Who’s More Anti-Science: Republicans or Democrats?

Comparing the applied ignorance of our two major political parties

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In addition, law professor Dan Kahan and his colleagues at the Yale Cultural Cognition Project have shown that the strong urge to avoid scientific and technological risk is far more characteristic of people who have egalitarian and communitarian values, that is to say, left-leaning folks. 

Everybody has values that they are anxious to protect and everybody, including liberals (and libertarians!), struggles with confirmation bias. The operation of the scientific process is the only effective way humanity has devised for overcoming bias and figuring out reality. In most cases the scientific method can reduce, but not eliminate, uncertainties, and correct mistakes as we go along. Unfortunately, as the autism/vaccine scare shows, unscientific approaches such as the precautionary principle actually feed into the confirmation biases associated with left-wing ideology.

So who is more anti-science, Democrats or Republicans? On the specific issues discussed above, I conclude that the Republicans are more anti-science. However, Berezow is right that scientific “ignorance has reached epidemic proportions inside the Beltway.”  

Ronald Bailey is reason's science correspondent.

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    ...imposes a burden of proof on those who create potential risks, and it requires regulation of activities even if it cannot be shown that those activities are likely to produce significant harms.

    Sunstein and his ilk use supposed scientific conclusions as a convenient excuse for greater regulation, greater state control, to the point of spreading falsehoods. That's pretty anti-science.

  • jonsiegs||

    Re-read it. I'm pretty sure that Sunnstein is criticizing the policy and its burdens.

  • Bilk the ilk||

    Can we please have a worldwide consensus to abolish the word "ilk." Two-bit internet commentors abuse it more than adolescents abuse "like."

  • Milk the ilk||

    It just goes to show that you and your ilk don't really respect the First Amendment.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    On climate change, the Pew survey reported that 84 percent of scientists believe that recent warming is the result of human activity...

    Maybe Pew should have asked the climate scientists their party affiliation, or the party affiliation of those most likely to hand them taxpayer dollars. (I assume only climate scientists were included in that survey.)

  • ||

    According to another recent Pew Research survey only 6% of scientists are Republican.

    Its pretty useless to ask your question. Facts and conservatism don't mix well.

  • ||

    That sounds unlikely. I worked with a bunch of scientists when I first got out of law school--physicists, computational chemists, etc.--and they were all over the place politically. If anything, they trended slightly rightwards. A surprising number were mildly libertarian.

  • ||

  • KDN||

    Facts and conservatism don't mix well.

    Perhaps you should read your own article for more likely explanations:

    I can think of three testable hypotheses they might look into. The first is that scientists are hostile towards Republicans, which scares young Republicans away from careers in science. The second is that Republicans are hostile towards science, and don't want to go into careers in science. The third is that young people who go into the sciences tend to end up becoming Democrats, due to factors inherent in the practice of science or to peer-group identification with other scientists.

    But no, none of those could possibly be true. After all, scientists are immune from such sociological trivialities that affect the rest of us; that's why they're scientists.

  • Apatheist||

    Yes and almost 40% of them didn't identify as either. I willing to bet that some of those are Republicans who don't want to be identified as such and other are conservatives/libertarians who aren't Republicans because of social issues.

  • ||

    Any of the three could be true yet they all remain a hypothesis.

    It doesn't change the fact that the GOP has proudly announced its animosity toward science in the last 20 years as the Wahhabi Christians have taken control of the party.

  • ||

    But that's not true. Some Republicans oppose certain areas of research, but it's madness to suggest that they are generally anti-science. They like bombs and computer-generated porn at least as much as Democrats. Who, of course, have their own areas of research they don't like.

  • Realist||

    "....Democrats. Who, of course, have their own areas of research they don't like."
    Such as IQ differences among the races!

  • ||

    Plus Kennewick Man, the supposed superiority of organic food, and pretty much the entire field of economics.

  • Realist||

    ...and dems use distorted "science" to get the stupid fucks on the left to do their bidding.

  • Menth||

    Also worth noting that you use the general term "scientists" as if the poll is that comprehensive, when in fact the sample group was limited to members of AAAS.

  • Robert||

    At least it wasn't the NAS, which would've been an even narrower slice.

  • Bill||

    Members of AAAS don't even have to be scientists at all.

  • KPres||

    "According to another recent Pew Research survey only 6% of scientists are Republican."

    Intellectuals, and particularly scientists, lean Left (ie Socialist, not Liberal) because they're the one's who stand to inherit control over the centrally planned economy. It's just Will To Power in action.

    The rest follows from that.

  • Mercurus||

    What the "intellectuals" can't seem to grasp is that the socialism they love and fight so hard to make real is the agent of their own end. They eventually do get it; moments before a bullet bores a hole in their skull and their lifeless body slumps into a ditch littered with their colleagues.

  • Bob||

    Do you have a link to how they defined "scientists"? Was this PhD's in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics? Or did it include those with only B.S. degrees? Did it include a B.A. in "Environmental Science" This is often a fake science degree with no real science or math required. Did it include engineers and computer scientists? The latter 2 groups are often conservative or libertarian.

    Since the easiest thing in the world is to be reflexive liberal or progressive, I have found that many in the sciences with PhDs have never really looked carefully into economics and simply go with the flow and are democrats. And it makes sense they would side against the social conservatives.

  • disposable notable||

    All scientists with advanced degrees receive years of immersion in the leftist sewer of academia over-and-above that received by those with bachelor's degrees. Not surprising if that results in an even more Democrat/leftist/liberal political slant.

    Any valid survey of the political attitudes of scientists as a group most include much greater sampling of scientists working in industry than in government labs or universities since most scientists, by far, work in the private sector.

    One of the differences between a Ph.D. working in private industry and a Ph.D. working in a university is that *all* industrial Ph.D.'s have experienced both a corporate and an academic environment whereas few academics have experienced anything but the university environment. This is particularly true for academics at the most prestigious schools.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    I'm friends with quite a few engineers, and they skew conservative/libertarian/hedonistic.

  • ||

    Engineers aren't scientists

  • ||

    They're applied scientists.

  • ||

    T.S. Eliot called engineers the "dogs of science" and Elliot was conservative himself.

    The GOP is lurching toward its final reward - pure nutfucks idiocy as exemplified by Glenn Beck and Rush (King of the Rednecks) Limbaugh.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "The GOP is lurching toward its final reward - pure nutfucks idiocy as exemplified by Glenn Beck and Rush (King of the Rednecks) Limbaugh."

    Meanwhile Bill Maher is on television, screaming his face red (under ten feet of makeup) about how meat and milk cause cancer and vaccines are responsible for autism.

  • ||

    Maher is clever and funny, Limbaugh is puerile and vicious, Beck is infantile and delusional. None should be given any credence.

  • seguin||

    Really? Clever?

    He's about as clever as a brick...soaked in stupid.

  • ||

    >Maher is clever and funny

    Haha, good one man.

  • ||

    I wasn't impressed with his movie on religion (what's it called agains?) one bit. It was, well, puerile and vicious

  • ||

    I wasn't impressed with his movie on religion (what's it called agains?) one bit. It was, well, puerile and vicious.

  • ||

    Wow. Bad punctuation and grammar! Sorry.

  • ||

    Maher is not funny. He's a nasty, nasty human being.

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    That is true in one sense. Some of my friends just have regular engineering jobs designing aircraft/spacecraft. My very good friend leads a team of engineers, and others that does scientific research on underwater acoustics and the effects on sea mammals. Engineer by education, pure science researcher by trade.

  • disposable notable||

    The rigid distinctions between academic disciplines are, of course, artificial. The real world tends to erase those distinctions.

  • Bill||

    Neither are poets who happen to join the AAAS.

  • Brett L||

    Yeah. We build shit that works in the real world.

  • ||

    Shrek,

    The study was restricted to members of the AAAS. The group is more likely to have membership employed in government and academia than the total population of scientists.

  • Guy Montag||

    The Dems win hands down on making up science to justify wealth redistribution. It is a time honored tradition of the Leftards that goes back to Hitler or before.

  • ||

    Hitler was a right-winger, you ignorant Bush redneck. He tried to kill all the liberals in Germany.

    But you win the fastest Godwin Award of the Month.

  • KP||

    But he tried to (and succeeded in) killing the Conservatives as well. Some right-winger.

  • ||

    Cite? The very definition of the Third Reich is conservative and religious in its glorification of past Germanic and Christian heritage.

  • KP||

    Look up: Night of Long Knives.

  • Scruffy the Janitor||

    So that is why they were called National Socialists?

  • soonerliberty||

    Not exactly so cut and dry. The National Socialist Party had many leftist traits, such as national healthcare, green (Blut und Boden) policies, organic food propagation, saying that a society was only as good as its poor. The only thing that made this strand of socialism right was limiting it to one nation, something even Stalin did later once he figured out that international socialism was failing. You're right, though, that its praise of its Germanic past and Christian heritage is conservative, but no one ever said leftists could not be conservative. Even Stalin made a U-turn with the Russian Orthodox church and started promoting Russian history by Russifying the periphery. These simple dichotomies do not suffice. As you lefties always say so smugly, "It's much more nuanced than that."

    In Europe, liberal is right and conservative is left, the exact opposite of America's definitions.

  • ||

    Bismark introduced national health care to Germany in the 19th century.

    I am not defending leftists, I defend Liberalism. If the two intersect in places it means nothing to liberals.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Liberalism comes in two varieties: classic and modern.

    Classic liberals are essentially libertarians.

    Modern liberals are socialist or communist.

    Please make yourself clear. I think you're talking about classic liberalism, but I'm not sure.

  • Matt Tanous||

    And you should be more careful. Hitler, while illiberal, was not a "right-winger", even by European standards. Conservative and progressive are labels that have no bearing on the more important debate between liberal (in the classical sense) and statists like Hitler or Mussolini.

    Saying Hitler, Mussolini, the Fascists, and the Social Democrats were on the right, while Stalin, Lenin, etc. are on the left is a common tactic to cut out the classical liberal from discussion. Pair it with its demonization of the right - which currently is a bit closer to classical liberalism in its rhetoric and on its "fringe", due to people like Dr. Paul - and ignores the history of the Old Right in the US, which advocated free markets, small government, and non-interventionism, not nationalism or socialism (much less both).

  • DK||

    Lol. You're attempting to make shrike get out of the Team Red/Team Blue bullshit. It's impossible for it to adopt more abstract political notions.

  • KDN||

    Right-wing in the context of 1924 Germany. That says nothing as to where Hitler and his ilk would fall in 2012 America or where the policies they pursued would more likely fit (the left in this country would love much of what Nazism pursued on behalf the Germans; not so much the policies towards minorities).

    IIRC, roughly 80% of the Germans in the twenties voted for parties whose platforms could be considered left-wing amongst Americans both of their era and ours; it's not really notable that he ended up in the rightward portion of that population (this is similar to France today; Sarkozy and Chirac are RW as far as France goes, but they'd fit in much more comfortably with the Democrats if they pursued their policies and ideals here).

  • KP||

    Hitler was at best, right-wing in the context of the Nazi Party (with Strasser being on the far left), which itself was to the left of the conservatives and monarchists.

  • ||

    ^ This.

  • ||

    There aren't any social conservatives who play ethnic politics and pride within the left?

    That's news to me.

  • LEFTIST||

    Your stretching shrike. Generally the left right paradigm used in the US is the wrong one. There is no real difference between commnunists or facists. The end result is the same, that result being the state determines which industries can succeed, what you can believe, and what you can do.

    Here is the correct way to look at it.

    Left Wing ideology:
    Facism, National Socialism, Commnunism, Absolute Monarchism, Theocracy, Maosim. What we see here is the underlying theme of absolute goverment control

    Left Leaning Ideology
    Socialism and Progressivism (both the American liberal and American conservative strains)

    Right Leaning Ideology
    Libertarinaism (traditional liberalism)

    Right Wing Ideology:
    Anarchism

  • ||

    You are so full of shit.

    The Neo-Nazi movement today is purely right wing and based on Hitler and Germany.

    Teabaggers hate the basic principles of liberty - Secularism and democracy.

    Look at the Aborto-Freaks and right-wing Big Gov types - they love Authority. Rcik Santorum and the other nuts would place Fetus Police in every home.

    Us liberals will fight you fascists all day every day.

  • anon||

    You're awfully familiar with the neo-nazi movement Shrike. I know you're a lefty, but damn. Not many lefties are as hard core neo-nazi as you.

  • KP||

    You both are full of something.

    Democracy is as big an enemy of liberty as dictatorship.

  • ||

    Self Rule is very Libertarian, pal.

  • KP||

    I'm glad you've come to your senses. Self-rule is indeed very libertarian, democracy, on the other hand, is mob rule. (Of course, you could cede rule over to the mob and still be equally libertarian, just a wee bit nutty in my opinion)

  • ||

    I agree that democracy can sometimes manifest itself as mob rule.

    The problem is that the other forms of government suck far more.

    If Plato ruled and a benevolent dictator came into being it would be Warren Buffett - a secular liberal like myself.

  • KP||

    Those other forms may indeed "suck far more" than democracy, that still doesn't make it self-rule though.

    Warren Buffett is a liberal? He sure acts like a corporatist.

  • KPres||

    Secularism and democracy aren't basic principle of liberty, dipshit. Suspicion of democracy and religious freedom are, though, and always have been. The American Right is 1 for 2 in that regard, as is the American Left. Neither are liberal. Libertarians are liberal.

  • Suki||

  • Hyphenated American||

    "The Neo-Nazi movement today is purely right wing and based on Hitler and Germany.
    "Teabaggers hate the basic principles of liberty - Secularism and democracy."

    Neither of these are the "basic principles of liberty". You may claim they enable liberty, but that's a rather different discussion. Most of socialist paradises were "secular", but they were far from free - and btw, same is true of Nazi Germany.
    As far as democracy goes, I did not see any leftists explain how they are more pro-democracy that the Tea Party. And surely a lot of left-wing policies (affirmative action, late term abortion, Obamacare) are very unpopular with the demos.

    "Look at the Aborto-Freaks and right-wing Big Gov types - they love Authority. "

    People who see the government as their nanny better not critisize anyone for loving authority. Stop demanding the government handouts - and then you can talk.

  • Chaos Punk||

    Your political spectrum makes a lot of sense. Right wing in its true definition, to its logical end, is anarchism.

  • thirtyandseven||

    We're talking about the National Socialist Party, right?

  • ||

    Grow up, you stupid fuckwad.

  • thirtyandseven||

    My bad, you win

  • ||

    You didn't say anything, you dumbass.

    What if I made the claim that the Peoples REPUBLIC of China is Republican?

    I would be lying - like you did.

  • KPres||

    Oh, give it a rest, shrike. Fascism isn't right wing in an American context. If it was, Roosevelt would be the most right-wing president we've ever had, since his program was pretty much indistinguishable from Italian Fascism.

    In America, Right = Liberal and Left = Socialist. Nationalists, Christians, Greens, etc are special interests that get courted just to get enough votes to get over the top in the two-party system.

  • Maxxx||

    If it was, Roosevelt would be the most right-wing president we've ever had, since his program was pretty much indistinguishable from Italian Fascism.

    Nope.

    FDR was closer to Hitler than he was to Mussolini. I know that is somekind of crazy heresy but just ask yourself if Mussolini's Italy exercised apartheid against 10% of it's population, including the using of extra-judicial violence and death squads for enforcement? Did Mussolini force hundreds of thousands of citizens and residents into concentration camps during WWII?

  • Woodrow Wilson||

    Roosevelt would be the most right-wing president we've ever had

    FDR was closer to Hitler than he was to Mussolini

    Mussolini loved me. Why don't I get the respect from history that I deserve?

  • Matt Tanous||

    What are you saying, Mr. Wilson? Is having the mainstream Republicans follow your policy of "making the world safe for democracy" by getting involved in world affairs that have no bearing on us not enough?

  • Woodrow Wilson||

    But I did so much more. I really fucked around with government interference in the economy, helped create the Federal Reserve, helped create the income tax, worked hard to keep the coloreds away from the whites and tried to set up a world government. I could go on, but modesty prevents me.

    Is having the mainstream Republicans follow your policy of "making the world safe for democracy" by getting involved in world affairs that have no bearing on us not enough?

    Mainstream Democrats also follow the path that I blazed in world affairs. Give me the credit I deserve!

  • thirtyandseven||

    How can I rebut such unassailable logic?? Suddenly, through shrike's construction of so flawless an analogy, I am confronted with the raw force of my own unmitigated stupidity! It is indisputable! Please, shrike, make it stop!

  • Robert||

    But the alliance with Christians was insincere and tactical. Christianity was seen as a form of European paganism which had been corrupted by the eastern influence that was Judaism, and would need eventually to be purged.

  • Bill||

    There is a great Hitler quote in Toland 1976: We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions.

  • Bill||

    There is a great quote from Toland: We are socialists, we are enemies of today’s capitalistic economic system for the exploitation of the economically weak, with its unfair salaries, with its unseemly evaluation of a human being according to wealth and property instead of responsibility and performance, and we are determined to destroy this system under all conditions. (1976)

  • ||

    For the love of God, how many times have we got to go through this with you? The Nazis and Fascists were socialist parties that derived their political program from socialist ideas (they borrowed heavily from Sorel and Saint Simon), and implemented state control of the means of production. The Nazis made no illusion that they didn't intend to replace Christianity with a form of neopaganism. You want to call them socialist conservatives? Fine go ahead. But spare us the pretense that it has anything whatsoever to do with modern American libertarian conservatism.

  • Hyphenated American||

    Stalin also glorified past Russian history (Nevsky, Suvorov). Hitler was definitely not a fan of christianity (according to Speer, he actually preferred Islam). Lastly, one of the orders in the Nazi Germany was to use Mein Kampf instead of Bible.

    In short, you are full of crap.

  • Sevo||

    shrike|12.27.11 @ 4:40PM|#
    "Hitler was a right-winger, you ignorant Bush redneck."

    Definition missing, shitstain.

  • Property Nazerty||

    "I absolutely insist on protecting private property ... we must encourage private initiative."

    ~Adolph Hitler, March 24, 1942

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/E.....zi_Germany

    Keynesianism, *so* libertarian. Rampant destruction of private property, *so* libertarian.

  • Hyphenated American||

    "Public good over private profit" - one of the points of the Naze party program.

  • ||

    False. Hitler was a National Socialist (i.e. NAZI). He got rid of the communists because they were competing on his socialist turf.

  • Brother Grimm||

    Actually, he was on the right edge of the authoritarian quadrant.

    http://marketliberal.org/Politics.html

  • ||

    Was wondering when someone would pull out the Nolan chart.

    The political spectrum cannot be described in the common right-left linear dogma. It's two dimensional.

  • ||

    The Liberal Democratic Party is the right-wing party in Japan.

  • ||

    Hitler was a right-winger ...

    Stupid shrike doesn't know that language changes. Ludwig von Mises 1962 preface to the English-Language edition of his book "Liberalism" states:

    Today the tenets of this nineteenth-century philosophy of liberalism are almost forgotten. In continental Europe it is remembered only by a few. In England the term "liberal" is mostly used to signify a program that only in details differs from the totalitarianism of the socialists.[1] In the United States "liberal" means today a set of ideas and political postulates that in every regard are the opposite of all that liberalism meant to the preceding generations. The American self-styled liberal aims at government omnipotence, is a resolute foe of free enterprise, and advocates all-round planning by the authorities, i.e., socialism.
  • ||

    Just want to point out that definitions of 'liberal' and 'conservative' and the rest have shifted considerably over the decades.

    There are no liberals today who resemble von Mises' sham definition -- no one who "aims" for "gov't omnipotence" or "all-round planning by the authorities".

    That is a lie.

    Free enterprise has earned its bad reputation due to the recklessness of Wall St. that nearly killed the economy, but no prominent liberals have advocated for the end of free enterprise -- only for common sense regulation and enforcement to rein in the worst of unbridled human greed.

    The economy and the country aren't going to save themselves, and false straw man arguments that intentionally mischaracterize and demonize half the country only ensure we get absolutely nowhere.

  • ||

    "There are no liberals today who resemble von Mises' sham definition -- no one who "aims" for "gov't omnipotence" or "all-round planning by the authorities"."

    You can't be serious. Name me anything in our society that has not suffered from "all-round planning by the authorities". Yes, most generally acknowledge government can't DO as much as the private sector, but many, many think the government should oversee and have power over everything the private sector does. That is omnipotence.

  • Hyphenated American||

    "Hitler was a right-winger, you ignorant Bush redneck. He tried to kill all the liberals in Germany."

    So did Lenin, Mao, Ho Chi Minh and Kim Ir Sen. Were they also "right-wingers"?

  • Realist||

    It's just too funny....Ron Bailey with no science degree or science experience deciding what is science and what is not science.
    Can't Reason afford a real scientist to write science articles???

  • Sevo||

    "Can't Reason afford a real scientist to write science articles???"

    Oh, yes, only "scientists" can tell us "non-scientists" what "science" is right?

    "Description of Appeal to Authority"
    http://www.nizkor.org/features.....ority.html

  • ||

    The entire article is based on the faulty premise that some percentage of beliefs amongst scientists is some credible yardstick for what is or is not science. Truth is not surmised by majority vote; that is politics, not science. This article is so much more Internet junk science.

  • Matt Tanous||

    Further, science is, from a libertarian perspective, rather irrelevant. Since the government shouldn't be involved in determining what is "good" science, as it currently does, it doesn't matter if only the scientists and engineers accept it. Hell, it doesn't even matter if the scientists in other fields don't accept it, due to their biases. That's an entirely separate field from politics - or at least it should be.

    So what if such-and-such a politician is a creationist? If he is a libertarian, than it holds no bearing. The only reason any of this currently matters is the publicly subsidies system of government indoctrination centers that "teach" the "correct" science/history/etc. - most of which is nonsense.

  • Realist||

    Hey, shit for brains do you go to a shoe shine boy for medical advice???

  • Soviet Political Officer SEVO||

    Da, comrade, only "doctors" can tell us "non-doctors" what "medicine" is right?

  • Matt Tanous||

    Many times, the established science - followed by many scientists only because they were taught it as "the basics" - is wrong. Einstein was no scientist - he was a patent clerk. Newton was an amateur scientists as well - along with most of the "greats" we inherited our knowledge of the world from. Should we invalidate our own thinking because some "expert" tells us we are wrong - when they have also often been proven wrong?

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    One of the qualifications for a patent clerk is knowledge of science and engineering. Such knowledge is essential in reviewing the claims of patent applicants.

    Einstein had a degree in math and physics though his father had wanted him to become an electrical engineer like his brother.

    The US Patent Office hires large numbers of electrical and mechanical engineers as patent clerks. The predominant undergraduate degree of patent attorneys is mechanical engineering.

  • ||

    Many distinctions don't require an advanced scientific degree to decifer. What is and is not science is one such distinction. Knowing this is one such disctinction does not require much inteligence.

    This is shit, this is Shinola. No advanced degree required.

    Realist, I'm gussing you're a public schiool teacher.

  • Realist||

    "Realist, I'm gussing you're a public schiool teacher."
    jb, I am guessing you're a union English teacher!

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "It's just too funny....Ron Bailey with no science degree or science experience deciding what is science and what is not science."

    Someone better call James Randi. I'm sure he'd be interested to know his life's work has apparently been voided.

  • Realist||

    James Randi is a magician. What does that have to do with science???

  • Matt Tanous||

    And a scientific skeptic best known as a challenger of paranormal claims and pseudoscience. But now he cannot do that, as he isn't a professional scientist - so how dare he! =P

  • Realist||

    Like I ask what does that have to do with science???

  • Robert||

    ME! ME! ME! I need the money very badly, am a very good writer, and a for-real scientist. Please contact me, I don't know how I'm going to pay next month's rent, I'm a month behind in utilities, and have no health insurance.

  • KOCHsuckers apply here.||

    Pro oil.
    Anti-AGW.
    You get paid.

  • Realist||

    Robert, you must be a hell of a scientist....no one will hire you. You sound like just the "journalist" Reason is looking for.

  • Robert||

    I am a hell of a scientist, it's just hard to convince people to give you a chance.

  • Tim||

    Science is touted when it backs up whatever the hacks want to sell you.

  • Civilization > primitivism?||

    Hack!

  • Tonio||

    And opposition to animal research is not anti-science, per se, as much as the vivisectionists would have us believe otherwise. It's opposition to animal cruelty, plain and simple. If they could accomplish their goals in other fashions, or even in less cruel fashion, they'd have less opposition. It's their own lack of inventiveness they're ultimately fighting against.

  • Tonio||

    er, make that "they're fighting for their own lack of inventiveness."

  • Apatheist||

    I think bailey pointed out that out, saying it was the same with embryonic stem cell research.

    They shouldn't have to to fight other people's opinions on animal rights though. Animal rights activists can either purchase all testing animals or shut up.

  • Brett L||

    Is it more cruel to deny the advances that come from animal testing? Is 1000 cancer deaths a year less cruel than 100000 mice deaths? I'm going with yes, but I'm a rank specist.

  • Mo||

    I wonder how that poll question was framed. Both cosmetics research and medical research involve animal testing. People cool with the latter may find the former abhorrent, but "scientific testing" may conjure up images of "bad" testing.

    You'd get a true sense of how fringe the PETA types were if the question was along the lines of, "Animal testing is used to see the safety and effectiveness of medical treatments. Do you oppose testing the safety and efficacy of medical treatments on animals before engaging in human clinical testing?" My guess is you'd be lucky to get 9%.

  • Apatheist||

    You're probably right but either animals have rights or they don't. The cosmetic/medical thing should be irrelevant. I'll give those jackasses at PETA that.

  • Mo||

    Eh, there's definitely a difference. If there's no difference between cosmetic testing and medical testing, there's no difference between randomly torturing animals and doing cosmetic/medical testing.

    If you asked people if it's right for people to torture animals with no positive payoff, you'll get about the same percentage agreeing as that agree with absolutely no testing of animals for medical purposes.

  • Apatheist||

    I don't think it is right to needlessly torture an animal but I don't think it should be illegal to do it to your own animal.

    The statement stands that if animals have rights then the the purpose of the testing should be irrelevant. You can't torture a human because it is for the greater good.

  • Mo||

    Tell that to the Bush Administration and their apologists.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Tell that to the Bush Administration and their apologists."

    Oh, and you too, Straw Man.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Eh, there's definitely a difference. If there's no difference between cosmetic testing and medical testing, there's no difference between randomly torturing animals and doing cosmetic/medical testing."

    Hello, False Equivalency.

  • Mo||

    How is it a straw man. People have been pushing the torture "enhanced interrogation" is ok when we do it because we're protecting Americans from terrorists for about 8 years.

    I'm not saying that they're equivalent. However, if you say there's no difference of morality based on the utility of the action (medical research = high utility, cosmetic research = low utility), then no utility is just as moral as high and low utility.

  • Brett L||

    Put me in the "don't". Rights have responsibilities to be executed with them. Animals, not being able to exercise said responsibilities conscientiously, don't have rights.

    People who cause them unnecessary pain and suffering are not my favorite people. In fact, I'd go out of my way to not associate with them. But it doesn't change the fact that animals don't have rights.

  • Apatheist||

    Yep, same with racists. I don't want to associate myself with them but they can be racist all they want.

  • Robert||

    Heh, you nuts think that rights can be discovered rather than invented!

  • Matt Tanous||

    I'd agree, but I've found any argument of why animals have rights to be ridiculous on the face of it. Because, eventually, it comes down to forcing humans to be vegetarians, because what could be more cruel than ending an animals life for your survival (thus putting your own life above the animals). And then, why is it that animals have these rights, but plants don't? The logical conclusion of "animal rights" is voluntary starvation - and I wish the PETA folks would get on with it, so I don't have to listen to their anti-fur BS.

  • Shmenge||

    Also, if everyone on earth switched to a strict vegetarian diet, many animals would suffer, more than do now.

  • ||

    If animals have rights, then so do vegetables. Reduce your diet to the absurd.

  • reason readin female||

    If you're talking to PETA types, I don't think you'd come close to 9%. Maybe 1-2%.

    I always like to remind them that yes, a certain number of animals suffer and die for the sake of medical advancement....but there is also a number of *humans* who suffer and die for the same goal.

    I'm not impartial when it comes to this subject though. I've had friends and family endure cancer treatments that saved their lives.

  • Mo||

    I dunno. 20% is my go to number for percentage of people that will believe any crazy thing out there. Incidentally, 20% of Americans believe in the geocentric model of the universe. Don't know the party breakdown, but I'm guessing Larouchies are heavily represented.

  • reason readin female||

    Yea, I might be wrong. My experience with PETA types has maybe been more intense than what might be the norm. They are generally intractable and trance-like in their near religious beliefs about animal rights. Maybe the number of these zealots who would accept animal testing for medical advancement is more than I'm allowing.

    I previously thought that this stance was naive and backward. The fact that any number of Americans believe in a geocentric universe, makes them seem like inexhaustible scholars! How depressing...

  • ||

    I spoke with a PETA advocate, a non-specist. I asked him if he were driving on a dark and rainy road and out of the blue two little girls with three dogs were standing on the road, the two little girls ran right, the three dogs ran left, and he had to decide which way to turn, he assured me he would run the girls over, as killing two life things is morally better than killing three.

    I don't think he would do that in real life, but it shows you how belief systems override common sense, morality, practicality, and so on.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "And opposition to animal research is not anti-science, per se, as much as the vivisectionists would have us believe otherwise. It's opposition to animal cruelty, plain and simple."

    Not even close. Morality issues aside, there are no shortage of AR nutjobs who insist there is no validity to researchj testing on animals, or falsely claim that there are alternatives which would work just as well.
    Which, it seems, you are one of:

    " If they could accomplish their goals in other fashions, or even in less cruel fashion, they'd have less opposition. It's their own lack of inventiveness they're ultimately fighting against."

  • Carl Sagan||

    How's oily-burny-perpetual wintery stuff going?

  • CalebT||

    To think, you were able to get it up for Lynn Margulis.

  • Cheswick von Smasherton||

    She was a... handsome woman. But a real tigress in bed.

  • Apatheist||

    “finding a few relatively fringe things that some progressives cling to that might be labeled anti-scientific.”

    All that spin is making my brain dizzy.

  • ||

    How do libertarians fare? I for one do not believe in man-made global warming.

  • KPres||

    Science used here seems to me to mean something more like appeal to authority, which isn't as convincing as it otherwise would be when dealing with politicized issues. Agendas have to be considered.

  • Matt Tanous||

    Neither do I, but even were I to believe, it would not change my political feelings about it. If people who believe in that want to voluntarily conserve energy, buy electric cars, solar panels, crappy expensive light bulbs - fine. But force me to do it? Hell no!

  • Idaho Nebraska||

    Meh. "Science" is nothing but the theory of the month.

  • Mo||

    I'm surprised how close those numbers were.

  • KPres||

    There's a difference between "science", ie, the community of professional scientists, and the "scientific method of analysis". Skeptics aren't being unscientific, but blind believers are.

  • Apatheist||

    TEAM RED and TEAM BLUE hacks can quibble about this all they want but from those statistics the American public in general (both parties) are pretty unscientific. Those evolution and GMO numbers are pretty depressing. Most of the other issues aren't questions about science but rather government policy on science which aren't the same thing.

  • Matt Tanous||

    I have a fairly good idea that I, as a registered Independent, disagree with you on both evolution and GMO, which I find to be a more advanced version of directed breeding. I also feel that my skepticism of both is based on different conclusions from the same scientific evidence, as well as some that seems to be ignored by many "skeptics" due to bias.

    That said, my personal opinions, as well as yours, have virtually no bearing on anything - at least under a libertarian philosophy.

  • Rich||

    Nice study, Ronald.

    How about something similar on *numerical* illiteracy? I am serious. As long as people can't relate to orders of magnitude, say, or correctly use "exponential" we are screwed.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Berezow acknowledged that many prominent Republican politicians, including several presidential candidates, deny biological evolution, are skeptical of the scientific consensus on man-made global warming, and oppose research using human embryonic stem cells. Democrats, Berezow argued, tend to be more anti-vaccine, anti-nuclear power, anti-biotechnology, and anti-biomedical research involving tests on animals.

    Keep the government away from education, research, medicine, and agriculture. Then it ceases to matter how doltish either Team is in regards to science.

  • ¢||

    Those evolution and GMO numbers are pretty depressing

    "Rational ignorance," at least in the case of evolution. Because knowing that evolution's an actual thing does what? Almost nothing for almost anybody.

    The product being conspicuously consumed there, knowledge (or the claim to knowledge) of evolution, isn't even a reliable signal—except as a negative affiliative signal. "I'm not too Jesusy." Well yay.

    How many people who "believe in evolution" have any idea what they're saying when they say that? Maybe one percent. Maybe. The rest are just ignint shits, trumpeting what brand of ignint shit they're not.

    I'm glad there's resistance to that, even if it's only put up by other idiots.

    U S A

  • SIV||

    +4004BC

  • Divine Right to Property||

    Locke's Of Property uses monotheism to justify property. So Libertarians are right in there with the Fundies.

    In fact, people are starting to call you Market Fundamentalists.

    It's an accurate jibe.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "Locke's Of Property uses monotheism to justify property. So Libertarians are right in there with the Fundies."

    Your asinine straw-grasping only holds true if said Libertarians are using Locke's argument as the foundation for their beliefs.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    You may as well argue that, since Isaac Newton was a devout Christian who attributed the nature of his discoveries to divine power, that all physicists are inherently fundamentalist Christians.

  • The Sokal Hoax||

    You may as well argue that, since Isaac Newton was a devout Christian who attributed the nature of his discoveries to divine power, that all physicists are inherently fundamentalist Christians.

    Great point

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    Ayn Rand believed in property rights.

    Ayn Rand was an atheist.

    Therefore, property rights must be atheist!!11!111!1!!1!!one!1!11111111!11111!!!!!!exclaim!!!!!111!!!!

  • Apatheist||

    I just said it depresses me not that it leads to some negative policy. There is one place it does though with creationists/IDists fucking with school textbooks. That shit is politically relevant here in Texas.

    I don't correspond denying human evolution with Christianity either. The Catholic Church for example is perfectly accepting of evolution.

  • disposable notable||

    There is one place it does though with creationists/IDists fucking with school textbooks. That shit is politically relevant here in Texas.

    The national media focuses on the battle over ID in TX textbooks while ignoring the much more important battles over content relating to the teaching of history, economics, environmentalism, etc. in an effort to smear those who are beating back the leftists who have so thoroughly corrupted the curriculum over the past 40 years.

    What good does it do to prevent the teaching of ID in parallel to the teaching of evolution if the youngins are taught environmentalism as a religion and the free market as the source of all the evil perpetrated by the evil white race?

  • Matt Tanous||

    Get the government out of education. I mean, really, this is a place we can all agree - the creationists/IDists don't want the government teaching their kids only evolution, and libertarians and conservatives don't want the teaching of environmentalism, the "evils" of the free market, institutional anti-white racism, etc.

    On the other hand, the Left doesn't want the opposite of those things. The only real solutions are to get the government out of it, or limit education to basic reading (only inane fiction bestsellers so as to avoid any bias), writing (on topics so broad as to again, avoid bias), and arithmetic (minus biased word problems). Short of that, it is likely that the education debate will only get worse.

  • ||

    Good observation.

    The worst is that most of those who pay lip service to evolution by natural selection created their own belief system (the Standard Social Science Model, aka "The Blank Slate") according to which evolution doesn't apply to humans, at least as far as their CNS goes.

    So indeed, acceptance of evolutionary theory including its most likely consequences to humans is indeed low in the population.

  • first||

    Amandine is a Parisian born Jewish girl. She teaches hip-hop dancing to teenagers at one of the many dancing institutes in Paris and also works as a show dancer. This caring and warm-hearted girl loves animals too.

    Amandine openly admits to being an exhibitionist and loves to wear skimpy outfits that show off her toned, dancer’s body, both during her dancing classes and when she goes out clubbing in Paris. She is very comfortable with her body but this petite brunette wishes she was taller. Amandine's training as a dancer really shines through when she is being photographed or filmed. She literally performs a private dance for the camera, engaging the lens with her sensual movements and inviting eyes.

    With her upbeat attitude towards life and her sweet smile, Amandine is great fun to be around!

    http://www.hegre-art.com/models#action=show&id=145

  • thirtyandseven||

    But how does she feel about GAMBOLING??

  • first||

    She feels the same way about GAMBOLING as she does about your mom.

  • Can I watch?||

  • first||

    Yes

  • first||

    ,but seriously, don't you know the difference between the name and comment sections?

  • Realist||

    Why are libs so fond of junk science?
    It is their boogie man! They use the fear of eviromental disasters to get fucking idiots to vote for them and give them money.
    Just like cons use the fear of commies, terrorists and atheists to get the fucking idiots on the right to vote and give money to them.

  • It's not junk science...||

    ...just because the city-Statist death cult chokes on it.

    "Premise Nineteen: The culture’s problem lies above all in the belief that controlling and abusing the natural world is justifiable."

    ~Derrick Jensen
    Endgame
    http://www.endgamethebook.org/.....emises.htm

  • Realist||

    It is junk science when conclusions are drawn, from data not using the scientic method.

  • It's not junk science...||

    ...when you don't like the conclusions.

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    When you don't like the conclusions of science, you can just kick and scream about how the results were bought and paid for by the Corporate Boogeyman.

  • Matt Tanous||

    It was those evil Koch brothers and Big Tobacco! They bought off those Huntsville, Alabama climatologists. Ignore the fact that the money didn't come from anyone but the Feds...

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    I have no pretentions about controlling the natural world. We're no where near a Type 1 civilization.

    What defines "abusing the natural world" ? I may believe that abusing it is evil, but the majority of human industrial action does not constitute abuse.

    Some philosophers goes so far as to believe that use of the natural world (by which I mean large scale industrial action) is more that justifiable, but desirable to the extent of moral imperative.

    Furthermore, can human action be considered unnatural? I think nuclear power plants, the Suez canal, and strip mining Luna to be perfectly natural human endeavours.

    "This is not a 'definition,' it is not true--and therefore, your questions do not make sense"

    Ayn Rand
    http://www.theparisreview.org/.....sm-survey/

    Sorry for feeding the troll, but it was so *easy*.

  • Another Phil||

    Sorry for feeding the troll, but it was so *easy*.

    Apology not accepted. Every time one of you douchebags engages it, it is encouraged to keep polluting the place. Seriously, you suck.

  • Albert Gore, Jr.||

    THE SCIENCE IS SETTLED

  • ||

    I think the more important question is, which side enjoy more power to enact nanny state laws and policies based on their "anti science" stance.

    In California no one could stop the state from banning plastic bags or mandating that 30 percent of power from come from "green energy". The CA air resources board crafted clean air policy based on a quack with a fake degree from an online university.

    It's not hard to find Physicians and nurses who are either Christian or Catholic. I get treated by a religious doctor and buddhist acupuncturist all the time. If you believe that God created the dinosaurs but use modern medicine to treat patients, you're at least not some anti science voodoo priest.

    If Obama's non white voting base is part of "team blue", then that side is very anti science by liberal standards. Many Latinos and blacks believe in the bible, Virgin Mary and the like.

  • ||

    Obama had a "non-white" voting base? Are you fucking retarded?

    He won lily white states like Vermont, NH, Oregon, Maine, and Iowa.

    We are in the midst of the GOP becoming the official Redneck Party - and you should apply to be their mascot.

  • ||

    Reading comprehension fail. XM wrote "Obama's non white voting base," which is not the same thing as saying "his voting base in entirely non white."

  • k2000k||

    Shrike you got some egg on your face.

  • Tango Mike||

    Are you sure that's egg?

  • ||

    Race has nothing to do with his voting base. Blacks will vote pro-labor like they did with Clinton.

    Blacks vote more rationally than rednecks do, in fact (I am white and live in the South) - at least they don't vote based on their shitty religion.

  • ||

    You are evading the issue. XM was simply referring to the part of Obama's base which is non-white.

  • Sevo||

    Shriek? Evading? Moving goal posts? Not Shriek!
    At least not in the last minute or so...

  • anon||

    > Race has nothing to do with his voting base. Blacks will vote pro-labor like they did with Clinton.

    See what you said merely 44 minutes ago.

    2: Blacks vote more rationally than rednecks do, in fact (I am white and live in the South) - at least they don't vote based on their shitty religion.

    Not true, as communism is a religion.

  • Double D||

    Ahem.
    Do not presume to speak for me or "Blacks," either as individuals or a group.
    Dipshit.

  • LeftRight Left Right LeftRight||

    Both leftist and rightwingnut city-Statist fundamentalists are apoplectic over the Original Affluent Society. (Sahlins, 1974)

    Just as much as, and for the same reason as, any Biblical fundamentalist is upset over the The Origins of the Species. (Darwin, 1859)

  • Slap the Enlightened!||

    So who died and left the scientists in charge anyway? I don't see anything in our constitution that gives the last word in policy to the scientists any more than it gives it to the priests. What makes a scientist's opinion any better than anyone else's, anyway?

    Government policies have a wide range of impacts, not just to science, but to the economy, human rights, etc. Why, exactly, should scientist's concerns trump everyone else's?

    A policy that's "scientific" could very well be damaging to the economy, or a violation of somebody's human rights. As far as I know, eugenics theory has never been proven to be scientifically incorrect. Can I get a show of hands of people who want it implemented as policy?

    Scientists, like everyone else, have a right to an opinion. They don't have a right to the last word.

  • ||

    Shorter slappy:

    BOOGALOOGA!!! SCIENCE DEVIL TALK!!!! CAST THEE MINORITIES FROM MY BARN!!! NEED PRIVACY FOR SHEEP FUCKING!!!OOGA LOOGA!

  • Sevo||

    I dunno, slappy's got at least a bit of a point.
    Chu was appointed Energy Secretary at least in part since he's a "SCIENTIST"! And he has no business setting policy.

  • ||

    Fuck slappy. Hitler probably remarked on how the sky takes on a bluish hue when the sun shines; that doesn't mean I'm going to follow him around with my nose up his ass telling him how wonderful an observation it is.

    If you want lectured on "human rights" by a neo-nazi fucktard, then go ahead but count me out.

    I'll agree that, yes, Chu is a scientists and also a horrible policy maker, but I'll take him any day over any fascist fuck that slappy's shite pahr party would put in his place.

  • Sevo||

    "If you want lectured on "human rights" by a neo-nazi fucktard, then go ahead but count me out."

    Nope, but broken clocks and all that. The point is valid.

  • ||

    I'm pretty dense, Sevo, and therefore am pretty bad with nuance. That is, I'm having a hard time seeing what slappy's point was.

    I mean if setting up a bunch of very flammable strawmen is making a point, then I guess he did.

  • Brett L||

    From your lips to everyone's ear, StE. Pretending that society can be governed by scientific precepts is a horrid premise that I blame Isaac Asimov and Henry Ford for.

  • reason readin female||

    Seldon's plan will work, damn you.

    The right people just need to be in charge, or it wasn't strictly followed to the letter. This is standard stuff, man!

  • The Sokal Hoax||

    you sound familiar, martha

  • disposable notable||

    Pretending that society can be governed by scientific precepts is a horrid premise that I blame Isaac Asimov and Henry Ford for.

    Communists claim that the communism is a "scientific" form of government and communists predate IA and HF.

  • Brett L||

    As far as I can tell it grows from the same bud. Industrialization. Not that I oppose industrialization, just the opposite. But if people can be made to work in a more efficient manner, then they can be made to live in a "more efficient" manner. Karl Marx was probably the first person to really grab hold of this concept. I was being tongue in cheek about Seldon, but Ford's assembly line and the Harvard idea of scientific business principles have far more to do with the strain of scientific governance of people in America than Marxism. IMO, anyway.

  • ||

    Between Tom Bethell and the pizza magnates backing

    http://www.galileowaswrong.com.....rong/.html

    I very much fear Mooney is less wrong than Ron.

  • dave c||

    Link doesn't work.

  • bubba||

    why doesn't the precautionary principle apply to global warming mitigation?

  • Sevo||

    Same thought occurred to me; prove there is *no* harm from your policies before you implement them.

  • Joan Harris||

    It would at least be nice if policymakers gave some thought to the potential downside, instead of running with whatever goofy fix for the problem of the moment they come up with.

    That's probably too scientific to hope for.

  • Sevo||

    I was being a it sarcastic, since the 'precautionary principle' isn't a 'principle' at all; it's an anti-progress religious belief.
    But you're right; I'm pretty sure the EPA is specifically exempt from any cost/benefit analysis.

  • Joan Harris||

    I don't know if it is a religious principle, but there is certainly plenty to debate about before blindly following it. If it's just saying to use caution with new technology, I don't have a problem with that, but when it becomes don't use any new technology until it's proven safe, that's pretty stupid.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/P....._principle
    "...The Precautionary Principle, applied to itself as a policy decision, may rule out its own use depending on the precise definition used. For example, Prohibitory PP as a policy decision would need to demonstrate that no substantial damage would result from the prohibition of products and technologies.

    Michael Crichton wrote: The "precautionary principle," properly applied, forbids the precautionary principle. It is self-contradictory. The precautionary principle therefore cannot be spoken of in terms that are too harsh..."

  • Sevo||

    "Michael Crichton wrote: The "precautionary principle," properly applied, forbids the precautionary principle. It is self-contradictory."

    Sounds like a religion to me.

  • Realist||

    "Same thought occurred to me; prove there is *no* harm from your policies before you implement them."
    Perfect response to AGW believers.

  • ||

    For the same reasons that sexual harassment laws don't apply to Democrat politicians.

  • Brett L||

    It does, in the same way that "first, do no harm" applies to surgeons. Yes, they're gonna cut you open and do harm to your body, and yes, you may die on the table. But if you don't...

    Which is not to say that I believe that AGW "mitigation" is analagous to surgery. But the precautionary principle and the physician's proscription to "do no harm" are tautologies that sound good and are completely inapplicable to 90% of the world.

  • ||

    AGW is a transparent scam. You don't need a scientific education to recognize con tricks when you see them.

    Politicians LOVE to embrace their version of science, as it removes what they fear most - open and honest debate with a full airing of all the different viewpoints, and the use of empirical data (which is non-existent in the AGW hoax).

  • Climate Denialism is a scam.||

    You don't need a scientific education to recognize con tricks when you see them.

    Fibertarians LOVE to embrace their version of science, as it removes what they fear most - open and honest debate with a full airing of all the different viewpoints, and the use of empirical data (which is non-existent in the AGW denialism).

  • ||

    I am stupid. I just realized anonymous coward is white indian. My god I wasted an hour arguing with this idiot the other day. Ugh.

    Why is it not a surprise to me he is also a climate-scammer?

  • Sevo||

    Pretty sure vermin shit is Godesky, and it doesn't take much of a search to realize his 'theories' are crack-pot to the point that no one seriously argues the matter with him. So he's reduced to trolling sites which are loosely-moderated (having had his ass tossed from others).
    Further, if you check the reviews of the books he cites (as I did when he started the troll program), you'll find they're all of the polite 'ah, yes, interesting view'-type usually given by those who are going to need a review of *their* upcoming screed.
    Sadly pathetic; almost enough to warrant some sympathy. Almost.
    But experience does show that feeding vermin results in vermin shit. So it's not a good idea.

  • Brother Grimm||

    Look on the bright side; at least it tells you that there are not as many morons out there as one might first think.

  • ||

    Dude that may well be the cooles thting of all time. Wow.

    www.privacy-surf.tk

  • Menth||

    I would also point to the vast swaths of humanities departments that are underpinned by the notion that human nature is socially constructed when this is not supported by the evidence.

    See also: General Economic Illiteracy, the Sokal Affair

  • ThatSkepticGuy||

    "For example, Mooney argues that 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.” "

    While the second argument is extremely debatable, the first is flat-out false.

  • ||

    It may be true that R's are more anti-science, but the D's perpetrating the AGW scam is doing more damage to scientific credibility than probably anything in history. May they all burn in hell for it.

  • Tony||

    Or maybe the scientists are right and Rush Limbaugh is wrong. Just a thought.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.27.11 @ 9:53PM|#
    "Or maybe the scientists are right and Rush Limbaugh is wrong. Just a thought."

    Gee shithead, maybe you could once offer an honest post.
    Just a thought, shithead.

  • ||

    I don't know anyone who is anti-science. But, I know people who don't believe what is being said to them by scientists. This doesn't make them anti-science.

  • The Sokal Hoax||

    Seems that leftists aren't as scientific as they'd want us to think.

  • Tony||

    The pertinent question is why you guys think people who don't understand biology or physics and are generally religious wackos about everything happened to have stumbled upon the correct economics.

  • Doktor Kapitalism||

    The same reason we think that generally economic wackos may be right about science or social issues.

    Your left-right dichotomy fails to take into account that there are two different main axes to American politics.

    Either that, or this is a hell of a good spoof.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nolan_Chart

  • Tony||

    Belief in science is prior to anything else. Either you believe in the empirical nature of facts or you don't. If you don't, everything you say should be held suspect if not dismissed automatically.

    In any society the political faction you should take seriously first is the one that professes a belief in science. Any that don't are dangerous and overwhelmingly likely to be wrong about everything.

    Libertarianism is an economic religion, an attempt to simplify in magical terms complicated realities. That's why it appeals to religious nuts. Why does it appeal to you?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.27.11 @ 10:31PM|#
    "Belief in science is prior to anything else. Either you believe in the empirical nature of facts or you don't. If you don't, everything you say should be held suspect if not dismissed automatically.

    In any society the political faction you should take seriously first is the one that professes a belief in science."
    Non-sequitur, shithead.
    ------------
    "Libertarianism is an economic religion,"
    Lie, shithead.

  • Brother Grimm||

    "
    Belief in science is prior to anything else. Either you believe in the empirical nature of facts or you don't. If you don't, everything you say should be held suspect if not dismissed automatically."

    Right. Since my kids can't offer me empirical proof of their love for me, it must mean that they don't. Also, those liars who keep telling me about this thing called "purple" must be dismissed outright. So what if my eyes do not have very many working rods, until I see it, it doesn't exist.

    "In any society the political faction you should take seriously first is the one that professes a belief in science. Any that don't are dangerous and overwhelmingly likely to be wrong about everything."

    Science or consensus. Once you realize the two are not synonymous...

    "Libertarianism is an economic religion, an attempt to simplify in magical terms complicated realities."

    Unlike liberalism, of course.

    "That's why it appeals to religious nuts."

    Like Penn Jillette, John Stossel, Thomas Payne, Ayn Rand, etc.

    "Why does it appeal to you?"

    Would you accept the answer without a consensus?

  • El Duderino||

    But it's got what plants crave. It's got electrolytes!

  • Tony||

    Libertarians apparently can't tell the difference between an appeal to authority and a fallacious appeal to authority.

    And are hellbent on denying scientific fact that don't seem to imply a libertarian solution, rather than either trying to figure out a libertarian solution or abandoning their flawed premises.

    Bailey do some work on the population here before you start poking other political groups in the eye. There is no excuse for climate denierism. It takes deliberately self-imposed ignorance.

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.27.11 @ 10:00PM|#
    "Libertarians apparently can't tell the difference between an appeal to authority and a fallacious appeal to authority."

    Shithead has never been able to tell the difference between an honest post and lies/strawmen/mis-direction and appeals to authority.
    So any claim by shithead of others doing the same is automatically wrong.
    Shithead.

  • ||

    Yeah, 84% of "scientists" believe global warming is man-made --- except they don't. And since when does a anthropologist, for example, get to weigh in with an opinion about matters involving thermodynamics, atmospheric physics, astrophysics (those pesky sun cycles and cosmic rays), etc?

    As for the "consensus", what crap --- that's soooo pre-Climategate I and II.

    But liberals don't want to talk about facts and data and experiments surrounding the climate -- they prattle on about computer models, which are not "experiments" and yield no DATA. When challenged, they point to "consensus" and make ad hominem attacks ---Michael Mann, for example wants to sue his critics, hide his publicly-funded data, and drive his opponents from their professorships.

    Oh and btw, these pro-science liberals also believe in aromatherapy, Feng Shui, Pyramid Power, chiropractic, homeopathy, auras, rolfing, Freudianism, the dangers of "frankenfood", the undetectable merits of organic foods, astrology, and...(drumroll, please) the utter insanity of "Scientific Socialism", aka Marxism and its attenuated forms, progressivism and liberalism.

  • Tony||

    Yeah, 84% of "scientists" believe global warming is man-made --- except they don't

    Cite? BTW, when you're talking only about actively publishing climate scientists, it's more like 98%.

    You have a really good reason to disagree with them?

    Oh and btw, these pro-science liberals also believe in aromatherapy, Feng Shui, Pyramid Power, chiropractic, homeopathy, auras, rolfing, Freudianism, the dangers of "frankenfood", the undetectable merits of organic foods, astrology, and...(drumroll, please) the utter insanity of "Scientific Socialism", aka Marxism and its attenuated forms, progressivism and liberalism.

    I don't believe in a single one of those things. So cite?

  • Sevo||

    Tony|12.27.11 @ 10:27PM|#
    "...when you're talking only about actively publishing climate scientists, it's more like 98%."

    Cite, shithead.

  • ||

    I don't suppose you've figured out that a "scientist" expert in the field of "climate science" wouldn't be likely to come to the conclusion that there isn't much to do about the whole climate thing, have you? Did "climate science" even exist formally as a recognized field of scientific inquiry until after the man-made global warming hypothesis was realized?

  • disposable notable||

    BTW, when you're talking only about actively publishing climate scientists, it's more like 98%.

    actively publishing = employed by university or government lab or government agency

    => dependent on political system for livelihood

    => vested interest in hyping a crisis in order to get politicians to cough up more tax dollars

    => hopelessly biased toward doomsaying

  • Tony||

    Pathetic excuse making for believing in lies.

  • ||

    Let us resolve it then - if the world ends in a cataclysmic environmental disaster, I will buy you a Coke.

  • disposable notable||

    Tony: 98% of people who will make more money and enjoy greater career success if politicians and the public believe that AGW is a pressing problem insist that AGW is a pressing problem.

    In other news, 98% of dentists insist that everyone should see a dentist at least 4 times a year and 98% of auto mechanics insist that everyone should have a professional auto mechanic do a safety check of their car at least once a month.

  • Tony||

    Politicians can get almost nothing done on climate change... what on earth makes you think they want this issue on their plates? To the point of rewarding scientists who just make it up out of thin air... and manage a 98% fall-in-line rate? Please.

  • Brother Grimm||

    "Politicians can get almost nothing done on climate change..."

    You mean like making the people buy the lightbulbs that are made by the companies that contribute money to their campaigns?

  • ||

    You seem to be a liberal, else why argue the point with me.

    You claim not to believe in the liberal/progressive fairy tales that attempt to overcome and abolish human nature itself?

    Come on. It's too late for you to deny that.

  • disposable notable||

    these pro-science liberals also believe in ...

    Nice list, but you left off the dangers of various kinds of power generation and the inherent undesirability of industrialization.

  • ||

  • ||

    Reserving my anecdata sample size to well-educated professionals without science backgrounds, I found that Lefists and Democrats were exponentially much more likely to attribute the earthquake here in the Northeastern part of the country to "global climate change" than Republicans.

    SCIENCE 1!1!!11!!!!11

  • disposable notable||

    Global warming causes almost everything, but it is hard to know who will be most adversely affected.

  • ||

    It doesn't cause everything. Only all the bad stuff. The good stuff is all caused by progressive government policies.

  • ||

    You all forgot "the Population Bomb" and the coming epidemic of Heterosexual Aids in the United States.

  • BG||

    Based on this article and others by Reason, I conclude that Reason has a decidedly left wing bent-favoring Democrats over Republicans. It was not always this way. Twenty years ago Reason placed a stronger weight on fiscal responsibility, therefore favoring a right wing or Republican agenda. I believe the later to be a more correct libertarian view. Free markets should be a libertarian's first objective. All the other freedoms fall in to place naturally and easily after that.

  • chaussures air max tn||

    u....

  • ||

    Conservatives are cranks; liberals tend to be meta-cranks. They don't fear the facts because they have no intention of allowing them to challenge their basic world view. Correlations between poverty and behavior don't show that behavior leads to poverty, they show that poverty causes behavior. All the examples of liberal crankery mentioned in the article? They're not "mainstream," so they don't count. Those mentioned in the comments? "Cite examples." And we have the catch-all denial mechanisms: correlation isn't causation (then what the hell is?), misplaced causality, false consciousness, blaming the victim....

    Let's talk about the way the Kennewick Man remains were nearly lost to science, the opposition to observatories on Mount Graham and Mauna Kea, the attempts to block interplanetary probes that had nuclear power sources, and the loss of the final three Apollo missions to "spend money on problems here on earth." Can anyone, after 40 years, cite a single benefit we got from spending that money here on earth?

  • ||

    My observation tends to be that liberals tend to show more deference to scientific conclusions, while conservatives tend to show more respect for the scientific method. In an argument over a scientific issue, liberals will generally reference quotations and conclusions from prominent scientists. Conservatives will tend to build tests and models that will test the theory.

  • Jared||

    This is an interesting way to put it. Sir Karl Popper talked of science as never reaching conclusions and we know no amount of positive lab results can prove a theory it can only offer corroboration.

    It is a fallacy to say "all X believe Y. Therefore, Y." But liberals engage in this thinking constantly with regard to scientists. At one time all scientists thought the sun orbited the earth. To believe otherwise was silly.

    Liberal worship of scientists' conclusions actually works against the scientific method where people are supposed to constantly question and attempt to falsify the conclusions of others.

  • ||

    This is an utterly loony false equivalency. Even the positions that could be argued to be anti-science from the left (nuclear power and such) are policy questions that can reasonably be argued. Republicans, including the highest leadership, reject the very underpinning of modern biological knowledge at a shocking rate. There's simply no comparison.

  • ||

    Um, no. Leftists don't argue the policy of nuclear power, they actively lie about the relative dangers of nuclear power in order to gin up public opposition to nuclear power. They did the same thing with lies about an unsurvivable "nuclear winter" during the Cold War in service of their Soviet paymasters.

    And social conservatives essentially object to the mixture of materialist philosophy and the theory of evolution as taught in public schools - they generally oppose the anti-scientific and wholly unnecessary attempt to proffer "science" as conclusive with regard to existential questions. They may not express it in quite this manner but that is their objection in a nutshell. As Chesterton observed, the theory of evolution is itself a "tremendous trifle," something about which an enormous fuss is made but which has negligible bearing on the daily lives of men - perhaps except as the modern day equivalent to the Oaths of Succession of the past.

    Speaking of biology, the Left is entirely sold on the demonstrably false idea that men and women are the same - and has enforced this as government policy both in legislation, regulation and through the Courts.

  • ||

    10,000 of every one million molecules in Earth's atmosphere are green house gas molecules. Of that 9500 are water molecules and 400 are carbon dioxide. Of those 400 only 12 are produced by man's combustion of fossil fuels. 388 of every 400 CO2 molecules in the atmosphere are produced by nature. Carbon dioxide's absorbtive capacity for heat is 0.25 calories per gram, while water's energy absorbtive capacity, owing to its latent heat of vaporization, a property only water of all green house gas molecules in Earth's environment possesses, is 540 calories per gram. For every calorie of heat absorbed by CO2, atmospheric H2O absorbs 21600 calories. For every calorie of heat absorbed by man- made CO2, atmospheric H2O absorbs over 700,000 calories. Where man really dominates is in his arrogance.

  • ||

    I don't think you've got a real solid grasp on atmospheric regulation of terrestrial temperature. Perhaps this will help -

    http://www.sciencemag.org/cont.....2/356.full

  • ||

    Mars has four times the green house gas concentration of Earth and 40 times the CO2 concentration yet has a temperature variance of 100 degrees F. compared to Earth's 30 degrees F. On Earth the relative effectiveness of H2O to CO2 is noted in humid regions versus dry regions where the day-night temperature differential is less in humid regions than in dry regions as a direct consequence of moisture in the atmosphere. Day-night temperature variance is the single best measure of the GHG effect. The greater the GHG effect the less the temperature variance. The GHG property of molecules is directly related to structure. The more asymmetric the molecular structure the greater the GHG effect. That is why N2 and O2 have no GHG effect but N2O does. CO2 is a nearly symmetrical molecule and is thus a weak GHG molecule. The most important GHG effect on Earth is due to the bonds between molecules and not the bonds within
    molecules. The bonds between molecules effect phase change. These bonds absorb vastly greater quantities of energy than bonds within molecules and without any temperature change occurring. The only atmospheric molecule with this property on Earth is H2O. That article is a bunch of nonsensical gibberish on a topic which obviously exceeds your grasp.

  • ||

    Mars has four times the green house gas concentration of Earth and 40 times the CO2 concentration yet has a temperature variance of 100 degrees F. compared to Earth's 30 degrees F. On Earth the relative effectiveness of H2O to CO2 is noted in humid regions versus dry regions where the day-night temperature differential is less in humid regions than in dry regions as a direct consequence of moisture in the atmosphere. Day-night temperature variance is the single best measure of the GHG effect. The greater the GHG effect the less the temperature variance. The GHG property of molecules is directly related to structure. The more asymmetric the molecular structure the greater the GHG effect. That is why N2 and O2 have no GHG effect but N2O does. CO2 is a nearly symmetrical molecule and is thus a weak GHG molecule. The most important GHG effect on Earth is due to the bonds between molecules and not the bonds within
    molecules. The bonds between molecules effect phase change. These bonds absorb vastly greater quantities of energy than bonds within molecules and without any temperature change occurring. The only atmospheric molecule with this property on Earth is H2O. That article is a bunch of nonsensical gibberish on a topic which obviously exceeds your grasp.

  • Ace||

    So republicans are slightly more anti-science than democrats. But not when you factor in the science of economics...which most democrats love to ignore.

  • ||

    Firstly, economics isn't a science. If you think it is, you don't understand how science works.

    Putting that aside, the last decade has shown us that Republicans are at least as capable of being deliberately ignorant of economics as Democrats.

  • Kreel Sarloo||

    Cite? BTW, when you're talking only about actively publishing climate scientists, it's more like 98%.


    As the unknown sage says, saying that 98% of climate scientists belive in climate change is lake saying that 98% of Baptist ministers believe in god.

    "Climate Science" is essentially a "discipline" invented to verify the speculations of people invested in the notion that the world faces cataclysmic disasters due to man's evil affects on the beautiful natural world.

  • Chris||

    The reality is here that there are certain scientific facts which cannot be argued because they are directly provable. These are the things which should not be argued about because they are inarguable. There are also scientific theories which are supported by some facts but also require faith to accept because they cannot be directly proven. Global warming and macroevolution are two theories which have not or cannot be directly proven therefore they are up for debate. Microevolution is provable so this is not up for debate and should not be confused with macro. The numbers of scientists who believe in them is a direct result of the environment that they have been trained in. If you come up through the PhD track, you cannot argue against these things, macroevolution and global warming, because you are marginalised. This also explains the left wing nature of phd scientists because politics is treated much the same way. Dissent and you will be ostracized. I was an outspoken conservative in my PhD and postdoc and life was made quite difficult but I survived and I became the go to guy for all of the conservatives who lived in the closet.

  • Jared||

    It is interesting how quickly Democrats are willing to discard their anti-science wings as inconsequential in discussion. Either they confuse environmental religious worship of the earth and unquestioning valuation of conservation with "science" or they don't really care for their greenpeace comrades.

    If you read thinkers like Popper and Kuhn you realize two important things: 1. Science is simply a method of rigorous trial and error in an attempt to figure out how "things" work and it is not designed or capable of answering a lot of the questions people think it can/does. 2. Science is not infallible or objective. Scientists, like clergy or judges of law, may attempt to be objective, but are really engaged in social learning where they protect their golden calf and resist innovation. That is to say, science, again, is not providing answers and should be asked to provide solutions and explanations instead.

    That all said, I think the spirit of science is likely equally despised by ideologues and demagogues on both sides of the political aisle. The difference is that the Republican Party's manifestations of animosity are more vocal and consequential in the current climate.

  • ||

    That is a pretty unscientific analysis. Not at all convincing, but, you are welcome to your unsubstantiated opinions for sure.

    Party affiliation is a choice aimed at making the most constructive use of one's political efforts and expenditures. It has nothing to do with beliefs. Signing a party registration card is not a brand, or a tattoo or a cult; no oath is taken, no principles sworn, it is simply a choice, like choosing a red pen or a blue pen from the desk drawer.

  • ||

    Hellloooo....Elephant in the room. "Scientific Consensus" is an irrelevant abstraction...akin to "national presidential election" it just doesn't carry relevance in the real world. Scientific consensus held that the earth-centric model of the solar system was valid for more than a century after Copernicus discovered it was absolutely false.

    Economic consensus has ignored the work of Ludwig von Mises for 70+ years. Consensus does not make a false notion true.

    Consensus is a tool used to manipulate faith-based fears into political action without addressing the most important question, "At what cost?"

  • paul hughes||

    Another example of the left's successful imposition of a fallacious litmus test. If you don't believe in evolution or global warming you are by definition unscientific. A shame to see Reason giving even a little credence to this sort of "argument."

  • Bob||

    Nevermind all the scientific studies that have been conducted to prove that global warming is real (whether human activity is the ONLY cause is still debatable). Saying you don't believe in global warming is like saying you don't believe that there's oxygen in the atmosphere. It isn't readily apparent, but has been PROVEN by science. All you have to do is look it up on the internet. Scientists do these crazy things, like measure the average temperature, and the data can be compared from one year to the next. The average global temperature is rising. It's been proven. Again, whether or not human activity is sole perpetrator is another story.

  • ||

    No, Bob. The average temperature has not gone up for 15 years. It did for awhile and then it didn't. And, it was going down before that.

    Also, the algorithm for determining the 'average global temperature' keeps getting changed. And, it is changed in order to support a particular bias of thinking. There is proof of that.

    It is quite easy to not believe in global warming, ie in the actual numbers, and still be very reasonable.

  • دردشة العراق||

    Thank you

  • Bob||

    Republicans are more anti science than Democrats? Get out of town!

  • ||

    "...unlike the know-nothing Tea Party activists who influence Republican politics"

    This is ignorance. The TEA Party is for the libertarian ideal of limited government. Taxed Enough Already. There are religious conservatives but it is predominantly fiscal conservatives who push the revolutionary idea that the country should live within its means.

    You can take your statist, liberal talking points against the Tea Party and shove it.

  • ||

    Isn't the "precautionary principle" another way to say "conservative?"

    Why isn't it possible that the supposed anti-science opinions of conservatives are mostly based on being careful. Should we break our economy in response to global warming if we're not *sure*? And if we're *sure* should we still break our economy instead of looking for technological solutions?

    Is failing to teach evolutionary Origins in elementary and secondary schools really going to relegate us to a new dark age? If it were so, there ought to be some actual data correlation between the science performance between young people taught one way or another, but there is not.

  • دردشه عراقية||

    Thanks

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