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The Devolution of National Politics in the United States

  1. profile image0
    mbuggiehposted 3 years ago

    http://s2.hubimg.com/u/8947293.jpg
    In May of 1950 President Harry Truman signed a bill---passed by Congress, that created the National Science Foundation. In signing the bill, Truman noted:

    "Throughout our history, scientists and scientific knowledge have contributed to our progress as a Nation. If you want to keep up that progress, we need to stimulate scientific discovery and research, and train more young men and women for our laboratories and research centers. To carry out these objectives, I have just signed the National Science Foundation Act of 1950. This act is of tremendous importance, because it will add to our knowledge in every branch of science. I am confident that it will help us to develop the best scientific brains in the Nation. It will enable the United States to maintain its leadership in scientific matters, and to exert a more vital force for peace."

    And yet today, well into the first decade of the 21st century, several members of Congress---including those seeking the presidency, persist in claiming that science is at best a problem to be solved and at worst a "liberal elite" hoax working to derail traditional values and the economy. This is particularly true of any science related to climate change.

    Is this a function of a growing lack of scientific literacy among elected officials? Is it a function of a growing anti-science mentality in the United States which increasingly threatens not only scientific literacy and know-how, but our national security?

    1. bBerean profile image61
      bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Perhaps it was not your intent, but it appears you have broken this down to an either or, with both choices actually representing facets of your opinion, rather than soliciting the opinions and views of others.  Almost a "when did you stop beating your wife" type question.  I don't have time to properly weigh in right now, but wanted to point this out in case you wanted to invite perspectives beyond the two choices presented, as it may bode better for the success of your thread.

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Hmmm...so what are the other alternatives then?

        1. bBerean profile image61
          bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Partially I suspect a widespread distrust of "science" in some disciplines, particularly when their conclusions seem to conveniently drive the purposes and causes of those who fund them or agendas and ideologies they support.  It is common for those in the scientific community, it seems, and even those fancying themselves as such in these forums, to assume "scientific illiteracy" is the only reason anyone would disagree with them.  Perhaps they have not made their case or are wrong.  Never seems to cross their minds.  I guess they feel they have ruled those possibilities out.

          1. profile image0
            mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            So, what specific and factual reasons are there to disagree with science such as the science of climate change (with which 95% of all science professionals concur) or evolutionary biology or cosmology?

            What evidence supports, for example, the claims of politicians that climate change is NOT man-made or that climate science is just more crap from some self-serving "liberal elite"?

            After all, we can all agree, I would hope, that the Bible and its creation story is nothing more than a myth, a total fiction however established.

            1. bBerean profile image61
              bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              These arguments currently abound on the internet and public square, so are you seeking to initiate another here, or was the OP more about understanding what is taking place in regards to politics and science?  Science has a PR and credibility issue.  Is that what you are wanting to discuss, or is it to be an airing of the details on a particular agenda?  It seems global warming, climate change, or whatever title you choose is dear to you.  I am not interested in dissecting that debate.

              1. profile image0
                mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                As Neil deGrasse Tyson notes: "those who cherry pick science, like climate change deniers, simply don’t understand how science works. That’s what I claim...because if they did, they’d be less prone to just assert that somehow scientists are clueless.”

                1. bBerean profile image61
                  bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  Nice.  Editing after I have already replied.  Previously you simply wrote "Whatever", to which I responded "lol".  Bit disingenuous to edit and make it appear I had given that response to something other than what I did, don't you think? 

                  That being said, in regards to your new edit, (not saying you won't change it again, so allow me to include it here):

                  Mbuggieh said: "As Neil deGrasse Tyson notes: "those who cherry pick science, like climate change deniers, simply don’t understand how science works. That’s what I claim...because if they did, they’d be less prone to just assert that somehow scientists are clueless.”"

                  Couldn't we just boil this quote down to it's playground roots and paraphrase it as "Anyone who disagrees with me and my friends is stupid"? 

                  Again; nice.

                  1. Zelkiiro profile image94
                    Zelkiiroposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    When the statement being made is one of truth backed by hilarious amounts of evidence, then yes--anyone who disagrees is stupid.

                  2. profile image0
                    mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    My only consolation:

                    All of the science and climate science and climate change deniers live on this planet and have no escape from it.

                    And you too will deal with what are, in fact, accelerating shifts in the climate; shifts already seen in changes in global weather. And sooner rather than later I suspect.

              2. profile image0
                mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Exactly what "credibility issues" or PR issues are at work with this? Is this information fact-based or opinion subject to discussion?

                http://www.nbcnews.com/science/environm … ng-n103221

            2. HowardBThiname profile image83
              HowardBThinameposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              I think there's a great misunderstanding about people being anti-science. The problem, in my opinion, lies in the fact that some politician jumped on the climate-change bandwagon to make a buck (Al Gore, et. al.) and that naturally put his political opponents at odds.

              The other issue is that the 97% of scientists is a misleading number. In fact, many scientists that are skeptical of some international reports, are listed in that number? Why? Because they agree that the climate is changing - they just don't all agree as to why. So, that reduces the number of scientists that are on the doom-and-gloom train and if a person has been reading the reports over the past few years - they know that.

            3. profile image61
              retief2000posted 3 years agoin reply to this

              The 95% is not factual

              The opinions of all scientists are not equal, one would not expect a Biologist to offer as valuable an opinion on Quantum Mechanics as a Particle Physicist.

              "Science Professionals," does that include the elementary school science teacher who also teaches gym and reading?

              Since when is scientific fact a majority opinion? For that matter, since when is fact a majority opinion?

    2. GA Anderson profile image83
      GA Andersonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I think you are overly broad in your evaluation. I think the science resistance you speak of is topic related, not to the concept of science itself.

      GA

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I doubt that. These same politicians  also resist the sciences of evolutionary biology, embryology, geophysics---so long as resistance is politically expedient and tenable.

        After all, those who work to discredit climate science, almost to a man and woman, also reject and work to discredit evolutionary biology and embryology; cosmology and geophysics and astrophysics.

    3. rhamson profile image77
      rhamsonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I think the recent fervor to debunk global warming has had a residual affect on a lot of the sciences. There is a penchant in this country with an all or nothing attitude when applying logic to a situation. If someone got it wrong or lied in the process, suspicion is thrown on to the whole outcome and there for debunked.

      1. profile image0
        mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        I agree.

        And not only has the "fervor to debunk" climate science affected other sciences, but the nonsensical fervor to elevate religion---particularly Christianity, in ways to give it credence and authority in the public sphere---particularly in education and government, has also contributed to a growing devolution of the American intellect.

        Late 20th century/early 21st century privileging of Christian mythologies as "fact" and as more the stuff of "truth" than science is driving America and Americans toward intellectual collapse.

        1. profile image74
          Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          http://t0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSLIhlF6CzpRmkXJs-4KHMqJkRVGu9BmDUBSNemGj5eEwH--NaN4Q

          Contrary to common belief, Christians can also understand and support science just as people of science can support Christianity or any other faith.

          http://t3.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTqgJaHi5cZWDXbRl5IJowwfkjlL3BRMZFZAIdeTBMC6KXHShty

          1. profile image0
            mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            How can science support Creationism? That is NOT possible. What science can say and doe say is simple: The moment before the "Big Bang" is currently unknown and undefined. As such, that moment before the "Big Bang" remains firmly in the grasp of St Augustine or religion---whatever the sect.

            You cherry pick here. Roman Catholicism (thanks for St Thomas Aquinas) has a unique relationship with reason; a relationship not found among most Protestant Christian sects---particularly evangelical sects.

            Evolutionary biology and the cosmology of the so-called "Big Bang", while supported by Roman Catholicism, is---and you know it is, derided as false by many mainstream Protestant and  evangelical Christians.

            Claiming otherwise is to deny the basic facts of the teachings of many non-Catholic Protestant denominations.

            1. profile image74
              Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              "The moment before the "Big Bang" is currently unknown and undefined."

              The Big Bang is a theory, one that is widely accepted by many but still a theory.  What caused the Big Bang?

              I don't think that the total creation took place in six days as we now measure time. If we can confirm, say, the Big Bang theory, that doesn't at all cause me to question my faith that God created the Big Bang.

              Jimmy Carter


              "Evolutionary biology and the cosmology of the so-called "Big Bang", while supported by Roman Catholicism, is---and you know it is, derided as false by many mainstream Protestant and  evangelical Christians."

              That's true.  It's also true that millions and millions of Christians believe in and understand a lot of the science you have mentioned..  This forum hasn't really addressed that reality until now, has it?

              1. profile image0
                mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Quoting Jimmy Carter as an authority---really? That is just too funny.

                As I indicated, the "cause" of the Big Bang remains a question for St Augustine.

                That said, like all who work to discredit science in an effort to promote faith  you use the word "theory" to suggest something is little more than a guess.

                Here is some evidence which underwrites the Big Bang theory:

                The "redshift" of galaxies;

                The microwave background of the universe;

                The specific proportional mixture of elements in the universe;

                Looking back in time as a function of the travel time of light---which demonstrates that the universe is changing/expanding.

                If this is not enough in March of this year (2014) the following was discovered:

                http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/18/scien … .html?_r=0


                And so, the bottom-line: What evidence do you have for your god?

                1. profile image74
                  Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  "Quoting Jimmy Carter as an authority---really? That is just too funny."

                  I quoted a pope too, but you discounted that and changed your wording from Christian to Protestant..  Jimmy Carter is an expert on his own faith, and I believe his belief is one that many Christians share, so yes, I quoted Jimmy Carter.

                  "And so, the bottom-line: What evidence do you have for your god?"

                  Religion is a faith.  I have no intention of convincing you, nor do I care to do so.  Whether or not you believe in God is up to you.  I didn't enter this forum to convince you that God is real.  I entered the forum to tell you that millions of Christians believe in the Big Bang.

                  1. profile image0
                    mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    Do you really think I needed you tell inform me that some Christians accept science?

                    Where is your quotation of a pope?

                    What I see is a secondary source statement from Reuters (1996) indicating that Pope John Paul indicated a lack of incompatibility between evolution and Christian faith.

                    You might want to read some closer commentary on Pope John Paul's actual comments:

                    http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/f … nview.html

                    And Pope John Paul's actual words:

                    http://www.newadvent.org/library/docs_jp02tc.htm

  2. Judysu profile image65
    Judysuposted 3 years ago

    Speaking as a science teacher, never did I think my subject would become 'controversial' and be political. Frankly what we teach is the standards. The tendancy to anti-intellectualize American culture because intellectualism is seen as a weakness does not do us any good in todays society where so much depends on comprehending primary scientific thought.
      Much of this tendency I remember seeing during the OJ trial where instead of debating whether someone killed another person a great deal of the trial was spent debating the scientific process of duplicating and studying DNA. The jury had to be given a lesson in Molecular biology as if they all had been through graduate school bec of the distrust of professionals and intellectuals. My own profession, teaching, is being pieced apart bec of the threat that a intellectual or professional poses to the powers that be. In other words if you would like to be able to appoint anyone with the minimal qualifications to teach the profession must be cookbook so anyone can do it. Hence we are hamstringing ourselves and our kids.

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      I think you are right in your observation that the intellectual---particularly the experimental- and  information-based intellectual, threatens the "powers that be" and particularly conservative politicians and conservative religious power brokers.

      The only response of those seeking to maintain power, then, is to discredit and to degrade the very thing that threatens their hold on power: Science, knowledge, information.

  3. bBerean profile image61
    bBereanposted 3 years ago

    mbuggieh wrote:
        As Neil deGrasse Tyson notes: "those who cherry pick science, like climate change deniers, simply don’t understand how science works. That’s what I claim...because if they did, they’d be less prone to just assert that somehow scientists are clueless.”

        bBerean wrote:
        Couldn't we just boil this quote down to it's playground roots and paraphrase it as "Anyone who disagrees with me and my friends is stupid"?

        Zelkiiro wrote:
        When the statement being made is one of truth backed by hilarious amounts of evidence, then yes--anyone who disagrees is stupid.

    mbuggieh wrote:
    Exactly!
    To disagree with the amount and depth of evidence which makes clear that climate change is not only real but also a function of human activity is just plain old-fashioned stupid.
    *********************************************************

    One need only review this thread, and particularly the above comments, to see an illustration of the attitude that largely causes the disdain and credibility problem, as those purporting to know and support science stroke each other's egos and move forward, blinded by their own imagined brilliance, calling any who are unconvinced or disagree, "stupid."  Perhaps you don't know what "stupid" means, but who am I to suggest you not sell your opponents short?  Classic strategic mistake, but one it is always good to see being made on the other side.  So allow me to leave you "brights" to it.  wink

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Explain why you believe the 5% of scientists who deny climate change to be correct in their assessments?

      Why do you embrace opposition to a particular set of data, evidence and facts shared by 95% of the scientific community?

      Is there something inherent in the multiple of mathematical algorithms used to determine climate change that you take exception to?

      Is there something inherent in mathematical models used that you take exception to?

      1. bBerean profile image61
        bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Just "stupid," I suppose, remember?  roll

        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Whatever.

        2. Credence2 profile image81
          Credence2posted 3 years agoin reply to this

          I would like to have mbuggieh's question answered. Why do you discredit 95% of prominent scientists in the field over 5 percent when looking at the climate change issue? What is the basis of your position and what logical premise behind it?

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Credence, similar to the OP, your question is loaded.  It is based on the premise that 95% of "prominent scientists in the field" do believe in global warming.  Who decided who is a "prominent scientist in the field"?  Must one buy into the climate change agenda to qualify for the moniker?  100% would be a bit much for anyone to swallow, but 95% sounds overwhelmingly decisive while allowing a paltry opposition to promote believability.  Who are you trusting for this data and how much do they make off the Green Cash Toilet?  I hail back to the days of the "new ice age" warnings, so to me this has always just been about money, power, politics and especially control.

            As for my personal skepticism, it is rooted far deeper than the purview of your question.  If you still want data countering Al Gore and the gang though, there are forums, hubs and lots of info on the web already, just awaiting your perusal.

            1. profile image0
              mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              I doubt the phrase " peer-reviewed study" means anything to you. It would do you good to find out what it means and think about its application to science---particularly the reporting of scientific findings.

              Your comment is nothing more than a restatement of the worn out "talking  points" of right-wing politically motivated climate science deniers.

              1. bBerean profile image61
                bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                Lol.  "But honey, all the salesmen agreed I would look good in the Corvette.  Even the sales manger couldn't believe what a rare and excellent investment it was!  I could probably turn around and sell it for twice what I paid."

            2. EncephaloiDead profile image59
              EncephaloiDeadposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Out of almost 11K of peer-reviewed articles on the subject, only 2 did not agree that global warming is a fact.



              Your personal skepticism is not based on science, or even reason and logic. Forums and hubs aren't peer reviewed articles.

  4. profile image74
    Education Answerposted 3 years ago

    It seems that peer-reviewed articles have become the hierarchical king of sources among some.  With all due respect, may I point out that Wikipedia is a peer-reviewed source that would get you laughed out of a serious college course.

    1. profile image0
      mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

      Clearly, you have NO idea what the term "peer reviewed" means in the professional and/or academic world.

      And it ain't open editing or community editing akin to Wikipedia or any wiki.

      1. bBerean profile image61
        bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        Peers, largely because they have endured the same indoctrination into scientism and far left ideology mandated by modern academia and acquiesced appropriately enough to gain membership on the team?  What are the odds they would agree?  Who is anyone not among their ranks to question the conclusions they put forward and endorse?

        1. psycheskinner profile image86
          psycheskinnerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          I am a peer-reviewer for a handful of journals and all I look at is whether they do good science (design, statistics etc), not what they find.

          My "scientism" is that I expect the work to be good science, not come to conclusions I personally agree with.  That is science, at it's heart. I regularly approve papers that are diametrically opposed to me on every philosophical basis, and reject ones that do a shoddy job of reinforcing my beliefs. Having a bad scientist agree with you is embarrassing, having a good one disagree with you is exciting.

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Psycheskinner,

            Allow me to commend you on presenting a civil tone in response to a post that was admittedly, at least to some degree, antagonistic by design.  You were not the intended recipient, but as a peer-reviewer I could understand how you might take offense to it. Based on what I have seen from you I suspect you represent a more humanitarian focused discipline.  Perhaps your group would be a model the scientific community would want to promote as quintessential. 

            Unfortunately, I know first hand from 2 universities, and second hand from countless others, that many scientific disciplines require acquiescence to dubious foundations built on ideologies and the aforementioned scientism, if you want to progress.  Once the sorting and filtering have produced the desired protégés, their peer review is tantamount to identical twins assuring one another they are indeed, good looking. 

            My concern is where multi-billion dollar industries are spawned, either to promote an ideology or just for good old fashioned greed, on the backs of taxpayers who don't agree with the "science," need, or prudence.  IMO, at the helm of the climate change ship are pirates, even if some of the crew sincerely believe they are there for a good cause by helping those poor, stupid people who don't even know what's good for them.  This perceived simpleton would prefer seeing all that money put to better uses.

          2. rhamson profile image77
            rhamsonposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Good post!

        2. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Exactly psycheskinner---peer reviewers look at methodology, data, etc. and not outcomes. I too have done peer review (of books primarily) and have soundly rejected books I agreed with, but that were lacking in method, data, etc.  It amuses me how little most people know about the peer review process---particularly for science.

        3. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          bBerean: Your response makes clear, again, that you have NO idea what peer review means.

        4. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          And your comment, bBerean, indicates to me (loud and clear) that you, like others with the anti-science mindset, have only a list of "talking points" to reiterate and have no actual contact and/or experience in the world academics---particularly in terms of how we interact with each other particularly in terms of peer review of each other's work.

          The mindset your share, if it did not have the potential to do so much harm, would be amusing.

          1. bBerean profile image61
            bBereanposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Well, after responding 3 times to my one post, I guess you showed me.  Of course, you missed the point completely, but through glasses that shade perhaps it can't be seen.  From our earliest education in the US, (and I expect most of the western world at least), we are indoctrinated into Scientism.  If we are good little do-bees and embrace it we can pursue science disciplines through academia.  When done we can peer review each other to confirm our logic, methods and yes even conclusions are sound and tell one another that indeed we are right.  Anyone outside our ranks who is not as impressed with us as we are can be dismissed as stupid, ignorant or in denial.  I am sure it is all so obviously clear to you from your perspective and you are befuddled by the dissent, which is what prompted your OP.  I have to draw the line however, when I am forced to see my money wasted on these vain pursuits.

            1. profile image0
              mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              "Scientism"...really? Another talking points buzz word and nothing more.

              Dissent from the dominant paradigm is THE basis of scientific progress---not counter-scientific nonsense or so-called "other ways of knowing."

              You might want to read Thomas Kuhn's "The Structure of Scientific Revolutions". It might demonstrate to you just how faulty your presumptions, and those of your anti-scientism movement, really are.

      2. profile image74
        Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

        "Clearly, you have NO idea what the term "peer reviewed" means in the professional and/or academic world."

        "NO" idea?  lol Did I forget to put "peer-reviewed" in gold? How about capital letters - P E E R - R E V I E W E D.  Bold?  Did I forget to bow when I said it?  Seriously?

        This is laughable.  I know exactly what it means.  I just believe that peer-reviewed documents, studies, and articles aren't necessarily as great as you do.  I have no problem with saying something is a peer-reviewed source.  I would likely consider something that is peer-reviewed as a solid source, most of the time.  That doesn't mean that I MUST believe that every peer-reviewed source is godly.  The source document or study is only as good as the originator(s) and the reviewers.  All are human, and the term peer-reviewed doesn't necessarily mean that the people involved are at the top of their profession.  Further, it doesn't mean that any conclusion that the source contains is correct.

        What I'm saying is that generally I favor peer-reviewed work, but that doesn't mean it's always the best source or that it's even a good source.  It merely increases the likelihood that the source work is not flawed.

        Here's what I'm talking about:

        Fake Paper Exposes Failed Peer Review

        http://www.the-scientist.com/?articles. … er-Review/

        I simply believe that there is plenty of room for error, even in peer-reviewed sources.  Thus, please excuse me if I'm not willing to believe everything I see as long as it says "peer-reviewed."

        1. profile image0
          mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

          Again, you miss the point entirely.

          If you read the comments posted immediately above, you would understand that peer-review is not a "stamp" of agreement or belief. Peer review is not intended---and is not used, to authenticate outcomes. Peer review is used to assess design, methods, etc.

          Your "fake paper" article is amusing...nothing more. Please note the terms "open access" in the article. Open access journals are akin to wikis.

          1. profile image74
            Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

            Okay, but you come off as rabidly, sanctimoniously in favor of peer-reviewed sources, as if they are godly and the only source worthy of your time.  When somebody dares to question "peer-reviewed," you dramatically turn it personal and question their education or say that they are opposed to science; it seems pretentious and too invested in a method.  Frankly, I tend to favor peer-reviewed sources too, but that doesn't mean I believe they are infallible, something that you come of appearing to believe.

            But it's "amusing," right?

            1. profile image0
              mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

              Nothing is infallible, but let's be real here, right-wing talking points parroted about academe are getting very old and very fast.

              As for climate change: The science is real and verified and some 95% of all scientists---including those working in business and industry and the military and defense establishments, agree with the science.

              What should be interrogated in the public sphere is not the findings of research with which some 95% of informed professionals concur, but the politicians who insist that the science is wrong.

              We should all be asking why are they intentionally misinforming their constituents and asking what exactly is in it for them personally because their responses make no sense.

              1. profile image74
                Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                "Nothing is infallible, but let's be real here, right-wing talking points parroted about academe are getting very old and very fast."

                The Left's are too.  You just went from science to politics. 

                Was the poll/study that "confirmed" 95% of "scientists" believe in climate change a peer-reviewed poll/study?  I've seen how that data was collected, and while I believe that the majority of qualified professionals in the field believe in climate change,  I further believe that the 95% figure is exaggerated in order to make a political, rather than a scientific, point.

                1. profile image0
                  mbuggiehposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                  We all live on the same earth. We will all find out---won't we, if it was right-wing television pundits and bloggers and politicians OR neutral scientists and researchers who were right or truthful or even just on to something important.

                  Sadly, the facts tell us that this will be sooner rather than later.

                  1. profile image74
                    Education Answerposted 3 years agoin reply to this

                    "neutral scientists and researchers"

                    All of them?  I've never know all of any demographic to be so above it all, so impartial and well intentioned.  Wow, I'm impressed. 

                    95% and all are pretty awe inspiring statistics.

 
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