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Old 01-08-2013, 07:06 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, 11:29 PM   #91
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Science can tell you that a fetus three months into the development process is a form of human life that is not viable outside the womb. It has no recognizable intelligence. It does not have emotions. It can feel pain. It does not have self awareness.

Science can tell you that a new born baby is a form of human life that is viable outside the womb, but would die without outside intervention, for example from a parent. It has very limited intelligence. It has very limited emotions. It can feel pain. It does not have self awareness.

Science can tell you that 6 month old baby is a form of human life that is viable outside the womb, but would die without outside intervention, for example from a parent. It has recognizable intelligence. It has developing emotions. It can feel pain. It has a developing sense of self awareness.

Science can tell you that a fully developed chimpanzee is a form of non-human life that is viable outside the womb, and can survive on its own in an environment with sufficient resources. It has recognizable intelligence. It has significant emotions and mourns over dead members of its clan. It can feel pain. It has a sense of self awareness.

Science does not tell you how to value any of these organisms.
Yea, I already said that
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:36 PM   #92
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Every time I make a statement you write something that indicates you didn't comprehend what I said (underlined above) and then you bring up a bunch of new or tangential points (bolded above) before adequately dealing with the first point. Every post repeats this process until the conversation is completely intractable for me. I apologize, but I am unable to continue this conversation with you.
I understood you quite well. This point was brought up along with faith healing which you responded to. So it was not tangential. In fact, I wasn't even the first to bring up God in this discussion.

This is what you said, that I responded to.

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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.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:38 PM   #93
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Yea, I already said that
Then someone who favors abortion is likely not ignoring biology as you claimed. Instead they value different developmental stages of human life relative to the mothers rights differently than someone who is against abortion.
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Old 01-08-2013, 11:41 PM   #94
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Then someone who favors abortion is likely not ignoring biology as you claimed. Instead they value different developmental stages of human life relative to the mothers rights differently than someone who is against abortion.
Well of course, they value different development stages more, but not the idea of the sanctity of human life—only based on what it looks like at certain ages. We all look different at different ages.

sanctity as in: ultimate importance and inviolability. Not as in sacred.

The value in the abortion argument is allowing other humans to decide who is a person or a human or not due to age or time and the fact that no one can lose their life without due process of law. This means if it's a person it would have rights. If it's a human it would have human rights. Now this idea of who should live or die, has spread to some professors arguing for infanticide. Someone determining who shall live or die based on some criteria. Quality of life. It's not a good thing to break such taboos, for the safety of all. It just cheapens the idea of life.
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Old 01-09-2013, 08:57 AM   #95
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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Then someone who favors abortion is likely not ignoring biology as you claimed. Instead they value different developmental stages of human life relative to the mothers rights differently than someone who is against abortion.
They do ignore it to a great extent. They don't value the stages of life, they pretend it isn't a life at all.
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Old 01-09-2013, 09:34 AM   #96
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They do ignore it to a great extent. They don't value the stages of life, they pretend it isn't a life at all.
Which is the entire point.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:08 AM   #97
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The lack of knowledge of science in this forum is astounding.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:23 AM   #98
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
Debunking your bullshit
 
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The lack of knowledge of science in this forum is astounding.
And the willful ignorance is amazing. I give pete a link to explain why "scientific theory" is not the same as a generic "theory" and he refuses to look at it as if it will burn his eyes.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:25 AM   #99
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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And the willful ignorance is amazing. I give pete a link to explain why "scientific theory" is not the same as a generic "theory" and he refuses to look at it as if it will burn his eyes.
It's not my fault you had to look it up to understand the difference. Don't project your ignorance on me.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:31 AM   #100
cosmo20002 cosmo20002 is offline
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All still "theories". Don't blame me, blame the scientists that state them as such.
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It's not my fault you had to look it up to understand the difference. Don't project your ignorance on me.
I've known the difference since at least high school, but there's no real shame in not knowing the difference. The shame is in choosing to remain ignorant. Why you won't educate yourself is a mystery.
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Old 01-09-2013, 11:52 AM   #101
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the laws of physics? It's too late to get into this but um, yeah, we know dick about the laws of physics. Just saying.
I'm sorry, but this is woefully ignorant. We know enough about physics for the scientific community to classify our knowledge as laws. The designation of "Laws" may not mean much to you, but in scientific terms, that means we know so much about the subject that there is zero doubt of its authenticity and accuracy. We certainly don't know everything there is to know, but there's no denying what we have a strong factual and proven grasp of the subject.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:06 PM   #102
petegz28 petegz28 is offline
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I'm sorry, but this is woefully ignorant. We know enough about physics for the scientific community to classify our knowledge as laws. The designation of "Laws" may not mean much to you, but in scientific terms, that means we know so much about the subject that there is zero doubt of its authenticity and accuracy. We certainly don't know everything there is to know, but there's no denying what we have a strong factual and proven grasp of the subject.
We have a strong grasp of the first parapgraph of the first page of a 1,000 page book but ok
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:14 PM   #103
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We have a strong grasp of the first parapgraph of the first page of a 1,000 page book but ok
Look at how ridiculous your argument is. You're claiming we're on page 1 of a 1,000 page book, while at the same time saying we know nothing about it. How did you approximate how many pages there are, and what percent we know, when you have no clue how big the book actually is? We could be on page 999, and you still wouldn't be able to quantify such a thing. Which makes your estimation pointless. We know what we know, and admit that there is more to learn. The fact that we don't know how much more there is to learn doesn't disqualify what we already factually know and can prove. It doesn't work that way.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:01 PM   #104
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Look at how ridiculous your argument is. You're claiming we're on page 1 of a 1,000 page book, while at the same time saying we know nothing about it. How did you approximate how many pages there are, and what percent we know, when you have no clue how big the book actually is? We could be on page 999, and you still wouldn't be able to quantify such a thing. Which makes your estimation pointless. We know what we know, and admit that there is more to learn. The fact that we don't know how much more there is to learn doesn't disqualify what we already factually know and can prove. It doesn't work that way.
Factually know? Ok....
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:27 PM   #105
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Factually know? Ok....
Yes factually know. People infinitely smarter than you have spent hundreds of years on the subject. I'm sorry, but you're completely wrong about this. You're welcome to try and disprove some of the laws of physics if you doubt the factuality of them.
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