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Old 01-08-2013, 06:06 PM  
donkhater donkhater is offline
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Good perspective on the future of Science

http://www.nature.com/news/science-m...divide-1.12119

Science must be seen to bridge the political divide

To prevent science from continuing its worrying slide towards politicization, here’s a New Year’s resolution for scientists, especially in the United States: gain the confidence of people and politicians across the political spectrum by demonstrating that science is bipartisan.

That President Barack Obama chose to mention “technology, discovery and innovation” in his passionate victory speech in November shows just how strongly science has come, over the past decade or so, to be a part of the identity of one political party, the Democrats, in the United States. The highest-profile voices in the scientific community have avidly pursued this embrace. For the third presidential election in a row, dozens of Nobel prizewinners in physics, chemistry and medicine signed a letter endorsing the Democratic candidate.

The 2012 letter argued that Obama would ensure progress on the economy, health and the environment by continuing “America’s proud legacy of discovery and invention”, and that his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, would “devastate a long tradition of support for public research and investment in science”. The signatories wrote “as winners of the Nobel Prizes in Science”, thus cleansing their endorsement of the taint of partisanship by invoking their authority as pre-eminent scientists.

But even Nobel prizewinners are citizens with political preferences. Of the 43 (out of 68) signatories on record as having made past political donations, only five had ever contributed to a Republican candidate, and none did so in the last election cycle. If the laureates are speaking on behalf of science, then science is revealing itself, like the unions, the civil service, environmentalists and tort lawyers, to be a Democratic interest, not a democratic one.

This is dangerous for science and for the nation. The claim that Republicans are anti-science is a staple of Democratic political rhetoric, but bipartisan support among politicians for national investment in science, especially basic research, is still strong. For more than 40 years, US government science spending has commanded a remarkably stable 10% of the annual expenditure for non-defence discretionary programmes. In good economic times, science budgets have gone up; in bad times, they have gone down. There have been more good times than bad, and science has prospered.

In the current period of dire fiscal stress, one way to undermine this stable funding and bipartisan support would be to convince Republicans, who control the House of Representatives, that science is a Democratic special interest.

This concern rests on clear precedent. Conservatives in the US government have long been hostile to social science, which they believe tilts towards liberal political agendas. Consequently, the social sciences have remained poorly funded and politically vulnerable, and every so often Republicans threaten to eliminate the entire National Science Foundation budget for social science.

“Politicians would find it more difficult to attack science endorsed by bipartisan groups of scientists.”

As scientists seek to provide policy-relevant knowledge on complex, interdisciplinary problems ranging from fisheries depletion and carbon emissions to obesity and natural hazards, the boundary between the natural and the social sciences has blurred more than many scientists want to acknowledge. With Republicans generally sceptical of government’s ability and authority to direct social and economic change, the enthusiasm with which leading scientists align themselves with the Democratic party can only reinforce conservative suspicions that for contentious issues such as climate change, natural-resource management and policies around reproduction, all science is social science.

The US scientific community must decide if it wants to be a Democratic interest group or if it wants to reassert its value as an independent national asset. If scientists want to claim that their recommendations are independent of their political beliefs, they ought to be able to show that those recommendations have the support of scientists with conflicting beliefs. Expert panels advising the government on politically divisive issues could strengthen their authority by demonstrating political diversity. The National Academies, as well as many government agencies, already try to balance representation from the academic, non-governmental and private sectors on many science advisory panels; it would be only a small step to be equally explicit about ideological or political diversity. Such information could be given voluntarily.

To connect scientific advice to bipartisanship would benefit political debate. Volatile issues, such as the regulation of environmental and public-health risks, often lead to accusations of ‘junk science’ from opposing sides. Politicians would find it more difficult to attack science endorsed by avowedly bipartisan groups of scientists, and more difficult to justify their policy preferences by scientific claims that were contradicted by bipartisan panels.

During the cold war, scientists from America and the Soviet Union developed lines of communication to improve the prospects for peace. Given the bitter ideological divisions in the United States today, scientists could reach across the political divide once again and set an example for all.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:21 PM   #46
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Its a scientic theory that has been tested and has withstood scientific testing and confirmation. Don't play dumb.

I guess this is where I have to mention things like the "Theory of Gravity" and "Germ Theory." This wilfully ignorant act is old.
All still "theories". Don't blame me, blame the scientists that state them as such.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #47
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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You mean like the majority of people on the Right????
I really don't know if the majority of the people on "the right" think that. You're also narrowing it to one issue when I started with a broader statement about being hostile to science in general using Earth age and evolutions as examples.

As I said before, ENOUGH on the right do. Enough that 9 of 10 (IIRC) R pres candidates felt the need to pander to them by disavowing the basis of all biologocal science, evolution. Marco Rubio found it necessary to dance around it. Give me a break...you're playing dumb or being wilfully ignorant.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:22 PM   #48
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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I'm sure he thinks of himself as Christian. Most "Christians" don't believe a literal Bible and they still call themselves Christian.
And queue the BS
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:24 PM   #49
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
I really don't know if the majority of the people on "the right" think that. You're also narrowing it to one issue when I started with a broader statement about being hostile to science in general using Earth age and evolutions as examples.

As I said before, ENOUGH on the right do. Enough that 9 of 10 (IIRC) R pres candidates felt the need to pander to them by disavowing the basis of all biologocal science, evolution. Marco Rubio found it necessary to dance around it. Give me a break...you're playing dumb or being wilfully ignorant.
That's a very scientific study you refer to...."enough"
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:24 PM   #50
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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You are engaging in a major hijacking of this thread to suit your own antagonism toward the right.
Seems like its in the scope to me. See all those other threads? Click one and **** off, crazy bitch.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:26 PM   #51
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Seems like its in the scope to me. See all those other threads? Click one and **** off, crazy bitch.
You are such a hostile person. I mean, for being such a hardcore liberal you do a terrible job of displaying that "diverse and tolerant" nature the people on your side of things love to claim for themselves
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:27 PM   #52
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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All still "theories". Don't blame me, blame the scientists that state them as such.
No. Look up scientific theory. Here's a primer for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on the playing dumb, but you've convinced me you aren't playing.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:28 PM   #53
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Again it's a matter of perspective. What is God? what is natural? What is a miracle? Why is what once was a miracle is now science? Why is what oncewas a miracle that is now science not God or the work thereof??
If you want to call a doctor's work to cure a disease a miracle of God you are free to do that. However, one does not need to invoke God in order to cure the patient. It is the realm of science.

If one observes a phenomenon that that is "impossible" there are at least three possibilities:

1) it is an illusion -- not the realm of science because the event did not happen.

2) it is a phenomenon that science cannot yet explain -- it is in the realm of science if it is a phenomenon that it reproducible, at least in a statistical sense. If it isn't reproducible then it becomes impossible to observe and falls out of the realm of science because science is based on observation. Maybe the event falls into 1 or 3.

3) it is a supernatural event -- not the realm of science because science can only study natural processes.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #54
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
No. Look up scientific theory. Here's a primer for you:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory

I was giving you the benefit of the doubt on the playing dumb, but you've convinced me you aren't playing.
Yes, let us hear how smart you think you are.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:30 PM   #55
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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And queue the BS
I agree with you that the religious labels are BS. Unless one was raised Jewish or Muslim or some very small minority religion, people almost always identify as Christian, whether they truly believe in the main tenets or not.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:34 PM   #56
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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You are such a hostile person. I mean, for being such a hardcore liberal you do a terrible job of displaying that "diverse and tolerant" nature the people on your side of things love to claim for themselves
Mostly a myth. Many of us draw the line at stupidity among people who have the ability to know better. As for BEP, she's being needlessly antagonistic and can **** off. She'll gladly tell you how she hates chiming in without any actual input.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:34 PM   #57
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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If you want to call a doctor's work to cure a disease a miracle of God you are free to do that. However, one does not need to invoke God in order to cure the patient. It is the realm of science.

If one observes a phenomenon that that is "impossible" there are at least three possibilities:

1) it is an illusion -- not the realm of science because the event did not happen.

2) it is a phenomenon that science cannot yet explain -- it is in the realm of science if it is a phenomenon that it reproducible, at least in a statistical sense. If it isn't reproducible then it becomes impossible to observe and falls out of the realm of science because science is based on observation. Maybe the event falls into 1 or 3.

3) it is a supernatural event -- not the realm of science because science can only study natural processes.
Your first statment implies you know the true nature of God, which you do not and therefore makes the statement completely bunk, Let me ask you, have we ever actually witnessed the creation of a universe? I mean literally watched it from beginning to end? Would you not consider the creation of this universe to be in the realm of science? We can study this universe and everything in it from a purely scientific aspect and still not rule out what you consider to be "supernatural" roots to it all. At leat not yet.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:35 PM   #58
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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Yes, let us hear how smart you think you are.
I know you won't listen to me, so I directed you elsewhere. A primer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:35 PM   #59
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Mostly a myth. Many of us draw the line at stupidity among people who have the ability to know better. As for BEP, she's being needlessly antagonistic and can **** off. She'll gladly tell you how she hates chiming in without any actual input.
Hi, have you met Nancy Pelosi????
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:36 PM   #60
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Originally Posted by cosmo20002 View Post
I know you won't listen to me, so I directed you elsewhere. A primer:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_theory
I need not your primer nor your infintile opinions of science.
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