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Old 2007-03-19, 22:14   #12
Zeta-Flux
 
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P.S. My point in bringing up the 6th great lake incident was not to point blame. Perhaps Pres. Clinton had the best intentions. Perhaps he didn't even see the provision. My point was that the entire incident was political (whether you take the side that it was instituted for the wrong reasons, or rescinded for the wrong reasons [although, I suppose, it could have been instituted *and* rescinded for the right reasons...]).
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Old 2007-03-19, 23:23   #13
brunoparga
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
All sorts of things like this happen all the time, in my opinion.
I disagree. I think cheesehead is correct, even if he extends his claim further into the past from his own lifetime.

There may be political interference on naming issues, just like that new "great" lake. Another example I can think of is soymilk; at least down here in Brazil, you never see it sold as soymilk, but as a "soy drink", while other food products like "coconut milk" (I don't know if that exists or how it's called up there) and even cosmetics like "Cologne milk" use the name "milk". The only reason for that is that those substances don't compete in the market with the original milk, while soymilk does. I'd bet the dairy industry has lobbied on the gov't to forbid soymilk to be sold using the word "milk". Apart from such naming issues, other ones like the eggshell thickness can also be traced to specific and partial economic reasons.

The current war on science is of a different nature. Although it will certainly have (bad) economic consequences, its motivations are of a different nature. It does tantamount to imposing a political agenda by preventing objective fact which counters the principles of that agenda from being spread, which might even be considered a human rights violation:

Quote:
Originally Posted by UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 19 - Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

Article 27 - (1) Everyone has the right freely to participate in the cultural life of the community, to enjoy the arts and to share in scientific advancement and its benefits.
(emphasis added)

That is, if political power is used to silence a scientist, he's having his right defined in article 19 violated and mankind has its article 27 right, regarding the work of that scientist, denied.
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Old 2007-03-20, 00:06   #14
cheesehead
 
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I'm having some problem with the editing function, so just a few lines now; more later.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
Maybe I was reading "we" to mean "Americans, throughout history"
Yes, that's exactly what I meant.

Quote:
I'm sure there have been many a time in American history when politics has distorted science.
... but not in the widespread, concerted, sustained manner we've seen in the current Bush administration!

Quote:
Some claim that happened with the egg-shell thickness studies done with respect to pesticides.
Okay, but an individual case, not the widespread, concerted, sustained effort to suppress or distort scientific findings for political reasons that we've seen in the current Bush administration.


Quote:
Interestingly, I started thinking about fish species and evolution, and why different lakes across continents have the same species.
I wrote up four paragraphs of off-the-top-of-my-head scientific, non-creationist explanations for that, but it got lost when I started to have editing problems. Will post later. Evolution has easy explanations for that.

It's their ignorance of science, not actual flaws in evolution, that leads creationists to think evolution can't explain stuff like that.
Quote:
When googling the great lakes, I found a strange bit of history. Apparently Bill Clinton signed into law that one of the nearby lakes was a 6th "great lake" which allowed scientists in the area to apply for funding to study there. Basically, it was a political move. Later the lake was relegated back to non-greatness.
It was simply a one-line pork-barrel insertion by one senator with no significance to science or distortion thereof!

Quote:
All sorts of things like this happen all the time, in my opinion.
I challenged you to show us another widespread, concerted, sustained effort to suppress or distort scientific findings for political reasons, not little onesie-twosies or pork-barrel. The reason you can't is that before the current Bush administration, there weren't any.
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Old 2007-03-20, 00:46   #15
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IMO moderate Republicans need to retake their party from extremists, and moderate Christians need to retake their religion from the fundamentalists.Because those extremists have tried to swing "the pendulum" so far to the right, I fear that history's lessons may again be manifested in a return swing too far to the left.
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Old 2007-03-20, 01:30   #16
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Quote:
I challenged you to show us another widespread, concerted, sustained effort to suppress or distort scientific findings for political reasons, not little onesie-twosies or pork-barrel. The reason you can't is that before the current Bush administration, there weren't any.
I guess I only have myself to blame for walking into this thread.

The real reason I cannot is because I'm not that familiar with history. For example, I can't quote off the top of my head any presidents who used creationism as a stumping post against an evolutionist. I can't quote any presidents or political parties which were pro-slavery, and used the science of their day to justify it. Another reason I cannot is because I have no idea how deep you think the "Bush administration" is. Do you think Bush's fight against gay marriage is anti-science? His war on terror? His policies concerning North Korea? (No need to answer these questions. Just making a point here.)

I'm not claiming to be an expert on these matters. It just seems to me that a couple people on this thread are making what seem to me to be very strong claims with no strong evidence or understanding of historical evidences. But, I guess that's okay. Just thought I'd throw out my feeling (which is also non-expert) that I don't see such a great fight against science.

I'll leave it at that.

Cheers,
Zeta-Flux
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Old 2007-03-20, 03:20   #17
Prime95
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Gasp, politics in Washingon D.C.!

Both sides are anti-science when it doesn't agree with their political agenda. This is not hard to understand. Yes the right are particularly guilty here. However, watch the left tear apart any study that shows low environmental risk to an oil drilling (or other) project and extol the virtues of any study showing great risks. How do you think the left would react concerning scientific studies on whether school choice is beneficial? A politician's goal is NOT to find the scientific truth - it is to advance their agenda.

One amusing example of the left going nuts was when the president of Harvard said "innate differences between men and women might be one reason fewer women succeed in science and math careers." My God, what a politically incorrect thing to say! Off with his head!! Who cares if there could be a scientific basis to his claim - it sure would make for an interesting study.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
IMO moderate Republicans need to retake their party from extremists, and moderate Christians need to retake their religion from the fundamentalists.
Amen --- ur, I mean, I agree!
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Old 2007-03-31, 08:02   #18
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prime95 View Post
Both sides are anti-science when it doesn't agree with their political agenda. This is not hard to understand. Yes the right are particularly guilty here. However, watch the left tear apart any study that shows low environmental risk to an oil drilling (or other) project
... but they do it within the legitimate context of scientific/political dispute, not by abolishing entire impartial scientific sources such as the Office of Technology Assessment, which is what the Gingrich Republicans did.

Quote:
How do you think the left would react concerning scientific studies on whether school choice is beneficial? A politician's goal is NOT to find the scientific truth - it is to advance their agenda.
Does that mean you think it was fair, just, and useful for Republicans to dismantle the Office of Technology Assessment?
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Old 2007-03-31, 08:25   #19
cheesehead
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
The real reason I cannot is because I'm not that familiar with history.
... and if you were, you still wouldn't find previous examples. That's the real reason.

Quote:
Another reason I cannot is because I have no idea how deep you think the "Bush administration" is. Do you think Bush's fight against gay marriage is anti-science?
"Straw man"

Except for the minor consideration that Bush and others on that issue ignore scientific evidence that homosexuality is inborn rather than some conscious choice, no, the "fight against gay marriage" is politcal, not anti-science. It's a clash of worldviews, or an improper imposition of religion.

Quote:
His war on terror?
"Straw man"

I haven't given you any legitimate reason to think that my comments on the Bush administration's anti-science moves improperly overlap my comments on the War on Terror".

Quote:
His policies concerning North Korea?
"Straw man"

Quote:
(No need to answer these questions. Just making a point here.)
You lay down a few "straw man" mines, then run away from taking responsibility for your rhetorical tactic. You'd love me not to answer, not to point out your use of rhetoric that has no legitimate purpose, wouldn't you?

Do you have the guts to acknowledge the inappropriateness of your trying to give the impression that I sloppily apply my "anti-science" accusations outside their proper area?

Quote:
It just seems to me that a couple people on this thread are making what seem to me to be very strong claims with no strong evidence or understanding of historical evidences.
Do you have the integrity to specify which people and claims you mean? Or are you satisfied to just do a drive-by mudsling with no substance so you don't have to take responsibility?
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Old 2007-03-31, 11:37   #20
Zeta-Flux
 
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cheesehead,

Quote:
You lay down a few "straw man" mines, then run away from taking responsibility for your rhetorical tactic. You'd love me not to answer, not to point out your use of rhetoric that has no legitimate purpose, wouldn't you?
No. Actually I was quite happy to let you answer those questions. They were rhethorical, to be sure, but if you felt they led to confusion or miscommunication, or implied something about your position, you were more than welcome to answer them. And I was also quite happy to learn your answers. I apologize if you thought my rhetorical questions were "straw men" (I'm not sure that is quite the correct logical fallacy, but close enough) or were meant as an attack-and-run ploy by me. They were not, nor were they meant to imply anything about your position, except the fact that I didn't know what it was (in an admittedly exaggerated manner). Again, I apologize that it wasn't clear my rhetorical questions were meant hyperbolically, not as accusations.

Quote:
Do you have the guts to acknowledge the inappropriateness of your trying to give the impression that I sloppily apply my "anti-science" accusations outside their proper area?
I indeed apologize that this could be read from my post, when it definitely wasn't intended.

Quote:
Do you have the integrity to specify which people and claims you mean? Or are you satisfied to just do a drive-by mudsling with no substance so you don't have to take responsibility?
Yes to the first. I was, in particular, speaking of you. In a sense of irony, apparently missed by you, I was also speaking of myself. You make comments like "... and if you were, you still wouldn't find previous examples." This sets yourself up as an expert (in my understanding). If I was wrong, and you indeed are an expert in the area of American presidential abuses of science, I apologize for my judgement. It is just that you haven't presented evidence (as far as I could see) that you are such an expert.

Now, just to let you know, I do not enjoy communicating with posters who question me about my integrity, honesty, and character (which is what I feel you have done). You might find it perfectly acceptable to ask me whether I have the integrity, or the guts, to do such and such. I do not. This is just to let you know one of the reasons that I am likely to be done with this thread. (The other being, as I said earlier, I am no expert in the matter, and was giving a non-expert opinion. So I should probably withdraw.)

You are of course, as always, more than welcome to address anything I post. I would prefer if you would cease your inflammatory questions concerning my character or motives, and instead (if you have them) ask questions about the meaning of my words and my intent without reference to things such as "integrity" and "guts."

Last fiddled with by Zeta-Flux on 2007-03-31 at 11:42
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Old 2007-03-31, 12:48   #21
cheesehead
 
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Prime95 and Zeta-Flux,

Thank you for staying with this thread long enough to show me that I was making some incorrect assumptions.

I thought that "Republican War on Science" had been a well-traveled-enough phrase so that it would be commonly understood what my title referred to. I was wrong. Though a Google search on it finds almost exclusively references to the title of a book by Chris Mooney, I thought the phrase had been in use among others the way it had been among my acquaintances before we ever heard of that book. Apparently I was wrong about that, too.

So I owe you some explanation. That's going to take a while to assemble and compose, but I'm working on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeta-Flux View Post
I apologize if you thought my rhetorical questions were "straw men" (I'm not sure that is quite the correct logical fallacy, but close enough) or were meant as an attack-and-run ploy by me.
And I apologize for not recognizing your (and George's) sincerity sooner.

When I posted my preceding posts, I had a misunderstanding, as noted above. Now I realize that you were sincere, that my barbs were off-target, and that my next job is to fill the information gap.

It scares me to realize that the right-wing assault on science has been so skillful outside the creation/evolution arena.

Remember that NASA climatologist who was suppressed (not just his publications, but also his speaking engagements) by a Bush appointee who turned out not to have the degree he claimed? Remember the Office of Technology Assessment (that was Gingrich, not the current Bush)? Remember Bush's assertion that "more than sixty genetically diverse" stem cell lines existed for researchers to work on when he forbade use of any others?

I'll be back with details in a few days.

Last fiddled with by cheesehead on 2007-03-31 at 13:02
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Old 2007-03-31, 14:54   #22
Zeta-Flux
 
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cheesehead,

Thank you for your apologies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by cheesehead View Post
Remember that NASA climatologist who was suppressed (not just his publications, but also his speaking engagements) by a Bush appointee who turned out not to have the degree he claimed? Remember the Office of Technology Assessment (that was Gingrich, not the current Bush)? Remember Bush's assertion that "more than sixty genetically diverse" stem cell lines existed for researchers to work on when he forbade use of any others?
The only one I remember of these is Bush's position on stem cell research. If I recall correctly (which I might not) his justification was that it went against his belief (and those of his constituents) that life should be protected. From your previous answers, I think there is probably more to this story that you don't find palatable. Please enlighten me (on all 3).

Cheers,
Zeta-Flux
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