Right Idea, Wrong Facts

In Suicide by Pseudoscience, Sterling brings up a very important point:

When politicians dictate science, government becomes entangled in its own deceptions, and eventually the social order decays in a compost of lies. Society, having abandoned the scientific method, loses its empirical referent, and truth becomes relative. This is a serious affliction known as Lysenkoism.

He then gets it completely, totally wrong:

Presidential science adviser John Marburger complained that the UCS’s account sounded like a “conspiracy theory report.” That’s because it is one. As the report amply documents, the Bush administration has systematically manipulated scientific inquiry into climate change, forest management, lead and mercury contamination, and a host of other issues. Even as Marburger addressed his critics, the administration purged two advocates of stem-cell research from the President’s Council on Bioethics.

Repeat after me: Ethics is Not Science. There is nothing scientific about ethics. They might be brilliant scientists, but if they are amoral assholes, they have no place on an ethics commission.

As for the rest of it, yes, science has been manipulated, and this has been documented. But it didn’t happen on Bush’s watch. Some of it has been corrected on Bush’s watch.

Take second-hand smoke. We all know second-hand smoke is a carcinogen, right? Wrong. The reason that we know this is because the EPA presented it as science, when the science said conclusively that it wasn’t. The EPA is good at this sort of thing. They are the ones that told us that we are running out of landfill space to get us to recycle. Another lie.

Science is routinely distorted to fit a political aim — but it isn’t the right that does it, it is the left.

One Comment

  1. Neil says: