yourself. Stop punching yourself. Stop punching yourself. Stop punching yourself. Stop punching yourself. Stop punching yourself.

  • squarooticus||

    Republicans don't believe in science. Democrats don't believe in mathematics. Thus I conclude that in order for a party to appeal to the (m)asses it must in some way reject reality.

  • Sudden||

    ^ this comment is ful of awesome and win

  • Ted S.||

  • ||

    Mathematics is not a science at all. It is a discipline.

  • Apatheist||

    To summarize: People are retarded.

  • ||

    This is one of the all time most stupid debates. I'm sorry Ron, and Reason, decided it needed hashing out.

  • ||

    and the stupidity begins with the premise - it's not about being "anti-science"; it's about being against the use of science and pseudo-science for political purposes.

  • ||

    This is exactly right. The Left scours the countryside and find a handful of religious nuts who deny evolution...and the Left pretends that this ist he position of everyone on the Right.

    In the meantime, the Left has aggressively politicized science to further their ideology. Scientists used to be viewed as non-partisan purveyors of fact...but not any more. Their just paid hacks in the pockets of the ideologues.

  • ||

    Additional examples of left-wing anti-science: the controversies over sociobiology, Kennewick Man, and The Bell Curve.

  • ||

    TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE dipshits believe what their masters tell them to believe. Nothing more. Thinking isn't really part of the repertoire of a partisan.

  • True Believer||

    Read Rothbard! (just not the crazy shit, which is most of it)

    Or Economics on one Lesson, even though it is two.

    And join me in the fight against government, by supporting the party with the government statue as a symbol.

  • ||

    Fuck, you're stupid.

  • Bill||

    He means you, True Believer, not some guy named fuck.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    Just ask Tony.

  • JJJ||

    Which color is the libertarian team?

  • ||

    There is no libertarian TEAM. They're an anarcho-syndicalist commune. They take it in turns to act as a sort of executive officer for the week. But all the decisions of that officer have to be ratified at a special biweekly meeting by a simple majority in the case of purely internal affairs, but by a two-thirds majority in the case of more--should I go on?

  • kilroy||

    Wait. They're the Occupy Wall Street people?

  • ||

    Even then, everyone does their own thing and only participates in the group effort if they feel like it.

  • ||

    Just like the orgies.

  • ||

    unless there's gonna be a band

  • JJJ||

    The libertarian team color is now purple.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Gold. I thought that was obvious.

  • Dave||

    What happened to chartreuse?

  • ||

    Or puce?

  • ||

    Like Imperial Rome?

  • Old Crone||

    I thought we were an autonomous collective.

  • ||

    You're fooling yourself. We're living in a dictatorship...

  • Sudden||

    then why has Warty ruled with an iron fist since day 1?

  • ||

    You meant iron fisting, right?

  • Skr||

    You has better stop there Epi before you go bringing class into it.

  • ||

    What I object to is they automatically treat me like an inferior.

  • Wayne Richards||

    How did they find out?

  • Veemee Sashimi||

    Be Quiet!!

  • ||

    You can't expect to wield supreme intellectual authority because some watery bureaucrat tart threw a grant at you!

  • Brandon||

    Monocle blue?

  • Warty||

    Blue. No yel-- Auuuuuuuugh!

  • ||

    What is the hall-speed velocity of an unlarded House bill?

  • kilroy||

    Trick question. No such thing exists.

  • Almanian||

    Do we need a Hall-Effect Sensor to determine this? Or is Mark correct?

    Or BOTH!?? It's a mystery.

  • ||

    An African or European house bill?

  • LanceH||

    Green, obviously.

  • Nicholas Card||

    I always thought Team Libertarians was Yellow. Or, if Reason is our flagship, then maybe Orange.

  • ||

    I think what we really need here is an exposition on what the true answer to the "Great Question" is. That might be just as useful and certainly more entertaining, especially if we can get the sea otters involved.
    -K

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Federal funding for embryonic-destructive stem cell research and animal research are not really "scientific disputes." Of course, there's debate on whether or not these kinds of research produce desirable results. But there would be no controversy at all if it wasn't for perfectly valid disagreements over the moral status of human embryos and animals.

  • Apatheist||

    Yeah and then there of those of us who have no ethical problems with one or either but don't want them funded by the government.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Apparently, the people who think these are scientific disputes believe that federal funding is a scientific imperative. What level of funding is scientifically indicated, according to these impartial, totally non-self-interested researchers?

  • ||

    EvH: Nicely said.

  • ||

  • Mengele||

    Yeah, just go for it!

  • Tony||

    I don't think they're the ones confusing it with a dispute about science. The guys grasping at straws to make a false equivalence are.

    And I expect anyone seeking funding would push for as much as possible.

  • ||

    Don't you know that if you're against federal funding of something, you're against it? For example, I do not think the federal government should fund toilet paper. This means I think people shouldn't wipe after pooping.

  • ||

    THIS.

    This isn't a debate about the factual basis for each Team's pet projects. It's about screwing with the other team's wish list.

  • adam||

    There is a scientific element to these issues since opponents usually claim that scientists don't really need human embryos or animals to do effective research.

  • nanda||

    quarrels about abortion and stem cells are as EVH said about morals, not science. some people may believe it is efficient (it would be) to do medical tests on prisoners. but we don't for moral reasons.

    conservatives support the traditional view of western science, observation, theory, test, etc. Scientists disagree on climate change and what causes it. There is also evidence that some of the data was faked. Maybe one day there will be a way to definitively answer the question.
    liberals seem to be the ones opposing science. increasingly, science departments in higher ed are under attack for being too white/western/asian/male. Math and physics, chemistry, engineering must change (that is lower standards) to be more inclusive we are told. The standards by which "facts" are evaluated and tested are under attack as being too restrictive, rationalistic, and not taking account of "other ways of knowing." the standards by which students' knowledge is tested is also disaparaged by liberals. If they get their way, it will be the end of science.

  • prolefeed||

    Berezow acknowledged that a lot prominent Republican politicians including—would-be presidential candidates—deny biological evolution

    OK, that's a valid objection against any R making that claim

    are skeptical of the scientific consensus on man-made global warming

    Considering Democrats want to use this as a way to take over the energy industry, and the scandal re: doctored data, I'd say the Ds have the more anti-science position here

    and oppose research using human embryonic stem cells.

    Opposing unconstitutional federal funding of this research =/= opposing all such research.

  • Apatheist||

    I've noticed the equating of evolution deniers and climate change deniers quite alot recently. All these articles about how unscientific republicans are throw those two in together.

    Just another way to push their bullshit. (Of course from the poll above the Democrat evolution numbers are still pathetic).

  • Tony||

    Or maybe scientists are right on both counts.

  • seguin||

    I'm sure SOME are. Frankly though, I don't see why I should take a geneticist's opinion on global warming any more seriously than a plumbers.

    That's coming from someone with a genetics degree.

  • Tony||

    Perhaps, but note that the Pew survey found 84% of 'scientists' believe in climate change. With actively publishing climate scientists, the number is more like 98%.

  • ||

    "...believe in climate change."

    ...believe in...???

    It is a religion isn't it!

  • ||

    And at-least subconsciously 94% believe – and not only believe, but know – that they in their academic arenas need to have the correct beliefs and check the correct boxes, to optimally further their careers, enhance their stati, groom their vanities, and preserve their iron-rice bowls.

  • ||

    "scientists"?

    A scientist is someone who follows the Scientific Method. "Climate scientists" are not scientists - they are Lysekoists (look up 'Trofim Lysenko')

    The Scientific Method requires allowing independent verification of one's work by making the raw data, computer codes, algorithms, etc., available to anyone who wants to know if the claims made are accurate. "Climate scientists" keep their data and methods secret as POLICY - they are not scientists.

    Steve McIntyre at ClimateAudit for years - even before Climategate - exposed this policy by the leading lights of the CAGW movement: Michael Mann and the Hockey Team, Phil Jones, Keith Briffa, Lonnie Thompson, and all the core IPCC "lead authors".

    The reason for the policy of secret data and methods has become clear when they are discovered (like Mann's "CENSORED" ftp directory) or forced out (like Briffa's Yamal data by a Royal Society publication) - the raw data is cherry picked, then massaged with phony statistical methods, or just literally turned upside down. Phrases like 'short-centered PCA', 'Yamal', and 'Upside Down Tijlander' are infamous among those who have dared take an honest look behind the "climate science" curtain.

    I suggest educating yourself on the ethics of your "scientists" before you buy into their claims of Imminent! Global! Catastrophe! - whose only solution is State control and rationing of energy.

  • Tony||

    Considering evolutionists just want to indoctrinate our children into atheistic sex-crazed depravity, I'd say they aren't to be trusted there either.

  • ||

    Where was all that sex-crazed depravity when I was in school? Something else I missed!

  • ||

    I've been listening to a lot of skeptic podcasts, and I've noticed something odd. While skeptics will all agree on evolution, vaccines, ghosts, conspiracies, there are two areas where they get split right down the middle. Climate change and economics. The reason from what I can tell is simple: those who fields have huge political implications. Believing that climate change is anthropogenic will get you lumped in with the left leaning tree huggers. Likewise if you hold to a market based economic school you get lumped in with those right wing randroids.

  • ||

    I've heard plenty of non-religious skeptics pick apart Macro-Evolution. There are holes a mile wide in that theory.

  • ||

    No, there really aren't. It's a very simple idea. Those that have the most progeny pass on their traits.

    The big leaps--the 'macro' you refer to--only look big in hindsight. Cold blooded to warm blooded most likely came about as a derivative of the ability to withstand long periods of sunlight(something that would benefit cold blooded animals). Those whose bodies released their heat the slowest would have been active--and reproducing longer. That trait would get passed on. Most likely numerous types of the trait were passed on, most failed, some kept going, eventually, we have animals that can regulate their ouwn temps.

    Simple tiny steps, each useful on it's own.

  • ||

    "Those that have the most progeny pass on their traits."-Azathoth

    You just described natural selection, not evolution.

    Try again.

  • That Skeptic Guy||

    "Likewise if you hold to a market based economic school you get lumped in with those right wing randroids."

    I love when people who have clearly never read Ayn Rand and have no idea as to what she stood for thrown her name around as an ad hominem.

  • ||

    When it comes to economics, liberals are firmly anti-science. Their beliefs about the effects of unions, minimum wage, unemployment insurance, government monopoly, and trade restrictions tend to be rooted firmly in debunked theories of past ages.

  • publius50||

    The theory of comparative advantage. If you disagree, you're wrong. Just ask a liberal if they prefer free trade or the general impoverishment of the country, and the world, and watch them give you an unscientific answer.

    They get around the whole problem of having to deny economics by never learning it. That's why its not generally part of standard high-school curricula, like physics or history.

  • ||

    Democrats or Republicans Are More Anti-Science

    The answer is "C" all of the above.

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Considering that no small number of scientists have been involved up to their eyeballs in political assholery, I'm beginning to become pretty anti-science myself.

    Scientists and their fan boyz have exactly the same right to influence public policy as the priests and their congregations do. They have the right to express an opinion. They don't have a right to the last word. Which is basically what they're crying about, aren't they?

  • Tony||

    Scientists . . . have exactly the same right to influence public policy as the priests and their congregations do

    Didn't you hear that postmodernism is dead?

    "Up to their eyeballs in political assholery"

    Who? Do you ever actually read any science journalism?

    Not everyone can be as pure and unconnected with politics as the oil industry.

  • ||

    Read Pharyngula lately?

  • PicassoIII||

    Heh, you mean PC Myers blog?

  • ||

    Do you ever actually read any science journalism?

    So that is how science is done these days? Damn ... think of all the hours I wasted in the lab.

  • Tony||

    It's how it's read about.

  • adam||

    Current Secretary of Energy perhaps....

  • RandomGermanDude||

    "Didn't you hear that postmodernism is dead?"

    I wish that was true. But it certainly is alive and kicking in several fields.

    Also: reasoning about the limits of scientific inquiry is not postmodernism. There is a middle-ground between naive positivism and absolute relativism.

  • ||

    Absolute naiveté?

  • Doctor Whom||

    ... says a person using a communication medium that could not possibly exist without modern science. The anti-irony goggles do nothing!

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    Er, without modern engineers, if you please. I've built plenty of networks and servers and written plenty of software without the help of any scientists, most of whom are just as illiterate in modern computer technology as any janitor, thankyouverymuch.

  • ||

    I've built plenty of networks and servers had relations with plenty of livestock and written plenty of software burned plenty of crosses without the help of any scientists of my nationalist white trash party brethren, most of whom are just as illiterate in modern computer technology as any janitor, thankyouverymuch.

  • Skr||

    Right because there is never any fundamental science that happens before the engineers figure out what to do with it.

  • ||

    "With the gas tanks you've designed the beam would only last for forty seconds. What good is that?"

    "Let the engineers figure out a use for it. That's not our concern."

  • kilroy||

    Awesome.

  • Doctor Whom||

    Have it your way. Design a microprocessor, starting from raw materials, with no reference to quantum mechanics.

  • ||

    using sequential digital logic and binary to program a CPU's I/O seems to be more in line with an engineer's job than a scientist.

  • Doctor Whom||

    I didn't think anyone would have an answer, and you've proved me right.

  • ||

    ... says a person using a communication medium that could not possibly exist without modern science.

    From Wikipedia:
    Claude Elwood Shannon (April 30, 1916 – February 24, 2001) was an American mathematician, electronic engineer, and cryptographer known as "the father of information theory".

    Claude Shannon of Bell Labs paper "A Mathematical Theory of Communication" published in the Bell System Technical Journal is arguably the most cited paper ever. This paper is the basis for every digital electronic gizmo you own. He is quite deservedly considered "the father of information theory".

  • ||

    Well, this is what happens when your scientific hierarchy is dominated by government agencies like the NIH and the NSF. These are the people who hold the purse strings, and they report to congress, so everything they do is politicized.

    I think the scientific process worked better when it was dominated by private instutions, such as professional soceities and universities. These days, everyone seems to work for a government agency.

  • BigT||

    ^^THIS!!!^^

    In my 35 years in alternate energy i've observed that industrial scientists are much more willing to give up on 'pet' projects when confronted with 'damaging' data than are govt types. The govt guys merely have to convince some bureaucrat to spend the public's money, but in industry the money comes from the bottom line and gets close scrutiny.

  • Dr. Dave||

    Yes, it's easier to be wasteful when spending other people's money - especially when the money is forcibly confiscated from them.

  • cynical||

    Careful, otherwise people might think "private" means "for-profit corporation", instead of "voluntary organizations".

  • ||

    Absolutely true -- and one result is that science and politics miscegenate so much that people end up believing that scientific "truth" is decided by majority opinion.

  • ||

    Worse, consider the interaction of confirmation bias and political funding of science.

  • ||

    Shorter slappy aka 'human garbage':

    We's don't let no garsh dogity darn sciency sissys in our livestock orgy white trash nationalist party!

    ------------

  • Dr. Dave||

    Yes, the whole climate change debate is a perfect example. We are currently in a warming period but it is entirely unclear whether human behavior is a cause of this global warming. The earth has gone through similar climate change in the past. So there's no clear cause and effect. That's a basic summary of our current knowledge of climate change. But many "scientists" have abandoned scientific principles and have a religious belief in man-made global climate change. The only scientifically accurate statement is that humans MAY be a cause of global warming and that further study is warranted.

    So, who's really anti-science? The pseudo-scientist global warming fanatics or the rational skeptics?

  • ||

    "So, who's really anti-science? The pseudo-scientist global warming fanatics or the rational skeptics?"-Dr. Dave

    Ahh, you're onto something there doctor. Democrats score "pro-science" points among the media and academe types when they're backing pseudo-scientific moonbattery and Republicans are scored as "anti-science" when they're being rationally skeptical.

  • Tony||

    The precautionary principle is unscientific in the sense that it demands the impossible: Researchers can never show that any technological or scientific activity will never produce significant harm.

    If liberals push too hard in the direction of precaution, which I don't dispute, then there will always be conservatives (a misnomer in this instance) pushing the other way. Hopefully public policy will meet them in the middle somewhere.

    But having political views on scientific subjects is not the same thing as rejecting the method of science in particular instances. RB's article was good and got around to that.

  • ||

    If liberals push too hard in the direction of precaution, which I don't dispute, then there will always be conservatives (a misnomer in this instance) pushing the other way. Hopefully public policy will meet them in the middle somewhere.

    The "middle" isn't necessarily the most scientifically supported position. This kind of thinking also leads both sides to take more extreme positions in the hopes that the compromise will end up closer to their end.

  • KPres||

    "This kind of thinking also leads both sides to take more extreme positions in the hopes that the compromise will end up closer to their end."

    That's democracy in a nutshell. Forces everybody to the extremes.

  • Tony||

    The "middle" isn't necessarily the most scientifica

    I'm talking about policy. Of course science shouldn't be put to democratic vote. The whole thing that's wrong here is confusing having a certain position on science and tech. policy with believing in science.

    This kind of thinking also leads both sides to take more extreme positions in the hopes that the compromise will end up closer to their end.

    As opposed to what kind of thinking? Actively supporting extremism? It's not a kind of thinking, it's just reality in a democracy. "Give us 20% of the country everything we want or fuck off and die" isn't an attitude particularly suited to democracies.

  • ||

    I think Mooney is far too cavalier about downplaying the influence of groups like Greenpeace within liberalism. With the exception of PETA, which is kind of regarded as a bunch of loons, most liberal respect and admire GreenPeace, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and other organizations that are strongly opposed to food biotechnology and nuclear power. I really do not see Greenpeace being regarded as "fringe" by liberals. I see it being regarded as a group of dedicated idealists who are (if anything) a bit more progressive and ahead of the mainstream.

    Moreover, the whole organic food movement is throroughly mainstream in left-liberal circles and is closely linked to anti-GMO sentiment. IMO, the liberals that I speak to favor non-GMO almost as much as organic. They just aren't as concerned about it because if they're out there eating organic food, they are probably avoiding most GMOs too.

    Should be mentioned that the local, organic, and "sustainable" food movements aren't very scientifically grounded either.

  • ||

    Should be mentioned that the local, organic, and "sustainable" food movements aren't very scientifically grounded either.
    -----------------------------
    Curiously, their products are usually more expensive but they are the first in social justice parades like the one in NY.

  • Dr. Dave||

    Yes, the whole organic food movement is primarily left wing and essentially anti-science and anti-technology. There is no scientific proof that organic food is better for you. The environmental impact is still uncertain since organic farming avoids possibly harmful pesticides but requires more land. But this doesn't stop lefties from religiously believing in its benefits and spending frivolously on the crap.

  • ||

    Plus, it's clear that GMOs could avoid the use of harmful pesticides too, but you don't see liberals en masse switching to eating GMOs for the sake of the planet.

    The fact is that "organic" is a fairly narrow definition that is less about sustainability or environmental benefits than it is about aesthetics and nostalgia for the small family farm. Same with "local".

    It's really that some people are creeped out by modern, commecial, industrialized farming. They want food that's grown on a tiny local estate by some yeoman farmer, and not produced through a process through which any modern technology has been applied.

  • ||

    Don't forget the inherent, conspiracy theory driven hostility towards the agricultural equivalent of The Illuminati, Mansanto. The so-called "Frankenfood" argument that GMO food will cause everything from birth defects to instant death and Monsanto is protecting their patents to starve the world's population and achieve eugenic perfection, suing all farmers whose crops were unintentionally pollinated with the mutant strains of foodstuffs.

    Or something like that.

    /Coast to Coast

  • Bob||

    Certain organic foods probably are but the level of scientific understanding by most people does not always result in that being the case.

    Natural salmon that eat a natural diet will have higher levels of omega-fats but I don't think that most farmed salmon are supplemented to correct this. Chickens that eat grass and insects along with grain will have eggs with better nutritional value yet a lot of the "free range" chicken eggs or organic chicken eggs I see (which cost more) brag that they are fed all-grain diets.

  • ||

    A useful heuristic for the anti-science proclivities of any given TEAM is how frequently they reach for the "THINK OF THE CHIIIIIIILDREN" bullshit.

    By that metric I conclude that both Democrats and Republicans are blithering ignoramuses.

  • ||

    10/10

  • seguin||

    I have a problem with the whole nuclear power segment. Isn't it ridiculously expensive because of massive anti-scientific policies created and pushed by lefties? Or is it expensive regardless?

  • Colonel_Angus||

    Isn't it ridiculously expensive because of massive anti-scientific policies created and pushed by lefties?

    Yes.

    Or is it expensive regardless?

    Yes. And no. It depends.

  • ||

    Pretty much. It has high initial capital inputs, but opposition from liberal groups has driven up the cost of construction by an order of magnitude. Endless permiting delays, lost work hours due to protests, constant harassment by court challanges.

    It would still be expensive in terms of up-front costs to build, but if you could actually get a plant built on schedule it would be cheaper than coal or natural gas.

  • You're Kidding, Right?||

    The Price-Anderson Nuclear Industries Indemnity Act of 1957 (commonly called The Price-Anderson Act) conveniently pushed insurance liability onto the government. Without it, no private utility would have built a nuclear power plant, ever.

    So the answer to your question is - it would be expensive regardless, even if taxpayers were not on the hook for it.

  • GHRTSY||

    ...and libertarians are anti-science in their use of the Yale Cognition hucksterism.

  • Mr. Mark||

    "On climate change, the Pew survey reported that 84 percent of scientists believe that the recent warming is the result of human activity. Among Democrats, 64 percent responded that the Earth is getting warming mostly due to human activity, whereas only 30 percent of Republicans thought so. That is truly a deep divide on this scientific issue."

    Ah, yes, "scientists" of course...

    These "scientists" are simply 2,533 randomly chosen members of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) from 2009. There is mention of any screening of the sample for degree, experience, or field of expertise. It's just 2,533 random members of AAAS.

    Do you know what it takes to become a member of the vaunted AAAS?

    Neither did I, so looked it up.

    It takes $149.00.

    That's for the "Professional" level membership (sounds nice, comes with a magazine). Nowhere on the "membership application" does it ask me what study, or where or how I learned to study it.

    I could be climatologist, sure.

    I could also be an economist, a sociologist, a psychologist, or just somebody who watches lots of Star Trek. As far as AAAS membership goes, each such person would qualify for membership.

    And whatever will I be able to do with my shiny new membership, other than respond to Pew Research polls?

    Well, it turns out that I can:

    - "Help governments formulate science policy" (I LOVE minding other peoples' business!)
    - "Increase diversity in the scientific community" (Ah, yes, social engineering! Love it!)
    - "Assist individual scientists in developing their careers" (Such as by keeping the AGW hoax alive and well!)
    - "Communicate the value of science to the general public" (The moon-wolf eats the sun goddess...give us silver and we make him spit her out again! [P.J. O'Rourke remark])

    So...anyway, about that science you talking about...

  • Jeffersonian||

    Well ain't that illuminatin'?

  • ||

    LMAO!
    Man, I love this website!

  • Apatheist||

    Man technically I was a member in High School and College when I subscribed to Nature and Science. Though I was paying student prices.

  • ||

    What is the break point where one can call themselves a scientist. Even having a PHD or a masters doesn't really make you a scientist. I have no degree but if I research a subject that should make me a scientist just as much as Al Gore is a scientist.

  • ||

    Al Gore? You mean the divinity school drop-out?

  • Finrod||

    Heh indeed. Have you noticed that the liberal obsession with precautions gets thrown out the window when it comes to 'climate change'? They want to throw a trillion dollars at something where they can't even disprove the null hypothesis.

  • HaHaHa||

    in addition to being a bloody killer of a warmonger, we learn Barack Obama is an anti-science anti-vaxxer. He is as much of a bumpkin as Dubwa ever was.

  • ||

    Pop Quiz
    Part One:
    Ask anyone if they shop for food that is chemical free.
    Unless their response is "all food is composed of chemicals", they flunk the test and should be considered scientifically illiterate.

    Part Two:
    Ask them "What's your sign?"
    Any response from the Zodiac is a fail.

    Bonus Question:
    How many Angels can dance on the head of a pin?

    Three strikes and yer out!

  • George V||

    Phew. Good thing I flip 'em the bord when asked question 2.

  • ||

    Hope u don't flip them the Ouija bord!

  • Matt||

    If you really want to embarrass the Left about being anti-science, bring up the name William Jennings Bryan sometime. He was one of the most hardcore progressive leftists ever and he argued AGAINST evolution in the infamous Scopes monkey trial.

    So next time a Democrat demands a scientific litmus test for politicians, a great rebuttal is "so can I assume you disown William Jennings Bryan then?"

  • Lefty||

    "Yeah, I disown him. PWN'ED!"

  • Tony||

    And when a Republican presidential candidate in 2011 says he believes in evolution, he can be smarter on the issue than a guy who died in 1925. Thanks Jon Huntsman, anyone else?

  • Matt||

    Fine, Tony, let's take a more contemporary example. Tony Campolo, one of the leaders of the evangelical/progressive left, says evolution is "just a theory."

    So if Campolo were running as a Democrat against Gary Johnson, who accepts evolution, would you stick to your principles and vote for Johnson?

    This is a textbook example of the problem with single-issue litmus tests for politicians. Nobody is perfect on all issues.

  • Matt||

    Citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Campolo#Quotes

    "" Those in favor of Darwin’s theory usually act as though his explanation of evolution has empirical validation. It doesn't! It’s just a theory. A very reasonable theory, to be sure, but still a theory. The highly-touted biologist, Kenneth R. Miller, supports evolution and not ID. But even he claims that rabid Darwinists go 'well beyond any reasonable scientific conclusions that might emerge from evolutionary theory.' To prevent discussion of any other explanations of human origins is hardly what I would expect from open-minded educators."

    He also criticized strict, literal creationism, but then he does have above quote too. Sounds like an intelligent design guy to me.

  • Tony||

    I don't even know who that is. What point are you trying to make?

  • ||

    Tony Campolo is kind of a lefty version of Pat Robertson.

  • MJ||

    It would be a great rebuttal if the Democrat's response were not a stunned brook trout expression at the name "William Jennings Bryan".

    You cannot shame someone about disowning a past icon if they are not aware their side owned him in the first place.

  • Matt||

    Bryan was all over the place in the early 20th century. He basically started the progressive movement the left gets all misty eyed about and ran for president on the dem ticket. Any liberal activist worth their salt knows all about him

  • Matt||

    Citation: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tony_Campolo#Quotes

    "" Those in favor of Darwin’s theory usually act as though his explanation of evolution has empirical validation. It doesn't! It’s just a theory. A very reasonable theory, to be sure, but still a theory. The highly-touted biologist, Kenneth R. Miller, supports evolution and not ID. But even he claims that rabid Darwinists go 'well beyond any reasonable scientific conclusions that might emerge from evolutionary theory.' To prevent discussion of any other explanations of human origins is hardly what I would expect from open-minded educators."

    He also criticized strict, literal creationism, but then he does have above quote too. Sounds like an intelligent design guy to me.

  • Matt||

    Disregard the above comment, it does NOT relate to WJ Bryan.

    I bet if Bryan were transported in a time machine to today the left would try to sweep him under the rug.

  • ||

    Well, of course. Leftists have to conveniently ignore much of their history in order to hold their heads up in public. It would be painful to acknowledge that so many of their 20th century heroes were at least apologists for Stalin and the gulags, if not fans or even outright employees. (Among many others, I'm thinking of San Francisco's sainted Harry Bridges.)

  • Realist||

    Hey Bailey how's that science degree going?

  • Realist||

    "Comparing the scientific ignorance of our mainstream parties"
    When I think of ignorance....the first one I think of is Bailey!

  • ||

    the Earth is getting warming???

    Fuckin' grammatical errors make me SICK!!!!!! I mean sick like anabolic steroid withdrawal. God damn I just want to beat the fuckin' shit out of some teenage girl right now. See what you did????? *SMASH*

  • ||

    Is beating up teenage girls something you frequently fantasize about when something annoys you?

  • ||

    Don't feel too bad, they love it.

  • Drax the Destroyer||

    They go to public school, so they are already dead inside.

  • ||

    But apparently you're right OK with rampant punctuation errors? Methinks you're just looking for an excuse to abuse a teenaged girl.

  • ||

    Teenaged girls love punctuation errors, simple words that are abbreviated even more than they need to be, and a little violence. Can't fight nature.

  • Balls||

    Razib Khan nailed this doozy months ago. Apparently moderates are the dumb dumbs: http://blogs.discovermagazine......um=twitter

  • ||

    razib khan is a conservative/republican and thus among the 6% of scientists that identify as republicans.
    Thus he is subject to both conservative backfire effect and right wing authority tendency.
    :)

  • ||

    There is so much nonsense in this article it is hard to pick where to start. The following is as good an example as any to show that the article isn’t concerned with science at all. Science is just a political football to kick around.

    However, if policies limiting the emissions of greenhouse gases produced by burning fossil fuels are adopted, nuclear becomes more commercially attractive. In fact, much more attractive than the solar power alternatives pushed by Democrats like Romm. But that is not a scientific argument; it’s an economic one.

    The economic argument is a diversion from the science based on the assumption is that nuclear and solar are an apples to apples comparison which is nonsense. The science argument is that nuclear can generate power 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The solar power alternatives only generate during the day and due to clouds intermittently. Not only does the solar output vary over the day (half wave sinusoidal), it also varies seasonally. If you had a car with the reliability of solar you would call it a lemon. This is pretty straight forward engineering (applied science) that even a cave man could understand. The only economics here is that stupidity is expensive.

  • Tony||

    I think the comparison is dollars to dollars.

  • ||

    Greg F: Tony is right - the link that I provided goes to the Energy Information Administration comparison of levelized costs for various forms electrical power generation. Levelized costs takes into account the differences in capacity factors that you mention.

  • ||

    ... the link that I provided goes to the Energy Information Administration comparison of levelized costs for various forms electrical power generation.

    Guess you still don't get it. I repeat, the economic argument is a diversion from the science based on the assumption is that nuclear and solar are an apples to apples comparison which is nonsense. The ability of nuclear to supply power consistently over time and the failure of solar being able to do the same makes the economics argument an apples to oranges comparison.

    Levelized costs takes into account the differences in capacity factors that you mention.

    Just in case you still don't get it. The important engineering difference isn't "capacity factors", it is the ability to supply power consistently over all time scales from less than a second too years.

  • TallDave||

    People will just have to learn to live without electricity on cloudy days.

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  • ||

    Good point, I wrote a blog about this just last week.. impeccable timing =)

  • Pro-arithmetic||

    Related to science-denial is arithmetic-denial. As often as the Right denies climate science, the Left consistently denies the fact that the wealthy already pay most of the taxes in this country, far more than the services they receive, Elizabeth Warren's recent speech about what a hypothetical factory owner owes the "rest of us" being a prime example. The Left also consistently denies the unsustainability of our welfare-state entitlement programs.

  • Reactionary Troll||

    Republicans, Democrats, and Libertarians alike tend to be blank-slatists who think that intelligence has nothing to do with genes and everything to do with education (patently false) and that human races are all equal in intelligence, despite all the testing showing the contrary. Significantly, several notable Nobel Prize winners (James Watson, co-discoverer of DNA; William Shockley, inventor of the transistor) think that race differences in intelligence exist and have much explanatory power with regards to the wealth of nations.

    Here are some scientific articles showing that a country's prosperity depends not only on the level of economic freedom*, but also on the intelligence of its inhabitants (most of it being transmitted genetically):

    Vanhanen, 2011. National IQs and their demographic correlates

    Jones, 2011 "http://216.109.65.20/Documents/Periodicals/ADR/adr-vol28-1.pdf#page=55" > National IQ and National Productivity: The Hive Mind Across Asia

    Meisenberg, 2011. "http://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/national-iq-and-economic-outcomes.pdf" > National IQ and economic outcomes

    Hassall and Sherratt, 2011. "http://occidentalascent.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/statistical-inference-and-spatial-patterns-in-correlates-of-iq.pdf" > Statistical inference and spatial patterns in correlates of IQ

    Rindermann, 2011. "http://lesacreduprintemps19.files.wordpress.com/2011/08/intellectual-classes-technological-progress-and-economic-development.pdf" > Intellectual classes, technological progress and economic development: The rise of cognitive capitalism

    Rindermann and Thompson, 2011. Cognitive Capitalism : The Effect of Cognitive Ability on Wealth, as Mediated Through Scientific Achievement and Economic Freedom

    *BTW, high economic freedom itself is contingent on having in power an elite smart enough to figure out that economic freedom is the best for everyone.

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    Wow, all the trolls have returned. White Indian, rectal, and now this guy. Hooray!

  • Art-P.O.G.||

    I'm holding my breath for the triumphant return of LoneWacko. Standard disclaimer: IQ is useful for measuring cognitive ability, but cognitive ability itself is affected by a number of different factors including genes, embryonic development and education.
    Statistics are cool and all, but I wouldn't get too hung up on phenotypical traits as predictors of intelligence.

  • ||

    Your explanation has two major flaws. For one, the ratio of importance of nature/nurture for intelligence is not known. So claiming that intelligence is mostly due to genetics is specious.

    For two, there is no genetic basis for distinguishing between races. Skin color is one trait. It has never been shown to be genetically linked to traits like intelligence, nor is there a reason to suppose it is. And regardless, skin color is not the same thing as race. Without a genetic definition of race, your argument fails from the beginning.

    It seems to me you are looking at this the wrong way. Intelligence is needed to create wealth, but so is free time, and if you live in a dangerous and low-resource environment you don't have much time or opportunity to create extra wealth. All that time is spent dodging political/religious genocides, or looking for scarce food and water.

    You can see the exact same phenomena in both Africa and the European Dark Ages. Political and environmental factors conspire to cripple the human race sometimes. You need those factors to be right to start creating prosperity, not just intelligence.

  • ||

    "[T]here is no genetic basis for distinguishing between races."-heller

    False. Please do keep up with the latest science instead of repeating liberal shibboleths.

    Then, try again.

  • OuterSunsetAnthropologist||

    There is more genetic diversity within the African continent than anywhere else in the world. The farther human population have migrated from Sub-Saharan Africa the less phenotypic variation can be shown. Said another way, you could say that there may be more difference between someone from the north of what is now Botswana and someone from present day east Congo than a native of Sudan and a Han Chinese.

    That's about the latest science.

    So Micha, if you are going to believe in "races" then you should believe that Africa contains a large number of them.

  • ||

    For two, there is no genetic basis for distinguishing between races.

    Gads, I hate this argument. It doesn't matter. Humans have the ideological construct called "race," based on various physical characteristics. If we categorized humans into a dozen or so groups based on (say) an inheritable size ratio of left big toe to right little toe, and found average IQ differences between those groups, it would be just as significant (and only slightly less politically problematic). In other words, any lack of "basis" for the categories is trumped by proof that there is a repeatable difference correlated with them.

    It turns out "races" contain some testable differences in average intelligence. The groupings of "East Asian" and "Australian aborigine" and "Jewish" and "Caucasian" and the rest are fuzzy around the edges, but real. That they have different average IQs is politically charged, but nevertheless true.

  • ||

    There are doctors and scientists believe that the world was created by God. Some might even oppose stem cell research or oppose on moral grounds. A doctor who practice sound medicine and finds room for faith or god's hand in their lives is harmless. If they insist on healing you with their faith, you avoid them.

    But liberals have known to rail against DDT, silicone implants, and food irradiation (yes, I like Stossel). They tend to stir up chemical scares and obsess over organic foods that's not significantly better than conventional produce. What's the scientific argument against sale of organ transplants? Morality?

    The more relevant question is - who in power with influence in making policy is more "anti - science"? In places of California, you can bet your ass it's the democrats.

  • ||

    excuse the major grammar error, wish I could edit posts

  • Dis||

    I'm glad someone finally mentioned DDT.

  • ||

    As the Hawkman says:

    Upon blind faith
    They place reliance,
    What we need more of
    Is science.

  • ||

    Both parties are anti-science with respect to the role that IQ plays in issues such as unemployment and achievment gaps. As the peer-reviewed literature shows, we know much more about IQ and its impact than we do about the role of humans in climate change. So long as both parties refuse to acknowledge and account for these differences, the plans they design in ignorance of them are destined to fail.

  • Peter A||

    Then there is the scientific evidence that your genes play a very significant role in determing your ultimate intellectual, physical and emotional capabilities. No party wants to touch that live wire.

  • ||

    Right wing religious fundamentalsts reject scientific fact.

    The far Left distorts science and uses it to justify their ideology.

    IMO the former is the more stupid...the latter is the more dangerous.

  • ||

    SO TRUE!!

  • ||

    Republicans are from Mars. Liberals are from Uranus. Libertarians aren't really from anywhere; they just snipe from the asteroid belt.

    It would be nice if people would just make decisions as individuals, but it's easier to fall in march step with a group with bully power.

  • ||

    This adequate essay falls well short of being good. Mr. Bailey addresses the issue of "science", but draws conclusions based on issues that have little or nothing to do with "science". PETA and experiments on animals, for example, are matters of philosophy and ethics, not science. Energy public policy issues often involve economics and risk assessment, not science. Mr. Bailey improves over Berezow's original and deeply idiotic essay, but both fail to explain what they mean by "science", and instead use the simplistic acceptance or rejection of factual claims as a surrogate. A weak strategy.

  • ||

    I guess Mr. Bailey is anti-science.

  • ||

    Noticeably absent from the list of anti-science positions is President Obama's pronouncement that marijuana has no medical use. The Institute of Medicine, the National Association of Family Physicians, The American Nurses Association and a long list of other respected medical organizations differ.

  • ||

    The UN study on Climate Change states that Approximately 55% of the increase in world temperatures over the last 30 years is due to increased solar radiation. Much of the rest is due to Urbanization, increases in food animal herds, and deforestation. Last and least is the input of Carbon Dioxide. That could change as the levels of carbon dioxide change. Those scientists that think most of global warming has come from man have not studied the data.

  • ||

    The article makes some good points, but ignores the economic motives of trial lawyers who intentionally mislead the public on vaccines in order to prejudice jury pools and many grant recipients who are biased by their funding sources. Certainly more Republicans buy into dogmatic religions, which are anti-science by their nature. Politicians are all the same- they will never let objective truths interfere with their next election.

  • Steve S||

    It's not a political issue, but my own informal survey of those who believe in homeopathy, Reiki crystal healing, "auras", various un-proven nutrutional supplements and advice, tend to be more liberal leaning.

    It's a huge area where they abandon the "trust the real scientists" model that they invoke during climate change and other debates.

    Just an interesting observation. Maybe someone could do a formal survey to confirm my suspicions and see where these ideas come from?

  • ||

    The left has always appeared to be more anti-science on stem cell research, since they tend to downplay, ignore, or outright deny advances made with adult stem cells.

  • ||

    "deny biological evolution"

    to the extent this is true, its certainly anti-science. but its a small minority that deny evolution outright - don't conflate their beliefs about the genesis of life with whether organisms have evolved since then.

    "are skeptical of the scientific consensus on man-made global warming"

    err, scepticism of a theory that has literally never been correct in its predictions is deemed "anti-science"? and since when is scepticism, in general, anti-science? its the whole freaking basis of science.

    "and oppose research using human embryonic stem cells"

    this is a moral position, not an "anti-science" one. no one on the right questions the potential benefits of stem cell research, they just object to killing babies in order to get those stem cells.

  • ||

    Accepting a consensus does not make you "pro-science" or "anti-science." It could be that you're conscious enough of your own ignorance to defer to authority. Or it could be that you think that scientific knowledge is obtained via authoritative consensus. The former is arguably more pro-science, or at least more pro-scientist. The latter is anti-science.

  • ||

    The article misses an entire category of pseudo-science that is wholly owned by the Left - New Age. These include the whole neo-paganist Gaia litany of homeopathy, astrology, tarot, crystals, etc.

  • ||

    a more important concern than all the issues mentioned in the article: while economics is certainly not a hard science, leftist economic prescriptions have failed time and again, and the lefties still cling to them. the clinging is not due to the effectiveness of the policies, but rather to a superstitious notion that "we have to do something." order can arise from chaos, and the market-driven economy is an incredible demonstration of that. i'd much rather have a creationist president who followed Austrian economic models than the most enlightened leftie Keynesian who wants to shove government assistance down my throat.

  • ||

    With regard to nuclear power, the Pew survey found 70 percent of scientists in favor of building more nuclear power plants. For their part, 62 percent of Republicans favored more nuclear power plants, compared to 45 percent of Democrats. This difference is likely related to views on nuclear safety.

    Which only begs the questions, why don't the Democrats value the judgement of the scientists? Presumably scientists are concerned with safety.

    Are these Democrats anti science, or merely selective in their faith? Much like Republicans are selective in their faith regarding global warming.

  • Mike||

    How about gender = manmade (or is it personmade) social construct ... surely there is nothing anti-science about that

  • ||

    Nice point! I read a Cynthia Tucker blog where she claimed race is also a social construct.

  • ||

    I would humbly submit that liberals' belief in Keynesian economics is anti-science and that, with regards to the science of economics, liberals are far more anti-science. While neo-classical economic theories about the benefits of free trade and laissez-faire government enjoy substantial empirical support, there is no evidence to support the Keynesian principle that increases in government spending reduce the length or severity of recessions. While that does not mean Keynesian theory has been proven incorrect, blind faith in an unproven hypothesis is the opposite of a scientific approach to economics. Unfortunately, that blind faith characterizes the approach of many liberal economists as well as the general public.

  • ||

    Missing in the discussion is a topic on which the left is notoriously anti-science, especially within its core policy makers.

    Abortion is a topic that is, unfortunately, dominated by fringe nutcases on BOTH sides of the ideological divide. You can't hardly bring up the subject without people slipping into the lockstep modes of screaming about what the *other* side is *really* saying.

    Certainly, the right's insistence that the unborn are imbued with a God-given soul is pretty obviously an unscientific viewpoint.

    But the left's desperation at protecting the ideal of abortion leads it to even more remarkably unscientific convolutions, claiming that a fetus is not human, apparently until it's physically outside its mother. Many firmly deny even the obvious concept of the viability of the fetus: suggesting vehemently that the fetus is not "officially" human until it's delivered.

    Set aside the emotional, religious, or social aspects to the abortion issue and look at the scientific definition of mammalian gestation of the human animal, and it's the left's longstanding positions on abortion that are almost-manically denying the scientific realities involved.

  • ||

    I seriously doubt that the majority - or even a significant minority - of pro-abortion folks support abortion on demand at any stage of development

  • ||

    I would like to agree with you, but I can't. I live in a state that had a late term clinic for years that was supported wholeheartedly by the pro-abortion supporters and industry. Including funding support for attempts at legislating more moderate controls on such clinics.

    All of that leans toward the more political side of things, but it still comes down to the point that the left is more than willing to ignore or look away from the scientific aspects of human gestation when it suits their political or social perspecctives

  • ||

    I live in the West, where we see the left's hostility to science all the time in regard to its stands on the Endangered Species Act. Take one specific example. When environmentalists (mostly folks on the left) were clamoring for returning gray wolves to the Northern Rockies under the protection of the ESA, they said those wolves would be fully recovered when a certain number of breeding pairs had been established within the region. That number was established, and in fact the number of wolves has ballooned far beyond what environmentalists and everyone else agreed was needed to create an ongoing population of wolves. But while wildlife biologists will tell you that the science shows that wolves no longer need ESA protection, many folks on the left (such as NY Times editorial writers) argue for continuing those protections and raising the number of wolves "needed" under the ESA. The same holds true for grizzly bears. We have grizzlies coming out our ears, yet to hear the left tell it, you'd think these critters are on the verge of extinction due to climate change, habitat loss, etc. Science be dammed.

  • ||

    It's almost as though, regardless of political affiliation, people can be divided into those who support progress and innovation (lets call them "dynamists") and those who fear change ("stasists").

    If only some libertarian would write a book about that.

  • Ken B||

    I think you have forgotten some areas of science, such as sociobiology, and anything to do with heretibility. In those areas it is pretty clear the democrats are more anti-science.

  • Jordan Reynolds||

    Progressives generally support biological evolution, or the biological manifestation of emergent order, yet they resoundingly reject emergent order when it is used to make the case for the structure of free markets. This is the MOST prominent "anti-science" stance in the liberal community.

  • ||

    Economics has hardly reached that level of science. To purport that it has indicates a serious misunderstanding of science.

  • ||

    Economics is a social science, essentially a subset of group psychology. But overall I agree with your gist.

    The problem is that many on the left, e.g. the Krugman's of the world, want to have their cake and eat it too.

    As compared to Hayek and his ilk, who were always much more circumspect, and always much more clear about what values they were espousing.

  • Jordan Reynolds||

    It hasn't reached the same level of scientific objectivity, but it is science nonetheless. Dominant trends in human emergent order can be observed and predicted empirically and theoretically with some satisfactory degree of accuracy. But, i don't mean to conflate economics with it's 'purely' objected counterparts in the physical sciences.

  • Jordan Reynolds||

    *objective

  • ||

    I would also add that much economic theory has been based on man as a "rational" actor. Recent work seems to indicate that he is anything but. Simply a mass of emotional responses justified by a veneer of rational language. What value is a totally free market if it results in near universal misery?

  • Jordan Reynolds||

    Much *dated* work in economic theory has been based on man as a rational actor, i.e. the 'Homo Economicus' concept, but recent work (post Mises' Human Action) suggest that emotional responses are a variable in praxeological decisions. I certainly do not dispute your point. But in regards to a totally free market resulting in universal human misery, this is exactly the 'anti-science' stance that I am criticizing. We have multitudes of empirical evidence to suggest the corrolation between economic freedom and human well being.

  • ||

    But what about support for federalism, which is the most scientific approach to government?

  • ||

    The question makes no sense. Government is about how people manage themselves when they choose to live together in large groups. Science and the scientific method are about understanding the natural world we live in. The long term consequences of these discoveries has allowed us to manipulate our physical and psychological environments to an astonishing degree. The answer you have asked is akin to "is there a god". Most folks take thier answer as a matter of faith and do not ask science to comment.

  • ||

    Science is a process for answering a question to a know degree of certainty.

    The fruits of the scientific process can be employed when making a value judgement, but science itself cannot make a value judgement.

  • ||

    Umm...the author writes:

    The Pew survey next asked about federal funding of human embryonic stem cell research. Democrats favored such funding by 71 percent compared to only 38 percent among Republicans. The Republican response is likely tied to two issues here: (1) the belief that embryos have the same moral status as adult people;

    Adult people? I don't ever remember seeing it put that way. "...same moral status as people" Sure. "...same moral status as a person." Sure. Even "...same moral status as a baby."

    Methinks the "adult people" line betrays something here...

  • PsychClone||

    There is a real mixing of issues happening here.

    The problem here isn't science, it's politics. As long as politicians, who, on average, know less than nothing about the scientific process, are using their own "scientists" to push their own party's underlying economic agenda, then there will always be a resulting confusion in the public about the credibility and utility of science itself. This is because each party is using science to tell a different and inconsistent story. In that sense, most politicians (regardless of the political party) are anti-science because they are ignoring well-established scientific conclusions from non-biased researchers regarding various issues (e.g. evolution, global warming) that are based on "true" (i.e. non-politically motivated) scientific research. And they do this to gain power. End of story.

    So let's not confuse the issues here. Just because the public is presented with inconsistent "scientific data" from these moron politicians doesn't mean science itself is the problem; the human need for power and control is the problem, and science in this case is being used politically to that end.

    We all know the saying that pretty much any good thing can be used for evil, and the same goes for science in this case.

  • ||

    Agreed completely.

    I would even venture farther along that train of thought to say that it's not even people who are pro- or anti-science. That it's more just an arguing chit used to undermine supporters of opposing viewpoints

  • ||

    It is certainly worth noting that all risk is not equal. The risk from animal testing or even nuclear power is localized. Global warming is more of a - you know - global thing. If you get it wrong with the nukes you can render an entire city uninhabitable. If you get it wrong with climate or GMOs you can eradicate half the Earth's population.

  • TallDave||

    The major risk from climate change is the next Ice Age showing up -- that could easily end human civilization. Warming is a picayune concern by comparison. And yet all the focus is on a short-term warming trend that is almost certainly self-limiting rather than the continuation of the glaciation cycles that have been going on since the Antarctic isolation.

  • ||

    This article is conflating two very differnt attitudes into being "anti-science". To paint the issue in broad strokes, conservatives tend to deny the validity of the scientific method when it's outcome conflicts with their prejudices. On the other hand "liberals" are much more cautious about use of some of the new technologies. Its a matter of connecting actions with consequenses. IMHO the conservatives have cut that connection in thier denial of science, while liberals don't trust the motives of the folks who want to throw caution to the wind.

    Curiously, etymologically, the "liberal" position is conservative, and the "conservative" position is insane.

  • ||

    Liberals who believe in CAGW most certainly do deny the validity of the Scientific Method. Michael Mann and the Hockey Team, not to mention the IPCC as a whole, openly refuse to use the Scientific Method, and slanders anyone who asks for transparency.

    As so well documented at Climate Audit over the years and by Andrew Monford's great book, "The Hockey Stick Illusion, Climategate and the corruption of science".

  • ||

    Funny how liberals never apply two notions that presumably fall under at least the penumbra of 'science' -- 'sustainability' and the 'precautionary principle' -- to either govt fiscal/economic policy or social engineering.

  • ||

    I'd add another argument about what "anti-science" really is. Anyone who argues for a position because it's "settled science" or because of a claimed "consensus" is essentially anti-science, as those are not "science-based" arguments. A true scientist knows that knowledge is never settled, and should always be tested, re-evaluated, and in many cases revised, as the state of knowledge and understanding grows. Similarly, the validity of a scientific argument is never based on the number of people who believe it, but on how well it matches reality.
    Any claim that science is settled, based on consensus, is not and never can be a scientific truth - it's more an article of faith (particularly if you reject counter-claims, arguements, or observations).
    Almost all policy debate is inherently anti-science as it tends to fix on one finding and rejects all others without consideration - the antithesis of science as process, method, and way of knowing.

    It's one thing to claim the mantel of science, but if you're not using scientific methods and adhering to scoientific principles and processes, it's not really science or even (pro-science).

  • Matt||

    Well put.

    Galileo's physics was once considered settled science. Then Newton came along. Then Einstein.

    It used to be "settled" science to believe in "ether." Nobody knows what future scientific discoveries might occur.

    There seems to be a lot of self-congratulatory and hubristic behavior among many in the scientific establishment.

  • Jay||

    I'm saying this with 100% sincerity: this is single-handedly the stupidest article I've ever read. That's a talent in and of itself.

  • ||

    Of course there's the ultimate anti-science stand: that children still in the womb don't have the basic inalienable rights to Life Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness because they are not Human. Can't get more anti-science than that.

  • ||

    I don't know anyone who makes such a bizarre claim. I know a lot of people who claim that a fetus lacks the rights of legal persons in jurisdictions in which abortion is legal. This claim has nothing to do with science; apparently you don't either.

    D. Taylor, MD

  • ||

    "people who claim that a fetus lacks the rights of legal persons in jurisdictions in which abortion is legal."
    What I said...

  • ||

    Sorry, that's not what you wrote. You wrote "... because they are not Human." No one denies that humans produce human fetuses. What is claimed is that the rights of personhood begin at birth, and endure until specifically removed, e.g. in capital punishment or in times of war. Again, nothing to do with science; this is a legal construct.

    D. Taylor, MD

  • ||

    Forget the 'legal person' argument.

    There absolutely *are* liberals who explicitly state, or implicitly by action wrt policy, that the human fetus (per *science* a genetically complete, distinct human individual organism) deserves no more moral consideration than a toenail clipping.
    *That* is the real sticking point, not fetus=adult (morally).

  • ||

    Exactly. When a fetus is aborted, is it dead?

  • ||

    This is just anecdotal, but plenty of liberals seem ready to dismiss mainstream economics (our most successful social science) as mere propaganda for capitalism.

    Also, liberals seem more likely than others to dismiss out of hand any evidence that there might be innate differences between men and women in cognitive abilities.

    If these phenomena are widespread, they are genuine cases of liberals' refusing to take the content of science seriously.

  • ||

    Nonsense. Liberals largely accept mainstream economics. What they don't accept is market fundamentalism, that treats a particular vision of the market as the sole economic norm.

  • ||

    Most of these questions have something to do with one government policy or another. However, understanding of the details of Darwinian evolution does not. Evolution will proceed in its time-honored way whether or not anyone understands it or believes in it. High school textbooks will be affected by such belief, but again, it makes no difference to the planet's plant and animal populations what high school students believe or don't believe.

    Weird ideas about stem-cell research, nuclear power plants, "carbon credits", climate, ozone, vaccines, engineered fish, etc. are of political importance. But evolution is not. The two classes of things, those which are politically important and those which are not, should not be considered as if they are equivalent.

  • ||

    Are you suggesting that the notion an embryo (a genetically complete, distinct human organism, a 'proto-human being' on its way to dropping the 'proto') has more moral value than a toenail clipping is somehow 'weird' or 'anti-science'?

    'equal in worth to an adult human being' per Bailey is a disingenuous strawman

  • ||

    So facts are relevant to values? Since when! In that sense we are ALL anti-science. But in another sense almost none of us are. INTERESTS are where the gap is bridged, not value conversion or factual argument. And Money is a far better way of adjudicating whose interests gets satisfied than voting is. Why? Because regardless of how rich you are, no one has infinite money and so must make choices THEMSELVES. In politics anyone can vote for as many idiotic or contradictory things as they like; the system must make their choices for them.

    Values are best kept secret, used to set one’s own priorities, hopefully for earning and spending. Democracy ought to be tolerated as fundamentally evil as it is, for it is somewhat stable (you can’t herd cats or humans in the same direction for long).

    I blog as a right winger, a left winger, and on the exceedingly rare days when what I am responding to does not astound me with its stupidity, as a moderate. ROTFFLMFAO

    Science ought to take comfort from all this hot air. I care not if I am labeled anti-anything for I probably am anti-EVERYTHING that anyone else cares about. Because I’m pretty sure all but about 1000 of you are as evil as weasels and as dumb as rocks, planet-wide. Yet most partisans apparently respect Science enough to prefer not to be called anti-science. To some extent I agree; without science, no modern world, probably 500 million humans at most…

  • gbaikie||

    There is a difference between anti-science and not believing something as regarded scientific.
    Anti-science would oppose science from being conducted.
    Science requires the freedom to use the scientific method to investigate and communicate with other scientists.
    Doing an experiment and reporting your results and not disclosing how you obtained your results, is unscientific. Promoting such practice of not allowing others to repeat "the experiment" is an example of anti-science.
    Claiming one has consensus on a issue is not scientific- how many believe something is not a measurement of whether it is scientific. This might not be anti-science, but doesn't reflect how science works- it's non-science.

  • TallDave||

    Nullius in verba. Consensus is just another variation on argument from authority.

  • Some Guy||

    It comes down to how you score pseudoscience. As far as a literal and open hostility to idea of scientific thought, Red Team wins hands down. If you count the promotion of pseudoscience as real science to be just as bad, it could go either way.

  • TallDave||

    If the Left wasn't anti-science, Larry Summers wouldn't have been forced to resign for remarking on the observed statistical variation in math skills between the genders.

    The Right sometimes prefers religion to science. The Left generally prefers leftism to science.

  • ||

    there are both left bioluddites and right bioluddites.
    But only 6% of SCIENTISTS vote republican.

  • RightKlik||

    It's important not to confuse "science" with "technology."

    Opposition to the way certain forms of technology might be applied is not the same as being "antiscience."

  • ||

    Are Republicans or Democrats More Anti-Science?

    meh. too simple.
    http://people-press.org/2009/0.....lic-media/

    Only 6% of scientists identify as republicans.
    94% of scientists identify as either democrats or independents.
    Answer your question, did i?

  • ||

    So let me guess quell, if 90% of arsonists were Democrats, would you suggest Democrats were generally arsonists?

  • ||

    94% of scientists identify as either democrats or independents.
    Answer your question, did i?

    It appears from looking at the survey that the selection of scientist is heavily biased toward those on the public dole.

    Government institutions and agencies are the dominant funders of research, according to scientists: 84% list a government entity as an important source of funding for their specialty ...

    Scientist working for private industry do not rely on government largess for their research. The scientist in this survey were primarily academics.

  • ||

    /sigh

    that is just radar chaff. Nearly all scientists are NOT republican because of red/blue genetics, the savannah principle, and the biological basis of behavior. Also because of Salam-Douthat stratification on cognitive ability.

  • ||

    Interesting premise on the climate change issue. It seems that anti-science goes both directions on this issue. The flat out deniers miss the point that the earth has been warming since the last ice age and will probably through spurts and starts continue to do so. It is hard to deny all the junk we put in the atmosphere has no effect. It should be a debate on how much is man-made and how much is natural variables (expected changes in solar flares to result in a "cooling period" was a recent sceintific report).

    The Democrats love the doomsday scenario and claim this is "settled" science. They loved the doomsday scenario of The Population Bomb that had the world devistated by 2000 and Great Britain an uninhabited frozen rock in the sea because Erlich could not believe the world could hold over 3 billion people.

    The current doomsday scenario of The Inconvenient Truth fits with their need to social engineer and contol the population. Unfortuneately, they deny the science that shows that the models appear to overstate the effects of the greenhouse gases. Jones was disappointed they could not determine why the earth hasn't warmed as predicted since 1995.

    The growing list of defectors from the IPCC list (I think the defectors outnumber the names left on the list) is not because they don't believe that the earth is warming, it is because the "settled" science isn't settled. Ask the gents at CERN about their latest discovery and we find too many variables in the system to call it settled.

    Pragmatic scientists want to continue the research and find better modeling methods that actually follow recorded information where measurable variations and non-variations can be explained. The Democratic anti-science folks want the debate settled with the current information (just think if they would have "settled" on the Global Cooling science in the 1970's) so they can demonize and take control of the energy industry.

    Although pollution has dropped considerably over the last 40 years throughout the world, the Democrats want to believe free enterprise will not be able to continue to improve the energy process (whatever the source) and need to deny science to advance their cause.

    Both extreme views are anti-science and until the politics are out of the equation (would any government ever fund a project that did not have the pre-determined result of the destruction of the earth without government intervention?) it will delay anything being "settled."

  • ||

    In the end, this debate, as interesting and provocative as it might be, isn't going to accomplish anything. After all, the debate is not science and it's hardly about science. One only has to consider the James Webb project to realize we can find fault all around if we want to look for it.

    What would be much more interesting is to figure out how to pursuade people to first have a more scientific view of the world and then to allow that view to lead the horse to drink the water. Quite frankly, the arguments presented by those who consider themselves to be "more" scientific tend to be put-downs and attacks on character. Not the sort of thing that stirs the imagination - something that real science accomplishes.

    As has been stated more eloquently by others, is the fact that science is a human activity. It is an activity of curiosity, debate, egos, investigation, personality, showmanship, and discovery. Yes, we like to shower scientists with an aura of brilliance and objective inquisitiveness but anyone who works with them knows the human-ness of the occupation is both the creative and the destructive process. We hope the destructive side lashes out only at pseudo science but there have been occasions when this has not been the case.

    A most important part of science, however, is convincing the doubters and the "heretics", using observation, and brilliant insights, about the truth of the amazing universe we live in. And this universe is far too amazing to waste time debating the modern version of "how many angels can sit on the head of a pin".

  • ||

    "Pseudoscience speaks to powerful emotional needs that science often leaves unfulfilled...It vouchsafes that we are hooked up with, tied to, the Universe.*
    *Although it is hard for me to see a more profound cosmic connection than the astonishing findings of modern nuclear astrophysics: Except for hydrogen, all the atoms that make each of us up-the iron in our blood, the calcium in our bones, the carbon in our brains-were manufactured in red giant stars thousands of light years away in space and billions of years ago in time. We are, as I like to say, starstuff."
    Carl Sagan "The Demon-Haunted World" pg14

  • Karl||

    Wow what a large diverse group this exercise in mental masturbation has drawn. If libertarians ever stopped mindfucking themselves they might actually hold some influence over something more than an obscure website and magazine.

    So if there is any question as to why libertarians will always be viewed as the loner kid on the corner of the class that is just as likely to blow up the school as he is to get into MIT look no further than this article and the comments.

    So if I read this correctly I am anti science because I observed a distinct change in my childs behavior after her vaccination and that years later an all organic diet changed her c average grades to a+ and she does not display half the symptoms of autism anymore.

    But I am also sceptical of man's role in climate change and I see where politics drives who is funded and who gets published.

    So I must be some puritan fundamentalist looking for a witch to burn.

    Congrats to Reason for demonstating why so many see libertarians as long winded asshats incapable of actually holding a serious firm position on anything.

  • St. Mark||

    "So if I read this correctly I am anti science because I observed a distinct change in my childs behavior after her vaccination and that years later an all organic diet changed her c average grades to a+ and she does not display half the symptoms of autism anymore."

    Please look at this.

  • Mr. Mark||

    Man-made global warming is indeed a load of absolute hooey.

    The assertion that vaccinating your child will cause them to develop autism is equally flawed, as is the notion that eating "organic" foods will cause autism to go away.

    (For one thing, ALL food is organic - your carrot juice, my philly cheesesteak - bofem - but my cheesesteak has more foodgroups.)

  • ||

    "and oppose research using human embryonic stem cells"

    Calling this position 'anti-science' is asinine.

  • coniefox||

    who know, every party would say the other party is anti-science, but my know the more care of people the more science.
    wholesale dresses

  • ||

    "because I observed a distinct change in my childs behavior after her vaccination and that years later an all organic diet changed her c average grades to a+ and she does not display half the symptoms of autism anymore."
    anecdote is not scientific data.
    climate research is.
    Are you Michele Bachman?

  • Karl||

    And yet another reason to use the term Asshat.

    83 cases paid compensation to vaccine injuries resulting in Autism by the same federal government that denies a link. Given the enormous effort to gain compensation it would be far better to try a different avenue for compensation but nonetheless the cases proved successful.

    As for the HPV vaccine, 1 in 1000 vaccination result in some form of injury. Most are not very significant but a few are. Brain swelling, paralysis and the associated medical costs are hardly mentioned. But aside from that the vaccine itself does not work on those strains of HPV that are linked with cervical cancer nor does it treat the most common strains. It is however a powerful revenue generating tool when coupled with the right amount of fear mongering and Government mandates.

    Perhaps if you spent more time educating yourself on the issues and less time polishing your already perfected asshat act you might actually be in a position to offer some form of informed opinion.

    If I am performing a study on the involvement of red sports cars in accidents, but I automatically filter out all red sports cars from my data the resulting report is rather predictable. Much the same way when the CDC rules out autism as a vaccine related injury when gathering data about vaccine injury, it is sure to not find a link between autism and vaccine injury. I do not say the vaccines directly cause autism, but I question both the results of the current studies as well as the data gathering techniques. I also wonder at the possibility that a vaccine can trigger an autoimmune response that results in Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms in a portion of the population. I also question the need for so many vaccines at such a young age. Selective vaccination based on an informed public seems to be a more logical conclusion.

    Now back to my observations. In my world with the knowledge I have gained I make informed decisions for my family. In looking to treat my childs autism without medications that introduce a whole new set of undesirable side effects I have tried many dietary changes and settled on one that seems to have the most positive outcome. I am not saying it is an absolute cure, nor do I say there is an absolute cause. But to say there is no relationship whatsoever is far more asinine than what you wrongfully attempt to accuse me of stating.

  • ||

    Ronald Bailey, this is stupid article.
    It is common knowledge that the GOP is anti-science. Only one party has medieval ensoulment as part of its party platform.
    You are intellectually dishonest, but then that seems to a glibertarian standard trait.

  • ||

    This article seems to make a mistake common to those outside the rigor of science - that agreement and proof are the same. There is NO scientific proof for evolution, but it is widely accepted. There is NO scientific proof for anthropogenic global warming, and it is partially accepted. This is because in both cases, millenia of data are needed to determine the proof. Therefore, we are left with making policy decisions based on the wisdom of the scientists involved. We must, then, be cautious of what funding those scientists use while developing their theories. Their funding can (and does) affect the outcomes of their research. Lay readers need to carefully understand how their scientific opinions are being generated, and act accordingly.

    Personally, I think Solopocentric global warming is the real cause. I think Anthropogenic global warming is laden with scientific error, and since it is funded by the government it will produce the government's aims.

  • ||

    Ron Bailey, the pervasive intellectual dishonesty of American libertarians is one thing that is horribly wrong with our country today--citizens have a perfect right to believe in wrong, stupid, and bad things-- but they DO NOT have a right to impose their beliefset on other unwilling citizens.
    There are anti-science cohorts on both the left and the right-- but only the right seeks to use political power to impose their beliefs on the rest of the nation.

  • That Skeptic Guy||

    "There are anti-science cohorts on both the left and the right-- but only the right seeks to use political power to impose their beliefs on the rest of the nation."

    Sure, if you deliberately ignore Leftist-based policies and initiatives to control behavior and regulate business in favor of anti-vaccination, Animal Rights and New Age medicine (something this article sadly fails to mention) beliefs.

    And for all the talk the Left likes to spit out about supporting evolution, they too have their own form of creationism. It's called "cognitive behavioral creationism", and Michael Shermer has always done an admirable job of pointing this fact out, and tearing down it's arguments.

  • ||

    You lie! (tee-hee)

    vaccination is scientific, homeopathic medicine is part of Social Brain Hypothesis, and Animal Rights is a matter of choice.
    My hypothesis that is that protestant anti-intellectualism informs creationism and AGW denialism, and the reason the GOP has medieval ensoulment as part of its party platform.
    America is a protestant nation after all.
    http://www.abc.net.au/religion.....947368.htm
    That is why it has been possible for Americans to synthesize three seemingly antithetical traditions: evangelical Protestantism, republican political ideology and commonsense moral reasoning.
    That is why it has been possible for

  • ||

    and here is some non-anecdotal data for you Ron.
    http://www.scientificamerican......e-skeptics

  • ||

    I would expect the legislature to roughly reflect the rest of society who are a very superstitious lot.

  • That Skeptic Guy||

    "As University of Chicago law professor and current administrator of the White House Office Information and Regulatory Affairs Cass Sunstein"

    -who, by the way, is a rabid believer in Animal "Rights".

    So much for Berezow's straw-grasping deflections that these people don't have a large place within the Left Wing infrastructure.

  • ||

    So your definition of who is anti-science is based off their stance on specific issues? How incredibly flawed. Everyone knows the real defining factor is money. And Republicans spend more money on science than Democrats do. Fact.

  • ||

    LOL! you ARE Michele Bachman!

  • ||

    LOL! You ARE Michele Bachman!

  • ||

    Some of these things are not like the others:

    "living things evolved over time"
    vs
    "testing on animals is ethical"

    Some of the things cited as evidence of "anti-science" are really just moral issues.

  • ||

    "As evidence for Democratic anti-science intransigence, Berezow argued that progressives tend to be more anti-vaccine, anti-biotechnology when it comes to food, anti-biomedical research involving tests on animals, and anti-nuclear power."

    This reflects an attitude towards technology, rather than a rejection of the scientific world-view.

  • ||

    "On biological evolution, the survey reported that 97 percent of scientists agree that ..."
    "On climate change, the Pew survey reported that 84 percent of scientists believe ..."

    And others.
    Logical Fallacy.

    Believing what most scientists believe/agree ... etc, does not make one more scientific.
    It makes one more likely to believe/trust scientists interpretation.

    Science is a TOOL.
    It is a methodology for collecting data and then interpreting it in a means that allows repeatability, hence predictability.

    The method does NOT guarantee or even IMPLY that the interpretation is correct.
    It basically works on the principle that over time incorrect data will be sorted out.

    This is why a scientific theory does not have to be proven -- nor even be provable.
    It must be DISPROVABLE.
    (If one is not allowed to attempt to DISPROVE -- climate change for example -- without being called a traitor to the human race and tried for crimes against humanity -- global warming no longer qualifies as a valid scientific theory. Because others are not allowed to disprove it. )

    Republicans are NOT less likely to believe in Science. They are less likely to trust scientists interpretations of the data as being based impartially rather than based upon hopes, beliefs, sources of
    research funding, politics, etc.

    And THAT is the sad thing about "climate-gate". It did not make the science behind global-warming any less viable.

    But it made the SCIENTISTS, and thus their interpretations much less trustworthy.
    And even worse, it gives a VERY valid reason to doubt the credibility, intentions, and thus interpretations of ALL scientists.
    Because if scientists are that big of jerks? ( remember one of the statements was ... nothing here scientists are like this all the time in private ).
    Why the hell should they be believed?

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