Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Randomly Scientific

Irin Carmon (at @irincarmon on Twitter) and Yahel Carmon (at @yahelc on Twitter) both pointed to this image that reminds us of the importance and sad state of science in this country today.

First, to get it out of the way, the EPA and bank regulators intrude? ...You mean those meanies who try to keep your neighborhoods from going Mr. Yuk on you, and the people trying to insure your money doesn't go bye-bye? (Sorry, thought I'd should dump it down for conservatives so angry at a safer physical and financial environment.)

But the main point, "...this is not a scientific survey. It's a random survey." ...Sigh. Do you know how many members of Congress are college graduates? Still, with the people and organizations they rely on for their opinion, no doubt proper scientific processes may well be an inconvenience to be avoided. And I can't help feeling that in his next breath he probably denounced science in and of itself.

But that is a problem right now, and has been for awhile, with conservatives. They have worked with various groups to blur scientific discourse, they have chastised scientist for supporting results that don't fit their needs, and attacked science teaching, and education in general. All of this is troubling.

Their have been many bills coming to state legislatures that range from poorly written half-thought attacks on science facts, branches of science, and science education, and then their are more precise ALEC and Discovery Institute style bills. Academic Freedom is a popular buzz word now (replacing Creation, Creation Science, Creationism, Intelligent Design, Teach the Controversy). Where the earlier ideas pressed a particular beliefs, now the idea is everyone can be right, and deserves credit for having an alternate opinion. (Yes, this is ironic from people who once denounced the idea of every kid in a competition getting a reward.) What's more it wants to protect teachers that want to bring religion and flat earth thinking into science class. It sounds nice, it is a preexisting term, and makes of joke of American education.

But education and science are not real concerns. A proper voting base that understands the world the way the party does seems more important. Major funders having scientific government studies and results that allow them to do as they want are more important. This is unhealthy for science and the country.

We need people in office that have, at least, a respect for science, knowledge, and intellectual pursuits. 

We need an electorate that respect these things to.

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