Sledgehammer's Cycles

Sledgehammer's Cycles
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Monday, February 25, 2013

Tonight's forecast: Avian Swine

I've been saying for a long time - pretty much the entire existence of this blog, in fact - that the left is just as corrupt in their use and misuse of science as the right.  It seems that I'm not the only one that thinks this way; I'm joined by those Wingnut H8trs at Scientific American who write of The Liberal's War On Science:
Whereas conservatives obsess over the purity and sanctity of sex, the left's sacred values seem fixated on the environment, leading to an almost religious fervor over the purity and sanctity of air, water and especially food. Try having a conversation with a liberal progressive about GMOs—genetically modified organisms—in which the words “Monsanto” and “profit” are not dropped like syllogistic bombs. Comedian Bill Maher, for example, on his HBO Real Time show on October 19, 2012, asked Stonyfield Farm CEO Gary Hirshberg if he would rate Monsanto as a 10 (“evil”) or an 11 (“f—ing evil”)? The fact is that we've been genetically modifying organisms for 10,000 years through breeding and selection. It's the only way to feed billions of people.
Gee, I wonder if they read Borepatch over at Scientific American?  Perhaps they should read more - the author is far too confident in the soundness of the climate temperature records, not to mention the manipulations gridding, homogenizations, and all the transforms inflicted on the data sets - and there's quite a lot of opinion passed off as "settled science" (the line "[m]any conservatives seem to grant early-stage embryos a moral standing that is higher than that of adults suffering from debilitating diseases potentially curable through stem cells" is particularly offensive*).  But but this is not a bad start, particularly for a mag like SciAm.

* The idea that science can inform moral decisions is as complete a failure of understanding of the Scientific Method as I can think of.


BobG said...

"The college idealists who fill the ranks of the environmental movement seem willing to do absolutely anything to save the biosphere, except take science courses and learn something about it."
- P.J. O'Rourke

Old NFO said...

Concur... it CANNOT inform a moral decision...

William Newman said...

I'd say science very seldom settles a moral question, but it's not impossible as a matter of principle that it could have a big impact in some particular class of moral questions. If next year we discovered that for one lunar month after implantation an embryo's brain merely replays fixed patterns broadcast from a mysterious neutronium device embedded in the Moon, and then after that suddenly switches over to thinking its own thoughts, I think that could legitimately change the way that some people think about the ethical issues involved. And to pick a less farfetched example, if you knew absolutely nothing about how brain injuries can change people's personalities and their thinking abilities, learning about it might affect your ethical judgments in some corner cases involving actors not thinking clearly.

William Newman said...

Also, in a dull earnest answer to your rhetorical question, Keith Kloor has been banging this drum for some time in forums that are more likely to filter into the SciAm echo chamber than this blog. Search for "keith kloor gmo" for representative examples; one which happens to have crosstalk with CAGW is

The Czar of Muscovy said...

The weird irony here is that Michael Schermer, who wrote the words you quote at SciAm, is perceived to the "conservative" there because he has voiced concerns about the reliability of global warming data. Yup: "and he's the skeptic."

Jeremy Brock said...

Shermer self-identifies as libertarian. That's probably because he also self-indentifies as atheist and therefore, by popular definition, can't be a conservative.

Hey, I didn't invent single-bit binary logic; I just see it everywhere.

BTW, Czar: Excellent avatar. :)