Science and Politics

Science* is not democratic.

Science does not care whether or not you agree with it; it does not care whether or not you or an arbitrary number of people, think that things would be better off if something were done differently. You can not lobby your MP or your congressman to amend the laws of physics, or repeal Darwinian evolution. These things just are; living with them is a precondition of existence in this universe, and if you don’t like that then you are welcome to stop existing, but that’s just about your only option. You know the Serenity prayer? Well, Science would be an example of something that you cannot change.

This is a very important message. If you have difficulty understanding this, then you should read it over until you do. If you have difficulty remembering this, then you ought to get it tattooed in mirror-writing on your forehead.

Do you understand now? Good.

Because there are an annoying number of people who do not. Here we see a bunch of hicklodytic trashbags intent upon shoving their fingers into their ears and waling so as to drown-out the incessant whine of reality. They are far from alone; the political Right in particular seems to have fallen hook, line and sinker for this whole idea that it is possible to treat objective facts as a matter of subjective opinion, whether it is global warming, natural selection, materialist neuroscience or anything else. The modern Left is not blameless either, but I’m not going to engage in false equivalence for the sake of moderation here; the Right, at least in modern North America, is far worse; while Oprah or the Huffington Post might be annoying in their promotion of woo,  it would be completely uncontroversial for a liberal politician to publicly dismiss homeopathy as being bullshit. On the other hand, these days it seems utterly impossible to achieve any status at all in the Republican party without completely rejecting the whole of modern science. Rejecting science is tantamount to rejecting any deeper understanding of the real world; such people should absolutely not be trusted with policy making.

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*Understand that in this case, I am defining science as the sum total of all knowledge about objective reality acquired using the scientific method.

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About thevenerablecorvex

I have the heart of a poet, the brain of a theoretical physicist, and the wingspan of an albatross. I am also notable for my humility.
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9 Responses to Science and Politics

  1. Facts just don’t matter in politics.

  2. n8chz says:

    The retro-futurists over at the KurzweilAI newsletter just posted this. They claim Americans with higher levels of scientific and mathematical knowledge are more skeptical regarding the dangers of climate change than their more poorly educated fellow citizens. Then again, they also use terminology such as “hierarchical individualist.” And talk about loaded language:

    For all that, there’s no serious likelihood of the soft-studies profs genuinely managing to pump up climate fear successfully where legions of activists and climatologists before them have failed, so U.S. taxpayers of every political stripe might very well quarrel with the idea of spending their science budget with the aim of placing enormous political power in the hands of the trick-cyclist community.

  3. Pingback: Sunday Link Encyclopedia and Self-Promotion « Clarissa's Blog

  4. Pingback: No Science; No Evidence; No Truth; No Democracy « voxcorvegis

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