Science and Ideology

Out of Touch with Reality

Bill would allow teachers to promote creationism

A Mississippi lawmaker wants to strengthen a public school teacher’s ability to express beliefs that challenge climate change and evolution, among other subjects.  Rep. Mark Formby, R-Picayune, said a constituent told him a teacher had been questioned after bringing up the theory of creationism, or the religious belief that the universe originated from acts of divine creation.

Source: Bill would allow teachers to promote creationism

80.44% of people surveyed favor mandatory labels on food containing DNA

Of course almost anything you buy has labels, and food products especially have their ingredients listed. Perhaps this is a trick question or people misunderstand it, or they think it was inappropriately asked. In any case this survey question from the Oklahoma State University Food Demand Survey questions people’s understanding of issues such as GMO product labeling. The lack of science education and scientific understanding can lead to bad public policy swayed by uneducated voters.

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Ben Carson: The World Was Created in 6 Days. Literally. 

Ben Carson, one of the top-tier contenders in the GOP presidential primary, has long been known as an ardent creationist. He has debated prominent scientists who defend evolution, and it’s no secret that his advocacy of creationism springs from his deep faith in the Seventh-day Adventist Church, a Christian religion established in the mid-1800s. Creationism is a core belief for many Seventh-day Adventists, and one of the religion’s founders, Ellen White, was one of the first purveyors of the notion that the Earth is merely 6,000 years old.

Source: Ben Carson: The World Was Created in 6 Days. Literally. | Mother Jones

Rahm Emanuel: Epic Failure Of Chicago Gun Control Proves More Gun Control Needed

Following a Memorial Day Weekend during which 12 people shot and killed and 43 more were wounded, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel said a large part of the solution to the problem is more gun control.That’s right — gun control is failing miserably and the solution is more gun control…

Were the shooters in these instance law-abiding citizens? Negative. Yet Emanuel’s response is more gun control which only affects law-abiding citizens. For those who ignore the law, more gun control simply means more victims.

Source: Rahm Emanuel: Epic Failure Of Chicago Gun Control Proves More Gun Control Needed

Jeb’s climate nonsense: Believing climate science is “arrogance,” says the GOP “moderate”

There was a small and short-lived flurry of optimism a few months ago that perhaps Jeb Bush’s 2016 candidacy would represent a major shift in the Republican posture towards climate change. With the help of deep-pocketed fossil fuel interests, the GOP and the conservative movement have spent the past couple of decades dismissing and sneering at climate change science, casting it as a global left-wing conspiracy. But Jeb came out with some moderate-sounding rhetoric that a few eager and hopeful observers interpreted as a sign that he might actually be serious about climate change, or at least that he was less pig-headed about the science behind it than, say, Ted Cruz.

Source: Jeb’s climate nonsense: Believing climate science is “arrogance,” says the GOP “moderate” – Salon.com

Vaccinations causing Holocaust According to Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

robert kennedy jrChildhood vaccinations are apparently causing a holocaust and killing the brains of our children, claims Robert F. Kennedy Jr. according to a report in the Sacramento Bee.  The environmental lawyer and activist addressed the audience at a Sacramento, California, screening of the documentary Trace Amounts, which links autism to thimerosal, a vaccine preservative.

“They get the shot, that night they have a fever of a hundred and three, they go to sleep, and three months later their brain is gone, This is a holocaust, what this is doing to our country.”- Kennedy Jr.

The goal of the film screening is to stop California SB-277,  a bill that would require schoolchildren in the state to be vaccinated, and parents would no longer be able to send unvaccinated children to school with waivers for religious or personal beliefs. Exemptions would be available only for children with health problems. Continue reading

More Bogus Science from Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute

Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute

Citing sections of a recent publication in Cell1 , Casey Luskin of the Discovery Institute claims to have new evidence that confirms the predictions of their Intelligent Design hypothesis. Luskin has done this in the past when researchers have found new functions in DNA.

The promoters of ID claim that their hypothesis predicts the discovery of new functionality and complexity in DNA. They claim this points to a designer and that Darwin was wrong. Really? Neither Darwin, nor any other expert on evolution, nor the theory of evolution has ever claimed that we have discovered all the complexity in DNA, and that we would not discover new codons that determine how proteins and mRNA are regulated. Darwin actually predicted the existence of genetic material such as DNA would be required for natural selection to work.

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University of Toronto, Faculty of Pharmacy is Out of Touch for wasting resources on homeophathy

Heather Boon, U of T Dean funding homeopathy research

We cannot blame the father of homeopathy, Samuel Hahnemann, who developed modern homeopathy in 1796. Molecules, viruses, and vaccines were unknown, and at least the practice of homeopathy did no more harm and created a atmosphere of caring for the sick. However, in today’s world we cannot be so forgiving, and institutions such as the University of Toronto deserve the criticism they receive over their homeophathy research spending that could be put to beneficial use.

“We are curious about why, given the need to investigate natural therapies that may actually have a potential for benefit, and saddled with a scarcity in funding, a Department of Pharmacy is interested in investigating a subject that has been … found wanting both in evidence and plausibility,” reads a letter from over 60 scientist addressed to Heather Boon, dean of the U of T’s Faculty of Pharmacy.

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Heartland Institute is Out of Touch with regard to scientific consensus on climate change

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Joseph Bast, President of Heartland Institute

The media as a ‘manufacturer of doubt’ can have a negative impact on the belief by the public that there is a no scientific consensus when in fact there is one. A Wall Street Journal article “The Myth of Climate Change ‘97%'” challenges that there is a scientific consensus by manufacturing doubt with shady arguments. The opinion co-authored by Joseph Bast, President of the Heartland Institute[5], which is the “the primary American organization pushing climate change skepticism,” according to the New York Times.  They do not address whether climate change is real or not. Instead they focus on manufacturing doubt about scientific consensus. Continue reading

Friends of the Earth are Out of Touch because of their Ideologic Positioning

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David Brower, founder Friends of the Earth

Opposition to Diablo Canyon started before it was constructed, by Friends of the Earth (FOE), a political action group founded by activist David Brower in 1969, over concerns about earthquake safety. Brower, who was against nuclear power in general, split with the Sierra Club over the Club’s position on the Diablo Canyon Power Plant. The Club helped block PG&E’s plan for a nuclear power plant at Bodega Bay over concerns of the earthquake danger from the nearby San Andreas Fault, and supported moving the site to Diablo Canyon.  Brower believed that nuclear power was a dangerous mistake at any location, and opposed Diablo Canyon, in defiance of the Club’s official policy. Browser’s ideology was opposition to nuclear power this has become an existential issue for them so they need to claim it is unsafe regardless of the science. They have ignored the recent seismic studies making them out of touch with reality on this issue.  Continue reading

Discovery Institute – a Pseudoscience Incubator

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Bruce Chapman, President of the Discovery Institute

Discovery Institute a public policy think tank based in Seattle, Washington, best known for its advocacy of the pseudoscience “intelligent design” (ID), claims ID is a scientific theory that concludes certain features of the universe and living things are best explained by an intelligent cause, not an undirected process such as natural selection.

watch reproductionThey claim that certain natural objects are too complex and must arise from an intelligent action. The argument is that since a watch is too complicated to arise naturally and requires a designer, than so to must a living cell need a designer. Most of us, with the exception of the Discovery Institute and Republican presidential candidates, have realized early in our development that populations of watches do not have genetic material nor do they reproduce.

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott is Out of Touch with Reality

rick_scottRichard “Rick” Lynn Scott receives an Out of Touch with Reality post for his policy of not allowing Florida Officials to use the terms ‘climate change’. We do give him credit for his  December 2012 plan to encourage students to pursue majors in engineering and science by reducing tuition for some majors. We hope this will end up compensating for his ignorance of science.

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