President Obama has continued his campaign for civility and common ground with the observation that those who oppose his “green energy” policies are akin to the Flat Earth Society. Let’s take a brief look at the frequent media sop that the hayseed conservatives are the anti-science faction while the enlightened liberals are the 21st century’s objective thinkers.
An easy example: genetically-engineered foods. Somehow George Washington Carver’s development of hybrids was a marvelous step forward, while the application of DNA technology to seeds for corn, and soybeans results in “Frankenfoods.” Forget that these crops require fewer pesticides and fertilizers and less irrigation, that some 70% of US corn, 75% of cotton, and 94 % of soybeans are now genetically engineered, and that the ability of the planet to sustain its 7 billion human souls is dependent upon this type of technology. In San Francisco I still am asked to sign petitions to shut down that evil corporation Monsanto’s seed operations, and to require labelling which will, it is hoped, scare consumers to patronize local organic producers. Lets use the science.
A bit more difficult example, reflecting a breakdown in the “scientific method” (observation; formulation of hypothesis; prediction; and experimentation by independent scientists with various views): global warming. This posting from 2009 still provides a good review of the temperature realities, the potential causes, and a reasonable (scientific) approach to governmental response. Most of the media continues to ignore scientific malpractice of the proponents, using the erroneous “all scientists agree” theme while touting a warm American winter (and ignoring that global temperatures have cooled a bit from the past few years), and Al Gore and President Obama believe that a louder yell will overcome the lack of objective discussion. Lets use the science and really get this right.
And a most difficult example: intelligent design. I was struck at a recent Bar Mitzvah by a Torah reference of God’s design of the human body. I thought that it was only Southern rubes who had the audacity to say this. In public! With no embarrassment! The liberal demand that a Godless evolution is the only acceptable explanation for how we got here and a complete one is patently false. What caused the Big Bang?; what caused the beginning of life?; who wrote the laws of mathematics, physics, and chemistry? Let a conservative utter any of this and beware the wrath of Rachel Madow for being “unscientific”. Let’s understand the limitations of science.
Perhaps the Harvard professor, the superb politician, understands that science itself is not partisan but it can be a tool to marginalize those who disagree with him. And just maybe in the echo chamber in which he lives, he really believes that he has the scientific Truth. I’m betting that the American public learned enough in high school to recognize that what “everybody knows” is often not true and that the volume level of one’s speech is inversely related to the quality of the content.
This week’s audio is a collage from Red State upon the second anniversary of Obamacare. With significant public disapproval even before the Republican candidate rolls out his “repeal and replace” program, lets hope that the voters don’t get bored with the subject.