Tuesday, February 05, 2013

Q: What happens when liberals become the enemies of science? A: Nothing

When conservatives say something vaguely at odds with the prevailing opinions in science, they are burned at the stake. But when liberals perform stupid science tricks, the critics can't seem to find their matches.

Here's the New Scientist, asking why this is:
This anecdote is both illuminating and chilling: if an environmental story is being told about people on the right of the political spectrum, anything goes. But if progressives play fast and loose with the facts, they are given a free ride.
Read the rest here.


KyCobb said...

Not true. There is a story on Slate about how a Jenny McCarthy (anti-vaccer celebrity) appearance for a cancer research fund raiser was axed after complaints. If she was a creationist, you would've run a tolerance police story about it.

Singring said...
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Singring said...

'I just read this article in my copy of the New Scientist. It does not cite a single study, poll or any other kind of information to support its rather bold claims that 'progressives' are as bad or worse that conservatives in matters of science. All they give is this one anecdote.

Rather ironic, I would say.

Fundamentally, I wouldn't be surprised if liberals and progressive had a bad record on their use of science to back up claims. I just didn't see any coherent argument at all given in that article to think that they are as bad or worse than conservatives.

For example, the article claims that progressives are the ones who have championed the anti-vaccine movement. Not a shred of evidence is given to support this claim - and if it is ok to inject anecdotal evidence into this arena, then all I can say is that the majority of anti-vaccers I have encountered have been lunatic fringe Christians.

But I really ought to have a bit more to back up my claims than anecdotes.

As I said before - it doesn't surprise me anymore when shoddy stuff like this gets trumpeted as sound argument here at VR. And frankly, I'm very disappointed with New Scientist editors letting this unsourced nonsense be published.

If you want to read an opinion piece that makes at least some use of some actual data, look here:


But even that makes rather pathetic use of anecdotal evidence (Bill Maher - really? He's been ridiculed by most on the left for his cooky views on vaccines and GM for a long time).

On a final note, I think it is encouraging that Martin is reading the New Scientist so carefully and I hope he learns something about the reality of climate change and - one lives in hope - finally is able to get some sound information on the age of the earth from it.

Daniel said...

"Instead of embracing technological progress, such as genetically modified crops..."

What. on. earth.