i've got two articles on this, and i'm starting to get steamed.  it's been that kind of morning for me. 

first up, climate denial:

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/nebraska-scientists-balk-go...

the lack of respect for Science from conservatives is disturbing.  they don't care about experts - they think they're the experts.  after all, they can source information from faux scientists at climate denial think tanks. 

next up, Science denial in taxpayer funded schools:

http://www.salon.com/2013/10/25/christian_textbooks_darwin_inspired...

this paragraph really struck me:

Many other historical blunders of science could be mentioned. What we need to keep in mind is that scientists are human beings. The assumption that they are completely objective, error-free, impartial, “cold machines” dressed in white coats is, of course, absurd. Like everyone else, scientists are influenced by prejudice and preconceived ideas. You should also remember that just because most people believe a particular thing does not necessarily make it true.

this kind of deliberate undermining of Science is sickening.  how can this be helpful for society?  our modern world, for better or worse, is largely do to the scientific advances our species has made.  i understand their near term goal - creating doubt in evolution.  but what is their end game?  to have a society of scientifically illiterate adults?  is this part of the repress to control scheme?  keep the sheeple too stupid to know any better?  

how is this happening in the 21st century? 

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The paragraph that really struck you and is italicized should be changed to apply to fundamentalist christians. It fits them and their beliefs very well. Read it again and substitute "science" with the word "christians." Now take the two words "white coats" and substitute the word "jesus."

Now you have it, and I wouldn't be surprised if a christian wrote the article.

Or, more fundamentally and concisely, this part of the paragraph doesn't need to be changed at all:

You should also remember that just because most people believe a particular thing does not necessarily make it true.

That's it Dennis.  Home schooling, or private fundementalist schools, are common in the bible belt.  They prevent children from learning science and questioning their religious upbringing.   If you brainwash a child from birth you can get one to believe, or disbelieve, damn near anything.  And there are so many ways around the state regulations on religious schooling they may as well not exist at all.  Put the fear of god into the babies, literally, and they are likely to never question their beliefs.

Can I be perfectly honest with my reply? Sometimes "scientists" or people using best available science to support their platform, come across as just plain argumentative and degrading. I do not think this is helpful, and it is a turn-off if you are interested in furthering any topic by providing science-based support. I just finished up a campaign for the labeling of genetically modified foods in my state. I am a biologist and I have a Master's Degree. I work for the state government. I know the science, and I know where the science becomes "psudo-science". I also know there were other reasons (non-science) for people wanting to have more information about their food. 

There were many, many people who came across just like they were in the climate change debate - "The science supports there are no human health effects, ergo, there is no reason to label the food. End of story, we don't want to hear any more from you."

There was no room for discussing "other" science, such as environmental research on the impacts of using higher levels of pesticides on genetically modified crops, or discussing people's personal preferences, such as vegetarians and vegans wanting to know if animal genes were being used in the transgenic process. 

So, in the end, my point is - it is all about how the science is presented. And with genetically engineered foods and genetically modified organisms, the science is, and remains unclear - and it the people presenting it do so in such a way you simply don't believe them. 

Have you ever asked whether the problem was less about the science and more about the approach, and who is presenting the information, and how it is presented?

Liz, with all due respect, the GMO issue is a whole different ball of wax.  scientists don't have enough data to make a definitive answer yet.  however, their testing has shown problems with lab rats.  it needs more time.  

what you're referring to is corporate scientists, paid highly and supported by lobbyists to shine reasonable doubt on an under researched issue.  i don't call that science.  it's much more akin to the scientists that worked for big tobacco back in the day.  

seems to me your stance on one issue and a misinterpretation of real science vs. corporate interest science.  

Matthew, all due respect right back, I think you may have missed my point. I was not making a point about GMO or food science, I was making a point about the presentation of science. And you may actually be bringing up another part of the problem - "What is real science?" You seem pretty sure that no responsible use of transgenics has ever been proven scientifically safe, because every single scientist involved is corrupt - in every country - based upon your comment above. Ergo, all science related to any genetically engineered product (meat, produce, seeds) is bunk - yes? Again, the presentation, Matthew. Presentation.

i don't know if it's bunk or not.  it hasn't been around to be fully tested.  on this issue, it isn't settled science.  evolution and the myriad of examples in my posting are quite settled, no?

I'm not up on the science of the GMO debate, but presentation doesn't seem to matter much regarding evolution, climate change, or the Big Bang because the religious right continually bombards the hoi polloi with nonsensical memes.  Life cannot come from non-life.  You can't get something from nothing.  Everything needs a cause except for God.  Darwin was a racist.  Hitler's racism was based on Darwinism.  Science is always wrong.  There are no transitional fossils.  Apes don't give birth to humans.  There's no way for DNA to add new information.  Humans walked with dinosaurs in Texas.  Radiometric dating doesn't work.  The Grand Canyon was created by Noah's flood.  Humans evolved from monkeys.  You can't infer the past from the present.  If life could come from non-life, we should find new life in jars of peanut butter.  Bananas are proof that God exists.  The Second Law of Thermodynamics disproves evolution.  There were baby dinosaurs on the Ark.  We're in the Last Days, so there's no need to take care of the environment.  I don't have enough faith to be an atheist. Evolution is stupid because how could a male dog wait around a million years for a female dog to evolve?  The Bible is literally true. I don't hate fags; God hates fags.  The eye is irreducibly complex.  Dragons (I kid you not) were actually dinosaurs with narrow nostrils who had to breathe so fast in the reduced oxygen atmosphere after the carboniferous age that they set their noses on fire with the friction.  Organisms must have a designer because watches and cars do.  What good is half a wing?  (Ask an emu why she has feathers on only about half of her wing.)  The earth is only 6,000 years old--yada yada yada ad infinitum ad nauseam.

In the face of such willful--and constantly reinforced ignorance--presentation matters very little.  Even the clearest and most polite scientists will sound arrogant to people with little scientific knowledge and an overdose of Bronze Age superstition.

Consider the argument about historic scientific blunders.  Note how far back in time they will go to find a mistaken scientific hypothesis, which they can spin into an absurd non sequitur.  The ancient Egyptians treated tumors with fly dung, so therefore evolution is not to be trusted.  Or all the great scientists of the past were Christians, so therefore Christianity is scientific. 

Both the scientists and the science of today bear little resemblance to scientists and science of even two hundred years ago, when Lord Byron's doctors bled him to death to cure his fever.  For the state of Texas to undercut science with the specious logic in those school texts is the height of arrogance born of Christian privilege.

Craigart, you list a horrendous litany of nonsense that comes out of the religious community. I can understand why people who didn't like school or pay attention to their education and therefore are not embarrassed by these foolish ideas. But the moderately religious, they are not standing up to refute the willful and proud ignorance of their fellow religious! Why are not educated and learned religious people not standing up publicly to denounce them? 

The great hope, at least for me, is the movement about which Ruth is writing. 

"Rejection of hierarchical Dominator Culture is essential to holding on to our humanity instead of descending into a death spiral of mutual destruction!"

Ruth Anthony-Gardner

Future - radically green, red, black and female

Partnership Vision

Good question.  Why aren't moderate Muslims speaking out against fanatics?  Maybe deep down they agree with them?

how much of a voice do Muslims get in our country?  not a lot, but even so i do hear moderate Muslims speaking out against fanatics.  thing is, their fanatics are even more fanatical than our fanatics.  so they get associated with the worst of the worst.  

i guarantee that if American Xians started suicide bombing abortion clinics mainstream Xians would come out against them.  for now, it's just gay bashing, science denial (which kinda is a form of terrorism), and...well, it's a lot.  but since it's non-violent, and there are thousands of sects of Christianity, it's easy to disassociate with the crazy bible bumpers, or snake handlers, or tongue speakers.  

If life could come from non-life, we should find new life in jars of peanut butter

Guess that would depend on how you classify mold.

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