Restoring Science to its Rightful Place

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Who’s against reforming health care? Who’s against reforming education? Who’s against energy independence? These are the foundations of Obama’s policies. Why doesn’t everyone support his presidency? It is because many people do not agree with how Obama wants to solve these problems. Remember Obama’s little line in his inaugural address; “We are going to restore science to its rightful place.” Anyone trying to hold science down must be quite ignorant, right? However, as with anything Obama says we must ask, “What does Obama really mean?” “Anyone against science must be ignorant,” says your standard media template. I ask, “What science and by what do you define as science?” Is it science that we are restoring, or selecting ideas in science that support your political point of view?

For example, one of the first acts of our new President was to repeal Bush’s ban on embryonic stem cell research. Wait, Bush didn’t ban embryonic stem cell research, he forbid executive funding of stem cell research. The issue presented a moral dilemma at the time, Bush side stepped the issue by refusing government funding, but left the playing field open for private funding. The conservatives cheered and the liberal left was livid because the conservatives were happy. “George Bush is ignorant and holding back science,” the liberals argued. Obama’s removal of this ban was a master stroke for the liberals. Finally, embryonic stem cell research can be restored to its rightful place. Thanks to Obama, any new government spending on embryonic stem cell research falls into the category of most Obama spending, wasteful (ok, investing for you libs). That’s because the “science” on embryonic stem cell research was already settled. It does not work. Doctors cannot stop embryonic stem cells from turning into cancer and so the science is useless. Below is a video of Dr. Oz explaining this position on Opra.



In removing the ban, he was not restoring science, but propping up old, disproven theories that appealed to his political world view. Is Obama truly the person to be judging what science needs to be restored?

I say let the science speak for itself. If it has merit, it will prevail.

I am a science skeptic. That doesn’t mean I believe science is a bunch of lies. To me, it means that I don’t jump on the bandwagon of belief every time the media decides to publicize a new popular scientific theory. The reason is because science is rarely settled in a brand new theory or discovery. In fact, it takes years of testing and study before you can realistically close the book on a scientific discovery.

When I was a child, my favorite dinosaur was the brontosaurus. I liked that it didn’t scare the crap out of me and it was supposed to be the biggest of all dinosaurs. Do you remember this dinosaur? The brontosaurus does not exist. The head of one dinosaur was mistakenly placed on the body of another dinosaur. This is one of many examples of science making a mistake.

Scientists are also human beings. Despite one of the tenants of science being objectivity, it is impossible for humans and all humans to be objective. There are at least a dozen of proven frauds in the science of evolution (example only. I’m not arguing one way or another on evolution). For example, Piltdown man found in England in 1912, proved to be a modern human that had been stained to look aged and had the teeth filled down. These things do happen. Objectivity is also threatened by other factors such as funding, job security, and the location you received your education.

I believe that science does need to be restored, but not by picking one theory to win over another because of political expedience. Instead, let’s have the science speak for itself. I plan on doing a few posts on global warming in the days to come. My intention is not to refute or promote it, but to deal with serious issues facing the science, which are not being discussed or revealed to the general public. I know that global warming is not the topic of political debate at the moment, but as Obama looks to cap and trade and ideas to help solve our energy dependence, it is important to deal with the science Obama is trying to restore.

7 comments

Great post CG! I think of myself as somewhat of a science skeptic as well. I think that the problem today is that a lot of the people on the Left have an almost religious belief in science. Thus you have global warming, stem cell issues, etc.

May 12, 2009 at 9:33 PM
Devrim said...

Till Einstein came Newton was the king. Today, Einstein's throne is under threat, we can't blame him tough because he didn't had the Hubble Space Telescope to help with his observations.

Science, more important than that the way we observe the worlds around us is ever evolving.

A professor of mine had a sign saying "Doesn't matter if you are a fascist or an anarchist, 2x2 will always be 4". Being objective in solid science such as maths or physics is easier, you can't change the gravitational field of the earth no matter how much bailout you pump into it. Marx, Keynes and Mises had the same data on economics, but all 3 interpreted that data differently.

You, me and tL have our own political and economical views. I am not going to speak for you two, but if a solar energy company made me "an offer I can't refuse", I wouldn't mind jumping on the global warming bandwagon; or if POTUS made me a deal, I wouldn't mind saying "bailouts are the best thing after sliced bread". We should start looking into "who funded" the research before we look at the findings of that research.

May 12, 2009 at 9:37 PM

LCR,

Thanks for stopping by. I agree with your point on belief in science to a point. Your atheists do for sure. I believe many simply go along with whatever position is presented to them in the media because they don't know anything about the subject. Therefore, they go along with whatever they feel is the consensus so as to avoid seeming ignorant.

Dev,

Good point on economic modeling. You're stealing my thunder a little. Mathematical modeling is my next post.

May 12, 2009 at 9:54 PM
Devrim said...

CG, I love the video of the week btw, I would move to Somalia in a heartbeat only if they had free health care :)

May 12, 2009 at 10:02 PM
The Law said...

Interesting post. When Bush banned executiv funding on stem cell research, progressives weren't mad because conservatives were happy. Just like the debates we have here, there is a set of data, and it is constatly challenged and scrutinized until we have the final product. That's why it's embryonic stem cell *research* The way the guy in the video talked about using skin cells, it is possible he was able to make that deduction *because* of stem cell research. If there was a way to not make them cancerous, then we have a mircle drug that can reverse many diseases. We can't dismiss theories and research before it has had ample time to be tested, and refined. The scientific method needs many go arounds until they get it right.

LCR, I can't speak for all liberals, but progressives don't view science religiously lol. If there is emperical data that suggests something we are doing is not good for us, then we vocalize our thoughts. Take Sarah Palin's response on global warming. She beleives the melting ice caps and rise in sea level is due to the natural ebb and flow of nature. However there is science that refutes that ideology. When I was in *cough* science camp one summer (mom made me do it...) we constructed an ecodome, and filled it with greenshosue gases and measured the temperature. over the course of the summer class, the ecodome's internal temperature rose and killed the plants inside of it because they were not tropical plants. (very fun experiement btw!) Even if you don't beleive in global warming, there is no question that humans, not nature or God, have created substantial environmental problems. There is no refuting that trees intake carbon and pass off oxygen as a byproduct through photosynthesis. If we are cutting down tress at a massive scale (we've already cut down almost half of the rainforests) then carbon stays in the air. That's a fact, and it is testable. And if you still don't believe that, would you leave your car running in the garage? In essence, that's what excessive pollution does. When there is good fact based evidence to support a change in legislation, that's the science progressives push for. I'm not saying I agree with all of it (for example I h-h-h-HATE PETA) but that's where it's comign from... not a pie in the sky hippie earth love =)

May 12, 2009 at 10:48 PM
Devrim said...

HIJACK THREAD CG you know what to do ;)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/05/10/AR2009051002222.html?hpid=topnews

To make long story short, health care companies instantly find $ 2 trillion to save in the next 10 years to support Obama's universal health care plan .

Is there a promise that health care costs won't go up $5 trillion in the 11th year ? Is there an explanation to how they can generate a $2 trillion in profits in US (about 5 times the oil industry worldwide) ?

Should we pass this legislation so some medical lobbyist /senator will profit from it ?

May 12, 2009 at 11:09 PM

tL,

Sounds like your science camp expirement may have been poorly set up. What were the controls?

Dev,

I love your hijack thread and was thinking of doing a related post. However, I've been working hard on a few global warming posts and I'm not sure I'll be able to get to it. Thanks for your thoughts.

May 13, 2009 at 12:23 PM

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