The War On Science

Discussion in 'Politics & Current Events' started by Mike, Feb 26, 2015.

  1. Mike

    Mike The Traveler Contributor

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  2. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    I've just finished the article, but it seems to be implying that science doubters have difficulty believe science because of accesses to online conspiracy websites, or because they are contradicting our immediate senses or internal logic, or because modern technology is (very, very) reminiscent of distopian future sci-fi books of the past.

    I'd like to raise a point that the reason I would ever doubt science, and that many "reasonable" (read: not including religious fundamentalcases) people may doubt science is because we know for certain that humans are weak to greed, and that we have a tendency to the easier path. The people at the top would, have, can, and will create situations that are harmful to the general public. The scientists in the middle, while most of them probably have good integrity, are still just human. Subject to want and greed for money/success like we all are. I assume that they are consciously or otherwise taken advantage of by companies who stand to make a buck by selling dangerous goods/ideas/decisions.
     
  3. TRENCHLORD

    TRENCHLORD Banned

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    I like how they used the term climate change instead of global warming when they no full well it's specifically man-made global warming that is the target of skeptics.
    I've yet to hear any skeptics deny or doubt that our climate is continually evolving.
    As for the moon landing being faked, I'd say that's just a very tiny % of people (the conspiracy theorist hardcores)
     
  4. FretsOnFyre

    FretsOnFyre SSO's sociopath

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    I think that's probably in response to the people who say "Oh, northeastern US is having a cold spell, climate change isn't real!"
     
  5. flint757

    flint757 SS.org Regular

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    There are easier ways than going to school for a decade and researching your subject intensely for years and years to make a quick buck. Most research scientists aren't being paid that well, unless they work in R&D at a large firm or something. You want to make good money in the US go in to the oil industry, become a politician, invest on Wall Street, etc.. It'd certainly be far easier.

    It's the open source nature of academic research that keeps it honest anyhow. Their research is out in the world for everyone to read and test for themselves. When one scientist in India and another in the Uk and another in the US come to the same or similar conclusion its kind of hard to bite into a money conspiracy. People who think that may not be full blown quacks, but they certainly haven't thought it completely through.
     
  6. groverj3

    groverj3 Biologist/Guitarist

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    I'm actually really interested in reading this issue. Where does one buy a single issue of Nat Geo these days?

    Never mind. Found the article online. Unless there's stuff in the issue that isn't online.

    I tend to be of the opinion that scientists, in the past, haven't done enough to communicate their ideas with the general public. For a long time it was generally thought that wasn't the job of serious scientists. It's thought to be part of the reason that Sagan wasn't admitted to the national academy of science and was denied tenure, because he was considered to be an "educator" and not a scientist by some. A bunch of nonsense.

    Luckily, I think opinions on outreach have shifted within the scientific community these days. Maybe because we've recognized the damage this former attitude has had. It's probably part of the reason that some people are profoundly anti-science. A lot of people have this weird idea that scientists (and academics) look down on them, live rich, lavish, lifestyles and, are elitist. While some of that is true for individuals, that's hardly the trend. This view is one reason funding for the NIH and NSF continually is getting slashed and anti-intellectualism is so prominent in some communities.

    Of course, I'm mostly talking out of my ass and rambling here :lol:
     
  7. bostjan

    bostjan MicroMetal Contributor

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    Maybe the problem with this era is that you could invent a cure for the common cold, and, if some idiot announces publicly that he thinks gravity doesn't exist, and that we are all held to the Earth by air pressure, and that the air is held in by an invisible bubble, your cure for the cold will receive no attention.

    It's like people are confusing science with entertainment. Maybe that is a long-term effect of science fiction. :shrug: I don't know.

    Anyway, maybe another part of this is the DIY mentality these days. In the "old days," if you needed a new toilet, you'd call a plumber. Now most people try to do it themselves. You see a lot of really kludgy installations of this-n-that when you want to buy a house. For example, I had to rewire my own house, because the DIY wiring from the previous owners was a fire hazard, and they obviously had no idea what they were doing when they installed it. But if you are going to DIY your own home repairs, DIY your own automotive repairs, DIY your own etc., what do you do when you get sick? You should see a medical professional, but hey, you installed your own backyard pool, and you have access to WebMD - "wow, my symptoms look exactly like tuberculosis, and I need antibiotics. Well, probiotics sound like the same thing, so I'll take that instead." And thus is the crumbling of the general public's reliance upon science.
     
  8. Grand Moff Tim

    Grand Moff Tim Some call me... Tim

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    Gotta love Nat Geo. I remember being at the grocery store once and seeing this cover:


    [​IMG]





    Then I picked it up and opened it to the first page of the article, which was this:



    [​IMG]



    ...and had a laughing fit right there in the store. Well played, NG. Well played.
     
  9. Shimme

    Shimme Wants a Seven String

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    See, the only reason that anyone cares about the scientific method is that it enables us to overcome our emotional/rational/intellectual limitations and discover something that is closer to the truth. When someone has learned something they bundle up all of the information about what they were doing and how they were doing it and send it off to scientists in related fields to double check whether they were actually following the scientific method before it's sent off to be published and shared with others. This scientific method is specifically designed to filter out any bullshit, lies or misinformation and only allow in information that conforms with reality.

    The only position that has been frequently shown to have ties with corruption, bribery, and complete and total failings in the application of this scientific method are in the climate denialists (You are not a skeptic if you've been shown proof that would be convincing to a rational person). I recently came across this little nugget - http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/22/u...-climate-change-researcher-Wei-Hock-Soon.html

    I have to wonder, now that you have seen some evidence of corruption and poor methodology, will you be equally as distrustful of denialists as you are of your average scientist?

    (not trying to be a dick, just have seen these kinds of assertions that scientists are a bunch of corrupt liers while completely ignoring the evidence of corruptions and lies in a position that they happen to like, and it is driving me nuts)
     
  10. vilk

    vilk Very Regular

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    Dude, I believe scientists like 99% of the time. I'm just saying my reason for ever doubting a scientist would have less to do with the reasons stated in the article than it does with my lack of faith in humanity.
     
  11. Spaced Out Ace

    Spaced Out Ace 0 0 1 0 0 6 5 0 3\

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    I remember reading that during testing for the atomic bomb during the Manhattan Project that the people doing it were told "it could rip or tear a hole into the ozone", and that their response to that was basically to blow the thing up closer to the ozone to see if it would. Not sure the validity of that, but if that's true, I think it'd definitely apply.
     
  12. Shimme

    Shimme Wants a Seven String

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    Okay, that's fair. You gotta consider though that just bribing a few scientists wouldn't be enough to make the whole scientific community start spouting off lies though - they would see the work being put out by the shills, take one look at it and laugh at it. For instance, this Dr. Soon character, who from the sounds of the article is having internal investigations launched about his behavior.

    The nice thing about science is that doesn't require faith. If you've got an understanding of the topic and a working bullshit detector you can look at the information and decide for yourself.
     
  13. USMarine75

    USMarine75 Doc McStuffins Contributor

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    Edward Teller (also one of the first Climate Change advocates lol), one of the chief scientists that worked on the Manhattan Project and developing the bomb, was concerned that an initial fission reaction in the atmosphere would set off a self-sustaining fusion chain reaction with the existing nitrogen in the atmosphere, and that this reaction would be exothermic, thereby releasing more energy and continuing the runaway chain reaction until the entire atmosphere of the earth burnt away. IIRC Hitler's weapon guy Speer was also concerned that this would happen.
     
  14. Dutchbooked

    Dutchbooked SS.org Regular

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    Whoever is at war with science is losing to a laughable degree. Acting like we are returning to the dark ages is just ridiculous.

    We live in a golden age of science. All published research is a click away along with searchable databases of the sum of human knowledge and basically every class you would want to take for free from the world's best universities is also at your fingertips.

    Not all scientist are created equal. Feynman knew that all that was nonsense and didn't even wear the goggles everyone else had on at the trinity test because he knew you just had to be behind glass to block the UV light.
     
  15. celticelk

    celticelk Enflamed with prayer

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    OT, but as a librarian I can't let this pass without chiming in. This is absolutely not true. A great deal of the published material of the last century, at least, is only accessible if you pay for it, or if someone pays on your behalf. The databases that index and make that knowledge more easily discoverable are likewise commercial products (by librarian standards, Google and Google Scholar are pretty blunt instruments). I work at one of the best universities in the country, if not the world, and I can assure you that only a minuscule fraction of our educational offerings is freely available online.
     
  16. asher

    asher So Did We

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    Having half of your country's political system firmly against making any necessary (and it is VERY necessary) action to reduce anthropogenic climate change, or even pollution, isn't exactly winning.
     
  17. rectifryer

    rectifryer Banned

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    Not to mention it's half of arguably the most power country to have ever existed.
     
  18. Edika

    Edika SS.org Regular

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    And unfortunately that's not the case either unless you're working for pharma companies. It's not that it's low paid but not worth the 12+ years of studying. But if I wanted to get rich I'd go in finance. Again unfortunately I have a consciense.
     
  19. Bodes

    Bodes SS.org Regular

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    So very true, I strongly recommend watching the documentary about Aaron Schwartz and his want for freedom of information. "The Internet's Own Boy: The Story of Aaron Swartz".

    A little scary but what he set out to achieve is what should be freedom of information.
     
  20. pushpull7

    pushpull7 Banned

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    Global warming has changed to "climate change" which in of itself is recognition of not really knowing the truth ;)

    BTW, just in case anyone is interested, it's happened over and over again on earth. Not saying we are not effecting changes, but there is no proof that it's just us who's causing it.



    Now, let the flames begin!
     

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