Science

War on Science?

Understanding the state of research and education.

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We've been told conservatives don't believe in science and that there's a "Republican war on science."

But John Tierney, who's written about science for The New York Times for 25 years and now writes for the Manhattan Institute's City Journal, told me in my latest online video, "The real war on science is the one from the left."

Really? Conservatives are more likely to be creationists—denying evolution.

"Right," says Tierney. "But creationism doesn't affect the way science is done."

What about President George W. Bush banning government funding of stem cell research?

"He didn't stop stem cell research," Tierney reminds me. "The government wouldn't fund it. It turned out that it really didn't matter much." Private funding continued and, so far, has not discovered much.

"People talk about this Republican war on science, but if you look around, my question is, where are the casualties? What scientists lost their jobs?" asks Tierney. "I can't find examples where the right wing stopped the progress of science, whereas you can look on the left and you see so many areas that are taboo to research."

Some research on genetically modified foods became taboo because of protests from the left. That may have prevented a second Green Revolution to feed Africa.

Scientists can't even talk about whether genes affect intelligence without being threatened by the left. Political scientists who continued to investigate the topic are screamed at on college campuses, the way Charles Murray, author of The Bell Curve, has been.

Tierney adds, "The federal government stopped funding IQ research decades ago."

Likewise, researching gender differences is dangerous to your career.

"You can't talk about sexual differences between men and women, (although) it's OK if they favor women," laughs Tierney. "You can say men are more likely to commit crimes, but you can't suggest that there might be some sexual difference that might predispose men to be more interested in a topic."

Google fired engineer James Damore merely for suggesting that sex differences might explain why more men choose to work in tech.

"Damore just pointed out very basic scientific research about differences between the sexes," argues Tierney. "The experts in this, as soon as he published that memo, said, yes, he basically got the science right."

It's not as if women aren't doing well in life, says Tierney.

In universities, "women dominate virtually every extracurricular activity, but all the focus has been: 'Why aren't there more women physicists and mathematicians, and of course in the sports area, too?'" says Tierney. "There's this idea that they're being discriminated against, (but) there have been enormous studies of who gets grants, who gets tenure, who gets interviews for jobs, and women get preference."

However, one group does get discriminated against in colleges: conservatives.

"In the social sciences, Democrats outnumber Republicans by at least eight to one. In fields like sociology it's 44 to one. Students are more likely to be taught in sociology by a Marxist than by a Republican," says Tierney. "It's gotten worse and worse."

Why does this happen at colleges that claim they "treasure diversity"? Because people on the left believe diversity just means race and gender, not thought. And even schools that want some diverse thought reach a sort of political tipping point.

"Once an academic department gets a majority of people who are on the left, they start hiring people like themselves, and soon the whole department is that way," says Tierney. "They start to think that their opinions and that their interests are not only the norm, but the truth."

That's how we get "scientific" studies that "prove" conservatives are stupid.

One such study asked people if they agree with the statement "Earth has plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them." The researcher called a "yes" answer an "irrational denial of science." But anyone who's studied economics knows the statement has repeatedly been proven true.

Finally, millions of people die of malaria today partly because many countries believed leftist junk science and needlessly banned DDT. Many were influenced by Rachel Carson's scientifically challenged book Silent Spring.

There is a war on science. But most of it doesn't come from the right.

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  1. For every creationist who leaves others alone, there’s a greenie who destroys experimental golden rice crops so poor kids can’t get the vitamins they need to not go blind.

    Tell me again, Tony, how lefties are pro-science.

    1. But they fucking love science!

      1. The Enlightenment was mostly the application of the scientific method to the political world, and to the nature of humanity.

        The left almost wholly rejects Enlightenment philosophy. (Dead White Men)

        The left is wrong about almost everything, because they are emotional thinkers. When the left happens to be correct about something, they taint it so badly with emotion that their solution is usually counterproductive.

        1. Oh, definitely. To the extent that there is a coherent view of human nature in leftist thought, it’s identical to that of Hobbes, whose ideas were both pre- and, ultimately, anti-liberal.

          1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

            This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

        2. Do you guys even know any of the lefists you so sweepingly characterize?

      2. Posted before, but never hurts to remind everyone that no, they don’t.

      3. Everytime I see that slogan on a bumper sticker, it has been on a Subaru plastered with “RESIST!” or “COEXIST” or rainbow stickers, driven by someone who could pass for a Womyn’s Studies grad student.

        People who say “I fucking love science!” don’t actually love science, they just like pretending like they do.

  2. It’s about to get REAL in here and I for one am super excited!

    Green Revolution to feed Africa

    Anyone who believes that GM will solve Africa’s problems is delusional and please get back on your meds. The problem with Africa isn’t their lack of embrace of science. The problem is that the west keeps undermining their freedom fighters (or tacitly allowing their despots to behead them). No amount of science can ‘fix’ Africa. This is the superman delusion often pushed by Bill Gates and Steven Pinker. Zuck tried it too with Newark schools but hopefully learned his lesson. We really need to do a better job of exporting our values and freedoms around the world, including Europe, which is also heading for disaster, and again, no amount of science can fix it.

    So assuming you’d classify Gates and Pinker as ‘right’ then yes – I would definitely say they are a greater threat to science, progress and prosperity. (Or you might call them pro-science lefty atheists and I wouldn’t really argue. Still very dangerous.) As for genetic gender differences and such, yes I agree they are real but also, like evolution, I don’t think it matters much. Ezra Klein and Sam Harris are sparring over this and Harris will lose even if he’s more technically accurate and I don’t care. If you disagree fine but maybe try to persuade me with science and reason instead of trying to get me banned again?

    1. The problem with Africa is a lack of economic freedom. People must ask permission and obey orders before doing anything productive. As a result, nothing productive ever gets done. It is a continent of despots. A leftist dream come true.

      1. The problem with Africa is the Africans.

        1. People have nothing to do with the bad circumstances of crummy countries (or continents) because reasons.

      2. The problem with Africa is disease, both for humans and crops.

        I think I saw a documentary or read a book about this at one point in my life, and I was convinced.

        1. Specifically malaria, if I remember correctly.

            1. Those darn tesetse flies; were it not for them Sub Sahara would be a Muslim paradise.

              1. If only their were a chemical that was effective fighting flies and mosquitoes! Call it DD something. Wipe out malaria in the West with it and then ban it for being dangerous to bird eggs! SCIENCE!

    2. We really need to do a better job of exporting our values and freedoms around the world,

      Which now include calling your neighbors “rapists” who bring drugs and crime, saying that trade is like “rape” thus imposing tariffs on things your cronies (coincidentally, of course) happen to make, wanting to shut up critics by making defamation laws tougher, and wanting to “bomb the shit out of” anyone who happens to be the villain du jour.

      Those values.

      1. Yup ? traditional values.
        What? It’s a tradition that extends back at least as far as a Teddy Roosevelt.
        This isn’t the first buffoonish boor we’ve had in the White House.

      2. Ironically I was thinking more like the pussyhats who stood up to it and said, “Don’t even” and were an inspiration to peoples around the world for standing up to a despot. It actually may have inspired protests elsewhere, e.g. Iran. But we need to keep up the good work and double down and toot our own horn more.

  3. ‘Why aren’t there more women physicists and mathematicians, and of course in the sports area, too?'”

    Why aren’t there more male hetero hookers? Why are there VASTLY more naked-titty-dancers than there are naked-ding-dong-dancers? Is there some sort of ASS CEILING here, preventing men from bettering themselves via these paths,which are mostly closed off to them, by the greedy for-profit operators of naked titty bars?!?

    Maybe Government Almighty could FIX this with single-payer equal-opportunity naked titty bars!!! Doesn’t science tell us that all titties are equal?!??! Society is biased here!!! Regulate and educate this bias AWAY!!!!

    1. “Why aren’t there more women physicists and mathematicians, and of course in the sports area, too?'”

      And garbage collectors – don’t forget them.

      Funny how the gender SJW crowd never seem concerned why there aren’t more women represented in all of the dirty and/or dangerous type jobs.

      1. Why is that funny? _Should_ the gender SJW crowd care that women are underrepresented in dangerous professions?

        1. If they claim to not be hypocrites, if they claim to be for “equality”, then hell yes, they SHOULD be in favor of TRUE equality all around! “What’s good for the goose, is good for the gander!” But hell no, they do NOT want to pander to the gander, they want to pander to the “heads I win, tails you lose” crowd! Sexual equality should be had in jails and prisons (imprisonment rates) as well! They should be told to shove it up their pussies, AND their asses!!!!!

          If they don’t like that, maybe we could fall back on INDIVIDUAL freedoms, not fashionable-identity-crowd-based freedoms granted to whoever screams the loudest with the mostest!

    2. You know, that they also tend to support trannyism, they are both anti-science and seeking to end women participation in sports.

  4. I am reading a book called “The House of Government” about the Russian Revolution and I am starting to see some similarities between our hard left and the Bolsheviks. Including denigration of alternative viewpoints as unscientific and bad.

    It is high time for moderates of all stripes to take a stand against the slowly creeping socialism in America. Shit is fucking evil on every level.

    1. Now, comrade, I see that you are becoming unscientific and bad! Government Almighty requires that I turn you in, citizen! Else I am committing “misprision”. You leave me no choice!

    2. That one is next on my list

    3. The conflation of hard core doctrine and “science” might be self correcting. Remember that millions that died due to inflexible Soviet dedication to the “approved” genetics of Lysenko.

  5. Conservatives are stuck in the past, believing in stupid shit like the scientific method. Nobody needs stupid shit like hypothesis and experimentation when we can have really smart people take a vote. Really smart people are like really smart and stuff. Just ask them. Quaint shit like the scientific method are fucking old. Now we have consensus. Only a stupid conservative who is stuck in the past would question consensus.

    1. You joke, but there are plenty of op-eds and peer-reviewed journal articles suggesting the scientific method, and logic, is a tool of the white supremacist patriarchy, inherently designed to oppress non-white men. .

      Look at the college debate madness recently, where logic, statistics, and evidence have all been determined to be tools of white supremacy. Black competitors just say the n word over and over again while using anecdotal personal stories and emotional pleas while providing no evidence. They often win, because people are too scared to say they’re fucking retarded. They’ll be accused of being a racist tool of white supremacy.

      The World Has Gone Mad

      1. You joke, but there are plenty of op-eds and peer-reviewed journal articles suggesting the scientific method, and logic, is a tool of the white supremacist patriarchy, inherently designed to oppress non-white men.

        Any time I start to think that the right may be more racist than the left, I remember things like this. They’re basically saying that non-whites are too stupid to understand logic.

        1. WHY DO ITALICS NOT WORK ANYMORE?

          1. The paternalistic mindset on the left is far more damaging to minorities, women, and to the future of this country than what’s left of the outright open racists on the right.

          2. WHY DO ITALICS NOT WORK ANYMORE?

            Works for me. Maybe html is a tool of white supremacy and patriarchy?

            1. TESTING ME ITALICS

              1. Weird, maybe I typed it wrong last time.

            2. Do you need to ask?

        2. Those eds and articles are correct, but only because the “science” at subject doesn’t actually fit that description.

          Apply actual scientific method to experiments on the claimed opinions of small groups and bias falls out. Because claimed opinions of small groups aren’t scientific subjects (no reliably measurable state of beings/materials) and so are inevitably biased, not because the method is biased.

      2. It’s almost like the emperor is naked or something.

    2. There’s only room for one Tony in this chat room.

        1. It’s hard to judge the nastiness and ignorance from just three words, Tulpa.

      1. Pauli Exclusion doesn’t apply to Tony.

  6. But the science is settled, there are no innate differences between the sexes and the races, tampering with genetics is bad, vaccines cause autism and raping the Earth makes Mother Nature cry. Therefore, those evil right-wing racists who insist on “investigating” these things are science deniers and attacking the enemies of science is most certainly not attacking science, it is in fact defending science. Stossel et al has this whole thing completely backward!

    1. Only an intolerant person would question the consensus, and tolerant people do not tolerate intolerance.

    2. I have to admit I have a personal beef about “scientific” bias – shortly before she passed away in an Alzheimer’s treatment center, my grandmother decided she’d like to play in the NBA but those bastards wouldn’t let her just because she was a white woman. They claimed it was because she was short and fat and 83 years old, but we know that there’s nothing in science that could explain why tall, young, athletic black men would be disproportionately represented in the NBA. It’s nothing but pure discrimination.

  7. You want to see how the left does science? Check out “New Real Peer Review” on Twitter.

    It’s bizarre “Critical Theory…” “intersectional” BS on most of examples; the best of the lot abuse hypothesis testing and sample size.

    Funny and tragic…it’s no wonder you now have a lot of stupid, in debt people with advanced degrees who have trouble paying their bills.

  8. The left loves pseudo-science and uses it to prop up government intervention into all aspects of life, like eugenics….

  9. Scientists can’t even talk about whether genes affect intelligence without being threatened by the left.

    and open-border libertarians.

    1. You’re right, we don’t want to talk about how your genes affect your intelligence… Trumpista.

      Idiot.

      1. Thankfully we can import more marxians to fix that.

        1. From where??? U. C. L. A.? Loyola? Stanford? U of C Santa Cruz?

          You… Trumpista!

          1. Said like a good little marxian.

      2. We all know that evolution only occurs from the neck down.

        Tabula Raza!

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  11. “I can’t find examples where the right wing stopped the progress of science”

    It’s not about stopping the progress of science. It’s about adopting the lessons learned from science. The “war on science” means that people reject observations that were made in the process of applying the scientific method, usually in favor of some political or religious alternative. The American left and right are equally guilty at this. GMO and vaccinations are perfect examples. Both sides use similar arguments, claiming that the scientists are paid off (in some shape or form) by someone with a vested interest, and that all the other scientists are either too scared or are actively suppressed by money or threats. In other words, conspiracy theories.

    1. HAHAHAHAHA. Right. The GMO debate is perfectly symmetrical, just like IARC and glyphosate. Both sides totally cherry picked.

    2. Re: JunkScienceIsJunk,

      [claims that] all the other scientists are either too scared or are actively suppressed by money or threats. In other words, conspiracy theories.

      Tell me with all the seriousness you can muster that the threat of calling scientists “Denier!”, whose only sin is to show healthy skepticism about the extraordinary claims made by the Angry Volcano God priests a.k.a. Climatey Changey activists, is not enough of an incentive to keep their damned mouths shut. Do it without sounding stupid while you’re at it. G’on.

      1. Considering that there have been many recent peer reviewed articles on climate change that have actually been (for the most part) in SUPPORT of some of the stances made by so-called “climate change deniers”, I think there’s some pretty good evidence that “deniers” have access to both a forum and representation among scientists. Maybe not in the full-blown tin foil hat kind of way they’re used to looking at the issue, but there are definitely a lot of well-regarded influential scientists who are skeptics that global warming is going to mean the end to civilization.

        Basically, once politics-people get involved, they warp the interpretation of the studies to mean what they want them to mean. John Oliver said that there’s a “consensus” among scientists. There isn’t. That’s not the fault of science or scientists. It’s the fault of journalists who write about science and politicians who so adorably try to talk about it as if they have a clue.

        So, to answer your question, in the scientific community, nobody is really yelling “Denier!” for a lot of this stuff. Want to know how I know this? Because “denier” articles are passing peer review and are being published in high impact factor journals.

        1. Tell me you wrote that with a straight face. DeFreitas ring a bell? Lewandosky ring a bell? Michael Mann and Gavin Schmidt aren’t screaming denier? This gaslighting is getting tiresome.

          1. Every controversial topic has people who swear up and down that the truth is X and people who swear up and down that the truth is Y. If you choose to only listen to the people who are swearing up and down that the truth is X, while actively ignoring everyone else, it’s your choice to do so. But in the end, you’re getting angry over nothing. Like I said, the “denier” articles are getting their time in the sun — most recently, in Nature Geoscience, one of the most well-regarded peer reviewed journals in the field.

            But sure. That never existed. Keep paying attention to John Oliver if that’s what floats your boat.

            1. Just more gaslighting. Shall I go on? Mann on Curry. Pielke Jr. Karl et. al. Michaels having his emails exposed to hard left eco groups.

              The fact that some skeptical papers are eventually published doesn’t change the fact that the most well-funded groups are firmly in the alarmist camp.

              There’s someone subscribing to Oliver’s hysteria here and you need a mirror to see it.

              1. “The fact that some skeptical papers are eventually published”

                This statement alone shows how out of touch you are with the field. For whatever reason (to drive yourself crazy perhaps?), you are COMPLETELY ignoring an entire body of literature.

                It’s not unlike how some people who are advocates of free market economics are SO obsessed with keynesian economics that they totally ignore the growing body of free market papers, discoveries, models, and insights in the field. Just so they can fight keynesians and piss themselves off. It tells me that some people are more into the fight than the topic. I suspect you’re one of those people.

                1. What the hell are you talking about? What body of literature am I COMPLETELY ignoring?

                  You mean this?

                  If I say they are eventually published how am I COMPLETELY ignoring them? Seriously, is English not your native tongue? You’re the fool who claimed that “well funded” groups are actively disputing global warming alarmism. Put up or shut up. That means you need to show, you know, FUNDING numbers.

                  The fact that you don’t even understand the references I made shows me that you’re the typical science guild member who’s afraid that his authority will be questioned. You NEED there to be an equivalence here or your narrative falls apart and you have to start asking yourself some very difficult questions.

                  1. If I say they are eventually published how am I COMPLETELY ignoring them?

                    I knew you’d come around. Eventually.

                    Ok, so now that you finally concede that there are scientists who oppose the government’s story, and that the scientific community agrees that their scientific findings deserve a prominent platform (including some of the most prestigious peer-reviewed journals in the world)… And since you appear to be conceding that the scientists who are the authors of these papers are well-funded (you didn’t dispute my references, for example), what exactly IS your beef?

    3. “claiming that the scientists are paid off (in some shape or form) by someone with a vested interest”

      No, the claim is that there is incentive for certain scientists to come to certain conclusions. No conspiracy needed.

      If MY field is studying a danger to humanity, then of course, I NEED more money to continue my research.

      Painting people who state such an obvious fact (that incentives exist) as conspiracy theorists shows that you don’t have an argument to refute this basic aspect of human nature.

      1. “If MY field is studying a danger to humanity, then of course, I NEED more money to continue my research.”

        Then please explain why some of the most well-funded research groups are openly critical of the danger-to-humanity argument, re: climate change.

        1. Citation needed.

          1. Citation of what? That there are well-funded academic research groups that publish the results of their experiments in peer reviewed journals demonstrating that the models are wrong, and that international recommendations are inherently flawed because of it? Reason already covered that back in September.

            There’s also this recent article (ahem — also in the peer reviewed literature… so much for the conspiracy theory that claims that this stuff isn’t allowed to get out there…) that outright states that the scientific findings behind the Paris agreement are wrong and ultimately push overly-conservative government policies.

            http://rsta.royalsocietypublis…..9/20160445

            1. And yet you provide no citation to back up your well-funded claims. Since reason did it in september, why not?

              But all you have is that strawman argument. See, if a single paper quesrions CAGW that is proof that the “most well-funded” groups are actively questioning. In fact the link you provided does not challenge the consensus at all. It makes no mention of the ECS and only tangentially recognizes that TCR is a thing in regards to the delay in peak temp after CO2 emissions achieve net neutral.

              1. I assumed you would connect the dots. Here’s a hint: one of the guys in the Reason article has a very active (and well-funded) research program, and is associated with many other active (and well-funded) research programs that aren’t directly his. Two others in the article I linked do too. How many papers do you want me to cite until I’ve reached a number that’s sufficient?

                What you’re missing is that this guy is just one example, but it’s a good one because: 1) he’s very influential. Under your conspiracy theory, this shouldn’t be possible. 2) he’s well-funded (see #1). 3) he has an academic affiliation and relies (partially) on government funding.

                You have no idea what “challenging the consensus” actually means if you believe that a paper that directly refutes government policy and the scientific findings they use to justify it doesn’t qualify. You suggest that the powers-that-be suppress such things (via their funding mechanisms) so that they can further their agenda, but when a paper comes out that DIRECTLY refutes and damages that agenda, this somehow doesn’t qualify.

                1. So again, as a “scientist,” you can provide no evidence for your claims. What Reason article? What “guy?” Honestly, it would be easier to just write the name than play your games, so why don’t you? Do you think science is a game of “guess what I’m thinking?” Based on your reasoning so far, I’m starting to suspect you do.

                  The article you posted does not challenge the consensus view AT ALL. Cite the refutation of government policy in that paper. Figure 2 shows all of their projected results using SAR and AR4 & 5. Do you even know what SAR and AR4/5 are? Do you think relying on them for your projections is CHALLENGING the consensus??

                  And from the abstract:

                  Achieving and maintaining net-zero CO2-equivalent emissions conventionally calculated using GWP100 (100-year global warming potential) and including substantial positive contributions from short-lived climate-forcing agents such as methane would result in a sustained decline in global temperature.

                  What do you think “conventionally calculated” and “GWP100” (an IPCC-defined term) mean? Where are they contesting anything?

                  Seriously, I’m wondering if you can even read at this point.

                  1. So again, as a “scientist,” you can provide no evidence for your claims.

                    If you can’t tell the difference between two and zero, it’s pretty obvious that YOU’RE not the scientist here…

                    What Reason article? What “guy?”

                    Sorry, I should have provided a link. I merely said it was printed in September. Although honestly, I kinda expected you to remember the article since it wasn’t that long ago, and since you commented on it. Of course, you don’t really have to use that one. You could take most Reason articles and apply my argument. They’re very often articles written about newly published scientific research that refutes the government’s narrative. You know, the thing you say doesn’t happen.

                    The article you posted does not challenge the consensus view AT ALL.

                    Right. Saying the Paris agreement is wrong isn’t a challenge to a consensus. The scientific articles Reason uses to support their view against climate alarmists aren’t a challenge either.

                    Just because an article isn’t presented in a politically inflammatory way doesn’t mean it doesn’t challenge the consensus. It means that adults are talking, and you children should stick to message boards.

    4. “The American left and right are equally guilty at this.”

      Nope. That’s where you’re wrong. People on the right and on the left both DO this. But the right is utterly pervaded and run by people who do this. Anti-vaxers are a fringe group on the left. So are the anti-GMO fanatics. But on the right, creationists, climate change denialists, abstinence-only education proponents are utterly dominant. It’s the difference between having a crazy uncle and having a crazy family.

      1. So besides the fact that the models have all been falsified, you know it’s good science. Belief in something that has failed tests is what we call religion and the Left is full of devout believers.

        1. In the way you’re using the word “falsified”, every model for everything has been falsified. That doesn’t invalidate its utility. It simply means that we need to continue to improve our models, or to be more careful about our interpretations and public policy based on them.

          This is where you throw-the-baby-out-with-the-bathwater types always err. You demand something from scientific progress that is literally unattainable. You cherry pick climate science as an area that draws your ire because it suits your political agenda. You could just as easily criticize the terribly imperfect models we have in cancer biology, for example, but if push comes to shove, I doubt you’d reject the diagnostic procedures and treatment options that were built on them.

  12. Some research on genetically modified foods became taboo because of protests from the left. That may have prevented a second Green Revolution to feed Africa.

    It can’t be overemphasized how evil this is.

    1. I agree. I’d rank it second behind outlawing DDT (which resulted in millions of children dying of malaria) as the most evil things Goodthinkers did to Africa (along with many third world nations).

      1. The Goodthinkers don’t want Africans and other poor people to ever have a decent quality of life because that would mean they have been corrupted by capitalism. They prefer them to remain as they are in National Geographic-covered with flies. Very racist when you think about it.

        1. The Goodthinkers don’t want Africans and other poor people to ever have a decent quality of life

          Not only that but if they were actually able to somehow lift all those Africans and other poor people out of abject poverty, then all those non-profits and misc. charity foundations would no longer have anything to do. Then all the goodthinkers who work at those places, many of which have gotten insanely wealthy doing so, would have to find some other line of work. Probably one that wouldn’t make them as rich or give them as many opportunities to rub elbows with other insanely rich goodthinkers.

  13. One such study asked people if they agree with the statement “Earth has plenty of natural resources if we just learn how to develop them.” The researcher called a “yes” answer an “irrational denial of science.”

    So I guess solar, wind, and hydro power are anti-science? (These are natural resources, are they not?)

    1. Hydro is most definitely anti-science. Just ask California. It commits the mortal sin of being dispatchable, and we all know that the only good power source is one that puys us entirely at the mercy of mother gaia at all times.

    2. Are you missing the irony in the fact that Stossel cites scientific studies to refute this scientific study, and in the process is calling out scientific studies?

      (also, it would be great if Stossel cited the study he referred to, enabling the reader to look more closely at the context…)

  14. What the progs actually are saying is that they love sciencism, NOT science. You find an article somewhere (not even necessarily from a scientific journal) about GMOs/Global Warming/gender identity that supports your personal bias and presto- #SCIENCE! Critical thinking is strongly discouraged.

    1. Critical thinking is strongly discouraged.

      Critical thinking is a tool of the cis-hetero/ white supremacy patriarchy.

  15. *Lights Tony/ Buttplug signal*

    1. Conspicuous by his absence from this discussion.

  16. Clue: anyone who says they “believe” in science is a moron.

  17. Tierney has a long history of being accused of misrepresenting science, so he may not be the most reliable source for commentary on a ‘war on science.’ And several of his claims are suspect. The claim that some types of GMO research have been halted needs considerably more evidence than his word. Research on a range of issues in intelligence, including IQ, is regularly funded by the U.S. government, as is research on sex/gender differences of a variety of kinds, with no preferential regard for outcomes. Indeed, most of his claims seem to suffer from one or another form of confirmation bias.

    Tierney dismisses concerns about Creationism, without considering the penumbra of effects that go along with primary reliance on supernaturalism, but his challenge — what research has been stopped by conservatives — is best answered by people inside of science, not by journalists. Under George W., several lines of research on diabetes were halted by conservatives, for example, who acceded to industry lobbying to keep treatment profitable. Bush asserted that no one anticipated any breech of levees in New Orleans during Katrina, but the reality was that his administration rejected the science and engineering models that predicted exactly that. And so on.

  18. Where to begin? With a little ad hominem: John Stossel is a lazy, self-important fellow.

    I agree that James Damore should not have been fired. And that the thuggery around Charles Murray is disgraceful.

    But it beggars belief that an article defending the relationship of conservatives to science managed not a single mention of the phrase “climate”. Because, of course, that is an area in which conservatives pervasively deny — not refute — a scientific consensus and where that mindless denialism has real and dire ramifications.

    I would also defecate all over Tierney’s assertion that creationism doesn’t really hurt anything. Of course it does. Republican attempts to undermine public schools have nothing to do with improving education and everything to do with using taxes to fund a view of earth’s origins that is wholly unsupported by evidence.

    Regarding IQ research: the animus against it (shared, btw, by Richard Dawkins) has to do with a simple fact: namely, that it’s hard to articulate, even hypothetically, the benefit of such research but very easy to imagine invidious uses for it.

    Finally, while it’s totally fair to point out that lefty anti-GMO types are off their fucking rockers, I must insist that they do not run the Democratic party. But the science-hostile rubes in the GOP do run the party.

    1. But it beggars belief that an article defending the relationship of conservatives to science managed not a single mention of the phrase “climate”. Because, of course, that is an area in which conservatives pervasively deny — not refute — a scientific consensus and where that mindless denialism has real and dire ramifications.

      Nice straw man you created there. A “a scientific consensus” is what gave us Eugenics. Essentially if it was 1920 you would be full on board with Eugenics and its “dire ramifications”. Nice to know.

      The history of science is filled with examples of where the “scientific consensus” was wrong. It might be helpful if you familiarized yourself with how science is done. You might want to start with Richard Feynman on the Scientific Method. The only ‘denialist’ are those that refuse to acknowledge the climate predictions have been wrong. Appealing to “a scientific consensus” only exposes your ignorance of science.

      1. As a physician-scientist (PhD in physiology ? I run a major lab in addition to my clinical work) I have some sense of how science works. The term ‘consensus’ is used by scientists in ways that are different in some regards from the popular/journalistic use. For scientists, a consensus refers to the use of a framework: there is a consensus around evolution, for example, in the sense that it underpins all of modern biology, even when we debate its specific mechanisms. A consensus around climate change refers to the acceptance of the basic facts of climate change by all climate scientists ? we can debate the specific mechanisms, but the facts are not disputed.

        1. The term ‘consensus’ is used by scientists in ways that are different in some regards from the popular/journalistic use.

          Please stop with this non sense. Quintus Slide’s use of the term and the derogatory ‘denier’ label has nothing to do with your word salad. He, like the scientifically ignorant Tony, is substituting an appeal to authority for a scientific argument.

          A consensus around climate change refers to the acceptance of the basic facts of climate change by all climate scientists ? we can debate the specific mechanisms, but the facts are not disputed.

          What might those “facts” be? That CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Sure it is. That water vapor is the major green house gas? No question there. That the climate changes? It has since the beginning of the earths existence. So what.

          1. “What might those “facts” be? That CO2 is a greenhouse gas? Sure it is. That water vapor is the major green house gas? ”

            Those are hypotheses. Your rant has tipped into irrelevance, so I’ll leave you to it.

            1. Your rant has tipped into irrelevance, so I’ll leave you to it.

              Yep … addressing the science is irrelevant but your PHD in physiology is totally relevant.

            2. Actually they are more than hypotheses. CO2 and H2O both strongly absorb and scatter IR in the relevant bands. This can be confirmed in laboratory settings in controlled experiments. Your “consensus framework” gibberish has no basis in reality despite your attempted spin.

              1. “More than hypotheses” makes assumptions about what ‘hypotheses’ are. I may be over-interpreting your comment, but you seem to think that a well established hypothesis becomes “more than” a hypothesis.

                Your examples — that CO2 is a greenhouse gas, for instance — are hypotheses because they link two kinds of phenomena. How well-established they are is not relevant to their status as hypotheses.

              2. Your “consensus framework” gibberish has no basis in reality despite your attempted spin.

                Since it’s one of the central mechanisms that govern how insights in medical research trickle their way down to practitioners, I think it has a pretty firm basis in reality. If you can find a medical facility that doesn’t directly or indirectly base most of its diagnostic and treatment decisions based on a consensus framework, then please let me know.

      2. That may be the problem with your caution about a consensus being wrong so often in the past. Science works at 3 levels, at least. First, we collect facts, observations, measurements, data; second, these are interpreted in the framework of hypotheses; finally, models of complex phenomena are developed. The facts are often very firm (for example, an article in Nature in the 1980s documented hundreds of changes in species behavior and natural phenomena; the only hypothesis that accounted for all of those changes was climate change); the hypotheses to account for those facts are subject to testing and ultimately prove robust or weak; the models developed from those facts and hypotheses are the weakest component. In my clinical field, cardiology, we still have not modeled cardiac function very precisely, but even if I cannot predict if or when you’ll suffer a heart attack, the models give me a fairly good sense of your risk. We don’t model weather very precisely, so modeling climate is even more challenging, but the hypotheses are fairly robust and well tested, and the facts are well established. That’s what a “consensus” means in science.

        David T, MD, PhD

        (Sorry to split this — it’s the 1500 character limit…..)

        1. No, no, no.

          This is Science. The hypothesis has to come first otherwise all of your reasoning is post hoc or p-hacking.

          But as a medical doctor and a physiologist I’m sure you know all about the latter…

          1. Thanks for the lesson, but you are incorrect. Hypotheses are often about phenomena — observations, if you will — and are designed to explain or account for them. Your peptic ulcer example, for instance: we knew for centuries that humans get peptic ulcers: that was the phenomenon that needed to be accounted for via a hypothesis. The old hypotheses included gastric hyperacidity; the new hypothesis — and a well tested one — is h. pylori. What I’ll call the old model was an even more complex set of assumptions and hypotheses about diet, psychological stress, and neurology (e.g. vagus nerve stimulation). So, the data, the observations, the facts come first — that’s what hypotheses help to explain.

            Testing hypotheses involves collecting additional data, but in a great deal of experimental science this or that problem comes first, and that problem — in my lab it’s aspects of cardiac physiology — consists of facts that need to be accounted for.

            Yeah, I know about p-hacking, which is not relevant to the issues here.

        2. Oh, and as an MD, can you tell me what the “consensus framework” was on h. pylori and peptic ulcers in the 80’s and early 90’s?

          1. Ah. To channel Maxwell Smart: It’s the old “science was wrong about this thing once, so I am now justified with treating science as if it were no better than scanning my ordure for auguries.”

            Fine. Don’t vaccinate your kids.

            1. No, that would be more of a Left coast thing. I was referring more to the Left’s need for democracy and political correctness in science. Science becomes real when everyone votes and believes in it, right?

          2. Why should I bother? No one is arguing that every scientific consensus is always correct in the long run, or that any scientific consensus ever turns out to be correct.

            The conceptual problem — or one of them at any rate — is that any alternative scientific explanation that you might offer to account for any phenomenon, whether gastric ulcers or thousands of observed changes in environments, species behavior, etc, is equally (or perhaps even more) likely to be proven false in the long run. So scientists are essentially forced to ask what is the most powerful framework available at the moment, and to work within that.

      3. Do you have any idea what a strawman is? Should you look up that fallacy before you start accusing people of it? Oh, to hell with it. I’ll help, because I suspect I’ll be doing that a lot here.

        A strawman is basically where you answer an argument your opponent has not made. Usually, people do this to achieve two (lazy, deceptive) objectives: to create the specious impression that their opponent HAS made the weak argument you’ve answered and to avoid answering the probably stronger argument your opponent actually HAS made.

        So, if you can identify this in my argument, please do. And be specific.

        Oh, darn. I just realized another topic Hack Stossel failed to mention! Sex ed. Should we talk about conservatives and abstinence education?

        1. Since the anti-GMO types do not run the democratic party, you have a reasonable explanation for why AquAdvantage salmon took longer than the statute-required review period of 2 years, right?

          What, precisely, is your point about Sex Ed? Are you claiming that abstinence is not 100% effective at preventing unwanted pregnancies or STDs?

        2. A strawman is basically where you answer an argument your opponent has not made. Usually, people do this to achieve two (lazy, deceptive) objectives: to create the specious impression that their opponent HAS made the weak argument …

          Here is your weak argument which also includes a ad hominem.

          … that is an area in which conservatives pervasively deny — not refute — a scientific consensus…

          You are essentially saying conservatives have no argument which is a straw man. Then again you demonstrated unequivocally you know nothing about how science works.

  19. The problem with the attributing the enormous disparity between Liberals and Conservatives in the academy to bias is that the same disparity is present even in fields like Chemistry and Physics. ALL fields have more liberals, even if they have no political content at all, not merely Sociology. Why could this be? The only plausible explanation are that 1) Liberals are generally more intelligent than Conservatives 2) education itself generally tends to make people more liberal. Both explanations are almost certainly true. By contrast, the crackpot notion here of “bias” as the explanation, would require one to believe that Liberal Physics professors are refusing to hire Conservative Physicists because of their political beliefs. Yeah, ok. Good luck with that one.

    1. Put your reasoning next to your tiger repelling rock.

      1. Seems it’s you who has the “this rock keeps away tigers” style argument; you assume that because there are relatively few conservative academics, this must be because liberals are discriminating against conservatives. (The irony here is rich, since conservatives go up in arms when it is suggested that implicit or explicit bias might be to blame for disparities between the sexes or racial groups.) however, as I pointed out, and as you ignored the difficulty with this hypothesis as applied to conservatives is that it is obviously laughsble nonsense to suggest that liberal chemists are discriminating against conservative colleagues. Yet disparities in political beliefs are present in the natural sciences as well as the social sciences. Hence, Stossel’s argument and the theory that conservatives have been discriminated against fails.

  20. That may be the problem with your caution about a consensus being wrong so often in the past. Science works at 3 levels, at least.

    Can the condescending bull shit. “Consensus” has no place in science.

    The facts are often very firm (for example, an article in Nature in the 1980s documented hundreds of changes in species behavior and natural phenomena; the only hypothesis that accounted for all of those changes was climate change)

    I don’t know what your point is. Climate changes and species adapt. So what. The climate has always changed.

    We don’t model weather very precisely, so modeling climate is even more challenging, but the hypotheses are fairly robust and well tested, and the facts are well established. That’s what a “consensus” means in science.

    The climate models have been tested and failed. For all but a couple of Russian models they all run hot by a factor of 2 or 3. The hypotheses is not robust at all. The IPCC asserts the climate sensitivity, a fundamental part of the hypothesis, is between 1.5?C and 4.5?C. Thirty nine years ago the Charney Report estimated it was between 2?C and 3.5?C. That is 39 years with no progress at narrowing the range.

    The hypothesis has another very fundamental prediction that claims the the tropical lower troposphere should warm faster than the surface. No one has been able to find that hot spot. Robust you say?

    1. the only hypothesis that accounted for all of those changes was climate change

      This is laughable garbage. I can’t think of anything else, therefore my one UNTESTED hypothesis must be right.

  21. What’s really delightful about Hack Stossel’s column: he writes an article propounding the thesis that the left is as anti-science as the right. To even make a colorable argument for such an idiotic thesis, he must dismiss the creationism thing, not even mention climate change, not even mention abstinence only education, etc.

    And then you scroll down to the comments section to see the crazy right-wingers denouncing science itself!

    Nice work, Stossel.

    1. Actually nice work yourself for demonstrating his point.

      Anti-nuke
      Anti-fracking
      Anti-GMO
      Anti-vax
      Pro-“organic”

      Yup, the party of Science(tm)!

      And which part of the CAGW narrative do you think was the best failure, the missing tropical tropospheric hot spot, the grossly exaggerated warming rates, or the polarbearacolypse? Me, my personal favorite is the “95%” certainty on ECS with NO likely value. Nothing says certainty like no estimate at all.

  22. Scientists that study global heating and air or water pollution are now being hit by right-wing hostility. Their work reports facts and patterns that polluting businesses would rather we not know.

    The Earth has plenty of fossil fuels, but if we burn them we will cause global heating disaster. That’s the conclusion of real climate scientists.

    Whatever may be going right for women in the US, one thing is going badly: they are paid substantially less than men, and the gap is slowly increasing.

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