Setanta
 
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 01:16 pm
I've been listening to a program on the radio about an assault on science. (Assault is my term, not what was said in the program.) I happen to agree that there is an anti-science attitude in society. I am interested to know what people here think of the idea.
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Type: Discussion • Score: 33 • Views: 36,722 • Replies: 975

 
dalehileman
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 01:41 pm
@Setanta,
Me too?

Forgive, #....676, couldn't resist
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:06 pm
@Setanta,
I think that people generally don't like having their beliefs punctured with science and data. Once upon a time, you couldn't fight good science since media outlets that did any sort of error checking would debunk crackpots and never give them air time, but with the Internet, any nutcase can have a soapbox almost as large as someone who does their homework.
Tes yeux noirs
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:11 pm
Setanta, do you mean any society in particular, or Western society in general?
NSFW (view)
maxdancona
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:17 pm
@engineer,
I find this thread ironic based on previous discussions.

Good science is testable and transparent. Any real scientific claim has to be tested by experiment. The definitions and metrics have to be clearly laid out, criticisms have to be openly discussed. When this doesn't happen, it isn't science.

One feature of good science is that often it contradicts popular narrative... good science is independent of good politics.

Several times on Able2know, with Setanta (the original poster), politically correct pseudo science has replaced real science and legitimate criticisms of the narrative have been shot down with personal insults rather than with data.

This is part of the problem with the lack of science based reasoning in our society. The left pushes psuedo-science as much as the political right.
Tuna
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:23 pm
@Setanta,
Science and technology are linked, although they aren't the same thing. I think most of the anti-science sentiment I see is actually anti-technology. It's a theme in the Lord of the Rings: the notion that things were simpler in the past. We weren't threatened by things like climate change, pollution, high-tech weaponry, and so forth.

The fear that scientists could provide power to those who operate without a moral compass is behind suspicions about genetic engineering and considerations of legislating it.

One thing to consider about our present situation is that the US government heavily funded universities and scientific research during the Cold War. That was driven by the belief that the US needed to compete culturally with the USSR. That motivation is obviously gone.
0 Replies
 
engineer
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:26 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

One feature of good science is that often it contradicts popular narrative... good science is independent of good politics.

One feature of good science is that it creates its own narrative.
farmerman
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:34 pm
@maxdancona,
Set NEVER hides an unwritten agenda in his posts. Right or wrong, he argues his points from logic and his information, and he doesnt try to overcome the present understanding of science using a hidden argument for pro-spiritual BS.

We have several folks here who engage in arguments that , on the outside, sound like they are trying to be reasonable and "scientific", yet, when we get down to nits and grits, are really a well orchestrated position that has been carefully crafted and scripted by religious groups who state that THEIR science is the REAL SCIENCE..

I think that a fully open opinion about the sources of, say, climate change, be it human induced or a natural cycle, is often a "pile-on" position in which a cluster of folks here are convinced otherwise and dont take prisoners themselves. They engage in name calling over thoughtful discussions. SO Im kinda smiling at your assertion in that arena.


0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:41 pm
what about an assault with science, i mean i knew this girl once and she, well frankly...


0 Replies
 
Kolyo
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:44 pm
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:
I happen to agree that there is an anti-science attitude in society. I am interested to know what people here think of the idea.


I don't think the science-haters are against "science" in the abstract, so much as against "scientists" -- most of whom they see as corrupt usurpers of the mantle of scientific authority. In other words, the haters believe in "real science", just not "what passes for science today." "Real science" would of course confirm what they want to be true, as is only fair.
Ragman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:46 pm
@Setanta,
The classic assault on science was when back in 2001 Dubya severely curtailed stem-cell research in USA.

" ... limited the number of embryonic stem cell lines that could be used for research.(While he claimed that 78 lines would qualify for federal funding, only 19 lines were actually available."


IMHO, that was a deplorable misuse of executive power. His misguided fundamentalist leanings caused a loss of research progress in medical research for our country. that may have contributed to a loss of lives.
Tes yeux noirs
 
  3  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:51 pm
So this is a USA topic? Here in the UK there is much less noise about creationism, global warming, etc, although you do come across people who believe e.g. that vaccines cause autism, or radio waves cause leukemia. Creationists are widely regarded as nuts.
McGentrix
 
  1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:53 pm
I blame the education systems and poor parenting. My children and family have a deep respect for science. My friends all do as well. I think it is mostly a noisy underclass of people that have too much time to post on the internet and spout off their "beliefs".

Meh, stupid is as stupid does.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  -1  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 02:53 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
One feature of good science is that it creates its own narrative.


Do you really believe this engineer?

A narrative provides a bias. It sets what result researchers want to get before they run the experiment. Often it puts pressure on researchers to come up with the "proper" result based on the narrative.

Good science makes only the claims that are based in experimental results. When you start expanding the claims based on what you think the results might mean based on a narrative, you leave science to pseudo-science. A "narrative" might provide an inspiration for further experimentation... but that is not science until it has been confirmed experimentatally.

Am I missing your point? Do you have a specific example?

Foofie
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 03:05 pm
Pshaw! There has always been an assault on science. Galileo (sic), and a host of others. But, it has not kept science from being an endeavor by those iconoclasts that would not be brainwashed. Plus, once science can overturn dearly beloved beliefs, people just ignore it. For example, if everyone had a DNA test, we might find many people are not the precious (read sarcastic)ethnicity/race in pedigree form that one once thought. So, rather than have societal chaos, we just ignore science. No assault needed.
0 Replies
 
Baldimo
 
  0  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 03:11 pm
@Ragman,
It would have been a waste of money as embryonic stem cells research never led anywhere. Adult stem cells are a different matter and a majority of the break throughs in stem cell research came from adult stem cells.

Quote:
4. Have scientists been successful in using non-embryonic stem cells to treat disease?
Yes. In contrast to research on embryonic stem cells, non-embryonic stem cell research has already resulted in numerous instances of actual clinical benefit to patients. For example, patients suffering from a whole host of afflictions—including (but not limited to) Parkinson’s disease, autoimmune diseases, stroke, anemia, cancer, immunodeficiency, corneal damage, blood and liver diseases, heart attack, and diabetes—have experienced improved function following administration of therapies derived from adult or umbilical cord blood stem cells. The long-held belief that non-embryonic stem cells are less able to differentiate into multiple cell types or be sustained in the laboratory over an extended period of time—rendering them less medically-promising than embryonic stem cells—has been repeatedly challenged by experimental results that have suggested otherwise. (For updates on experimental results, access www.stemcellresearch.org.)

5. Have scientists been successful in using embryonic stem cells to treat disease?
Though embryonic stem cells have been purported as holding great medical promise, reports of actual clinical success have been few. Instead, scientists conducting research on embryonic stem cells have encountered significant obstacles—including tumor formation, unstable gene expression, and an inability to stimulate the cells to form the desired type of tissue. It may indeed be telling that some biotechnology companies have chosen not to invest financially in embryonic stem cell research and some scientists have elected to focus their research exclusively on non-embryonic stem cell research.


Tes yeux noirs
 
  4  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 03:15 pm
@Baldimo,
Baldimo quotes from a pro-ID, pro-life, Catholic shill site, which he has not made clear, so I'll do it for him or her.

Baldimo
 
  -2  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 03:27 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
I had no idea who runs the site. It came up during a google search. If you think they are wrong and we have seen many advances from embryonic stem cell research, then by all means provide the link/links. If they are correct in what they say, then it shouldn't matter who runs the site. As many here like to point out, the facts are the facts.

Since you don't know me, I'm a guy and I'm not a Christian or religious in any way.
farmerman
 
  2  
Reply Thu 3 Dec, 2015 03:29 pm
@Tes yeux noirs,
Its at least an Evangelical college, thqt doesnt even carry any regional accreditation in any science.
0 Replies
 
 

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