Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Back to Reality

Olivia Judson's excellent science blog reminds us how much Federal scientists (like me) have to do to make up for the anti-science bent of the Bush Administration.

This has local relevance to us in South Dakota because politicians have benefited by taking advantage of this wave of anti-science bias. I'm thinking of course of South Dakota Junior Senator "the jury is out on evolution" Thune and our other anti-science cast of characters including Leslee "I-had-abortions-for-birth-control-so-I'm-an-expert-on-abstinence-only" Unruh, soon to be Rep. Donald "moral obsoletes" Kopp. And of course my friend at Dakota Voice Bob "my-version-of-biblical-truth-trumps-what-you-can-see-with-your-own-eyes" Ellis. (At right are fellow reactionaries and known critics of "alternative lifestyles"--whatever that is-- Rep-Elect Phil Jensen and Sen. Dennis Finch.)

Around here scientifically valid opinion polls (and voting results) don't matter, today you can go see Gordon Howie at the pre-crackerbarrel and he'll tell you that South Dakotans are still clamoring for a more perfect abortion ban. This is the land of "make your own reality".

I'm just glad the tide is turning against this in Washington. I'm not so confident in Pierre, but that's why we keep at it.

But I digress.

Ms Judson is right on when she says it isn't each individual Bush anti-science action that's been so damaging and terrifying, but the effect of the whole of them on science. I might add that the press, in an effort to be seen as "fair" has not given the side of an argument based in scientific fact the weight it should be given.

Dec 2 2008, 10pm

Back to Reality

President-elect Obama already has a long to-do list. But here's another item for it: to restore science in government.

The most notable characteristic of the Bush administration's science policy has been the repeated distortion and suppression of scientific evidence in order to fit ideological preferences about how the world should be, rather than how it is....

The distortion and suppression of science is dangerous, and not just because it means that public money gets wasted on programs, like abstinence-only sex "education" schemes, that do not work. It is dangerous because it is an assault on science itself, a method of thought and inquiry on which our modern civilization is based and which has been hugely successful as a way of acquiring knowledge that lets us transform our lives and the world around us. In many respects science has been the dominant force — for good and ill — that has transformed human lives over the past two centuries.

More here at the NYT Science blog.


  1. For someone who claims to be a Christian, you certainly seem to have either a lot of hostility toward what the Bible says, or at best a lot of disdain for what it says.

    If you study the Biblical teachings on the creation account, the origin of sin, and the condition of humanity, you'll find that Christianity and evolution are completely incompatible theologically. Once you understand what the Bible teaches, and once you understand the theological implications of evolution theory, you simply cannot believe both evolution/naturalism/materialism and the Bible. In order to be intellectually consistent, you must choose one or the other. I realize you haven't done that research yet, but I encourage you to do so (as I did several years ago), and I pray you'll make the right decision when the truth becomes apparent to you.

    Your characterization of what I say about creation, science and evolution that it's "my-version-of-biblical-truth-trumps-what-you-can-see-with-your-own-eyes" is disingenuous and at best ignorant and myopic. What you don't understand is that when you put your faith in evolution theory, you aren't seeing what you think you are. You fail to realize that there are scientifically plausible ideas that explain the current geological and biological condition of the earth that are in complete harmony with the Bible. Evolutionists look at the scientific evidence and interpret it to support their theory. Ironically, that same evidence can easily be interpreted in a way that's completely harmonious with what the Bible teaches about origins. And in most cases, the evidence makes much more sense within the creation framework than it does within the evolution framework.

    How wonderful it is that science and Biblical truth are so completely harmonious and complimentary! Too bad your affection for shaky theories prevents you from seeing that.

    As a person, you really should take an open-minded look at ALL the evidence, and not just cling to evolution theory because it's trendy and that's where the herd is. Think for yourself!

    And as a professing Christian, you really should stop being so contemptuous toward the teachings of the God you claim allegiance to. As with the scientific evidence, quit listening to the "in crowd" of the world's pop culture and take a look at God's teaching for yourself. If He's really big enough to save you, He's big enough to do the things His Book claims.

  2. Anybody ever notice how Bob Ellis and George Bush get to pick and choose what parts of the Bible they believe in? We don't need no sighence, gODD has answered awl the kwestions! And just what the heck is a "Higgs boson"? The National Science Foundation budget for a year is now down to half of what we spend in one month in Iraq....but then Halliburton wouldn't make any money from "no-bid contracts." I guess we'll just have to let the Europeans spend money on science...and they're looking at us like we're completely nuts...and WHY do I think they're right??? Because the Bob Ellis' of the world won't wake up to reality...they're stuck in their 2,000 year old fantasy....while using all the benefits of science such as computers, automobiles, chemicals, television spread their ignorance? That's just cccrrraaazzzyyy!!! Admit it, Bob, you were hoodwinked by the movement to elect Republicans in Congress...hoodwinked by the Karl Rove's of the world who tweaked you guys into fighting for morality all the while they stole you blind and ruined the economy while they got rich. Hmmm, and how much Halliburton stock do you own, Bob? And corporate prison company stock...and and and...

  3. Licken Chittle21:31

    Science is the only religion in which the laws of God change when the parishoners agree after thorough debate, research, repeatable results, and complete agreement...most of the time.

  4. Dooby Scoo21:33

    Pseudo-science is practiced by people who've had their pseudo cut off.